MAC Baseball East Division Player of the Week
Jason Kanzler, Buffalo
JR, OF, Penfield, NY (Penfield)
Kanzler continues to be a terror at the plate in the month of May, racking up another nine hits (including five extra-base hits) in leading the Bulls to its first-ever appearance in the Mid-American Conference tournament. Kanzler batted 9-20 (.450) with seven runs score, five RBI, three doubles and two home runs and now has a .418 batting average over the past 13 games. In the Tuesday doubleheader against St. Bonaventure, the junior had two doubles and a home run over the two games against the Bonnies. He followed that up with a 3-4 game Thursday in a must-win game for the Bulls against Bowling Green, scoring four times while setting the table for the offense. In Saturday's series-clinching win over the Falcons, he had a home run and three RBI as the Bulls edged out an 8-5 win. Thanks to his torrid May, Kanzler is now second on the team with a season average of .343, and despite his reputation as the offense's table-setter, he is slugging .565.
MAC Baseball East Division Pitcher of the Week
David Starn, Kent State
Sr., LHP, Hudson, Ohio (Walsh Jesuit)
Starn dominated on the mound Thursday (May 17) in a 6-1 win over Akron in the Sixth Annual Diamond Classic For Kids at Canal Park to improve to 8-3 on the season and 26-9 for his career, which ties him with Pat Bangston(1984-87) for the most pitching wins in program history. He fanned nine over six innings while giving up just one earned run on three hits and two walks. Kent State's career strikeouts leader, Starn improved his career strikeout total to 325 and helped the 2012 Mid-American Conference champion Golden Flashes (37-17, 24-3) close the regular season with its fourth straight conference series sweep and seventh of the season and match Kent State's 1992 championship team for the most MAC victories in a single season.
MAC Baseball West Division Player of the Week
Sean Godfrey, So., Ball State
OF, New Albany, Ind. (New Albany)
Sophomore outfielder Sean Godfrey led the Cardinals to their first sweep of the season taking all three games at Northern Illinois … Godfrey posted a torrid .667 batting average (10-of-15) on the weekend while driving in seven runs and scoring three runs … He posted three multiple-hit games with a career-high five hits Thursday, two hits Friday and three hits Saturday … He drove in a career-high four runs Thursday, including the game-winning run in the top of the 10th inning … He finished the year batting a team-high .431 in Mid-American Conference play while missing three weekends due to an injury.
MAC Baseball West Division Pitcher of the Week
Sean Renzi, Central Michigan
Fr., RHP, Plainfield, Ill. (Plainfield North)
Renzi was lights out coming out of the bullpen in the Chippewas' final week of regular season play, appearing in all four games. Renzi did not allow a run in his five appearances, finishing the week with five strike outs in 5.1 innings pitched. He did not allow a single hit in the three-game series versus rival Western Michigan and pitched a perfect inning of work in the series finale to earn his first collegiate win and clinch the No. 3 seed for the Maroon and Gold in the upcoming MAC Tournament.
Alex Loftin, Sr., Akron
RHP, Stow, Ohio (Stow Munroe Falls)
Loftin tossed an eight-inning complete game in Saturday's season finale, limiting Kent State to just two hits. Both KSU hits came in the fourth inning, one of which was a bloop double. Loftin was perfect in the first three innings and retired 13 in a row from the second out in the fourth until a two-out walk in the eighth. It was Loftin's second career game of the season.
Chris Marangon, Ball State
Jr., RHP, Maple Valley, Wash. (Edmunds CC)
Junior right-hander Chris Marangon led the Cardinals to a series sweep of Northern Illinois as he posted two victories on the weekend, one in relief Thursday afternoon and one in a start Friday … He becomes the first Cardinals’ pitcher since 2004 to record two victories in a weekend … He posted a 1.29 ERA in 7.0 innings of work on the weekend while going 2-0 … He pitched two scoreless innings of relief in Thursday’s 10-inning victory over the Huskies keeping them off the board in the ninth and 10th innings … He followed that up with 5.0 innings of one run baseball Friday to lead the Cardinals to a victory … He allowed just four hits in the start while striking out three batters.
Matt Malewitz, Bowling Green
Sr., LHP, Grand Rapids, Mich. (E. Grand Rapids)
In his final collegiate start, Malewitz spun a gem, going 8.1 innings for his fifth win of the season. The outing, which was the second longest of his career, was his longest of 2012. Malewitz allowed just three runs, while striking out six. Prior to a 9th inning walk, Malewitz set down 11 straight Buffalo hitters.
Patrick Lancaster, Bowling Green
So, OF, Woodhaven, Mich. (Gibraltar Carlson)
Lancaster peppered Buffalo's pitching staff all weekend long, piling up an 8-for-12 (.667) weekend. On Friday, Lancaster had two hits on Thursday afternoon, before going 4-for-5 in BGSU's win on Friday. On Saturday, Lancaster went 2-for-4 out of the leadoff spot, with an RBI and run scored.
Cameron Copping, Buffalo
SR, RHP, Temple City, CA (Pasadena CC)
In his last regular season start as a UB Bull, Cameron Copping made sure it would be memorable. The senior threw a complete shutout Thursday, limiting Bowling Green to just seven hits in a must-win game for the Bulls. The Temple City, CA native's 13th start was a lucky one for Buffalo, and with that start he moved into a tie with six other former UB pitchers for the most starts in a single season in team history. Copping also struck out four batters to move into third place on the season record list with 75 this season, and his team-high 90.2 total innings are now the second most for a single season in program history. He enduced three double plays, coming in the first, second, and eighth innings. To cap it all off, Copping did not allow a single walk, a welcome relief to the team after it had allowed 10 to St. Bonaventure in a loss on Tuesday.
