June 9, 2012
Around the Super Regionals
Super Regional Scores & Capsules
Super Regional Notes
Campbell, Flashes Survive Ducks
By Taylor Gelbrich
Ore. – Kent State and Oregon threw out
their Friday night, senior aces in hopes of taking Game 1 of the
Eugene Super Regional Saturday night, but neither pitcher was
able to bring his best stuff, which led to an intriguing ball
game that ended on a brilliant catch with the game on the line.
The lines for Oregon's Alex Keudell and Kent
State's David Starn (pictured) said it all: Starn gave up seven
walks, five hits and four earned runs in 6.1 innings, and
Keudell allowed six runs (two earned) on nine hits while
striking out four in 7.1 innings of work. Oregon didn't have a
base hit until the fifth.
The even more interesting part is that Kent State
gave Oregon 11 walks and added an extra base runner with an
error. Yet, Oregon lost the ball game 7-6 after playing catch up
all night to a calmer offensive team in the Golden Flashes.
"I don't ever recall losing a game where the
opposition walked us 11 times," Oregon coach George Horton said.
Kent State coach Scott Stricklin (left): "It was certainly a
hard-fought win. If you would of told me before the game we were
going to walk them 11 times and win, I wouldn't believe you. But
we made pitches when we needed to, we made plays when we needed
It was the difference in the ball game.
Oregon couldn't capitalize on Kent State's
handouts, and Kent State took full advantage of everything that
the Ducks (45-18) gave them.
Kent State (45-17) took full control of the game
early and was able to extend its win streak to 21 games and move
one win from its first trip to the College World Series.
The Golden Flashes scored first in the top of the
third, scoring both of their runs with two outs – and it began
with a little luck.
Evan Campbell started the rally with a line-drive
base hit to right center that a diving Vernell Warren couldn't
hang onto for the final out. Jimmy Rider brought Campbell in
with a base knock to left field to give the Golden Flashes a 1-0
Then things got a little interesting.
David Lyon put down a two-out bunt down the
third-base line; Keudell got there in time, but threw it away
down the first-base line. Rider scored all the way from first –
just ahead of right fielder Aaron Jones’ perfect throw – and
Lyon advanced to second to give the Golden Flashes another
scoring threat, but nothing would come of it.
"If you can get a lead, that takes away a little
of what they can do,” Stricklin said. “That's the most important
thing against Oregon is you got to get a lead. They’re still
going to do it, they’re still going to try to chip away, but it
does take away a little bit of their aggressiveness in doing
The Ducks responded quickly. J.J. Altobelli led
the charge with a leadoff walk and moved over on an Aaron Payne
sacrifice bunt. Jones stepped to the plate with a big scoring
chance for the Ducks after Payne moved over to third on a balk
Jones wouldn't get a chance to push the run
across as Starn gave him one of his career-high free passes,
putting runners on the corners. Oregon's No. 3 hitter, Ryon
Healy, brought in a run with a groundout to Rider at shortstop
to make it 2-1.
Kent State continued to pile it on against
Keudell (11-5), pushing across another in the fourth and finding
more luck in the fifth.
"He was a definitely a good pitcher, but we kind
of had a game plan coming in and we went over it last night,"
Campbell said. "We were trying to see the ball up and get
fastballs and put good swings on it, and we were able to find
Campbell found his way on third after an error by
Vernell Warren in center to start off the fifth. Then Rider
brought in another run with a double and Roberts brought in
Rider with a base hit, and the Flashes found themselves up 5-1.
The Ducks kept it interesting after by putting up
another run in the bottom of the fifth. Jones led off with a
walk, and Healy followed with a base hit up the middle. With
runners on the corners and one out, Kyle Garlick hit a sacrifice
fly to right, but Healy was nabbed at second after the run
scored to end the inning.
The Ducks pushed across one more in the sixth and
kept things going in the seventh. Jones led off with a double
and moved to third on a Healy ground out to Rider at shortstop.
Oregon made it 5-4 on Thomas’ base hit, ending the night for
"David Starn has done this, and we have watched
him for four years. I can't remember an outing in his career
where we didn't have a chance to win when he was pitching," said
Stricklin. "As bad as he was today, he still got the win and
that's just huge. That's a senior and that's a guy who is very
competitive and knows how to get it done.
Kent State put its stamp on the game in the top
of the eighth. With two outs and two runners on, Alex Miklos hit
a hard line drive off Jimmie Sherfy to a hard-charging Jones in
right field, but he misplayed it and it went all the way to the
wall and the Golden Flashes scored two more for a 7-4 lead.
Oregon tried to pull some late night magic out in
the bottom of the ninth. The Ducks managed to get the game to a
7-6 score after three walks and two base hits. Altobelli stepped
to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. He turned and
ripped at the first pitch he saw – an inside fastball that he
just lit up.
"As you could tell my guys didn't disappear even
when it looked very bleak," Horton said. "We had the winning run
on second base and had an excellent at-bat and a defender turned
it into an out."
Altobelli sent the ball
charging into the left-center gap, but a sprinting then leaping
Campbell was able to haul it in for the final out in front of a
loud 4,177 at PK Park.
"Right off the bat, I thought it was just routine
play honestly because the ball wasn't traveling too well tonight
and as I kept running it kept carrying and kept going," Campbell
said. "Right at the tail end it was close, 50-50.”
The last time Oregon won a series when it lost
the first game was way back in the season-opening series against
Hawaii. The Ducks have not won a series when it lost the first
Game 2 of the Super Regional will start at 7 p.m.
PT on Sunday.
(photos courtesy of Kent State Media Relations Office)