Cleveland, Ohio – After a season full of successful surprises, it comes as no surprise that Kent State Baseball has been picked to repeat as Mid-American Conference East Division and Tournament champions for 2013, as announced by the MAC on Tuesday.
The Flashes are coming off a historic year, winning a record 47 games and making it to the College World Series, ending the season ranked sixth in the nation. The team was the first MAC program to advance to the College World Series in 36 years.
Kent State reached NCAA Tournament play by winning their fourth straight MAC Tournament and going 24-3 in conference play to earn the regular season conference championship.
The team will look to repeat with 21 letterwinners returning, including pre-season All-Americans George Roberts and Tyler Skulina. Three-time MAC Coach of the Year and 2012 American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings NCAA Coach of the Year Scott Stricklin remains at the helm, along with 2012 Baseball America Assistant Coach of the Year Mike Birkbeck. Assistant Coach Scott Daeley rounds out the coaching staff, marking the ninth consecutive season the three coaches have remained together.
The Golden Flashes received 72 points in the voting, with projected MAC-West winner Central Michigan with the next highest, 65 points. Miami was picked to finish second in the East, followed by Bowling Green, Ohio, Akron and Buffalo. Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Ball State and Northern Illinois fill out the West Division.
Kent State's season begins this Friday (Feb. 15) as they travel to Wilmington, N.C., for two games against UNC-Wilmington and two against Virginia Tech.