Record-Courier staff report
Errors, miscues, arguments, injuries and a game-ending play at the plate all came into play Saturday night in Kent State's game versus Northern Illinois.
After the Huskies broke a 5-5 tie with a run in the ninth, the Golden Flashes responded to put runners on, but the tying run was called out when Curtis Olvey singled up the middle and Sawyer Polen was thrown out on a close play at home to end the game and hand Kent State a 6-5 loss.
"It was a wild game today, just one of those games," Kent State coach Jeff Duncan said. "We had a little bit of a miscommunication on defense that cost us, and our at-bats weren't great throughout the whole game."
Kent State started things off with a run in the first when Alex Miklos singled, stole second, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a Cody Koch groundout.
Northern Illinois answered right back with an inside-the-park home run in the next inning on a play where Miklos was injured and had to be removed from the game.
The Huskies put up a four-spot in the second on a single and three-run home run to right field.
The Golden Flashes worked their way back in it with a four-run inning of their own in the sixth. Jacob Neuschaefer led off with a double, then Zarley Zalewski reached on an error. Justin Wagler followed with a single to score one, before T.J. Sutton followed with another single. Later in the inning, Polen connected on a base hit to clear the bases and make it a 5-5 game before the decisive ninth inning.
KSU pitcher Nick Jensen-Clagg worked out of trouble and found his groove in the starting role. He went six innings with seven hits, four earned runs and six strikeouts. He did not allow a free pass in the game.
Michael Clark followed him with 1 2/3 shutout innings with one hit, one walk and two strikeouts.
Eric Dorsch suffered the loss in the final 1 1/3 innings with two hits, one run and two strikeouts.
Northern Illinois starter Eli Anderson pitched a complete game, throwing 142 pitches while allowing two earned runs, walking one and striking out 11.
"We have to get past this game and look at being just a little bit better tomorrow," Duncan said. "We still have a chance to win this series."
The rubber match between Kent State and Northern Illinois is set for this afternoon at 1 p.m.