Under Stricklin, Kent State has won five Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament Championships, reaching the NCAA Regionals in each of those seasons. The team also reached one Super Regional, in 2012. After defeating Oregon in that Super Regional, the team advanced to the 2012 College World Series. Individually, Stricklin has won three Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year Awards and one ABCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year Award.
Q: How do you approach the new season?
A: You have to have a lot of patience. There are a lot of new players coming in, and it takes time for them to learn how to do the things that you do. There’s a lot of teaching that goes on. The upperclassmen lead the way.
Q: How do you battle inclement weather when it comes up?
A: We’re very blessed to have an unbelievable indoor facility. When the bad weather hits, it allows us to be more consistent; we won’t miss a day of practice in there. As a northern school you have to maximize your time outside, but you have to have an indoor facility too. Getting acclimated for our first game is always a challenge, you have to prepare them as much as you can.
Q: What advice can you give players preparing for their first year?
A: You need to come in in the best shape you’ve ever been in. There are a lot of kids that time time off after summer baseball and before the fall, but that doesn’t mean that you stop working out. The worst thing you can do is show up out of shape. If you’re not in great physical condition, you’ll be in the training room pretty soon.
Q: What is your goal to get out of the fall practice period?
A: You get more of an idea of what you have from fall practice. Our coaching staff will get together and write down lineups at the end of the fall and discuss differences. The lineup is not set in stone then- that’s for sure- but you learn a lot from the fall and get a better idea of what you have.
Our number one goal is to stay healthy- championship teams that make deep postseason runs are generally pretty healthy, and you have to be healthy to train and condition. We’ll push our players as much as we can, but we want to get through it healthy.
Q: How do you implement your off-the-field policies in the fall?
A: We meet with our freshmen individually to go over our expectations, and we talk openly about how their choices affect everyone in the program. Poor choices off the field are a distraction, and if guys have issues, it that makes our decisions easier in terms of playing time. We tell our guys ‘dont make our decisions easy.’ Discipline is a huge key, and we’ve been fortnuate to have great kids come through our program.
Q: Something unique about Kent State fall ball?READ THE REST