Kent State Three-Peats, Heads Back to the NCAA Tournament

Updated 5/28/2011

MAC Tournament Central

MAC Tournament Bracket

Kent State 11, Miami 0
MAC Tournament - Championship
WP - Starn (9-2)
LP - Thoreson (6-4)

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - Making his second appearance of the 2011 MAC Baseball Tournament, David Starn shut down the Miami RedHawks over seven innings, tying a career high by striking out eleven batters and giving up just four base hits as Kent State waltzed to a 11-0 win in the championship game, earning the Golden Flashes the first three-peat in Mid-American Conference history. Kent State also becomes the first #1 seed to win the tournament since Miami in 2005.

Ranked No. 25 in the nation according to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, the Golden Flashes (43-15) won their ninth conference tournament crown in program history, seventh in the last 10 years and fourth under seventh-year head coach Scott Stricklin.

Kent State's championship push began with the Flashes unloading a five-run opening frame on Miami. Sophomore center fielder Evan Campbell got things rolling by drawing a walk. Junior shortstop Jimmy Rider and junior third baseman Travis Shaw each followed with base hits to fill the bags with Flashes. Senior right fielder Ben Klafczynski landed the game's first punch by driving home Campbell with a base hit to center. That set up a bases-bases clearing triple to right center by junior catcher David Lyon to make it 4-0.

Kent State tacked on single insurance runs in both the third and fourth innings. Klafczynski led off the third by working the count full and drawing a walk.  He advanced to both second and third on wild pitches, then scored courtesy of an single to third by redshirt junior left fielder Joe Koch. Rider drew a four-pitch one-out walk, moved to second on a groundout and then scored by way of a base hit to left by Klafczynski in the fourth to make it 7-0.

The Golden Flashes weren't done yet. Klafczynski hit a one-out base hit to short and stole second to set the table for a two-run round tripper over the left field wall by Lyon to make it 9-0 in the seventh. The lead swelled to double digits when Koch led off the eighth with a single and later scored on an RBI groundout by Rider. Campbell, who reached by way of a fielder's choice, scored on a single up the middle by Shaw.

Kent State will learn the location of its regional and next opponent on Monday at 12:30 p.m. during the NCAA Baseball Selection Show to be aired on ESPN.

Scoring Summary:
Bottom of the 1st
Ben Klafczynski singled to center field, Evan Campbell scored from third, Jimmy Rider to third, Travis Shaw to second
1-0  Kent State

David Lyon tripled to right-center, Rider scored from third, Shaw scored from second, Klafczynski scored from first
4-0 Kent State

Lyon scored from third on a wild pitch
5-0 Kent State

Bottom of the 3rd
Joe Koch singled to third base, Klafczynski scored from third, George Roberts advanced to second
6-0 Kent State

Bottom of the 4th
Klafczynski singled to left field, Rider scored from second
7-0 Kent State

Bottom of the 7th
Lyon homered down the left field line, Klafczynski scored from second
9-0 Kent State

Bottom of the 8th
Rider grounded out to second base, Koch scored from third, Campbell to second
10-0 Kent State

Shaw singled up the middle, Campbell scored from second
11-0 Kent State

MAC Baseball All-Tournament Team
Nate Theunissen, Central Michigan
Tyler Hall, Central Michigan
Rob Wendzicki, Eastern Michigan
Zack Leonard, Eastern Michigan
Tyler Melling, Miami
Brooks Fiala, Miami
David Starn, Kent State
Evan Campbell, Kent State
Andrew Chafin, Kent State
David Lyon, Kent State

Tournament MVP: David Starn, Kent State