Brad Winter is a sophomore first baseman for Kent State who will contribute a weekly journal to in 2007. Winter, a native of Bellefontaine, Ohio, started 37 games as a freshman, homering twice and driving in 29 runs. In 250 chances at first base, Winter made only one error.






March 1, 2007

A Wild Weekend in The Swamp


We traveled this weekend to Gainesville, Fla., to play the University of Florida in a three-game series. This was a great opportunity for us to play in a great venue against a quality SEC school, which just two years ago was in the College World Series.


Friday’s game was to be played under the lights at McKethan Stadium. Florida quickly jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after the first inning. After some early chances to score failed, we finally got on the board in the third inning, but the Gators quickly responded and put two runs up in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead.


Florida’s ace, Bryan Augenstein, had been throwing really well the whole night, but in the top of the fifth, we exploded with five runs. I think this was the point in the game where we knew that if we could keep playing solid defense and add a few more runs, we could walk away with a victory. And that is exactly what happened: We scored four more runs in the later innings and ended up winning 10-4. Our starting pitcher, J.J. Pacella, only gave up five hits in five innings, and junior Reid Lamport came out of the pen in the sixth and threw four solid innings.


Coming into Saturday’s game, we had a great opportunity to win the series. But the Gators had other plans. Sophomore starting pitcher Stephen Locke and reliever Patrick Keating kept us off balance at the plate all day, and Florida’s offense manufactured seven runs on seven hits. We ended up losing 7-0, but even though we did not play very well, we new that we still had a chance to win the series on Sunday.


Two freshmen starting pitchers - the Gators’ Billy Bullock and the Flashes’ Kyle Smith - headlined Sunday’s game. Bullock pitched a career-high seven innings and had a career high in strikeouts with six, but the Flashes and Smith, out-did him. Smith only allowed two hits in five innings of work. The game was scoreless until the sixth inning, when senior third basemen Andrew Davis hit a solo homer. This was the only offense we would need as our bullpen shut them out and gave Kyle Smith his first collegiate win!


After losing three in row to Wake Forest last weekend, we really needed to play well and win a couple of games this weekend. So for us to go into a great environment and win two out of three games against a big-time baseball program really showed our team that we can compete with anybody. We are now 2-4 on the season and are traveling to Winthrop University to play a three-game series against East Tennessee State, Winthrop and Temple.

Brad Winter


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Left in the Wake (2/20/07)


(photo courtesy of Kent State Media Relations Office)