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AVON, Ohio – Kent State (35-21) played as reigning champs should in the opening game of the MAC Tournament on Wednesday night, pummeling Central Michigan (25-31) by a score of 15-8.
The Golden Flashes’ offense led the way, recording 17 hits in the game, including two homeruns, and stealing five bases. They remain undefeated playing at All Pro Freight Stadium.
Kent State got things started by scoring nine runs in the first two innings. In the opening frame, Derek Toadvine led off the game with a walk, Sawyer Polen followed with a single and then Evan Campbell hit a sacrifice fly to get the scoring started. Alex MIklos later singled to score Polen. Bases became loaded after T.J. Sutton and Jason Bagoly were issued back-to-back walks before Justin Wagler came up big with a two-RBI base hit.
In the second, Toadvine again led off the inning getting on base, this time by singling and then he stole second. After a Campbell walk, Toadvine scored on a single by Roberts and then Campbell was able to plate a run on a wild pitch. Miklos followed with a walk before Sutton put a bunt down and slid into first safely to pick up a base hit RBI as Roberts was able to come home on the play. The scoring continued as Bagoly hit a sacrifice fly and Jeff Revesz singled home a run.
The scoring continued for Kent State in the fourth as they tallied two runs when Bagoly reached on an error, scored on a double by Wagler and Wagler came home on a Toadvine single.
They put a run across in the fifth when Miklos singled, stole second and plated a run on a single by Sutton. Two more runs came across in the seventh when Tommy Monnot was walked before Wagler hit a homerun over the left field wall to pick up his fourth and fifth RBI of the night. Cody Koch followed suit, smacking a solo shot in his only at-bat to finish out the Kent State scoring.
Central Michigan was able to muster two runs off of starter Taylor Williams in the second inning and one in the sixth. Williams went six innings with three runs, seven hits, one walk and ten strikeouts. Spencer Bryant gave up a run in his two innings of relief while Aaron Tadian gave up four in a third inning of work, but Jason Revesz limited the damage by getting two outs on nine pitches to end the game.
Wagler led the night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double, homerun, five RBI, two runs scored and a walk. Toadvine also had three hits in four at-bats with two runs scored. He stole three bases in the contest.
Kent State now plays Ball State on Thursday at 4:00pm as MAC Tournament action continues. The Golden Flashes took two out of three games against the Cardinals in regular season play, outscoring them 20-11 on the weekend.