May 24, 2008


Kent State uses seven-run first to oust Northern Illinois


By Phil Stanton Co-Founder


CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – It was like a TKO in the first round.


Top-seeded Kent State used a seven-run first to defeat No. 4 Northern Illinois 10-3 at VA Memorial Stadium Friday evening and advance to the 2008 Mid-American Conference Championship Game.


The Golden Flashes (36-20) will meet second-seeded Eastern Michigan in the title contest on Saturday at 1 p.m.


Brad Stillings (4-7) was outstanding on the mound for KSU, allowing six hits and three runs in eight innings with one walk and eight strikeouts.


KSU flexed its muscles early, putting seven on the board in the top of the first. Chris Tremblay had a leadoff double, moved to third on a base hit by Doug Sanders and scored the first run on a single by Anthony Gallas. After a walk to Greg Rohan loaded the bases, Jared Bartholomew unloaded them with a three-run double to make it 4-0. After a flyout and a walk to Ryan Mitchell, Brett Weibley singled to right. The ball got by the rightfielder, allowing Bartholomew and Mitchell to score and Weibley to reach third. Cory Hindel’s sacrifice fly pushed the lead to 7-0.


Ben Klafczynski had an RBI triple in the third to give the Golden Flashes an 8-0 lead.


The Huskies (28-26) showed a bit of life in the fourth. Bobby Stevens had a one-out hit, the first base-runner for NIU. Jordin Hood added a base hit, followed by a homer to right by Justin Behm, his 11th.


The Golden Flashes got the bats going again in the seventh as Bartholomew had a leadoff triple and scored on a single by Jared Humphreys to raise the count to 9-3. Bartholomew added a bases-loaded walk in the eighth for the game’s final run.


Bartholomew went 3 for 4 with two runs and four RBI for the victors.