Kent rallies to gain spirit at Winthrop

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ROCK HILL, S.C. _ The Kent State baseball team opened the 1998 season by splitting four games with Winthrop Friday through Sunday.

The Golden Flashes (2-2) led Friday's opener 7-4 in the ninth inning when play was suspended. But Winthrop (9-3) tied the game with three runs in the ninth and scored a run in the 10th off Kent State reliever Shawn Gillespie to win 8-7.

Ty Carpenter and Brian Smith had three singles each while Cary Zamilski cracked two triples and drove in two runs for the Flashes, who lost despite out-hitting Winthrop 16-6.

Kent State won the first game of Saturday's scheduled doubleheader 3-1 behind sophomore Matt Guerrier, who scattered three hits in going the distance. Zamilski ripped a solo home run, while Smith and Mike Schwamel added two singles each.

Winthrop scored five runs in two innings off Kent State starter Drew Roberts and went on to claim Saturday's nightcap 8-3. Smith and Jess Bechard finished with two singles each.

In Sunday's series finale, Kent State overcame a 10-5 fourth-inning deficit by scoring 10 runs in the next three innings to claim a 15-10 victory in a game that was called due to rain after seven innings.

Winthrop scored six runs in the fourth inning to chase Kent State starter Kory Hartman, the biggest blow being a two-run home run to dead center by Joe Colameco.

The Flashes countered with two runs in the fifth. Then in the sixth, Zamilski and Bechard ripped back-to-back home runs to start the inning. Smith greeted reliever Chris Begg with a single, and Carpenter followed with a two-run homer that put Kent State up 11-10.

Reliever Dustin Sampson closed the door for the Flashes, allowing just one hit in 32/3 innings while striking out four.

Carpenter went 5-for-5 and with three runs scored and three RBIs to pace Kent State, while Raul Leoni added two singles, a triple and three RBIs; Schwamel, two doubles, a single and three runs scored; and Alex Marconi, three singles, a double and two RBIs.

Kent State will travel to Vanderbilt to play three games this weekend.

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