Kennesaw, Ga. – One day after surrendering 22 hits to Kennesaw State, the Stetson pitching staff was again unable to cool the Owls’ hot bats in an 11-7 loss at Stillwell Stadium.
Kennesaw State pounded out 17 more hits on Saturday, frustrating the Hatters with a wide array of bloops, bleeders and seeing-eye grounders. The Owls improved to 22-15 overall with the win while continuing to keep pace with league-leading Belmont, improving to 10-4 in Atlantic Sun Conference play.
Stetson falls to 22-13 overall but, more importantly, slips to 5-6 in league play.
The Hatters appeared to bring their hitting shoes to the park as well on Saturday, scoring five runs in the first three innings against KSU starter Zak Griffith (4-1). Stetson got RBI singles in the first from Ben Carhart and Kurt Schluter and another RBI single in the second from Spencer Theisen.
Stetson then scored twice more in the third, one on a solo homer by Carhart and the other on a single by James Rasmussen.
Despite scoring the five runs, the Hatters left runners in scoring position in each inning, and then saw scoring chances slip away in the fifth and seventh innings.
The Owls answered Stetson’s early runs with three on their own in the first. Will Howard singled in a pair of runs off Stetson starter Lindsey Caughel (4-2) and another run scored on a sacrifice fly. KSU added two more runs in the third to tie the game at 5-5 on a run scoring double by Chris McGowan and an RBI single by Jacob Bruce.
KSU went on top for good in the fifth inning, scoring a single run on a two-out single by Aaron Dobbs. The Owls then blew the game open with a four-run seventh. Andy Almonte and Ronnie Freeman delivered consecutive run scoring singles before Howard tripled in two more.
Both teams scored single runs in the eighth and Stetson added a run in the ninth before Robert Bruce lined into a game-ending double play.
The Hatters managed 13 hits on their own Saturday with Carhart again leading the way. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a four-hit performance that included a pair of doubles and a homer. He had a chance to complete the cycle in the 9th, but stopped at second even though his shot off the wall in center bounced away from the KSU outfielders.
Theisen and Robert Crews also had two hits in the game for Stetson, as did Schluter, who started at first base for the first time since May of 2010. The junior is being held out of his normal pitching duties for the weekend to rest a mild case of tendinitis. He could make a return to the mound on Wednesday at Miami.
KSU’s 17-hit attack included three hits each for Dobbs, who has six hits in the series, Freeman, Howard and Andy Chriscaden.
Stetson will try to avoid the sweep on Sunday when the Hatters send senior right-hander Will Dorsey to the mound. He will be opposed by KSU junior Kevin Kyle. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.