Record-Courier staff report
The Kent State baseball team rode the arms of Clark and Clark on Saturday to a 6-2 victory over the Toledo Rockets at Schoonover Stadium.
Starter Brian Clark got the start and delivered 62⁄3 strong innings, allowing only three hits and one walk while striking out four.
Reliever Michael Clark finished the game off, providing 21⁄3 innings out of the bullpen. He struck out three and gave up only two hits to secure the win.
Combined, the two Clarks threw only 94 pitches in the game. In comparison, Toledo's staff of starter Ross Achter, along with relievers Andrew Marra and Caleb Schillace threw 144 pitches.
For the Golden Flashes (11-9, 2-1 MAC), it was the team's league series win in their first attempt.
"I really liked the way our guys responded today after that second game last night," said Kent State head coach Jeff Duncan, referring to his team's 5-1 loss in the second game of a double header on Friday. "I thought we played really good baseball. I thought the energy, the attitude was really good."
Duncan was also impressed with how Clark started the game on Saturday.
"Brian Clark came out today and set the tone," Duncan said. "That's the best start he's had all year in my opinion. He commanded the strike zone."
When Michael Clark entered the game in the seventh inning with two outs, he inherited a runner on third base and KSU holding a 5-2 lead. Clark went on to strike out the only batter he faced in the seventh.
Toledo's only runs of the day came after a fielding error by Kent State that would have been the third out of the seventh inning. The Rockets' two runs -- both unearned -- came on a subsequent base hit.
Kent State's offense, on the other hand, scored early and often to build a 4-0 lead by the end of the third inning.
In the first inning, Jon Wilson and Alex Miklos both singled and both scored on a double by Zarley Zalewski.
Sawyer Polen drove in another run in the second inning on a double, while the lead was pushed to 4-0 when Justin Wagler walked, advanced all the way to third on a passed ball, then scored on a balk.
In the fifth, Miklos stroked a solo home run to left field to make it a 5-0 game. Kent State's final run came in the eighth on some more Toledo (7-12, 1-2 MAC) miscues. Cody Koch reached on a fielder's choice then eventually came home on a throwing error by the third baseman that would have ended the inning.
"Our offense did a really good job, especially in those first five innings, putting pressure on their defense and making their pitcher work," said Duncan.