Kent State Wins MAC Tournament Over Akron, Moves Onto NCAA Regionals

Alex Miklos and the Golden Flashes are back to the NCAA Regionals since their last trip in 2012. - Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE

The no. 4 seed entering the MAC tournament at 16-11 in conference play, the Golden Flashes have punched their ticket to the NCAA Regionals for the 14th time in school history.

Wins over Bowling Green, Ball State and Western Michigan through their first three games of the Mid-American Conference Tournament, Kent State won it all with a 3-0 win over Akron in the Championship game.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Akron 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Kent State 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 9 0

WP- John Fasola (2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K)

LP- Pat Dyer (7.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 3 K)

SV- none

The championship game was a beauty of a pitchers' duel between two southpaw starters in Pat Dyer for Akron and the senior closer-converted-starter Michael Clark.

Both teams allowed only three hits through the first five innings of play until some drama arose in the sixth to make things more interesting. Dyer loaded up the bases after a pair of singles and intentionally walking first baseman Cody Koch. With one out, Zarley Zalewski grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but it wasn't your ordinary double play. Koch slid into second base, and even though it may not have looked like he went out of his way to take James Sheltrown out from making the play, Koch was called for interference making Zalweski out on the play to end the inning.

Jon Wilson led off the bottom of the eighth with his fourth hit of the day and was advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Dyer was then replaced by relief pitcher Evan Jensen. Koch was intentionally walked again to bring up Zalweski for another scoring opportunity. The designated hitter ripped a double to right-center field on a 2-2 count to put the first two runs on the scoreboard, taking the 2-0 lead. Zalewski would score on a Curtis Olvey RBI single.

Clark received the no decision, but pitched a great game without allowing a single run to score. He went 6.2 innings before being relieved by John Fasola, giving up four hits, walking one and struck out three.

Wilson went 4-for-4 at the plate with three infield hits, scoring once.

Alex Miklos didn't play (still out with an injury), but he did record the coolest Instagram video in the history of history.

The Golden Flashes are now automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Regionals that begin on Friday, May 30. The 16 Regional hosts have been announced, and Kent State will find out which pool they land in on Monday at noon.

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