2012 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Field Bracket
Story courtesy of Kent State Sports Information
– The Kent State baseball team sat at the Water Street Tavern in downtown Kent surrounded by family, friends and fans of the Blue & Gold, watching with baited breath as seedings and pairings for the 2012 NCAA Championship Regionals with announced the annual Selection Show on ESPNU. Faraway destinations such as Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Calif., and Eugene, Oreg. flashed across the screen.
Tension mounted. Breaths became shorter. Cuticle was devoured.
Then, finally, the announcement that everyone affiliated with the Kent State program had hoped and wished for came: the No. 25-ranked Golden Flashes earned a regional No. 3 seed for the second straight season and are headed for the Gary (Ind.) Regional.
Ranked No. 25 in the nation according to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, the Golden Flashes (41-17) will take on regional No. 2 seed Kentucky (43-16) – ranked 13th in the country - Friday (June 1) at U.S. Steel Yard. First pitch time is to be announced. The Flashes and Wildcats join regional No. 1 seed No. 16 Purdue and regional No. 4 seed Valparaiso. The NCAA Championship Regionals are a double-elimination event. The winner of Kent State-Kentucky will play the winner of Purdue-Valparaiso while the losers will square off in an elimination game Saturday (June 2.)
Kent State earned its fourth straight MAC Tournament title and advanced to the 2012 NCAA Championship Regionals for the fourth year in a row and 12th time in program history with a 3-1 victory over Central Michigan in front of a legion of Blue & Gold faithful fans in the championship game lst Saturday (May 26) at All Pro Freight Stadium. the No. 1-seeded Golden Flashes (41-17) ran their winning streak to a nation-long 17 games courtesy of the championship triumph over the No. 3-seeded Chippewas (34-29), marking Kent State's 10th MAC Tournament crown in program history. The Flashes have won 32 of their last 39 games – including 21 of their last 23 – and are the only program in MAC history to win back-to-back-to-back-to-back conference tournament crowns. Kent State won its fifth MAC Tournament title under eighth-year head coach and 2012 MAC Coach of the Year Scott Stricklin, who lettered three seasons as a catcher at Kent State, earning All-MAC honors in 1992 and '93. He guided Kent State to a wire-to-wire MAC Regular Season Championship – the squad's fourth regular season title under his watch – before leading the Golden Flashes to a perfect 4-0 finish in the double elimination conference tournament.
The Golden Flashes will face the Wildcats for the sixth time ever and seek their first-ever victory over the Big Blue.
In 2011, Kent State earned a berth in the NCAA Championship Austin Regional and the program's first-ever national tournament regional No. 3 seed. The Flashes tallied an 11-inning 4-2 win over Texas State and followed it with a 7-5 winner's bracket final triumph over regional host and No. 5-ranked Texas to earn the school's second-ever berth in a regional final.