After amassing the most wins in school history and reaching the College World Series for the first time in school history in 2012, the Kent State baseball team was honored as the Collegiate Athlete of the Year at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards last week.
Head coach Scott Stricklin was on hand to receive the award that was presented by Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer. Stricklin was joined by shortstop Jimmy Rider, catcher David Lyon, infiuelder Nick Hamilton and pitcher David Starn, all members of the 2012 team and who are all now playing professionally.
The 2012 season saw Kent State pick up 47 total wins, beating the previous record-high of 45 set the previous season. The Flashes went 24-3 in Mid-American Conference play to claim the Mid-American Conference regular season championship and then swept the MAC Tournament to win theit fourth consecutive league crown.
At the Gary NCAA Regional, the Flashes captured their first NCAA Regional Championship that took them to Eugene, Ore., for Super Regional play. Kent State took down host Oregon to advance to the program’s first-ever College World Series appearance as the No. 8 seed.
In Omaha, the Flashes lost their opening game to No. 6 Arkansas. However, they bounced back to take down No. 1 seed Florida two days later. Kent State’s historic season came to end at the hands of the reigning NCAA Champion South Carolina.
For the award, Kent State beat out the KSU football team (who went 8-0 in MAC play and advanced to their first bowl game in 40 years) and the University of Akron soccer program (which had won the award the previous three years).
The Greater Cleveland Sports Awards is put on by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and recognizes the best and brightest in northeast Ohio, ranging in level from high school to professional.