KENT: Kent State senior David Starn was an easy selection for the Mid-American Conference East Division Pitcher of the Week, considering the fashion in which the left-hander earned a season-opening win against a potent Georgia Tech lineup last Friday.
Behind Starn’s mastery on the mound, the Golden Flashes blanked No. 9 Georgia Tech 5-0 in the opening game of the Rock Hill Classic at the Winthrop Ballpark. A Hudson native, Starn tossed eight shutout innings, allowing just four hits and two walks and struck out nine.
With the big outing, Starn raised his career strikeout total to 229, passing current Los Angeles Dodgers right-handed reliever Matt Guerrier (220 in 1997-99) for sole possession of third place in school history. It was the fourth career shutout for Starn, who is 19-9 in his collegiate career.
Besting Georgia Tech is nothing new for Starn. It was the second time the Flashes have beaten the Yellow Jackets in as many seasons. Starn threw seven innings of four-hit ball and struck out six in a 6-1 win over then-No. 19 Yellow Jackets last February.
“We hope to get to the point where it’s not an upset when we win a game like this,” coach Scott Stricklin said after the win. “We’ve been pretty consistent when we come down here. Some people might be surprised by the score, but I can say our team’s not. We expected to come here and win.”
The Flashes (2-1) return to action this weekend when they travel to Nashville to play host Lipscomb.
Coach Darrell Hazell and his staff are preparing to host the Flashes’ Junior Day at 10 a.m. Sunday at Dix Stadium.
Last season, about 150 players took part and five went on to sign to national letters of intent: punter/kicker Anthony Melchiori, safety Jordan Italiano, tight end Brice Fackler, defensive end Jake Kincaid and quarterback Colin Reardon.
This year, the Flashes sent out 370 invitations and currently have 109 players confirmed, though Hazell expects approximately 120 players to participate. After the players register and hear opening remarks from a handful of speakers, they will break into four groups according to recruiting regions. The groups will then rotate taking tours of Dix Stadium, the Fieldhouse and the M.A.C. Center before reconvening at the Kiva for a question-and-answer period before wrapping up around 2:30 p.m.
When Hazell was recently asked about rival Akron hiring his former mentor Jim Tressel, he joked: “Oh, it’s on now.”
Beginning May 1, Tressel will assume UA’s newly created role of vice president of strategic engagement, a non-athletic administrative position.
All kidding aside, Hazell worked for seven seasons as an assistant coach under Tressel at Ohio State before taking his first head-coaching job at KSU in December 2010.
“We texted last week and I congratulated him,” Hazell said. “I’m happy for him.”
Junior wrestler Dustin Kilgore, who is taking a year off from school in a quest to qualify for the Olympics, will wrestle this weekend at the 2012 Pan American Wrestling Championships held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Pan American Championships is the annual continental championships for North, Central and South America. Kilgore, a Berea native, will compete Sunday in the updated Men’s Freestyle in the 211.5-pound division.
Sophomore Marie Case and senior Rachel Goldenburg each earned MAC honors for their performances in last weekend’s Flip for the Cure event hosted by the Flashes.
Case, named the MAC Gymnast of the Week, enjoyed her best meet of the season with an all-around score of 39.225 against Northern Illinois. Included was a win on the beam with a season-best 9.800 score followed by tying for the team lead on the floor exercise (9.850). Case just missed tying her personal best with a score of 9.850 on the uneven bars to take second overall.
Goldenburg earned conference Specialist of the Week honors after turning in two of the top performances that led to KSU compiling its highest point total (195.525) of the season. She finished second overall on the vault (9.825) and was first on the floor (9.850).
Stephanie Storm can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SStormABJ. and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj