No. 8 Kent State Baseball’s Lyon Named 2012 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Second Team All-America Pick
Senior catcher goes down as one of the best backstops to don the Blue & Gold.
OMAHA, Neb. – No. 8 Kent State baseball's senior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) has been named a 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Second Team All-America honoree.
Lyon is joined on the Second Team by Jacksonville State pitcher Todd Hornsby, Kentucky third baseman Thomas McCarthy, Louisiana State shortstop Austin Nola and Army infielder Zach Price. Florida State outfielder James Ramsey won the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and is joined on the First Team by Clemson catcher/first baseman/outfielder Phil Pohl, South Carolina pitcher/first baseman Michael Roth, Texas A&M pitcher Ross Stripling and Florida infielder/outfielder Preston Tucker.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in February. Fan votes were combined with media and Division I men's head coaches' votes to determine the winner.
Lyon is the fifth Golden Flash to garner All-America accolades in 2012. Senior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.) was named a Baseball America First Team All-America selection. Senior southpaw ace David Starn (Hudson, Ohio) and junior first baseman George Roberts (Summerhill, Pa.) garnered Louisville Slugger Second Team All-America selection while left-handed pitcher Brian Clark (Munroe Falls, Ohio) earned Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America recognition, as announced by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
Selected by the Texas Rangers in the 34th round with the 1056th pick of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Lyon captained the Golden Flashes to their first NCAA College World Series berth in program history in 2012. The 2012 Kent State senior class of Lyon, Rider, Starn, outfielder Joe Koch (Austintown, Ohio) and right-handed pitcher Ryan Mace (Tallmadge, Ohio) helped the Golden Flashes post 174 victories and four straight NCAA Tournament berths in their four years on the Kent State campus.
Lyon sported a .282 batting average in 2012, collecting 69 hits – including 17 doubles, four triples and a team-high 10 home runs – to go along with 42 RBIs en route to garnering Second Team All-Mid-American Conference honors. He served as the backstop for a Kent State pitching staff ranked among the best in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings. Lyon played a key role in the three-game MAC weekend series sweep of East Division rival Miami (May 11-13), feasting on the opposing pitching to the tune of six hits – including four round trippers – to go along with five RBIs. He hit two homers in the 7-6 Saturday (May 12) win over the RedHawks to help Kent State clinch the 2012 MAC regular season title, then hit two more bombs the following day to seal the sweep. Lyon led the charge with a triple, two singles and an RBI Monday (June 18) as Kent State topped No. 1 Florida, 5-4, in a 2012 College World Series Bracket 2 elimination game at TD Ameritrade Park.
Lyon put together a career season in 2011, posting a career-best .315 batting average, .384 on base percentage and .538 slugging percentage with a career-high 75 hits, 36 runs, seven triples (most on the team, second in the MAC; tied with Matt Rundels, 1991 for most in a single season in school history), nine home runs, 27 walks, 53 RBIs and 128 total bases (third on the team, fourth in the MAC). He also led Kent State with 404 putouts, the eighth most in a single season in school history. He earned 2011 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Mideast Region Second Team and Second Team All-MAC honors for his efforts. He earned All-NCAA Championship Austin Regional honors after he produced one of the most memorable hits in Kent State history to help down then-No. 5 Texas, 7-5, on its home field as the Golden Flashes earned their first regional final berth since 2001. Trailing 2-1 with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, Lyon sent a 1-2 pitch sailing over the left field wall and into the Kent State bullpen to give the Golden Flashes a 5-2 lead with his second career grand slam. Lyon was named to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team under Kent State head coach Scott Stricklin, who served as an assistant coach for the squad. They helped the USA win three of five games against Japan.
Lyon finishes his collegiate career as a .296 hitter with 226 hits – including 53 doubles, 14 triples (tied for second-most in school history) and 24 home runs – to go along with 151 RBIs.
Lyon graduated from Kent State in May with a degree in finance. His work in the classroom helped Kent State record a perfect 1000 multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR), marking the third consecutive year the Kent State baseball program has been recognized. The APR achievement put the team in elite company as one of only 16 schools in the country to reach the accomplishment. Of the 16 teams to earn the public recognition the past three years, Kent State is the only public institution on the list that includes Brown, Bucknell, Holy Cross, Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Lafayette, Mount St. Mary's, St. Joseph's, Stanford, Penn, Vanderbilt and Yale. Kent State's academic prowess is backed by a cumulative 3.093 team grade point average. The team was recognized for having the highest team GPA amongst the eight teams in the 2012 NCAA College World Series.
The son of Dave and Connie Lyon caught for Cameron County High School in Pennsylvania under head coach Dick Harrier, helping the Raiders win a District 9 Championship in 2006 and earn a Pennsylvania State Quarterfinals appearance in 2007. For his high school career, he batted .469 with 14 home runs, 24 doubles, 53 RBI and 70 runs scored.
Kent State's 2012 campaign was a historic one, with the Golden Flashes setting a new school standard for wins in a single season with 47, posting a 21-game winning streak and reaching the NCAA College World Series for the first time.
Ranked No. 8 in the nation according to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, the Golden Flashes finished their 2012 campaign winning 39 of their last 49 games. The Flashes won a wire-to-wire regular season title and followed it up by going a perfect 4-0 in the MAC Tournament to clinch their fourth straight conference tournament crown.
Kent State, the NCAA Gary Regional's No. 3 seed, advanced to its second straight NCAA Regional winner's bracket final by outlasting Kentucky, 7-6, in 21 innings in the regional opener on June 1 – the second-longest game in the history of the NCAA Tournament – then knocked off the regional host and top seed, then-No. 16 Purdue, 7-3, the following day. Kent State clinched the NCAA Championship Gary Regional title with a 3-2 triumph over then-No. 13 Kentucky on June 3 at U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Ind., marking Kent State's first regional championship.
The Golden Flashes then traveled 2,492 miles to the Pacific Northwest to battle then-No. 10 Oregon in the best-of-three NCAA Eugene Super Regional. Junior center fielder Evan Campbell (Beloit, Ohio) made a leaping, turn-around catch in deep left-center field to bail Kent State out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth inning and secure a heart-stopping 7-6 win over Oregon in the opening game of the series on June 9. The Ducks rallied from a 2-0 deficit the following night by plating three runs in the seventh inning to overcome the Flashes and force a winner-take-all game three. History repeated itself on June 11 as Kent State's 2-0 lead evaporated in the eighth inning, but a bottom-of-the-ninth, one-out, walk-off bloop single by Rider sent the Golden Flashes to Omaha for the first time in program history.
Kent State's first NCAA College World Series appearance was highlighted by a 5-4 win over No. 1 Florida in a Bracket 2 elimination game.