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Kent State Wins Gary Regional

The 2011-12 season is not over folks! With a 3-2 win over Kentucky, Kent State has advanced to their first Super Regionals ever. The #25 team according to Collegiate Baseball beat the Wildcats in 9 innings just two nights after the wild 21 inning affair on Friday between the same two teams. In between beating the #13 team of the same poll, they beat 1-seed, and #16 team Purdue 7-3 on Saturday.

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kent State (44-17) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 6 0
Kentucky (45-18) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 6 0

As you see, this game was fairly boring for the first 7 innings. As a matter of fact, Kentucky was shutting down the Golden Flashes really well. The first 5 innings saw UK starter Chandler Shepard throw perfection, sitting down all 15 batters he faced. KSU pitcher Tyler Skulina weathered the storm however, allowing just 3 hits over that span and getting out of a jam in the 4th inning. The next two innings were pretty uneventful, with only George Roberts double in the 7th being the main news (it was the first multi-base hit of the game).

Then the 8th happened.........

Nick Hamilton led of the inning from the 6 spot with a single. After a sac bunt moved him to 2nd, Joe Koch drew a walk on a full count. Derek Toadvine appears to have had beaten out a double play (ruled FC, 3-6), to put runners on 1st and 3rd with 2 outs. Kentucky went to their bullpen and pulled Alex Phillips out. Phillips gave the Wildcats 3.2 good innings of work in the marathon on Friday, but on his first pitch tonight, senior Evan Campbell hit a 3-run HR to break the scoreless tie.

After a single then an RBI double by Kentucky to lead off the 8th, Kent State called on Casey Wilson for the 2 inning save. UK would get a sac fly to pull within 1, but Wilson got out of the 8th with the lead intact. A 1-2-3 inning would seal the deal, sending the Golden Flashes to their date with Super Regionals.

KSU will now pack up and head out west to face the #10 team, 5th overall seed, and former #1 team Oregon on the Ducks home field next weekend. What are the Flashes up against? Here are some facts about the MAC and the College World Series. I'd figure I'd drop them while we have the chance.

  • Last Appearance by a MAC team in the CWS: Eastern Michigan in 1976. It was part of a back-to-back appearance set by the Eagles.
  • Number of MAC schools to make the CWS: Three. Along with the Eagles, Ohio made it in 1970, and WMU made it.............
  • Most appearances by a MAC school in the CWS: Six. That's right, Western made it 6 times. The years? '52, '55, '58, '59, '61, and '63.
  • Best finish by a MAC school in the CWS: 2nd. WMU in 1955 lost their 2nd game to Wake Forest 7-6 after having a 6-3 lead in the 5th. EMU in 1976 lost to Arizona 7-1 in their 2nd game (both directionals played their foes two days before the championship games, losing both contests by 5+ runs). Ohio finished 4th in 1970.
  • Western is tied for 8th for most CWS appearances without a championship. They have a .428 winning percentage in the finals.
  • Kalamazoo hosted the first two CWS. Yeah, I know this is highly WMU focused, but there isn't much history behind the North schools. Future US President George H.W. Bush captained Yale and played first base.
The Oregon-Kent State super regional was the first one to be finalized. Oregon is looking for their first CWS appearance since 1954. That year, Oregon was first out, Michigan State (in their only CWS appearance) finished 3rd, and Missouri won their only National Title over Rollins College.

Stay with us as we continue to bring you Cinderella stories every season, including this one where Kent State is wanting to bring all the madness. Be it in baseball, or golf.