The Kent State Golden Flashes staved off elimination Monday against No. 1 Florida, but their season will face another major threat today.
With their tournament hopes on the line yet again, the Flashes will take on two-time defending champion South Carolina at the College World Series.
The Gamecocks proved to be mortal after all on Monday night, as their record-breaking 22-game postseason winning streak was snapped by Arkansas. Still, South Carolina is a championship-tested squad, and it will come out with a vengeance today.
If the following players step up for Kent State, it'll have a good shot at slaying another giant. But if these guys come up short, the Flashes will be sent packing.
Evan Campbell, Center Fielder
The junior center fielder was excellent throughout the season, batting .316 and finishing third on the team in hits (87) and home runs (seven).
Unfortunately, his success hasn't carried over to the CWS. He was 0-for-4 at the plate in Kent State's 8-1 loss to Arkansas, and he followed that up with an 0-for-5 performance in its close victory over Florida.
I have confidence in Campbell's ability to come through on the big stage, but if he struggles like the first two games, Kent State will be in trouble.
Tyler Skulina, Pitcher
If Kent State is going to advance, it will need a brilliant effort from Skulina on Wednesday.
The sophomore right-hander has been strong this season, going 11-2 with a 3.63 ERA. He's been even better in the postseason, shutting out Oregon in the super regional and giving up just seven hits and two runs in 12.2 innings at the CWS.
The Flashes will be counting on him to deliver a similar performance against South Carolina. If he can hold the Gamecocks to one or two runs and pitch into the sixth inning, he and his teammates will continue their Cinderella run in Omaha.
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