KSU’s game changer

Lance Lysowski

Last year, senior left fielder Anthony Gallas hit .324 and finished third on the Kent State baseball team in RBIs.

Last year, senior left fielder Anthony Gallas hit .324 and finished third on the Kent State baseball team in RBIs.

Although the season was a success for the right-handed hitter, he was not satisfied.

Gallas decided to limit his social life coming into the 2010 season and focus on what’s most important to him — baseball.

“I’m just taking care of things I need to take care of,” Gallas said. “I’m not going out on Thursday night and Saturday night. I’m just putting everything I have in baseball; just the extra stuff too like going to the weight room, doing yoga and doing the necessary things.”

The power-hitting left fielder’s dedication has paid off. Gallas has started all 42 games for the Flashes this season, while hitting .365 with 12 home runs and 53 RBIs. The Strongsville native’s 16 doubles and .453 on-base percentage lead the team.

This season, the senior became the all-time leader in Kent State baseball history in walks and RBIs. Gallas surpassed Andrew Davis for the career lead in RBIs, while passing Sean Freeman’s record of 172 career walks.

The six-foot-two, 220-pound outfielder has the ability to not only change the game with the swing of his bat, but also lack thereof.

“I have the ability to change the game in an inning,” Gallas said. “If there’s guys on it gives pressure on the pitcher to throw me pitches. Whether I get a walk or I get a hit it makes the lineup turn over more. I’d say I’m a tough out.”

At the beginning of the season, the senior was named a team captain for the Flashes. Although Gallas’ performance on the field sets the tone for the rest of the lineup, he said that even when his bat is not active, his demeanor is important for the team’s success.

“I feel like even if I’m not doing well at the plate, the way I conduct myself in the dugout and people feed off my energy,” Gallas said. “It makes a difference to how they’re playing, and kind of getting the momentum.”

Last year, Kent State won the Mid-American Conference Tournament to advance to the NCAA Tournament. This year is different.

Gallas said as a team captain and a senior, this year has a much different feel to it.

“It’s my last go-around so I want to win the MAC,” Gallas said. “It’s pretty important to me. It definitely means a lot more this year compared to other years. I just feel it; kind of like my back’s against the wall.”

The senior’s performance at the plate has gained him notoriety around the conference. Gallas earned All-MAC Second Team honors in 2007 and 2008, and a spot on the Freshman All-American team in 2007.

Although power hitters are seen to be a liability on defense, Gallas breaks the mold. He holds a .947 fielding percentage with 67 put-outs and four errors on the season.

“I definitely want to help out our pitchers, and be a team player,” Gallas said. “I’m not going to take plays off and let a ball drop when I can get it. I don’t look as good out there, I think, because I’m not that fast — but I’m going to make the play. I want my guys to count on me too.”

When talking about the records he has broken, Gallas is the definition of humble. He said even though he takes college baseball seriously, he realizes the true reason behind his love of baseball.

“It’s college baseball,” Gallas said. “It’s just more fun than anything.”

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected].