Mid-American Conference Pepsi Player of the Week
Ryan Kyes, Ohio (Jr., 2B)
White Lake, Mich. (Detroit Country Day)
For the second time this season, Ohio's Ryan Kyes is the MAC Pepsi Player of the Week. Kyes garnered the honor after hitting .600 (9-for-15) with three home runs, seven RBIs and six runs scored. The junior had three multi-hit contests and a pair of multi-RBI games for the Bobcats, who picked up four league wins over Marshall last week. Kyes went 3-for-4 with two RBIs to open the series, then was 3-for-3 with three runs scored, four RBIs and a pair of home runs in Sunday's first game.
Jim Gemler, Akron -- Batted .500 (8-for-16) with five runs scored, five doubles and two RBIs.
Matt Deckman, Ball State -- Hit .588 (10-for-17) with six RBIs, five runs scored and two doubles.
Lee Morrison, Bowling Green -- Extended his hitting streak to nine games following an 8-for-20 (.400) performance with six RBIs and three runs scored.
Jake Sanborn, Central Michigan -- Batted .429 (6-for-14) with four home runs, 10 RBIs and seven runs scored. Also added five stolen bases.
Alex Marconi, Kent -- Was 11-for-26 (.423) with 11 runs scored and four RBIs, in addition to hitting two home runs and a pair of doubles.
Clark Mace, Miami -- Hit .471 (8-for-17) with eight RBIs, seven runs scored, two home runs and three stolen bases.
Tony Miller, Toledo -- Was 9-for-24 (.375) with nine runs scored and six RBIs in six games.
James Galla, Western Michigan -- Batted .462 (6-for-13) with two doubles and four RBIs.
MAC Player of the Week
Mar. 6 -- Ryan Kyes, 2B, Ohio
Mar. 13 -- Jess Bechard, 2B, Kent
Mar. 20 -- Jeremy Ison, SS, Miami
Mar. 27 -- Andrew See, OF, Ohio
Apr. 5 -- Cory Keylor, OF/1B, Ohio
Apr. 11 -- Dave Mattle, OF, Kent
Apr. 17 -- Joe Milroy, 1B/DH, Northern Illinois
Apr. 25 -- Ryan Kyes, 2B, Ohio
Mid-American Conference Pepsi Pitcher of the Week
Chad Wells, Ball State (Sr., RHP)
Ft. Wayne, Ind. (Carroll)
Ball State senior pitcher Chad Wells is this week's MAC Pepsi Pitcher of the Week after posting a 2-0 record with a 0.76 ERA. In 12 innings, Wells struck out 12 batters and allowed only one walk, while surrendering six hits. The senior notched his first complete game of his career against Northern Illinois, fanning five and not walking a batter.
Tony Fontana, Bowling Green -- Made two appearances, and in eight innings struck out five and walked four. Also allowed three runs on four hits.
Doug Straight, Kent -- Picked up his seventh win of the year against Akron. Tossed a seven-hit shutout against the Zips, striking out five.
Chris Leonard, Miami -- In 6.2 innings of work over three games, struck out five and allowed five hits and two runs, one earned.
Denny McGee, Ohio -- Struck out seven and walked three, en route to a three-hit shutout versus Marshall.
Scott Bruhn, Toledo -- Went 1-1 in four appearances with a 2.57 ERA. In seven innings of work, allowed five hits, three runs (two earned) and struck out five.
Matt Vriesenga, Western Michigan -- Was 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA. Pitched a complete game four hitter against Central Michigan, striking out three.
MAC Pitcher of the Week
Mar. 6 -- Tom Gallus, RHP, Eastern Michigan
Mar. 13 -- Mike Fawcett, RHP, Central Michigan
Mar. 20 -- Mike Steele, RHP, Central Michigan
Mar. 27 -- Dan Schell, RHP, Central Michigan
Apr. 5 -- Brian Vilardito, RHP, Northern Illinois
Apr. 11 -- Dirk Hayhurst, RHP, Kent
Tony Schiml, LHP, Ohio
Apr. 17 -- Dan Adams, RHP, Kent
Apr. 25 -- Chad Wells, RHP, Ball State
BATTLE FOR FIRST AT STAKE:
First place in the East Division will be at stake this weekend, as Kent and Bowling Green will meet four times, beginning Saturday in Kent. The Golden Flashes (12-2) lead the Falcons (11-3) by one game in the standings in a race that could also decide which school will host the conference tournament, which runs May 17-20. In addition to leading Bowling Green by one game in the overall standings, Kent also has a two-game lead over Central Michigan (10-4).
TWO MORE RECORDS FOR KENT:
Kent seniors Jess Bechard and Dan Adams each set a MAC career mark over the record, which becomes Bechard's third league mark set this season. Bechard, who already owns the career doubles and hits records, became the league's all-time leader in runs scored with 191, bettering the old mark of 188 set by Central Michigan's Larry Lamphere. Adams, meanwhile, broke the saves mark of 25, previously held by Miami's Ted Ward.
