May 12, 2012
KENT, Ohio -- A pair of two-run home runs in the sixth inning, both with two outs, lifted Kent State to a come-from-behind 7-6 victory over Miami Saturday afternoon at Schoonover Field. Matt Honchel tied a career high with four hits, while Kevin Bower drove in three runs on three hits.
Kent State's senior catcher, David Lyon, had three hits, including two home runs, to lead the Golden Flashes, which MAC regular-season title with the win.
Three of Miami's first four batters hit safely, leading to a 2-0 lead after only a half-inning of play. With one out, Honchel singled to extend his hitting streak to eight games, the fourth time this year he has reached that mark. Bower got the green light on a 3-0 pitch and doubled to left center to put the RedHawks ahead. After a John Crummy walk and Bryce Redeker was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Dan Walsh collected an RBI with a fielder's choice.
Kent State (32-17, 20-3) evened the game with single tallies in the first and second. Three straight hits cut the deficit to 2-1 after one. In the next frame, a walk, single and hit-batsman loaded the bases with one out. Miami starter Mac Thoreson deflected a ball for a 1-4-3 groundout that scored a run, then escaped more damage by getting Lyons to flyout to center on the 15th pitch of the at-bat.
The RedHawks (26-25, 10-13) went back ahead in the fourth on Bower's second double of the game. Two outs after Ryan Curl singled, the junior first baseman hit the first pitch he saw for a ground-rule double to left center, making the score 3-2.
In the fifth, Lyon gained revenge from his previous turn at the play by hitting a 3-1 pitch over the wall in right field.
But Miami answered right away, capitalizing on a Golden Flashes miscue in the sixth. Nate Bowles tried to bunt his way to first and was safe when Bores threw the ball away. After a sacrifice bunt and strikeout, Honchel registered his third hit of the contest with a double to left center. He made it 5-3 when Bower picked up his third hit of the day with a single to left..
The lead didn't last long, though. After quickly retiring the first two Kent State batters in the bottom of the inning, Thoreson gave up a single and two-run homer to bring the game back to 5-5 and end his afternoon. Brooks Fiala came in from the bullpen and repeated the cycle, giving up a single before Lyon hit his second home run of the game, capping the four-run inning for a 7-5 lead.
Miami tried to rally twice after that. The RedHawks came up short in the eighth when Bower left a pair of runners on and had the tying run at second in the ninth. Crummy started with a double to lead off the final inning, his second hit of the game, then was lifted for a pinch runner, Ryan Elble. Walsh followed a strikeout with an infield single that put runners on the corners, then Bowles reached on a throwing error by the KSU third baseman. But Casey Wilson came on and got Curl to bounce into a fielder's choice, preserving the win.
Fiala took the loss to fall to 2-7 on the season, while Michael Clark (2-4) earned the win. The save was Wilson's fifth of the year.
Miami will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon when the series concludes at 1 p.m.