KENT, Ohio – Kent State (9-13, 3-1) gave their first home crowd something to cheer for in a 6-2, come from behind victory over Ball State (11-11, 1-3) on Friday (Mar. 29).
The win was bolstered Taylor Williams' second complete game of the season and his fifth win in seven starts. Williams allowed just one earned run in the game, giving up seven hits, walking just one and striking out eight batters.
Ball State took a 2-0 lead into the seventh but the Golden Flashes capitalized with two outs, scoring all six runs the bottom of the inning.
It all started with a base hit by Sawyer Polen and a pinch-hit walk by Jason Bagoly. Polen and pinch-runner Troy Summers came in to tie the game on a double by Derek Toadvine. Toadvine then came in to score when Alex Miklos reached on an error. Bases became loaded after that with a single and a walk. T.J. Sutton then smacked a double to score all three.
Polen finished the day a perfect 4-for-4 while Toadvine went 3-for-2 with two RBI. Evan Campbell picked up two hits in the game and Sutton had a team-high three RBI.
The two teams will face off in a double-header on Saturday (Mar. 30) to finish out the three-game conference series. There will be no game on Sunday due to impending weather. Game time for Saturday remains at 1:00 pm.
Bowling Green 1, Central Michigan 0
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich.—Redemption was sweet for Cody Apthorpe and the Bowling Green State University baseball team on Friday afternoon, as they defeated Central Michigan 1-0. Apthorpe—who was knocked out for the season when a live drive, against CMU, broke his forearm in 2012—went 7.2 innings, picking up the win. For the Falcons, their redemption came on the heels of being swept to start MAC play a week ago versus Western Michigan. With the win, the Falcons improve to 5-15 (1-3 MAC) on the season, snapping a six-game losing streak along the way.
The victory by Apthorpe marks the first time that a Falcon starting pitcher has picked up a win this season, as weekend starters entered Friday with a combined 0-11 record. Friday was also the third time that Apthorpe has not allowed an earned run in a start this season.
Both teams collected just five hits on the afternoon, as Apthorpe also struck out two batters in his 7.1 innings pitched.
Both offenses were silenced during the first two innings of action Friday, but Apthorpe would have to work out of a jam in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded and two outs, Apthorpe picked off the Chippewa base runner to end the threat and keep the game scoreless.
The Falcons would use the momentum from the pickoff in the top of the fourth, as Brian Bien led off the inning with an infield single. After the next two Falcons failed to move him over, Bien would steal second base to move into scoring position. Andrew Kubuski would then double to left center, scoring Bien, to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead.
Following two singles in the fourth, Apthorpe would proceed to retire 11 straight CMU hitters. With one out in the eightth, the Chippewas would get a single and a walk, and the Falcons would make the call to the bullpen for senior closer Nick Bruns.
Bruns would strand the bases loaded in the eighth, holding on to the 1-0 lead he had been given.
In the ninth, he would strike out the first two batters, before closing the door with a fly out to end the game.
With the win, Apthorpe improves to 1-2 on the season, while Bruns converted his second save of the season.
The Falcons handed CMU starter Jordan Foley his first loss of the season on Friday, as he allowed one earned run in 7.2 innings of work.
Bowling Green and Central Michigan will wrap up their series tomorrow afternoon with a doubleheader, beginning at 12:35 p.m. Mike Frank and Trevor Blaylock are expected to start the two contests for the Orange and Brown.
Buffalo 10, Western Michgian 3
KALAMAZOO, MI - It was a good Friday indeed for the Buffalo baseball team, as it overcame a two-run deficit in the first inning to win 10-3 over the Western Michigan Broncos (8-16, 3-1 MAC). The Bulls (13-11, 3-1 MAC) relied on a station-to-station offense with only one hit for extra bases, but had four players with multi-hit games.
The game started on an ominous note for the Bulls, as the Broncos used its team speed to manufacture a pair of runs. The Buffalo offense, meanwhile, started slow, with the first 10 batters being retired before a walk to Jason Kanzler in the top of the fourth. After starting the game 1-13, though, the Bulls finished 11-26 (.423) at the plate from that point on.
