10th Inning with Jeff Duncan: Winthrop and Coppin State Edition

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By Allen Moff | Staff Writer

Kent State baseball coach Jeff Duncan takes a look back at games played last weekend.

Friday: Kent State 5, Coppin State 0; Kent State 8, Winthrop 5.

Saturday: Kent State 9, Winthrop 4 (15 inn.).

Sunday: Kent State 11, Coppin State 1.

Season Record: 5-2

Duncan's Assessment

"Overall, the weekend was good. We pitched it really well, played good defense all weekend and we swung it really well. We had the opportunity to play really our first two close games against Winthrop. We showed a lot of resiliency and a lot of poise to find a way to win. Winthrop had a number of opportunities to win and we kept getting ourselves out of jams on the mound, and defensively we made plays. They gave us a good bullet and we just hung in their, kept playing and found a way to win. I'm happy with us."

Starting Pitching

"(Junior lefty) Brian Clark (1-1, 10.80 ERA) is getting better each outing. He went five innings, and it was a much better outing (than his first start). He started to tire out in the fifth inning as opposed to the fourth. He's been a reliever his whole (KSU) career, and I think every time he goes out there he's gonna build more and more stamina. (Sophomore RH Nick) Jensen-Clagg (0-0, 5.90 ERA) struggled a little bit. (Winthrop) put a three-spot on him, got four or five hits in a row. His command wasn't great, he was up all game, but he battled and still got five innings out of the deal. Sunday (freshman LH) Eric Lauer (2-0, 1.17 ERA) was dominating. We need to continue to figure out (our rotation)."

Relief Pitching

"Our bullpen has been outstanding. They've been dominant. (Junior RH) Josh Pierce, (junior RH) Eric Dorsch, every arm that's gone out there has been phenomenal. (Junior RH) Danny Kopcak (Streetsboro) was lights out (Saturday against Winthrop). He blanked Winthrop for four innings, and they didn't come close to touching him. He was nasty."

Offense

"We're averaging seven runs a game, which is good, especially early in the year. (Sophomore) Zarley Zalewski (.469 batting average, 8 RBI) and (senior) Cody Koch (.379) continue to swing it well, (junior) Alex Miklos (.379, 4 doubles) pretty much carried us in one of the wins against Winthrop with three doubles. (Sophomore Jacob) Neuschaefer was a nice nugget at the bottom of the order for us. He went 5-for-10, and he can really run. I might platoon him and (senior) Jon Wilson in left field. I was worried about that position, but guys are starting to step up now and hopefully that continues."

Defense

"We've picked it really well. We had a couple errors in the first game against Winthrop, but other that than we played pretty steady."

Coming Up: The Flashes will visit Middle Tennessee State (3-4) for three games this weekend. Clark and Lauer will likely start two of the games, while the third starter is still undecided.

Email: amoff@recordpub.com

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