Story courtesy of Kent State Sports Information
TUSCON, Ariz. -- Senior left-handed starting pitcher Kyle Hallock (Sandusky, Ohio) and junior right-handed closer Kyle McMillen (North Canton, Ohio) garnered Louisville Slugger NCAA Division I Third Team All-America selection as members of the No. 24 ranked Kent State squad, the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper announced today (June 2).
"It's a tribute to what they've been able to accomplish, not only this season, but their entire careers," said seventh-year head coach and Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year Scott Stricklin. "They're very hard workers and guys that came in as freshmen and paid their dues. They worked their way into their roles and both have had phenomenal seasons."
The duo is mentored by 14th-year associate head coach Mike Birkbeck, who has helped tutor a pitching staff that ranks sixth in the country with a team earned run average of 2.56 and helped lead Kent State to a 43-15 record, MAC regular season and tournament titles and the 12th NCAA Championship berth in program history in 2011. Hallock and McMillen run Kent State's total Louisville Slugger All-America selections to seven - including five in the last six years and three in the last two seasons.
"These two young men are not only really good pitchers, but also outstanding young men," said Birkbeck. "Hallock has been a true leader and pitched like a senior. Our young guys really look up to him. McMillen has done everything we've asked of him, and for him to accomplish what he has this year is a testament to what his makeup is."
A 2010 MLB Draft selection of the Philadelphia Phillies, Hallock has posted a MAC-best 10 wins, which ties him for 17th in the nation and second on the school's single-season records list. The team captain anchors a Kent State pitching staff that leads the conference and is sixth in the country with a 2.56 team ERA. Hallock has struck out 83 while allowing just 21 earned runs over 99.0 innings and 15 starts and his ERA o 1.91 ranks 30th in the country.
He ranks second in school history with 232 career strikeouts, third with 289.2 innings pitched and tied for seventh with 22 career victories.
"This is one of the goals I had when I came to college," said Hallock. "It's very gratifying, and it's big deal for me and my family, but the team goals come first. When you win, individual honors come, and that's what this is the result of."
McMillen is tied for second in the nation with a school and conference-record 17 saves, earning both Louisville Slugger Third Team All-American honors and First Team All-MAC honors. He has recorded a save in 12 of his last 14 appearances. His 22 career saves ranks as the fourth-most in school history and his 24 pitching appearances this season rank as the fifth most in a single season in school history.
"I'm very excited," said McMillen. "It's a great honor to share with Kyle. You go out there and every out is important, and I just happen to get the last ones."
The Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament champions drew a No. 3 regional seed for the first time in program history and will square off with No. 2-seeded Texas State Friday (June 3) at 2 p.m. EST (1 p.m. CST) at the University of Texas's UFCU Disch Falk Field. Hallock will get the start and oppose Texas State's junior right-handed starting pitcher Carson Smith, who was named Louisville Slugger Second Team All-America.
No. 5-ranked Texas (43-15), which earned a No. 7 national seed for the tournament and the No. 1 seed in the regional as host, and No. 4-seeded Princeton (23-22) will also take part in the Austin Regional. The two squads will meet in the opening-round nightcap of the regional on Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST (6:30 p.m. CST).
The winner of the game between the Golden Flashes and Bobcats will face the winner of the clash between the Longhorns and Tigers game on Saturday (June 4) at 7:30 p.m. EST (6:30 p.m. CST). The losers of the opening-round games will meet in an elimination game at 2 p.m. EST (1 p.m. CST). The winner of the first elimination game will square off with the loser of the Saturday nightcap in a second do-or-die contest Sunday (June 5) at 2 p.m. EST (1 p.m. CST). The regional championship game will be held that evening at 7:30 p.m. EST (6:30 p.m. CST). Should the remaining undefeated squad be dealt a loss in the regional final, a second game will be played Monday (June 6) at 2 p.m. EST (1 p.m. CST) to decide who advances to the NCAA Super Regionals next weekend (June 10-13). The College World Series will be held June 18-29 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.