The weekend baseball series between Kent State and Miami was supposed to be a showcase of the two top pitching staffs in the Mid-American Conference as both teams entered Friday's game with sub-3.00 earned run averages.
The Golden Flashes bats had other ideas.
Kent went a long way towards clinching the MAC East title by winning the first two of the three-game set, nipping the RedHawks 8-6 Friday night before rolling past Miami, 14-1, in Saturday's contest.
The Golden Flashes now boast a 32-12 overall record, 17-3 in conference play while Miami, who was two games back of Kent heading into the series, is now 26-20 overall, 13-7 in conference play.
"We put ourselves in a good position in the conference," Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said. "(Sunday) is a big game because it is do-or-die for them, but it's good to get the first two. Now you've got to get greedy and go for the sweep."
Golden Flashes' junior lefthander Andrew Chafin pitched four innings in Friday's game to get the win. He struck out four and improved to 5-1 this season. Senior catcher Adam Weisenburger had a solo home run for Miami while freshman second baseman Derek Toadvine had a pair of hits, including a three-run homer, to lead the Kent offense.
In Saturday's game the Golden Flashes pounded out 15 hits, including two from junior third baseman Travis Shaw (including a two-run homer) to blow past the RedHawks. Kent used a six-run fourth to blow the game open.
Senior lefthander Kyle Hallack allowed just three hits in 7.1 innings, struck out seven, walked one and allowed just one earned run to claim his conference-leading eighth victory.
Kent State, now ranked No. 28 in the nation, has won nine in a row, 24 out of its last 28 and is 8-0 in intra-division play.
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