In the top of the fifth, Thomas Richards hit a one-out single and came around to third via a passed ball and a fly out to deep center field. Mike Scarcello would drive him in on a surprise bunt single that caught the Western defense off guard, halving the home team's lead at 2-1.
The big inning would come in the sixth, as the Bulls used five hits and two free passes to generate six runs and blow the game wide open. Alex Baldock hit a one-out double to right field to start things out, and a hit batter and walk would load the bases and chase WMU's starter from the game. The Bulls' second out would come on a fielder's choice that snared Baldock at home, but the double play would not be turned by the infield and the inning would continue.
Richards drew a walk that would score a run, and Kyle Figgins would give the Bulls a 4-2 lead with a single straight up the middle that would score two more. Scarcello would add another infield single to load the bases back up again, and Jimmy Topps would join the hit parade with another single back through the heart of the infield. Kanzler, in his second at-bat of the inning, would fair better the second time around, singling to left field to score the fifth and sixth runs of the inning.
The run support was welcome for UB starter Mike McGee, but not necessary, as the sophomore left-hander was able to pitch around control issues and limit the Bronco offense to just the two first-inning runs. Though he walked five in his 6.1 innings, he allowed just three hits.
River McWilliams was solid in relief, coming into a jam in the bottom of the seventh with two runners on and just one out. He would close out the game with 2.2 innings out of the bullpen, allowing just two hits and working around three errors committed by the UB defense over the final third of the game.
Meanwhile, the Bulls kept chugging offensively, adding a run in the eighth and two more in the ninth. Scarcello found his way on base again in the eighth, getting hit by a pitch. He moved all the way around to third after a balk and wild pitch, and Topps would bring him in on a groundout to the right side of the infield. In the ninth, Baldock and Tyler Mautner would get on base to start the inning, and back-to-back single by Jon Mestas and Richards would bring each of them home.
The bottom of the lineup was the fuel for the UB offense all day, with the sixth through nine hitters combining to go 7-18 with six runs batted in between them. Mautner, Mestas, Richards, and Scarcello each had a pair of hits.
Due to poor weather in the forecast the series will come to a close tomorrow, with a doubleheader starting at noon. Anthony Magovney will start game one, and Mike Burke will close out the series in game two.
Toledo 10, Miami 2
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo opened its home slate with an impressive 10-2 triumph over Miami on Friday in Mid-American Conference action at Mercy Field. With the win, the Rockets improve to 10-12 overall, 3-1 in the league.
Senior LHP Kyle Shaw (3-3) was outstanding over the opening 8.0 innings to earn his team-high third win of the spring, allowing two runs (all earned) on nine hits with three strikeouts. Shaw has now worked 8.0 frames in each of his last two starts. The LaGrange, OH native did a good job with his off-speed pitch and induced three double plays to help UT claim its third win in its last four games.
Offensively, junior LF Tyler Grogg (3-for-5, 2 RS, RBI) paced the Midnight Blue & Gold with a game-high three hits. The MAC’s leading hitter, Grogg has now hit safely in 16 of 17 games this spring with eight multi-hit efforts.
Senior 1B Matt Delewski (2-for-5, 2 RS, 2 RBI) and junior RF Jacob North (2-for-3, 2 RS) also tallied two hits each against a pair of Miami (10-11, 3-1 MAC) hurlers.
The Rockets opened the scoring with a two-out RBI single off the bat of Delewski in the third inning.
Miami countered with a two-out run-scoring double by Chad Sedio to knot the score at 1-1 in the fifth frame.
UT recaptured the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth on the strength of a RBI single by Grogg and a two-run triple by senior CF Ben Hammer (1-for-3, RS, 2 RBI). The Midnight Blue & Gold sent seven batters to the plate and benefitted from two hits, one hit by pitch and one walk to secure a three-run margin.
Toledo added to its advantage with one run in the sixth frame on a two-out fielding error by the Miami infield to make the difference 5-1. North started the rally with a two-out single and stolen base to get himself into scoring position. Sophomore SS Nate Langhals (1-for-3, RS) followed with a routine ground ball up the middle that RedHawks’ shortstop Scott Slappey could not handle, allowing North to make his way home and score the team’s fifth tally.
The Midnight Blue & Gold continued to put up good at-bats in the seventh inning, registering four runs to end the afternoon for Miami starter Brooks Fiala (3-3). Toledo nearly batted around in the frame against a pair of MU hurlers and pounded out three hits to build an insurmountable margin, 9-1. The quartet of Delewski, junior C James Miglin (0-for-3, RBI), sophomore DH Anthony Smith (0-for-5, RS, RBI) and junior 3B Wes White (0-for-4, RBI) were credited with RBI in the at-bat.
The teams then traded runs in the eighth frame to make the final score 10-2.
Miami’s Fiala was saddled with the loss, yielding nine runs (seven earned) on seven hits with three punchouts in 6.0 innings. Matt Honchel (2-for-4, RS) and Scott Slappey (2-for-3) paced the visitors with two hits each.
The Rockets and RedHawks will continue their three-game series tomorrow with a 1:05 p.m. first pitch from Mercy Field. Freshman RHP Kyle Slack (1-2, 5.01 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for Toledo.
Northern Illinois 4, Akron 3
AVON, Ohio – In call and response fashion at All Pro Freight Stadium, the Northern Illinois baseball team (6-17, 2-2 MAC) defeated Akron (4-18, 2-2 MAC) with two runs in the top of the ninth to give the Huskies a 4-3 victory. Junior Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo./Kearney) finished 4-for-4 with two runs and a walk in the game.
“I was glad we won that ball game today, otherwise what little gray hair I have might have been a lot grayer,” said Head Coach Ed Mathey after the game, “We hung tight and battled and Jordan pitched well enough to win the game. It’s just unfortunate we couldn’t get him the victory today. Our defense did a good job of limiting the damage in the game and it proved vital.”
The Huskies were the first team on the board led by Tommy Hook (Lockport/Lockport Township) reaching base on an error and a single by Klonowski to centerfield to put two runners on with one out.
With a cloudless sky and gusty winds off Interstate-90, cleanup hitter Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park/Andrew) hit a hanging line drive to left centerfield. The centerfielder went for the ball on a dive and was unable to come up with it which brought Hook and Klonowski home, and Zimmerman to third for his second triple of the season to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
Akron followed suit in the bottom of the first inning, scoring one run to make it a 2-1 ball game.
In the following seven innings, the Huskies had no trouble getting runners on but were unable to bring the runners home, stranding 13 runners on base, including bases loaded in the third inning.
“As I’ve said before, it’s a good news bad news situation. Good news is we’re getting guys on base, bad news is we’re not scoring them. The positive said of today was the guys came through when it really mattered in the game. The gods of baseball should not allow winning runs to come across from a walk and a hit by pitch but we’ve been on the other side of that as well. That’s baseball. Chris’ RBI single proved be crucial when it looked to be just insurance at the time.”
Jordan Ruckman (Kankakee/Hershcer) finished his afternoon with a career-high 7.2 innings pitched, two runs allowed, along with four strikeouts and two walks in the game. Evenly distributed, Ruckman forced nine groundouts and nine popouts in the game.
With Anthony Andres (Western Spring/St. Rita) entering the game for Ruckman in the bottom of the eighth with a runner on second, batter Matt LaRocca recorded an infield single on a hit and run to score baserunner Joey Havrilak and tie the game, 2-2. The no decision was Ruckman’s third in his last four starts.
The Huskies came out in the ninth inning with a purpose, swinging the bats and taking the freebies by the Zips pitching staff to score runs and break the deadlock.
Klonowski walked to lead off the inning and Zimmerman reached on a hit by pitch to put runners on first and second. Brian Sisler (DeKalb) sacrificed the runners ahead one base for the first out of the inning and Landon Tenhagen (Burlington, Wis./Madison Area TC) hit a sacrifice fly to center field to break the tie, 3-2. Northern Illinois scored its final run of the game on a bloop single by Chris Divarco (Long Grove/Carmel Catholic) to score Zimmerman and give NIU a 4-2 lead.
