One of the best parts of Fridays in the spring semester is the start of a new series each week. This weekend, the Bears host the Kent State Golden Flash. If you are just a casual follower of college baseball, that may not make you sit up and take notice. You should.
Kent State is coming in 1-2 after losing their opening series to Winthrop. But, they came into the season ranked 30th and favored to win the MAC for the 5th straight year. In fact, they have won either their regular season conference or their conference tournament for 14 of the past 15 years, and they were in the CWS in 2012. In short, Kent State play baseball. Unfortunately for them, they have to deal with winter weather in Northeast Ohio that limits their time on the field. That almost certainly came into play as 5 Golden Flash errors led to 6 unearned runs in their season opener. They only scored 1 run in game 2 before really coming to life in a 9-5 win in the final game of a series cut short by the cancelation of Sunday's scheduled finale.
|Fri. 6:30 pm||BU - LHP Daniel Castano (0-0, 0.00 ERA)||KSU - RHP Nick Jensen-Clagg (0-1, 1.80 ERA)|
|Sat. 1:00 pm||BU - RHP Ryan Smith (0-0, 0.00 ERA)||KSU - RHP Andy Ravel (0-0, 1.50 ERA)|
|Sat. 5:00 pm||BU - RHP Drew Tolson (0-0, 6.75 ERA)||
KSU - LHP Jared Skolnicki (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Baylor looks to rebound after dropping their midweek contest against DBU on Tuesday. After their slow start, Kent State will be desperate to improve to .500 this weekend to get their season going in a better direction. Baylor's pitching has been pretty solid so far, and seem to be more than up to the challenge of facing a Golden Flash team that struggled to score in the opening weekend
Just barely a week into the 2015 season, KSU represent the 3rd 2014 regional qualifying opponent for the Bears, demonstrating Steve Smith's approach to scheduling:
"We play tough people. We need tough players. You can't be afraid of losing. You can't be afraid of getting hit in the mouth..."
Kent State fits the bill of a tough team. The weather will be great for baseball, both playing and watching. Hopefully you will get to make it to Baylor Ballpark and root, root, root for the Bears. They need support, and they need a good performance this weekend. Next weekend, the Bears will be on the road at Cal State Fullerton, and then in the Houston College Classic the following week. We will use this as the series thread as well.