Nate Theunissen, Central Michigan
Sr., 1B/DH, Mount Pleasant, Mich. (Mount Pleasant)
Theunissen continued to cement his name in the record books at CMU, all while helping the Chippewas clinch their fourth-straight MAC series and the No. 3 seed in next week's MAC Tournament. Theunissen batted .384 (5-for-13) over three-game set with the Broncos and hit his 26th career home run in Thursday's victory to move into the top 10 all-time in program history with 26 round trippers. His five hits on the weekend helped him move into second place all time with 251 career hits, just one shy of the program record of 252 set by Jim Geldhof.
Lee Longo, Eastern Michigan
So., IF, Mayfield, Ohio (Mayfield)
Longo paced the EMU offense with a 5-for-11 (.455) showing in three games against Toledo. He doubled in each of the first two games of the series and struck for his third homerun of the year in Saturday's finale. Longo has nine doubles on the year and has pushed his average back over the .300 mark to .309, which is second best on the team.
Neil Butara, Eastern Michigan
Jr., SP, Euclid, Ohio (St. Ignatius)
Butara (4-5) rebounded from a subpar performance last weekend with a quality start against Toledo. He fanned five UT batters and walked two while lowering his season ERA to 3.80. Butara gave the Eagles an incredible performance on the mound over seven innings in which he gave up just one earned run on three hits while taking a no-decision.
Jimmy Rider, Kent State
Sr., SS, Venetia, Pa. (Peters Township)
Rider, the Mid-American Conference's all-time hits king, increased his career base knocks total to 332 with six hits over four games last week – including a double and a home run – to go along with a team-high eight RBIs as Kent State went 4-0 to close the 2012 regular season and run its winning streak to 13 games. The 2012 Mid-American Conference champion Golden Flashes (37-17, 24-3) closed the regular season with its fourth straight conference series sweep and seventh of the season and matched Kent State's 1992 championship team for the most MAC victories in a single season. Rider helped the Flashes rally from a 7-2 deficit to defeat Eastern Michigan, 8-7, in a neutral site non-conference game Tuesday (May 15) at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio – the home of the 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament – by delivering a two-out, two-RBI double in the eighth inning to tie the contest at seven-all. He hit the second of back-to-back-to-back home runs in a nine-run sixth inning Saturday (May 18) against Akron as Kent State rolled to a 15-2 victory and its fifth straight MAC series win and eighth of season. Rider made yet another of his patented spectacular defensive plays to seal the 2-1 Sunday finale win over the Zips by keeping freshman shortstop Matt Rembielak's hit back up the middle on the infield to prevent Akron from scoring the tying run.
Mac Thoreson, Miami
Junior, RHP, Knoxville, Tenn.
Was Miami ‘s most effective pitcher, allowing two earned runs over 7.0 innings in a no-decision Saturday… did not walk a batter and struck out two… scattered 10 hits.
Max Andresen, Miami
Fr., Catcher, Granger, Ind.
Helped Miami to a 2-1 series win at Ohio, ensuring the RedHawks earned a berth in the 2012 MAC Tournament… batted .500 with six hits in 12 at-bats… two of his hits were for extra bases (doubles)… tied a career-high with three hits on Thursday, driving in a pair during a decisive three-run sixth… had a pair of hits and an RBI on Friday, then a two-run double in the first in the finale, giving Miami a lead it would not relinquish… walked once and scored once during the weekend… was perfect on 10 fielding chances.
Matt Delewski, Toledo
Senior, INF, Maple Heights, OH (Trinity H.S.)
Delewski hit a team-high .455 (5-for-11) with two runs scored and one RBI in four games last week, helping Toledo win three of the contests. Delewski hit safely in all four games and posted one multi-hit effort. The three-year letterwinner opened the week with a 1-for-1 effort at Big Ten member Ohio State on Tuesday, May 15. Two days later against Eastern Michigan in the series opener, Delewski went 1-for-5. The following afternoon, he hit 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI. The Maple Heights, OH native then wrapped up the week with a 1-for-1 effort to propel UT to a second consecutive series sweep and help them claim their first MAC West Division championship in school history. Delewski has now hit safely in 36 contests in 2012, including 13 multi-hit efforts.
Matt Kuna, Toledo
Sr., RHP, Griffith, IN (Griffith H.S.)
Kuna (7-1) worked a near flawless 7.0 innings in Toledo’s 5-2 victory against Eastern Michigan on Friday to earn his team-tying best seventh win of the spring. Kuna allowed only two hits with no walks and five strikeouts to give the Midnight Blue & Gold its first division championship since the MAC switched to divisions at the start of the 1998 campaign. The Griffith, IN native stymied the Eagles’ potent offense, retiring the opposition in order on three occasions and the most batters he faced in an inning was five in the third.
Vinnie Booker, Western Michigan
So., Clarkston, Mich. (Lake Orion)
Booker batted .538 in four games this past week, as Western Michigan went 2-2, picking up a win over Big Ten opponent Michigan and Central Michigan. Booker doubled twice and drove in two runs, while scoring four runs. He was 2-for-2 in stolen base attempts, boosting his overall season total to 17. The Broncos' 13-6 win over Michigan on Tuesday snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Wolverines and was the first against U-M since 2003. With WMU's win over Central Michigan, the Broncos secured the No. 5 seed in the MAC Tournament.
Steve Laudicina, Western Michigan
So., LHP, Sterling Heights, Mich. (DeLaSalle)
Laudicina earned his team-leading seventh win of the season and fifth during MAC play, as Western Michigan posted a 5-3 victory over Central Michigan on Friday. Laudicina hurled 6.2 innings, scattering seven hits and striking out four, while walking just one. Only two of the three runs against were earned. For the season, Laudicina has a 3.43 ERA.