Kent State Tops the Catamounts to Take the Series
Kent State (11-6) continued on as road warriors Sunday as it took another series with a 2-1 win at Western Carolina (8-11).
The Flashes grinded out the win despite being outhit 7-6 and committing two errors thanks to some great relief pitching by Connor Wollersheim and Zach Spangler.
"I was proud of the way our guys handled themselves after Friday's loss," said Head Coach Jeff Duncan. "We played very good baseball on Saturday and Sunday. We knew Western Carolina was going to be good, especially at home, and we handled the challenge very well. Saturday our offense took over and today our pitching took over. It's good to come out with a series win by winning in multiple ways."
Kent State took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd when Pete Schuler singled, Tim DalPorto walked and Sam Hurt was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A Dom Iero ground ball allowed a run to score. What would be the deciding run of the game came in the 3rd when Nick Kanavas walked, advanced on a wild pitch and eventually came around home on a double by Dylan Rosa.
The Catamounts' only run came by way of a solo homerun in the 4th as starter Joey Murray had another solid outing on the mound. The reigning Mid-American Conference East Division Pitcher of the Week went 6.1 innings with seven hits, three walks and seven strikeouts with just the one run.
Murray was pulled from the game in the 7th when Western Carolina was able to load the bases on two base hits and walk. Wollersheim entered needing two outs. He struck out the first batter swinging then got a routine groundball to second base to end the threat and keep Kent State up 2-1. The sophomore came back out in the 8th and retired three Catamounts on just seven pitches.
Western Carolina would make things interesting in the one-run game in the bottom of the 9th. After two outs, Wollersheim had his only blemish of the day, a walk. Spangler was then called on from the bullpen to finish things. On a full count, Spangler got a swing and a miss to end the game and get the save.
Offensively, Luke Burch had two hits out of the leadoff spot while the team's other four were sprinkled throughout the lineup.
Kent State's home opener is set for Tuesday, March 21 at Schoonover Stadium against Pittsburgh. First pitch time has been moved up to 4 p.m.