KENT, OH - In one of the best individual performances in the program's recent history, senior pitcher Kevin Hughes spun a two-hit, complete-game shutout to lead the Bulls (17-12, 8-4 MAC) to a 6-0 win over rival Kent State (23-13, 9-4 MAC)) Friday evening. The pitching performance, coupled with a clutch offense, helped the team position itself in the race for seeding in the fast-approaching Mid-American Conference tournament.
The righty was sharp from the start, retiring the first eight batters of the game before allowing a one-out double in the third. He then shifted his focus to game-management, closing out innings with runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and fifth to allow his offense to build a lead for him. While he would only strike out three batters in the game, he would get support from his defense and faced just seven batters over the minimum.
While Hughes' forte would be managing his baserunners and stranding threats, the Bulls would use two-out hitting to break the game open in the third. With two outs, walks to Jimmy Topps and Nick Sinay set the table and Matt Pollock and Tyler Mautner followed with run-scoring singles. Topps would be the run producer in the fourth, scoring Mike Scarcello and Kyle Brennan with a two-out single to center field that added to the early cushion and chased Kent State's freshman phenom Eric Lauer from the game.
Topps continued to pester the Flashes in the sixth, when he drew a walk with two outs and extended the inning enough to see another UB run come in off a passed ball in the next at-bat. The game was capped off with a lone run in the ninth, when Mautner doubled into the right center field gap to bring Sinay around from second.
The two teams will be back at it tomorrow, with a 6 pm game at Schoonover Stadium. Anthony Magovney will toe the rubber for the Bulls, facing Nick Jensen-Clagg.