|Kent State Golden Flashes||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||6||2|
|WP: Jake Reed (8 - 4)
SV: Jimmie Sherfy (19)
LP: Ryan Bores (9 - 2)
This one's a painful barb. Being nine outs away from the first College World Series in school history (and first for the MAC in 35 years) gives Oregon the momentum in Game 3, to be played today.
George Roberts brought the production for Kent State with a solo homer in the second and an RBI double in the fourth, but with a couple base runners on in the fourth they couldn't break the game open. With a runner on third and less than two outs both Nick Hamilton and and Sawyer Polen went down swinging courtesy of pitcher Jake Reed, then Derek Toadvine grounded out harmlessly with the bases loaded. The door was left ajar for Oregon.
Ryan Bores was pitching wonderfully for KSU, who retired the first nine in order. He ran into trouble in the seventh when a couple hits, blended in with two errors, gave the Ducks the inning they needed.
But the real problem was the hitting. Other than Roberts and T.J. Sutton (two hits, including a double), everyone else was largely held in check. The rest of lineup beyond Roberts and Sutton went 2-for-25 with 11 strikeouts. Many of those whiffs were on balls in the dirt. Especially in those last innings the Flashes were pressing, being overaggressive and mimicking my beloved Detroit Tigers almost to the tee.
The eighth inning also featured the defensive play of the game: Jimmy Rider cracked a sure double to deep left but Brett Thomas tracked it, caught it and somehow survived a head-on collision with the padded wall. KSU also had some acrobatic catches in the outfield in this game but Thomas' was the one which struck a jab to the kidney for Kent State.
And I seemed to know they had zero chance once they brought in Jimmie Sherfy for a two-out save in the ninth, following a Sutton double and a Hamilton strikeout. Sherfy's breaking stuff danced way too much for Polen or Alex Miklos to guess correctly on where in space it would land.
Welp. Game 3 is today at 7 p.m. ET for all the Omahastitos. 4-seeded Stony Brook already made it to the College World Series so we need one more feel-good story to be stuck in there.