College World Series 2012: Kent State Will Need More Firepower to Survive vs USC

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IJune 19, 2012

Photo courtesy of KentuckySports.com and Joe Raymond — ASSOCIATED PRESS
Photo courtesy of KentuckySports.com and Joe Raymond — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Kent State can’t over-celebrate.

In the 2012 College World Series, the Golden Flashes defeated and eliminated the No. 1-ranked Florida Gators on Monday by a score of 5-4. With their backs against the wall, they managed to stay alive. But to pull off another miracle, Kent State will have to up its firepower.

According to the Associated Press (h/t Boston Herald), Golden Flashes head coach Scott Stricklin praised his ballclub following the victory. He said:

We belong here. That’s the most important thing that we wanted as a team, as a program and as a university was to make a statement that we belong here. We’re not a fluke. We’re a really good baseball team.

After knocking out the Gators, you can’t argue with him. Florida is the most talented team in the nation, and it's loaded with MLB prospects. But that wasn’t enough to beat Kent State.

Stricklin also said after the game:

It wasn’t the prettiest thing in the end. It was gut-wrenching no matter who you were rooting for. Even if you weren’t rooting for anybody, that was tough to watch. But we found a way. That’s what this team has done all year long, and we’re still here.

While what the Golden Flashes have accomplished is impressive, one win is nothing to throw a party over. Their efforts will be forgotten unless they are the last squad standing in the tournament. And the only way that’ll happen is if their offense steps up.

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While Kent State scored five runs against Florida, in its first game of the College World Series against Arizona, only one baserunner crossed the plate. The Golden Flashes will face off against South Carolina on Wednesday, and the Gamecocks are licking their chops.

USC held the Gators to three runs in a win and the Wildcats to just two in a loss. Unless Kent State’s bats get hot, it will struggle to score against South Carolina.

David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.

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