MOUNT PLEASANT - An opportunistic Kent State team scored six unearned runs to defeat Central Michigan, 9-3, in the middle game of a Mid-American Conference baseball series at Theunissen Stadium on Saturday.
The Golden Flashes (23-11, 9-2 MAC) broke the game open in the fourth inning, scoring four unearned runs with two outs to break a 2-2 tie. Shortstop Jimmy Rider, who finished 2-for-4 with three runs batted in, doubled home a pair in the fourth and scored the Golden Flashes' final run of the frame.
Kent State scored single runs in the first and second innings to take an early 2-0 lead, but the Chippewas evened the score with a pair of unearned runs of their own in the bottom of the third. Robbie Harman stole second with one out, and the throw skipped into center field, allowing Eric Wrozek to score from third. Harman scored two batters later when William Arnold 's fly ball to center was dropped.
CMU drew within 6-3 on Sam Russell 's RBI double in the sixth, but Kent State tacked on two more unearned runs in the seventh and an insurance run in the ninth.
Both teams struggled with wet, blustery conditions, combining for six errors in the field and stranding a total of 16 runners in the contest.
Kyle Hallock (5-4) earned the win for Kent State, striking out seven and walking one in seven innings of work. He allowed eight hits, and just one of the three runs he surrendered was earned.
Zach Cooper (2-3) took the loss. He gave up six runs, but just two earned, on six hits over four innings. Cooper struck out three and walked five.
Derek Toadvine was 2-for-5 and drove in a pair for Kent State. Brendan Emmett paced the CMU offense, finishing 3-for-3 with a double and two singles.
The final game of the series gets underway at 1:05 p.m. Sunday at Theunissen Stadium.