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Record-Courier Staff Report
TUCSON, Ariz. — First-year coach Jeff Duncan recorded his first career win in a big way Saturday night, when Kent State (1-2) exploded for 11 runs in the first inning and went on to route PAC-10 powerhouse Arizona (2-1) 14-5. The Wildcats still managed to take the series, winning Friday's opener 13-1 and Sunday's finale 7-1.
The 11-run inning featured a pair of two-run singles by Zarley Zalewski, an RBI double by Tommy Monnot, two singles and an RBI by leadoff hitter Sawyer Polen and a pair of RBI singles by Cody Koch.
"Our offense set the tone in that top of the first," Duncan said. "We strung together 11 straight quality at-bats."
Arizona threatened in the bottom of the first and second innings, putting runners on the corners with one out.
But starter Nick Jensen-Clagg was able to limit the damage to just one run through the opening three frames. He lasted 4.2 innings and was charged with three runs, eight hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
"Nick Jensen-Clagg got out of a few jams and did a great job," said Duncan. "He's a competitior."
Eric Lauer impressed in his collegiate debut and picked up his first career win, throwing 2.2 innings and allowing a run on one hit.
"Eric Lauer had absolutely legit stuff tonight," Duncan said. "He was 91-92 (mph) and threw strikes. He was very sharp."
Fellow freshman Andy Ravel pitched the last 1.2 innings, surrendering one run on three hits and a pair of walks with two strikeouts.
On Sunday the Flashes' offense stalled. An RBI double by Zalewski trimmed Arizona's lead to 2-1 in the fourth, but Kent State never advanced a runner to third base the rest of the game while the Wildcats pulled away.
Starter Michael Clark (0-1) suffered the loss, throwing four innings and allowing four runs on seven hits.
Zalewski stayed hot at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double and RBI.
On Friday, Kent State jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a two-out triple by Miklos before Arizona reeled off 13 straight tallies to win going away. A seven-run fourth inning broke the game wide open.
Converted reliever Brian Clark (Stow) lasted 3.1 innings in his first start, giving up seven runs on three hits and three walks.
Justin Wagler and Zalewski each had two hits on the night.
The Flashes will resume play next weekend at the Coca-Cola Classic hosted by Winthrop.