Patient approach pays off for Gallas

Tyler McIntosh

One of the few bright spots for Kent State’s offense is coming from an unlikely source.

Freshman outfielder Anthony Gallas’ 14 RBI weekend, which earned him Mid-American Conference Player of the Week honors, signified the beginning and the end of two eras for the Strongsville native.

The days of Gallas being a fixture on the bench and a general afterthought are gone.

“Anthony was a guy that when we started the year, he wasn’t in our normal rotation. He kept having good at-bats and swinging the bat well,” coach Scott Stricklin said. “We gave him an opportunity the third game of the year at Wake Forest, and everything he hit, he hit it hard.”

Instead, he is now the player who carries the responsibility of driving in runs from the middle of the order and protecting senior third baseman Andrew Davis. Gallas’ team-high 11-game hitting streak was snapped in Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the College of Wooster.

“When you hit in the middle of the lineup in college baseball, you’re a guy that’s going to see a lot of off-speed pitches,” Stricklin said. “Sometimes pitchers are a little bit cautious around you, and that’s when you really have to have that mature approach and not get too anxious and swing at bad pitches. He’s done a good job at that.”

This season, Gallas is leading the team in batting average (.333), on-base percentage (.405) and homeruns (5). He is also second on the team with 26 RBIs and 23 runs scored.

“The thing that I say about Anthony is that he has what we call a mature approach at the plate,” Stricklin said. “A lot of young hitters swing at anything. Their head flies off the ball. He’s calm, under control and he’s come up with some big hits.”

Gallas’ wise-beyond-his-years approach involves being the first to arrive at the park and last to leave.

“That’s what successful hitters do throughout their career, not just when they are young and trying to improve,” Stricklin said. “They continue to try and improve and never get satisfied. That’s what I foresee him doing.

“As he gets stronger, smarter, and older and all those things come together, I think he can become a great hitter,” Stricklin said. “He’s a very good hitter right now; I think he can become a great hitter.”

Contact baseball reporter Tyler McIntosh at [email protected].