The Kent State Tuscarawas baseball team finally got the 2019 season underway and did it in fine fashion on Thursday afternoon, as they broke out the brooms to sweep a twin bill at Penn State Beaver. Golden Eagles pitchers, Cade Cummings and Austin Black went the distance in their respective games as the Navy and Gold belted the ball all over the place winning 7-4 and 16-4.
The Navy and Gold jumped on the Lions early with three runs in the top of the first inning on three hits, as Kyle Stotzer and Cade Cummings singled after Easton Guspyt drew a free pass. Guspyt scored on a fielder's choice and Clark cleared the bases with a single that scored two more runs. They added an unearned run in the top of the second as Stotzer scored while Cummings was caught in a run down for a quick 4-0 lead.
Cummings struck out four PSU Beaver batters over the first three innings, before the hosts managed to get three hits in the bottom of the fourth as they plated three runs to cut the Golden Eagles lead to 4-3.
The Lions threatened again in the bottom of the sixth after drawing a walk and bunting the runner safely to second before a single put runners on the corners with just one out. A fielding error led to a game tying run, before Luke Kail relayed a throw from Clark in left field to cut down a potential go-ahead runner at the plate to end the rally. Cummings struck out the final batter to close the inning.
Trevor Donaldson struck out to lead off the seventh inning but reached first base on a throwing error by the Lions catcher. The next two Golden Eagles were retired by a fly out and ground out as Donaldson made his way to third. Cummings then doubled Donaldson home for a 5-4 lead and Kail singled to put runners on the corners. Clark promptly stepped into the batter's box and ripped a double to score two more runs before a strike out ended the inning with the Golden Eagles on top 7-4.
PSU Beaver was retired in order in the bottom of the seventh and the victory was sealed.
Cummings went the distance for KSU Tusc yielding seven hits and three earned runs, while striking out four and walking two batters.
Clark knocked in four runs going 3/4 at the plate with a double and Cummings went 3/4 and scored two runs to help his own cause as the Golden Eagles recorded nine hits in the opening win.
The second game mirrored the first, as the Golden Eagles had big scoring innings, opening with four runs in the first, five in the fourth and five more in the top of the seventh winning 16-4 in no-doubt fashion as they shelled three Lions pitchers for 12 hits.
Things got out of hand quickly for PSU Beaver as seven of the first eight KSU Tusc batters reached base safely. Easton Guspyt, Kyle Stotzer and Lucas Kail all walked to load the bases for Blaze Clark who singled Guspyt home with the game's first run, before a passed ball brought Stotzer home and the runners moved to second and third. Kade Rainsberg got a free pass to load the bases once again and Zach Brannick singled two runs home for a 4-0 lead before the uprising was squelched.
The Lions scored once in the bottom of the home half of the first with two hits, as they left two men on base and starting pitcher Austin Black settled in.
KSU Tusc added a run in the second and third innings on RBI singles by Stotzer and Brannick, as the Navy and Gold's lead swelled to 6-1. The Eagles however, we not done yet!
In the top of the fourth, Trevor Donaldson smacked a double into the outfield and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Guspyt brought him home with an RBI single and the Eagles loaded the based again as Stotzer was aided by a fielder's choice and Cade Cummings singled. Kail reached first on an error as Guspyt scored, Rainsberg pushed Stotzer home by drawing a bases-loaded walk and Black singled home Kail and Cummings for an 11-1 lead.
Through four innings the Lions had just three hits before they scored twice in the bottom of the fifth and added another in the bottom of the sixth cutting into the Golden Eagles 10-run lead, but they still trailed 11-4.
With two outs in the top of the final inning, the Golden Eagles went to work again and loaded the bases as Guspyt and Cumming singled and Stotzer drew a walk. The Lions made a pitching change, before Kail walked to force home Guspyt, and a subsequent passed ball moved runners to second and third as Stotzer stole home. Blaze Clark stepped into the batter's box and slammed a three-run homer to complete the scoring and a 16-4 KSU Tusc win as the winners scored five runs on three hits on the top of the seventh inning.
Austin Black was the winning pitcher going the distance and scattering eight hits, allowing two earned runs, striking out three and walking four.
At the plate, the Golden Eagles got two hits from Guspyt, Cummings, Clark and Brannick in the second game, with Clark driving in four runs and Brannick bringing home three. For the afternoon, Clark, a freshman from Coshocton, Ohio, was 5/9 at the plate with eight RBIs while adding a home run and a double. Cummings was also 5/9 on the afternoon, scored four runs and had a double as well.