Zach Willeman shook off a string of shaky starts by delivering seven solid innings, leading the Kent State baseball team past host Northern Illinois 4-1 on Saturday in DeKalb, Ill.
Willeman (5-3) had given up three or more earned runs in his last five starts since tossing seven innings against Florida International in his second start of the season. The converted closer allowed just one earned run on four hits and two walks while striking out seven Huskies.
Jared Skolnicki tossed two scoreless frames to earn his second save of the season, striking out a pair.
The Golden Flashes (19-11, 7-1) scored two runs in the first inning, with Dylan Rosa and Reilly Hawkins each driving in a run. Northern Illinois (9-25, 5-6) loaded the bases with nobody out in the fourth, but Willeman limited the damage to just one run with a double play and groundout.
Rosa then delivered his second home run in as many days, a two-run shot in the fifth that put the Flashes up 4-1. Rosa now leads Kent State with eight homers and 26 RBI.
NIck Kanavas went 2-for-4 on the day, while Rosa went 2-for-4 with three RBI and Luke Burch walked twice and scored two runs for the Flashes.
Kent State will seek a sweep in today's 1 p.m. series finale.