In the second game of a three-game series, the Kent St. Golden Flashes came out firing on all cylinders. They knocked Arizona starting pitcher Tyler Crawford out of the game after he surrendered seven runs while recording just one out.
That's right, an ERA of 189 for Crawford so far in 2014. Kent State went on to win 14-5.
He looked flustered right from the beginning. When Sawyer Polen got the game going with a single to left, Crawford kept throwing over to first. It was way too much, especially for the first inning in your first start of the year. He obviously did not feel confident in his stuff, and ended up allowing five hits, and also hit two guys.
It just wasn't good.
Nathan Bannister did not fare much better, allowing four of his own runs in just 1/3 of an inning. Spotting a team 11 runs before you even come up to bat is most definitely not ideal.
On the positive side of the first inning, only one of the nine Kent State hits went for extra bases. So at least the balls weren't getting mashed around the field.
Andy Lopez ran the exact same lineup out there as he did for the season-opener on Friday, which was interesting considering Kent St. had a righty on the mound Saturday in Nick Jensen-Clagg.
The KSU starter didn't quite last long enough to pick up the win, but did throw a solid 4 2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs. Eric Lauer picked up the W, giving up one run and one hit in 2 2/3 innings of work.
Most of the destruction came from the 3-4-5 hitters in the Flashes' lineup, who went a combined 10-for-15, drove in seven runs, and scored five runs.
Cody Koch led that trio with a 5-for-5 night, plus a walk and 3 RBI. Not a bad night for the first baseman, who was unable to pick up a hit on Friday. Alex Miklos had three hits, and Zarley Zalewski drove in four runs.
For Arizona, Kevin Newman was able to pick up three hits and three RBI, bouncing back from a hitless Friday for the star sophomore. Scott Kingery was the only other bright spot for the Wildcats, drawing two walks and scoring two runs. Trent Gilbert picked up an RBI single in the 8th to give him a multi-hit night as well.
Every non-freshman in the starting lineup picked up a hit, but those hits weren't strung together enough to dig out of an eleven-run hole. The eighth was the only multi-run inning of the night for the Cats. Arizona did outscore Kent State 5-3 after the first inning. Cody Moffett looked good, and probably boosted his chances of possibly being a regular starter. Mathew Troupe made his first appearance of the season, going two scoreless innings, but threw 42 pitches. He struck out four and walked two.
Mostly, I'm worried about Tyler Crawford's confidence after an outing like this, and if he has the ability to put it behind him when he goes out there next weekend. There aren't a lot of options for weekend starters right now, so Farris and Crawford need to be able to go deep in games and keep this team in it.
Sunday's rubber match begins at 12 PM AZ time (1 PM Central). Watch it right here at AZ Desert Swarm. Arizona will throw RHP Cody Hamlin, and Kent State will throw someone probably. They hadn't announced that yet prior to the series starting. I thought that would be Lauer until he had an extended relief appearance tonight.
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