Flashes' 26 Hits Too Much for Herd
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Kent State pumped out 26 hits to go along with six strong innings from pitcher Dirk Hayhurst to rout Marshall 23-5 on Friday at University Heights.
The Golden Flashes (16-12, 5-0 MAC) registered 14 hits after three innings to take a commanding 13-0 lead. Marshall (13-22-1, 4-9 MAC) took a chunk out of the lead with a four-run fourth inning, but KSU answered right back with a six-run fifth coupled with two Herd errors.
Hayhurst (3-1) allowed only five Thundering Herd hits and one earned run with five strikeouts for the victory. Pat Frank picked up his first career save after pitching three innings to close out Marshall.
Kent State jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning when the Golden Flashes put their first seven hitters on base on five hits. After Marshall starting pitcher Rick Suter (St. Clairsville, Ohio) walked Eric O’Brien to load the bases with no outs, Chris Welsch delivered a two RBI double down the left field line. Kurt Eichorn then singled to first base to add the Flashes third run before Adam Crowder added another two RBI double, this one to right-center field.
Marshall threatened to cut into the five-run deficit in its half of the first, when a Craig Dziedziejko (Kitchener, Ont.) walk loaded the bases for freshman Matt LaFleur (Chesapeake, Va.). LaFleur, coming off of a two home run effort Tuesday at Morehead State, flied out to center field to end the inning.
Suter (0-5) allowed five hits and five runs and walked three Flashes in two-thirds of an inning.
Kent State’s monster day continued in the third inning when Chad Kinyon blasted a grand slam to left field that plated Joe Tucker, Matt Sega and Pat LeMasters, all of whom singled to lead off the inning versus new Herd pitcher Andrew Davis (Charleston, W.Va.). Kinyon finished the game 3-for-7 with three runs scored and four RBIs.
It was the second grand slam hit by Kent State in the last three games.
KSU’s Crowder went 4-for-4 with one run scored and five RBIs, while Welsch went 4-for-6 with four runs scored and three RBIs.
Marshall’s Gregg Hiller (Greenville, Ohio) went 1-for-2 with a two RBI double in the fourth inning.
The Flashes’ 26 hits is the most hits Marshall has allowed since rejoining the Mid-American Conference in 1998. KSU recorded 27 hits on April 2, at Duquesne University, a 25-6 Golden Flash win.
These two teams will meet again on Saturday at University Heights for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. The games will be broadcast live on WRVC 930-AM in the Huntington listening area.