No. 26 Kent State Baseball’s Lyon Making Case To Make USA Baseball Collegiate National Team
NEWPORT, R.I. -- Kent State junior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) is making a case to make the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team's final 22-man roster.
Lyon, who was named to the Collegiate National Team as an alternate earlier this month, survived USA Baseball's first round of cuts and will have the opportunity to grab a spot on the final roster as the squad continues its tour of the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL). The backstop began his summer competing for the NECBL's Keene Swamp Bats, batting .364 with nine RBIs, five runs scored, two home runs and a double among his eight hits in five games. The Collegiate National Team must trim its roster to 22 players by July 1. The highlight of the squad's season is a five-game series (July 3-8) against the Japan Collegiate All-Stars.
"He's done very well and impressed a lot of people," said seventh-year Kent State head coach Scott Stricklin, who is serving as an assistant coach for the Collegiate National Team under Missouri head coach Tim Jamieson. "He's hitting the ball hard and doing a fantastic job of managing a pitching staff of four or five guys who will be first-round draft picks."
Lyon, a 2011 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings NCAA Mideast Region Second Team, Second Team All-Mid-American Conference, All-MAC Tournament Team and Academic All-MAC team pick in 2001, tied the school's single-season record with seven triples. He finished second on the team in batting average (.315), tied for second in hits (75), fourth in slugging percentage (.538), fifth in on-base percentage (.384), second in RBIs (53) and fourth in doubles (12). Lyon also called the signals for a pitching staff ranked sixth in the nation in ERA and a defense ranked among the top 20 in the nation in fielding percentage. Lyon crushed a grand slam to help power the Golden Flashes to a 7-5 victory over No. 5 Texas in the winner's bracket final of the NCAA Championship Austin Regional and earned NCAA Austin All-Regional Team selection.
Lyon and Stricklin had the unique opportunity to compete at historic Fenway Park in Boston against the NECBL All-Stars last Saturday (June 27). The game had a Kent State feel to it, as Lyon and Stricklin faced off against Kent State freshman second baseman and NECBL All-Star Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio). Toadvine is batting .273 with nine hits and three walks as a member of the Swamp Bats.
"It was a great day all the way around," said Stricklin. "It was really exciting to be there. Sitting in the big league clubhouse where all those legends of our game have been was something really special."
Stricklin, Lyon and Toadvine helped lead Kent State (45-17), which is ranked No. 26 in the nation according to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, to MAC regular season and tournament championships and a berth in the 2011 NCAA Championship Austin Regional. After earning the program's first-ever national tournament No. 3 seed, Kent State 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. The Flashes became the first squad to win three straight MAC Tournament crowns and first since 2005 to win the conference's regular season and tournament titles in the same season. Kent State's mark of 45-17 matched the 1992 squad for most victories in program history. Stricklin was named MAC Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
Stay tuned to KentStateSports.com for a complete report on how all the Golden Flashes are faring in summer league action.