By: Daniel Massa – Sports Editor
The Dayton baseball team played five games last week, finishing with a 2-3 record against a diverse set of teams.
After a three-game sweep at the hands of Saint Louis over Easter weekend, the Flyers (7-20) beat nonconference opponent Eastern Kentucky University 5-2 on Tuesday, March 29 at Time Warner Cable Stadium. The Flyers held EKU scoreless through the first six innings, when Dayton amassed a 4-0 lead.
Winning pitcher, sophomore lefty starter Mason Kutruff (1- 3), threw seven innings and both runs that the Colonels put on the board in the seventh inning were unearned. Kutruff gave up five hits and struck out five while walking only one batter.
Senior right-hander Ben Polansky notched the save, his first of the season, pitching the final inning and two-thirds of the game without allowing a hit and striking out three.
Dayton got its first two runs of the game in the third inning without needing to record a hit for either one.
Redshirt junior outfielder Glenn Jones walked with the bases loaded to score freshman shortstop Pat Meehan. Senior designated hitter Aaron Huesman followed that up with a sacrifice fly to score junior right fielder Robbie Doring.
Jones added his second and third RBIs of the game in the fourth inning on a double scoring Doring and freshman third baseman Connor Echols.
Junior catcher Matt Poland added the Flyers’ fifth run with an RBI single bringing Jones home in the seventh inning.
Dayton out-hit EKU 10-5, although the Flyers did commit five errors in the field to the Colonels’ one.
The very next day, the Flyers traveled south to Oxford to take on fellow southwest Ohio foe Miami (Ohio). The RedHawks bested Dayton 7-3.
Miami scored three runs in the first inning, but Dayton tied it up with a run in the second and two in the fourth.
However, Miami countered right back with three more runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth to complete the scoring.
Junior shortstop Nick Ryan led the Flyers at the plate, going 1-for- 3 with two RBIs on a single in the fourth inning. Senior catcher Cameron Silva recorded UD’s other RBI with a single in the second.
The team got right back on the road Thursday for a three-game weekend series at Atlantic 10 conference opponent VCU in Richmond, Virginia.
The Flyers lost the Friday opener 9-2. Ryan and Huesman each had RBIs, and Huesman led the team with two hits.
Dayton got revenge on Saturday, defeating VCU 8-3 thanks to a balanced offensive attack. Seven of the Flyers’ eight runs came by way of an RBI, each off the bat of a different Flyer. The other run scored on a VCU throwing error.
Four Flyers had multiple hits, led by Doring’s 3-for-5 effort. Doring leads the team with a .344 batting average, and also leads the Flyers in home runs (seven) and RBIs (17). The seven home runs put Doring in a tie for 30th in all of NCAA Division I baseball.
Senior righty Zach Beaver (2- 4) got the win with six innings of three-run ball.
Dayton dropped the series finale on Sunday, 5-3. Jones went 3-for- 4 with an RBI while junior first baseman Mark Giesler went 2-for- 4 with two RBIs.
The Flyers will head to Fairfax, Virginia, this weekend to take on George Mason in a three-game series after hosting Butler on Tuesday.
Photo: Junior catcher Matt Poland, pictured above at the plate against Saint Louis at Time Warner Cable Stadium over Easter weekend, is third on the team with five doubles. Photo by Erik Schelkun.