Updated Sun, Apr 6, 2014 8:15 pm
It was a weekend to forget for the ‘Cats, as they lost game three of their series against the Kent State Golden Flashes, 18-2.
Connor Sitz got the starting nod for Ohio, but couldn’t advance through the first inning after he gave up six earned runs, three walks and four hits in only two-thirds of an inning. Sitz struggled to find the strike zone as he walked three of the eight batters he faced.
“On the second batter of the game (Connor) tweaked something in his shoulder, he had a little bit of discomfort,” Ohio coach Rob Smith said. “I don’t think it’s anything serious, but it was enough for him to have some issues.”
Sitz was charged with the loss and will now see his record fall to 0-7 on the year.
The Golden Flashes connected for seven hits in the opening frame and busted the game wide open, scoring seven runs. Jake Miller came in for four innings in place of Sitz, but the Flashes bats stayed just as hot.
Kent State tacked on 11 more runs throughout the final eight innings of play. The Flashes got a lot of production from the bottom of the order as nine-hole hitter Zach Beckner went 4 for 6 with an RBI single and three runs. Sawyer Polen also had an impressive day in the seven-slot as he went 4 for 5 with four RBI’s and two doubles.
Ohio was only able to tally two runs on five hits, which was certainly a point of emphasis from Coach Smith following the game.
“That has been an issue the entire year,” Smith said referring to his team’s appearances at the plate. Ohio left seven runners on base, three of which were in scoring position when the final out was recorded.
Both of Ohio’s runs came in the third inning on back-to-back RBI singles from Jake Madsen and Tyler Wells.
However, you can’t take all the credit away from Kent State starting pitcher Brian Clark, who pitched a solid six innings. He allowed eight base runners on four hits and four walks, but only allowed two of those runners to score.
Ohio also didn’t struggled defensively, committing three errors at the cornerstones of their infield. John Adryan was charged with two of those errors while he was at third base and Madsen picked up the final one at first.
“We’ve probably sacrificed a little bit of defense for some bats in the right spots,” Smith said about the defensive miscues.
However, it wasn’t all negatives for Ohio as Garrett Black made some phenomenal plays in the second inning to limit the Flashes’ damage to only one run.
Two noteworthy statistics for the ‘Cats came from today’s game.
Mitch Longo’s 11-game hitting streak has come to an end as he finished 0-3 with a run scored after grounding into a fielder’s choice in the third inning.
First baseman Jake Madsen continued his own streak of consecutive starts as he has now started 133 straight games for Ohio. He also has a bit of a hitting streak going, as he has now gotten a base hit in his last nine games.
The loss drops the ‘Cats to 5-23 on the year and 1-8 in MAC play. Ohio will have a couple days off to regroup before they take on Marshall on Wednesday, April 9.