Kent State uses seven-run first
to oust Northern Illinois
By Phil Stanton
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – It was like a TKO in the
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
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
Bartholomew went 3 for 4 with two runs and four
RBI for the victors.