Owls are Super Regional Bound
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Kennesaw State Department of Athletics along with Buffalo Wild
(Jun 3, 2014) —
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Kennesaw State Department of Athletics along with Buffalo Wild Wings has announced
official viewing parties for the KSU baseball team's NCAA Super Regional games this
weekend.The restaurant, located at 125 Barrett Parkway in Marietta, will have all three of
the contests shown live. Game times are currently scheduled as 6:30 p.m. on Friday,
June 6; 7 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday. Fans wearing black and gold to the events will receive 10% off food purchases as well.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 2, 2104) – With a 4-2 win over Alabama on Monday afternoon, the Kennesaw State baseball team
punched its ticket to the NCAA Super Regional, the Owls winning their first ever Division
I Regional in Tallahassee.
Pitcher #Travis Bergen# was named the Regional’s Most Valuable Player after earning
the win, checking in on short rest to go 3.1 innings of work, allowing just one hit
and striking out two, notching his second win of the weekend.
KSU earns its 40th win of the season at 40-22 and becomes the first team since 1993 to win a regional
in its first attempt. The Owls bested Alabama, Georgia Southern and No. 5 Florida
State in the four-team tourney.
“It was an unbelievable experience here,” said KSU head coach #Mike Sansing#. “The
city’s been great, Florida State’s been great in hosting this tournament. I am proud
of our guys. It was an unbelievable effort -- the whole time, not just today. But
we came back today after last night and it was rough. I’m just proud of these guys,
I love them all. I just want to thank everybody for believing in our program. It was
just a great experience for me and I’m happy for them and our university.
“We started out a little slow, and we had to get to the pen early. #James Connell#,
Bergen, #Justin McCalvin#, those guys came out strong and that’s what we needed. We
just kind of recycled some guys through. I can’t say enough about what they did. #Jacob
Bruce# gets the big hit there, the double, well a couple of them, but the big one.
I thought our bullpen was the key to that game.”
KSU rallied behind timely hitting from Bruce, #Kal Simmons#, #Max Pentecost#, #Matt
Bahnick# and #Jeremy Howell#, all picking up RBIs in the two-run win for the Owls.
Both teams had chances early on, the Owls putting runners on the corners in #Jacob
Bruce# and #Bo Way# in the bottom of the first and the Crimson Tide putting a runner
on third in the top of the second.
KSU then broke through in the bottom of the second, loading up the bases with no outs
as Simmons sent the sacrifice fly to right field, scoring #Alex Liquori#. The owls
rallied behind the base hit from Liquori as well as an error to take the 1-0 lead.
Kennesaw State starter #Jordan Hillyer# walked the bases loaded in the top of the
third with just one away, relief pitcher Connell then stepped up, striking out one
and picking up a fly-ball out to get KSU out of the jam.
Alabama found success in the top of the fifth, taking over the lead with two runs
on a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly to go up on the Owls, 2-1.
But KSU answered, scoring the tying run after back-to-back two-out doubles from Bruce
and Pentecost, knotting things up at two after five complete.
The Owls then broke the tie in the bottom of the seventh, Bahnick leading things off
with a single back up the middle. Howell entered the game to pinch run and was bunted
over to second by #Cornell Nixon# before Bruce sent his second double of the day off
the right field wall, scoring Howell to put KSU up 3-2.
Howell then stepped up and drove in the insurance run one inning later, singling in
#Chris McGowan# to put the Owls up 4-2 headed into the top of the ninth.
McCalvin came into the contest with one out in the ninth, earning his 16th save of the season and a trip to the Super Regionals for KSU.
“We had talked about it as coaches and then I think it was right before the game and
I looked up at Bergen and he says ‘I’m ready,’” said Sansing of the decision to pitch
Bergen on short rest. “So I was like, ‘yeah, we’ll see what happens.’ If we had maybe
gotten deeper, things might have been different. We had to go to Plan B. We knew he
was ready as we knew Connell and McCalvin were as well. I can’t say enough about him
coming back even on two days. Yeah, he was going to be effective because he’s got
it right here [points to head].”
The Owls knocked Alabama for two seven hits, two of those coming from Bruce with his
two doubles, an RBI and a run scored with a walk. Pentecost, McGowan, Liquori, Bahnick
and Howell each had one.
“Coming into today, I hadn’t had great success,” said Bruce of his go-ahead double.
“I was just trying to stay strong and my teammates would pick me up all weekend. I
just took one pitch at a time today and I guess it was just my time to get that big
hit. The pitcher wasn’t throwing many strikes and I just had to get one strike.”
For their stellar play in the tournament, Pentecost, Nixon, Way and #Brennan Morgan#
were named to the All-Regional Team along with the MVP Bergen.
The Owls will now make their way to Louisville, Kentucky, to take on host team Louisville
in the Super Regional. Date and times are still to be determined.
- #GoKSUOwls -
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.