May 28, 2011
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio -- Kent State's first six batters reached base safely with five coming around to score as the 25th-ranked Golden Flashes prevented Miami from winning its first MAC Championship since 2005, 11-0 Saturday afternoon.
Kent State had to win earlier in the day, 7-0 over Eastern Michigan, just to earn its sixth straight championship game appearance. The title was the third in a row and comes with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Miami opened the game with first-team All-MAC selection Mac Thoreson on the mound, but the sophomore couldn't duplicate his stellar complete-game effort of Wednesday. He walked the first batter and gave up three straight singles, one a high chopper over the mound, to fall behind 1-0. But the next batter tripled to the gap in right center, clearing the bases, and came home on a wild pitch to cap the five-run inning.
David Starn, the tournament MVP, was masterful on the mound, retiring the first nine batters he faced and allowing only four hits. He struck out 11 before leaving in the seventh.
Kent State added to the lead with single runs in the third and fourth, then posted two runs in both the seventh and eight to reach double figures. The loss was the RedHawks' worst in tournament play since a 23-4 decision to Ohio in 1979. Miami is now 3-5 all time in championship games.
The RedHawks close the season with a 35-25 mark, the most wins since taking 45 in 2005. The 18 MAC wins were the highest total since the 2003 campaign.