Kennesaw State's baseball team must have really been in the mood to celebrate the release of MLB The Show: 18 over the weekend – -at least for those who preordered the game — because they took their skills with the joystick and applied them straight to the diamond at Stillwell Stadium against Grambling.
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All told the Owls scored 63 total runs in three contests, an average of 21 per game and 2.52 runs per inning of the 25 completed innings in the three-game series.
Those 63 runs bumped the season total for KSU to a robust 165 through 24 games, now an average of just under seven per night after scoring just 102 over their first 21 contests, or just 4.85 per. The runs scored against Grambling now represent 38 percent of the offense for the entire season.
Looking at the best individual efforts, the top bill goes to Griffin Helms – a senior catcher – who totaled 13 RBI over the three contests, with seven coming in the first game in a 26-7 final score. The Georgia native hit a homer in each of the first two games, and raised his season average to a healthy .333.
Another top player was leadoff hitter LaDonis Bryant, a redshirt-senior who transferred in from Georgia Perimeter College a few years back. The small outfielder wielded a big bat, producing five RBI and stealing a pair of bases on his way to scoring eight times himself.
But the biggest breakout came from junior transfer AJ Willoughby in what were his ninth and tenth appearances of the year when he played the first two games of the series. On Friday in the 26-7 laugher, the infielder knocked in six runs to triple his season output to that point, and raised his average by .157 points to now stand at .324.
So what can we take from the ASUN members having a field day with Grambling? That remains to be seen, but it comes just in time as conference play begins this coming weekend.
The bats for Kennesaw were struggling – to be fair – to start the year, and they may have finally found the propane they needed to gas up their offense.
Whiling Grambling is no pushover on the diamond, they are not the strongest competition either so Kennesaw may have been the beneficiary of playing lesser competition.
But if the Owls are going to use this newfound momentum to their advantage, it better start soon with an even 12-12 record heading into their first in-conference series against USC Upstate now less than a week away.
Because baseball isn't just a video game, and sometimes the levels aren't so easy to conquer as they were this past weekend at "The Shake".
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