MACE SETS MARK AT MIAMI:
Miami's Clark Mace broke an eight-year old school record on Sunday when he crossed the plate for the 144th time in his career. The junior, who leads the team in runs scored this season with 42, broke Chris Sexton's mark of 143 runs scored in Miami's 5-3 loss to Bowling Green. In addition, Mace is also ranked in the top-10 in Miami annals in six offensive categories.
SANBORN EXPLODES FOR CMU:
Jake Sanborn, Central Michigan's senior outfielder, exploded for four home runs last week to increase his total this season to nine, which ties him for seventh in the league. Sanborn, who ranks fifth all-time with 30 home runs, is 10 hits shy of becoming the school's career leader in safeties. That mark of 229 is currently held by Doug Fisher.
SEESTADT SEEING DOUBLE:
Senior Joe Seestadt was one double shy of tying Western Michigan's single-game record for two-baggers after hitting three in the Broncos' 8-7 loss to Central Michigan Saturday. Seestadt is making the most of his final collegiate season. He has surpassed his previous totals in career runs, hits, RBI, doubles, and home run in just 34 games this season.
DIALING THE LONG BALL:
The Ohio trio of Jeff Rook, Ryan Kyes and Cory Keylor account for 29 of the Bobcats' league-leading 51 round trippers this season. Rook and Kyes are tied for fourth in the MAC with 10 homers, while Keylor is tied for seventh with nine. Keylor is also fourth in batting (.405), while Kyes is eighth (.386).
PRESEASON POLL REVISITED:
Below is a comparison of the league's preseason poll, which was released back in February, in relation to where the teams stand with three weeks left in the regular season. The top three teams from each division qualify for the league tournament.
East Division Pick +/-
Kent 3rd +2
Bowling Green 2nd even
Ohio 4th +1
Miami 1st -3
Akron 5th even
Marshall 6th even
West Division Pick +/-
Central Michigan 3rd +2
Ball State 1st -1
Western Michigan 2nd -1
Northern Illinois 6th +2
Toledo 4th -1
Eastern Michigan 5th -1
A TRADITION AT HOME FOR NIU:
Playing baseball at home on Easter Sunday has become a tradition of sorts for Northern Illinois in recent years. The Huskies played at home on the holiday for the ninth straight year and have a 7-9 mark.
TOUGH ROAD AHEAD FOR EMU:
Eastern Michigan will have its hands full as the Eagles attempt to qualify for one of the three available West Division spots in the MAC tournament. EMU hosts Central Michigan this weekend, then travels to Northern Illinois before hosting Ball State in the final weekend of the regular season.
ANOTHER ZIPS DOUBLES UP:
After Akron's Mark Malaska knocked out four doubles a week ago, it was time for another Zip to double his pleasure. Sophomore Jim Gemler had five doubles in five games last week to improve his total to a team-high nine two-baggers.
CARDS ON A ROLL:
Ball State is on a five-game winning streak, which is the team's second-longest streak of the season. The Cardinals, who posted a four-game sweep over Northern Illinois and a non-conference victory against Butler, was paced by Matt Deckman's .588 batting average (10-for-17). The sophomore drove in six runs, all of them against the Huskies, and went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.
MILLER STEALS THE LEAD:
Toledo centerfielder Tony Miller took over the stolen bases lead in the MAC over the weekend after swiping four bases in as many attempts. Miller, a sophomore, has 18 stolen bases, one ahead of Northern Illinois sophomore John Brock.
DEJA VU AGAIN FOR MARSHALL?:
After picking up its 12th win of the season on April 5 against UNC Asheville, the Marshall Thundering Herd has dropped 11 straight contests. The streak is similar to one that the Herd experienced last year, when they won their 12th and final game of the 1999 campaign on April 17, only to lose 20 of their last 21, which includes a tie. Marshall, which also has a 14-game MAC losing streak, will look to end its overall streak on Wednesday, when it hosts VMI in a doubleheader.
A STRONG TEST FOR BG:
Bowling Green will play its next eight Mid-American Conference games away from the friendly confines of Steller Field. The Falcons have four-game series at Kent (Apr. 29-30) and Ohio University (May 6-7), before coming home to host Akron in the final weekend of the regular season. BG is 7-12-1 away from home, including a 3-1 mark in league play.
LUCKY SEVEN FOR TRIO:
Kent's Doug Straight and Ball State's Bryan Bullington joined Miami's Nate Tekavec as the MAC's only seven-game winners to date this season. Straight picked up his win in a 9-0 win at Akron, scattering seven hits and striking out five, while Bullington nabbed his in a 7-1 win at Northern Illinois. The freshman gave up three hits while fanning seven.