Kent State baseball coach Scott Stricklin reflects on 0-4 start

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer Published:

Kent State baseball coach Scott Stricklin takes a look back at games played last weekend.

Friday's Results: Virginia Tech 10, Kent State 9; UNC Wilmington 7, Kent State 6 (10 inn.)

Saturday's Result: Virginia Tech 8, Kent State 1

Sunday's Result: UNC Wilmington 13, Kent State 8

Record: 0-4

Stricklin Looks Back: "It was disappointing. We didn't play well at all. I knew it was gonna be a challenging weekend. Virginia Tech and UNC Wilmington are both projected to be regional teams at the end of the year, so we knew they would be very good and we would need to play well to come out with some wins and we just didn't do that. It was disappointing that we had a chance to win both games on Friday and lost them both in heartbreaking fashion. Then on Saturday and Sunday we just got outplayed. The bottom line is when you don't play defense, don't make routine plays, and you walk the number of hitters that we walked, you're not gonna win against good teams."

n "The one pitching performance that stands out for the weekend was (junior starter) Taylor Williams. He was really good in game two on Friday and deserved to win and our bullpen didn't preserve it, and we couldn't add on some runs when we needed to."

n "(Freshman third baseman Justin Wagler) had a tough day (3 errors in the opener). It was his first college game and he struggled. He was a little bit nervous, and the ball finds you. Two consecutive plays it found him. He dropped a pop-up that was foul and would have ended the inning, then the next ball is hit right to him and he made an error. Then the next guy hit a home run. That's just the way baseball works. You don't like those things to happen, but the great thing about it was Justin came back. He was back at third base in game four and played great defensively."

"He looked like he was more comfortable. Sometimes you have to go through those downs before you can get to the ups. He recovered very well, swung the bat well, and he's gonna be a great player for us."

n "We've obviously gotta learn from it. But the other thing we've gotta keep in mind is that this is how teams are gonna approach us. Teams are gonna be ready to play us. These are two teams in the past that, sure they would have been ready to play, but now that we did what we did last year we've got a little bit bigger target on our back. Teams are really excited to play us, and our guys have gotta get used to that. A win over Kent State right now is a pretty big deal and these teams really want it badly, so our guys have gotta be prepared for that. They got a sense of it this weekend. And the next two weekends are extremely difficult, going to San Diego and going to Louisville, both teams are nationally ranked. It's not gonna get any easier, that's for sure."

Injury Update: Kent State All-American senior third baseman George Roberts suffered a hand injury during his third at-bat of the trip, was removed following his next at-bat and did not return to action for the rest of the weekend.

"He took a swing, fouled a ball back, winced a little bit then finished the at-bat and ended up walking. It was bothering him. We talked to him in the dugout and he said he was OK. Then his next at-bat he hit a ball to the warning track, I thought he hit a home run, and he rounded first base and was bent over in pain. Right now we're hoping that it's just some kind of a sprain in his hand. He's seeing a doctor (Monday). The initial X-ray was negative, but you just don't know. We're just kind of hoping it's a day-to-day thing, but worst-case scenario it could be something that keeps him out for a while. (Freshman) Zarley Zalewski ended up playing first base for two games and he did a nice job. He had never played first base before. (Sophomore) Tommy Monnot also played first, he played it a little last year. So we had a little inexperience there, and it hurt us in a couple of instances. In order to be the championship team we want to be we need to have everyone healthy and everyone on board. Right now we don't have that. We're just gonna have to deal with it and get through it."

Next: The Flashes will play a four-game series at San Diego (0-3) beginning Friday at 6 p.m.

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