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2012 MAC Baseball Tournament: Kent State Edges Central Michigan 3-1 To Snag 4th Straight Title

The Kent State Golden Flashes are headed to the NCAA Tournament for a fourth consecutive season, after a tight 3-1 victory over an exhausted Central Michigan squad in Saturday's finale.

Kent State starter Ryan Mace went four innings of one-run ball with four strikeouts to open the game, and left before the fifth with a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard. Three locked-in Golden Flashes relievers then combined to toss five innings of two-hit baseball to protect the lead, as Central Michigan hitters could not figure out the combination of David Starn, Josh Pierce and Brian Clark down the stretch as their season hung in the balance.

Making its 12th appearance in the NCAA Championships, Kent State will play in the Regionals next weekend against an undetermined opponent. The 64-team field will be announced on Monday at noon and can be seen live on ESPNU for a half-hour telecast. Kent State will hold a watch party at the Water Street Tavern in downtown Kent starting at 11:30 am, and strongly encourage all fans to attend.

For more on Kent State's run through the postseason, stay locked with SB Nation Cleveland.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.