May 13, 2012
KENT, Ohio -- For the second straight day, Kent State used the long ball to rally past Miami, winning 10-4 Sunday afternoon to sweep the Mid-American Conference series.
Miami (26-26, 10-14) had seven hits, led by Matt Honchel, who was 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to nine games, and Kevin Bower, who had two hits and two walks in five plate appearances. The Golden Flashes (33-17, 21-3) hit three home runs as part of a 13-hit attack in the finale, giving them seven round-trippers for the weekend.
The RedHawks fell behind early as the first two Kent State batters accounted for run with a with a single and double to the gap in left center. After a groundout, a wild pitch made the score 2-0.
Miami struck with a vengence in the third. Three of the first four batters walked to load the bases. An error on a pickoff attempt led to the first run, but it wasn't done there. After the second out was recorded, Scott Slappey hit the next pitch deep to left center for his first career triple to put the RedHawks up 3-2.
The Golden Flashes tied the game at 3-3 on a home run in the bottom and retook the lead, 4-3, when David Lyon hit his third round-tripper in two days with one out in the fifth. A double, wild pitch and RBI single led to another run in the inning and chased starter Charles Zubrod. The sophomore struck out two, but allowed nine hits and a walk to fall to 3-4.
Miami had a chance to get back in the game in the sixth as Slappey was hit by a pitch to start the inning, then Dan Walsh doubled. But a ground out, strike out and foul out ended the threat. The RedHawks did get a run back in the seventh to make it 5-4 when Bower singled in Ryan Brenner, but the Golden Flashes broke the game open with four runs in the bottom half, including Lyon's second home run of the contest and fourth in two days.
Tyler Skulina (8-2) earned the victory, allowing just four hits over six innings. He did walk four, but struck out the same number.
The RedHawks conclude the season with a three-game series at Ohio beginning Thursday. Despite being swept, they still cling to the No. 7 spot in the standings and have a 1 1/2-game cushion to make the MAC Tournament.