April 4, 2009
Kent, Ohio - A seven-run first inning, along with an eight-run fifth, helped Kent State defeat Northern Illinois 20-9 on Saturday afternoon in Mid-American Conference competition at Schoonover Stadium.
"They are a good hitting team, the wind was blowing out, and Nick Badgley wasn't sharp," said NIU head coach Ed Mathey. "That's not a good combination. Seven runs in the first is tough to come back from. We overcame that inning, but couldn't overcome the eight-run fifth. Nick had only one walk, but they were hitting him pretty well."
The Golden Flashes' (20-6, 6-1 MAC) big first inning started with a lead-off walk by Chris Tremblay. Ben Klafczynski singled to left-centerfield on the next play, and moved to third on Anthony Gallas' RBI double down the left field line. After Greg Rohan was hit by an errant pitch by NIU starter Nick Badgley (McHenry, Ill./McHenry C.C.), Jason Patton hit an RBI single. On the next play, Jimmy Rider reached on a fielder's choice force out at home. Then with Jared Humphreys at the plate, a wild pitch allowed another run to score, and he followed with a three-run homer to right. Travis Shaw then backed it up with a homer of his own to right. Badgley then struck out David Lyon swinging, gave up a single to Tremblay, and struck out Klafczynski swinging to close the inning.
KSU starter Kyle Smith earned the win (3-1) after pitching six innings, surrendering four earned runs on five hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts. Badgley (2-3) took the loss after allowing eight earned runs on nine hits and a walk with two strikeouts in two innings.
KSU added two more runs in the third on Lyon's two-run single up the middle to go up 9-0.
The Huskies (11-16, 4-3 MAC) got on the board in the fourth with a solo homer to left-center by Jordin Hood (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich), marking his third of the year which puts him in a tie for the team lead with Justin Behm (Downers Grove, Ill./North).
The Golden Flashes responded in the fifth with eight runs to increase their lead to 17-1. Lyon tallied two hits in the inning and three RBI, while Rohan had a grand slam.
In the sixth, Matt Behren (Elmwood Park, Ill./Holy Cross) hit a three-run homer to right, giving him his second game in a row with a homerun for the first time in his career.
Patton added a two-run homer for KSU in the bottom of the sixth to give the Golden Flashes a 19-4 advantage.
NIU tallied its fifth run of the game in the seventh with an RBI single from Alex Jones (Kansas City, Kan./Piper) after Pat Minogue (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) singled and stole second to score.
Kyle McMillen double to right and a fielding error by Nick Morreale (Vernon Hills, Ill./Mesa AZ C.C.) allowed KSU to get its 20th run of the game in the bottom of the seventh.
The Huskies loaded the bases with one out in the ninth and scored after Hood was hit by McMillen's pitch. Morreale then followed with a three-run double to right-center.
The KSU offense was led by Patton, Humphreys and Lyon. Patton went 4-for-6 with a homer, three RBI and two runs. Humphreys went 2-for-3 with three RBI, a homer and three runs. Lyon went 3-for-4 with five RBI and a run.
Behren led the NIU offense with his one hit being a three-run homer, while he also had a walk. Hood also homered with his only hit of the day, scored two runs and drove in two runs. Jones added a hit and an RBI as well. Minogue had two hits, a steal and two runs. Behm tallied two hits, a run and two walks. Morreale had two hits, a season-high three RBI and a run, while Joe Etcheverry (Bakersfield, Calif./Centennial) had a hit.
"We swung the bats better today than we did yesterday," Mathey said. "Their pitcher is a quality pitcher. I'm not dissatisfied with the offense today, but we can't do what we did on defense today.
"Matt's doing a nice job. We got him out early to get rest for tomorrow, and we took some other guys out. Nick Morreale definitely took advantage of his opportunities today."
The teams play again at 12 p.m. CT tomorrow in the series finale as NIU LHP Dave Reynolds (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) (0-1, 5.95, 19.2 IP, 5 BB, 14 SO) goes against KSU's starter that has not been announced yet. For live stats of the game, click here. For free streaming radio of the game, click here.
- Sam Kapacinskas tallied a career-high four strikeouts in 2.1 innings of work.
- Cody Beck achieved season-bests in his second appearance with recording his first two strikeouts and throwing 1.2 innings.
- Zach Badgley struck out the side in the seventh to tie a season-high in strikeouts in an appearance, while throwing two innings.
- Pat Minogue moved into the 10th spot on the all-time NIU stolen base list with his 30th career steal in the seventh inning.
- The Huskies have had a player tally multiple hits in all but three games this year.
- NIU has totaled 10 hits in a game 15 times this season.