Andres stayed on the mound in the ninth to finish the game for the Huskies and recorded the first two outs before an error by Tenhagen allowed Gerrad Rohan to reach third and put the Zips in scoring position. Sheltrown brought Rohan home to make a 4-3 game but Andres made Havrilak chase low and outside on an 0-2 pitch to solidify the Huskies victory, 4-3.
Klonowski and Zimmerman combined 7-for-8 (.875) with two RBI, a triple, a walk and a hit pitch in the game, leading to an on base percentage of .900 in the contest. Divarco finished 2-for-4 with a double off the left field wall and the game-winning RBI. Andres earned his first win of the season after his 1.1 innings pitched.
The Huskies and Zips will continue their series tomorrow afternoon, with first pitch slated at 3:30 p.m.
Ohio 5, Eastern Michigan 3
YPSILANTI, Mich. - The Ohio University baseball team (5-19) worked overtime Friday afternoon to defeat the Eastern Michigan University Eagles (10-14; 0-4 MAC) 5-3 in 12 innings at Oestrike Stadium. With the win, Ohio pulled even at 2-2 in Mid-American Conference action.
Ohio's extra inning affair with Eastern Michigan marked the first time the Bobcats had gone beyond nine innings in a game this season. It also marked Ohio's first extra-inning victory since March 3, 2012. In that contest, the Bobcats defeated Davidson 7-6 in 10 innings.
"This was one of the best games we've played all year," said head coach Rob Smith. "We've had some games similar to ones like this and we weren't able to finish, so it was nice to see us close it out."
Offensively for Ohio, no player had more than one hit as the Bobcats tallied seven hits. Senior Dan Schmidt (Lynnwood, Wash.) was one of the seven Ohio players, who recorded a hit on Friday as he extended his team and season-best hitting streak to 11 games. Schmidt also drove in his 14th RBI on the year to help pace the Bobcats.
Senior Ben Otto (Menomonie, Wis.) also chipped offensively as he scored a pair of runs, collected a hit and tallied an RBI.
Junior Sean Kennedy (Columbus, Ohio) picked up the win for the Bobcats as he earned his team-best third win on the year. Kennedy worked 2.2 innings as he came on in the bottom half of the 10th inning.
Ohio freshman right-hander Jake Miller (Westerville, Ohio) started the game for the Bobcats, but did not figure into the decision. In 5.0 innings of work, Miller struck out five allowed one earned run and limited the Eagles to just three hits.
"Jake was very efficient today," Smith said. "He only threw 66 pitches and he really helped set things up for us down the stretch of today's game."
Defensively, the Bobcats did not make any errors on the afternoon, while the Eagles committed four.
The Bobcats jumped out to the early 2-0 lead as it plated two runs in the top half of the first inning. Eastern Michigan cut the lead in half in the fifth as it scored one run. The Eagles would go on to tie the game in the sixth with another run.
In the seventh, Ohio reclaimed the lead thanks to an RBI single into right field by senior J.R. Reynolds (Cincinnati, Ohio), which plated Otto from third. The Eagles fought back with a run of their own in the eighth to even the score at three. EMU's Daniel Russell led off the inning with a triple and would come into score one batter later.
Both teams would remain scoreless for the next three innings until the 12th when the Bobcats would reclaim the lead thanks to a pair of runs.
Freshman Nate Squires (Plain City, Ohio) got on base to lead off the inning after he was hit by a pitch. He would then advance to second on a wild pitch. Squires came into score from second after Otto reached base on a throwing error. On the throwing error, Otto hustled past second and into third.
Freshman Alex Corna (Cincinnati, Ohio) came up next and singled into right center field, which plated Otto from third to give the Bobcats an insurance run to make the count 5-3.
In the bottom half of the inning, Ohio retired the Eagles in order to secure the win.
The Bobcats return to action tomorrow afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m. Ohio's matchup with Eastern Michigan can be heard live on WOUB 1340 am with "Voice of the Bobcats" Russ Eisenstein calling the action.