Kent State Baseball Can’t Take Advantage Of Scoring Opportunities In Loss At Penn State
Rider matches career best with 5-for-5 effort in loss, now three hits away from breaking Kent State's all-time record.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Senior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.) matched his career best with a 5-for-5 effort at the plate, but the Kent State baseball team stranded 15 runners in a 6-4 non-conference loss to Penn State Wednesday (April 25) at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
The Golden Flashes (24-17) saw their winning streak end at three games with the loss to the Nittany Lions (20-21). Penn State swept the season series over Kent State, 2-0, as the Lions also recorded a 9-7 victory over the Flashes on April 3 at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium.
Rider's five singles marked the second time this season a Kent State hitter has posted five base knocks in a game. Junior center fielder Evan Campbell (Beloit, Ohio) achieved the feat on March 9 in a 7-4 win for the Golden Flashes at New Mexico State. Rider is now three hits away from breaking Kent State's all-time record of 313 held by Andrew Davis (2004-07).
Unfortunately for the Flashes, outhitting the opposition, 19-9, wasn't enough.
Kent State grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Campbell got things rolling with a leadoff double to right center, then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single to right center by Rider. Rider moved up to second on a passed ball and scored one out later courtesy of a base hit back up the middle by freshman right fielder Alex Miklos (Grove City, Pa.).
The Flashes tacked on a third run in the ensuing frame. Sophomore second baseman Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio) led off with a double down the left field, then scampered to third on a passed ball one out later. Campbell drove Toadvine home with a single through the right side to make it 3-0 in favor of Kent State.
The Nittany Lions plated an unearned run in the bottom of the second to cut their deficit to two runs, then took advantage of two-out lightning in the home half of the fourth to plate four runs and take a 5-3 lead.
Kent State countered in the top of the sixth as Campbell legged out a bunt single, moved to second on a base hit through the left side by Rider, advanced to third on a fly ball to center by senior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) and tagged up and scored when junior first baseman George Roberts (Summerhill, Pa.) lifted a sacrifice fly to right.
That was as close as the Golden Flashes got, though. Penn State increased its advantage back to two runs in the top of the seventh when senior first baseman Jordan Steranka hit a two-out double to right center and scored when freshman right fielder Aaron Novak followed with a double down the right field line.
Rider and Lyon cracked back-to-back singles to lead off the top of the eighth for Kent State, but the Flashes were unable to cash in as junior right-handed reliever Dave Walkling entered the game for Penn State and bailed the Nittany Lions out of the jam by striking out the side. He came back out in the top of the ninth and worked around a one-out single by Toadvine to nail down his first save of the 2012 season.
Sophomore right-handed reliever Dan Slavik (St. Clairsville, Ohio) was tagged with the pitching defeat for Kent State, falling to 0-2 on the season. He struck out four in 3.2 frames but gave up five earned runs on six hits and two walks. After sitting out last weekend's series at Central Michigan, junior righty Ryan Bores (Strongsville, Ohio) started the contest for the Flashes, fanning four while scattering three hits in three innings of work.
Toadvine and Campbell joined Rider in recording multi-hit efforts with four and three, respectively.
Sophomore southpaw reliever Tim Dunn was credited with the mound triumph for Penn State. He gave up one earned run on seven hits while fanning two in 3.1 innings of work. Junior right-handed starting pitcher Cody Lewis was tagged with three earned runs on eight hits and a walk in 2.1 innings. He struck out one.
Freshman catcher J.C. Coban led the Nittany Lions at the plate with three singles while senior left fielder Sean Deegan contributed a triple, a double, three RBIs and a run scored.
Kent State hosts Western Michigan this weekend (April 27-29) in its final MAC interdivision series of the season at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium.