The Kent State University Golden Flashes baseball team has done the unthinkable. Not only did they make it to the College World Series, but they knocked off the top seeded Florida Gators to advance after losing their first game against Arkansas.
The Golden Flashes are playing great team baseball. They are not a team that is going to hit home runs but they are going to use small ball to take down their opponents. Kent keeps on finding ways to win games. They have proved that they belong up there with the big boys and nobody should count these underdogs out.
They have had quite the difficult road to make to the final six teams left in the tournament. They had a 21 inning thriller against Kentucky in which they came out on top. They also had to go to Eugene, Oregon to take on the Ducks in a best of three series where they won in game three.
Against Arkansas they looked very nervous, and for good reason being the first ever College World Series game for the Golden Flashes. They looked more comfortable against Florida and seemed to have gotten the nerves out of the way.
The make up of the team is very interesting as every player on the team is within about a 5 hour drive from the Kent State campus. There are also a few players who were drafted by MLB teams earlier this June.
One of those draft picks was Nick Hamilton who is the primary designated hitter for the Flashes. Nick was drafted by the Cleveland Indians, who are his favorite and hometown team. His dad, Tom Hamilton, also happens to be the play-by-play radio announcer for the Tribe and one of the best voices in all of baseball.
Nick Hamilton has an obstacle that not many baseball players have dealt with. Nick is hard of hearing and uses hearing aids during everyday life and on the field. He has never let anything get in his way, especially his hearing.
Nick happens to be a very good friend of mine and a former teammate. His hearing affected nothing on the field. He is a hustle player who only knows one speed, and that is full speed. Nick is an extremely hard worker who deserves every last bit of success that the future holds for him.
You can see Nick Hamilton and the Kent State Golden Flashes play Wednesday night, June 20 at 8pm eastern time on ESPN when they take on the South Carolina Gamecocks.
If they win they advance and if they lose their remarkable season will end. Win or lose, the Golden Flashes have a lot to be proud of. I think they have the potential to keep on going in this tournament. They knocked off the Gators, the top team in the country, so who is to say they can’t go all the way.