May 26, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kent State center fielder Dave Mattle’s single in the bottom of the ninth sealed an 12-11 victory for the Golden Flashes over the Blue Hens of Delaware in Game 5 of the NCAA Columbus Regional Saturday night in front of 554 at Ohio State’s Bill Davis Stadium. The game got underway at 8:45 p.m. EDT, following a 90-minute rain delay and lasted three hours and 20 minutes. All five games at the Columbus Regional have ended in one-run decisions.
With the win, fourth-seeded Kent State (32-29) advances to face undefeated No.1 seed Mississippi State (38-22) at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. Delaware ended its season 45-15 overall.
Kent State reliever Josh Mayle earned the win (4-1). Mayle pitched 5.0 innings, allowed five hits, five runs (four earned), walked two and struck out three. UD hurler Mihalik ended the year 5-3 after picking up the loss. He registered 1.2 innings of work, gave up five hits and two (earned) runs.
The Blue Hens took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Andrew Salvo led off the game for Delaware and got on base with a single to right field. He advanced to second on a base hit by Peter Maestrales. Kent State hurler Jason Biniker then walked rightfielder Chris Kolodzey, which loaded the bases for Vince Vukovich, who walked to score Salvo. Maestrales scored on a Kris Dufner single to shallow right-center. Biniker struck out Steve Harden and walked Teddy Puitz to plate Kolodzey and give UD its third run of the inning.
In the bottom half of the first, Kent State power-hitter John VanBenschoten put his team on the scoreboard with a solo homerun over the left field wall off starting pitcher Jason Vincent. The blast was VanBenschoten’s 31st round-tripper of the season and pulled Kent State to within two runs (3-1).
Behind five hits, including four-consecutive singles, the Golden Flashes took a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Phil LoCascio led off with a single to deep right field. Pat O’Brien followed with a line drive to left, advancing LoCascio to second. LoCascio then scored on a Brady Glass single to center field. Chris Detweiler followed with a base hit to load the bases with for Eric O’Brien. He then nailed a sacrifice fly to right field to score Pat O’Brien, and Welsch followed with a single to score Glass and take the lead for Kent, 4-3. Vincent then walked VanBenschoten to reload the bases. Dave Mattle. He then coaxed a walk to bring home Detweiler.
Delaware inched to within one in the top of the third. Kolodzey led off with a double deep to center fieldand advanced to third on a sacrifice fly to center field by Vukovich. Kolodzey scored on a Dufner groundout.
In the top of the fourth inning, Delaware took a 6-5 lead off a two out, two-run home run by Maestrales off a first-pitch offering from Biniker.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, excitement brewed as Kent State head coach Rick Rembielak was ejected from the game after arguing with third base umpire Ken Eldridge.
KSU regained the lead after scoring four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning off UD reliever Josh Mayle. Brady Glass led off with a single to right field. Detweiler followed with a base hit and Mayle walked Eric O’Brien. Welsch then singled to score both Glass and Detweiler. VanBenschoten singled to right field and scored Eric O’Brien. Welsch added the final run when he scored on a wild pitch to put the Flashes up, 9-6.
Designated hitter Teddy Puitz led off the sixth for Delaware with a solo homerun along the left-field line, his fifth of the season.
In the bottom of the sixth, Flashes right fielder Tom Martin launched a triple to center and later scored on a wild pitch.
Delaware added a run in the top of the seventh. Kolodzey singled on a Kent State miscue. Flashes reliever Brian Zeigler walked Vukovich. Vukovich later scored on a Dufner groundout to pull the Blue Hens within two (10-8).
In the top of the eighth, UD cut the lead to 10-9.
Delaware regained the lead, 11-10, in the top of the ninth. Vukovich scored on a Dufner double to tie the game at 10. Dufner then scored on pinch hitter Doug Eitelman’s single to right field.
Kent State refused to give up in the bottom of the ninth. Glass tied the game at 11 with a solo shot, his second homerun of the day and seventh on the season. Detweiler followed with a single up the middle. Eric O’Brien got on base after getting hit by a pitch and Welsch blasted a single to load the bases. Mattle’s single then scored Detweiler for the game-winning run.
Delaware head coach Jim Sherman
“We’ve played Kent State a couple times in the past few years and I have the utmost respect for Coach Rembielak and his team. Neither team wanted to go home tonight. I tip my hat to my kids. Kent State outhit us but we stayed in it until the end.”
Kent head coach Rick Rembielak
“I saw this team mature pitch by pitch. It started early in the season and it’s gotten better and better. They kept fighting and battling back and we won the game.”