Charlotte, N.C. -- Kent State (3-10) came from behind to take a 2-1 victory at Charlotte (10-3), bolstered by an impressive, complete-game pitching performance by junior Taylor Williams.
Williams threw 110 pitches in nine innings of work, allowing just one run on eight hits and one walk while striking out three. The Kent State defense aided his efforts, not committing an error for the first time this season.
"We've won a lot of games in our history with pitching and defense," said head coach Scott Stricklin, "and that's what it was today. Taylor Williams was really good; he competed. He gave us a great chance to win and our defense made plays."
The Golden Flashes' offense was only able to gather five hits in the game with a lineup that had four new players get the start. But, they capitalized in the 6th inning to get a 2-1 lead on way to a win.
"We've got a bunch of guys who work really hard and deserve to get some opportunities," Stricklin said, "and that's what today was about, getting some guys some opportunities and mixing some things up. I thought guys responded well. We didn't swing the bat very well but we did compete."
Curtis Olvey walked and Sawyer Polen singled to put two runners on in the 6th. Both advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. Olvey then came in to score on a ground out by Cody Koch, and Polen reached home after Troy Summers smacked a double to left center.
Charlotte's sole run came in the second inning on a single and a sacrifice fly.
Polen finished the day 2-for-4 with a run scored. Jeff Revesz also had a multi-hit day, going 2-for-3. Koch and Summers picked up an RBI each.
The game showed Kent State's depth, with non-starters getting in the lineup and contributing, something the Golden Flashes hope to build on and use as a strength this season.
"We're trying to build depth," Stricklin said. "When we get to the end of the year we'll have a lot of guys capable of doing jobs.
"When you look at it, you have fourteen guys that at any one time they can come into the game, that's a pretty good place to be."
The rubber match at Charlotte will take place on Sunday (Mar. 10) at 1:00 pm.