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by Michael Leonard
Kent -- Given the amount of rain in the last week, Kent State University's Schoonover Stadium was about the only place suitable for baseball this side of Progressive Field in Northeast Ohio.
Kent Roosevelt took advantage of this by hosting Hudson April 4 as part of the David Starkey Memorial Tournament.
The Explorers took advantage of its scoring chances and scored a 9-5 win over the Rough Riders.
Hudson head coach Buddy Dice was happy with his team as the Explorers limited Roosevelt to only four hits.
"We had 17 guys contribute, including five guys on the mound," Dice said. "It's tough to pitch in these conditions and we played errorless ball."
The Explorers improved to the 3-0 on the season, while Kent dropped to 0-2.
While the Rough Riders committed a few errors, Kent head coach Mike Haney wasn't discouraged by his team's play.
"It's early and we played pretty well," Haney said. "We threw the ball well on the mound. All in all, that's the best team on our schedule and we played a competitive ball game against them."
Hudson opened the scoring with a two-out, two-run double from designated hitter Ian Swan in the top of the first.
The Rough Riders answered with a two-run double from Mike Bush in the bottom of the first.
They took the lead on a sacrifice fly from Corey Spicer.
The Explorers retook the lead on a wild play with two outs in the second. Third baseman Dan Joseph legged out a run-scoring infield single. Kent then committed two straight errors, clearing the bases and allowing Joseph to score and make it 5-3.
Joseph led Hudson with three singles, a sacrifice bunt, two runs scored and an RBI.
After his first-inning struggles, Hudson starter Jared Hoffman settled down. He picked up the win, allowing three runs and three hits in three innings, striking out seven.
By contrast, the Explorers kept coming and chased Kent starter Joe Watts out of the game in the fourth.
After KJ Tench and Braden Wright led off the fourth with back-to-back singles, a fielder's choice and a wild pitch made it 7-3.
Hudson also got a run-scoring ground out from Joe Cahill and a run-scoring single from Nanak Saran to make it 9-3.
The Rough Riders had a chance to get back in it when they drew four straight walks to start the bottom of the fourth. Mark Lloyd drew a bases-loaded walk.
However, Hudson escaped further damage by getting a triple play.
Kent's Brandon Knapp hit a slower roller to second for a 4-6-3 double play. While Derek Knapp scored on the play, Tyler Jones was caught in a rundown between home and third, turning it into a triple play.
Cahill and Swan each pitched scoreless innings to preserve the win for Hudson.
Hudson was set to host Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division rival Stow-Munroe Falls April 8, but results weren't available at press time. Dice said his team was looking forward to playing its backyard rival.
"It was nice to come out here and get ready for Tuesday [against Stow]," Dice said. "I'm sure you'll hear a lot of hooting and hollering from both dugouts next week."
Hudson is scheduled to visit Stow April 9 at 4:30 p.m. followed by home games with NOC foe Strongsville April 10 at 4:30 p.m. and Alliance Marlington April 11 at 5 p.m.