The 2019 Kentucky State baseball season has captured the interest of many who follow collegiate baseball. Not to be overshadowed by the remarkable season the Thorobreds had last year, but the tremendous regular season being put together this season by head coach Rob Henry and his coaching staff is earning respect throughout the college baseball ranks.
Baseball is no different at KSU than at any other baseball program. They practice energetically. Players run from behind the batting cage to the plate to take their swings, outfielders dash after fly balls and infielders vacuum up grounders. Practice has a nice rhythm. This scene occurs daily where college baseball is the spotlight. But at Kentucky State, things are a bit different this year… big time.
A 31 year streak comes to an end as the Thorobreds swept three games from Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) foe LeMoyne-Owen picking up a 5-0 win this past Saturday and sweeping a doubleheader, 5-4 and 5-1, April 22, giving KSU a (24-14) overall record, marking its first winning record since 1988.
Kentucky State is doing well under Coach Henry. He is about winning and a commitment to playing the game the right way. Student-athletes who are coming through the program get a chance to grow on and off the field and hope to play at the next level one day.
Henry has been at the helm of the Kentucky State baseball program since the 2013 season. He is driven with the help of a knowledgeable coaching staff committed to fundamentals and carried out by determined student-athletes. The baseball program has risen to be among the tops in the SIAC in the last three years mainly from scheduling tough competition week-in and week-out, regularly seeing top opponents during mid-week games has shown benefits in conference play.
Henry became the programs all-time wins leader this season. The Thorobreds swept a non-conference doubleheader from Alice Lloyd February 28. Coach also witnessed his two starting pitchers throw two no-hitters in a week. Joe Crisp’s occurred on February 17, and Greg Tye threw his February 22nd.
When Henry took over the Thorobred baseball program in 2013, KSU was coming off a 12-28 record. Since becoming the skipper of the program, they have recorded three straight 20-plus win seasons.
In 2017, Kentucky State posted its first-ever 20-win season (20-34). The following year, the team eclipsed that mark with 23 wins (23-23), including going 4-2 in the SIAC conference tournament in the championship game losing to Albany State, just missing the NCAA Division II Regionals by one game.
KSU is currently 24-14-1 on the season with five regular season games left on the schedule and a minimum of two SIAC tournament games to be played. KSU has clinched its first winning season since 1988.
According to Coach Henry “It’s been a season where we have reached more of the checkpoints that we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. We have clinched our first winning record since 1988 with this weekend’s wins, which was one of our stated goals when I accepted this position. When I first got here in 2012, it was a struggle to win more than ten games; then we reached twenty wins; then last year we finished .500 and made the SIAC Championship game. In those first few seasons, we often found ways to lose close games. Over time, those experiences have helped us learn how to win, and this year we’ve been finding ways to win more of those close games. Like everyone else, we have an eye on competing for an SIAC Championship, but this is a nice milestone that shows the Kentucky State University baseball program is continuing to improve.”
Now in a new chapter, the Thorobreds looks to continue to make history in the SIAC.