LOS ANGELES - The Golden Flashes could not overcome five unearned Anteater runs in the top of the first as Kent State (39-25) fell to UC Irvine (38-20) 19-9 in the third game of the NCAA Los Angeles regional.
Sophomore David Starn 7-3 on the year, allowing seven runs (two earned) on six hits in three innings of work. Junior Ben Klafczynski and sophomore Kyle McMillen both had two hits and three-run home runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Christian Bergman improved to 9-3 on the season, allowing one run on five hits and one walk for UC Irvine. Casey Stevenson had five singles in seven at-bats with four runs scored and two RBI's. Francis Larson and Jim Leyland added home runs for the Anteaters.
A pair of errors in the top of the first put Kent State in a five-run hole before it even stepped to the plate. With one down, Casey Stevenson singled to right field and advanced to second on a base hit by Jeff Cusick. With two outs, sophomore Travis Shaw bobbled a ground ball at third and the throw was late to first to load the bases. An infield single plated the first run of the game and a dropped fly ball by Klafczynski cleared the bases to put UC Irvine up 4-0. A double by Ryan Fisher scored the fifth run of the inning.
Single tallies in the second and third and a three-run top of the fourth put UC Irvine up 10-0 before scoring its first run of the game in the bottom of the inning. Senior Anthony Gallas singled to begin the inning and advanced to second on a walk by Shaw. A pair of fielder's choices plated KSU's first run.
Three more in the fifth and a pair in the sixth put UC Irvine up 14, but Kent State exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the sixth. Two-straight singles to begin the frame brought up freshman Jason Bagoly as a pinch hitter. On the first pitch Bagoly saw, he singled through the left side to score KSU's second run. A walk loaded the bases and the Flashes scored their third run on a sacrifice fly by fifth-year senior Jared Humphreys. A three-run bomb to center field by Klafczynski, his 10th of the year cut the UC Irvine lead to 15-6. After Gallas singled and Shaw walked, Sophomore Kyle McMillen went yard to left field for his sixth home run of the season to cut the deficit to six.
UC Irvine answered in the top of the seventh with a two-run home run to center field to put the Anteaters up 17-9. Single tallies in the top of the eighth and ninth finished the scoring in the game.