Friday's MAC Baseball Results

Updated 4/20/2013

 

Friday's MAC Baseball Results
Miami 1, Ball State 0
Ohio 5, Northern Illinois 4
Eastern Michigan 7, Western Michigan 1
 
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
 
Miami 1, Ball State 0
OXFORD, Ohio -- Miami senior Brooks Fiala struck out 12, one shy of his career high over eight innings and Ryan Powers worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his third save as the RedHawks outlasted Ball State 1-0 Friday night at McKie Field.
 
Miami's only run came in the fifth when Dan Walsh singled, took third on back-to-back balks and scored on a one-out groundout by Matt Honchel.
 
Fiala (5-4) allowed the first Ball State hitter to reach third after a leadoff single, but then retired the next 11 hitters. After a two-out single in the fourth, he struck out five straight before another single in the sixth. The Cardinals also infield singles in the seventh and eighth, but both runners were thrown out trying to steal.
 
Powers gave up a leadoff single in the ninth before a fielder's choice for the first out. After another single and flyout and error by shortstop Scott Slappey loaded the bases. But Powers got pinch hitter Tyler Curry to hit a grounder to third for the final out.
 
Scott Baker suffered his first loss of the season after an 8-0 start despite pitching a complete game. He struck out eight and allowed just five hits.
 
Honchel, Walsh, Slappey, Kevin Bower and Alex Johnson had hits for Miami. Wes Winkle had three of Ball State's seven singles.
 
The win was the third straight for Miami, which snapped a four-game Mid-American Conference losing streak to improve to 17-18, 8-5. Ball State is now 16-18, 5-8.
 
The two teams meet against tomorrow with first pitch slated for 3 p.m. at McKie Field.
 
Ohio 5, Northern Illinois 4
ATHENS, Ohio – Sophomore catcher Cody Gaernter went 2-for-4 with three RBI to lead the Ohio University baseball team (9-26; 5-8 MAC) past Northern Illinois 5-4 Friday evening at Bob Wren Stadium in the first of a three-game series.
 
Freshman right hander Jake Miller (Westerville, Ohio) improved his record to 2-4 on the season with the win, putting in 6.2 innings of work on the mound while allowing four runs on seven hits.
 
Senior Brett Barber recorded his first save of the season. The right hander from Hurricane, W. Va. pitched the final 2.1 innings and did not allow a single hit while striking out two.
 
Northern Illinois’ Jordan Ruckman took the loss on the evening, falling to 1-6 on the season. Ruckman went 5.1 innings while allowing five runs on six hits. Ben Neumann, Kevin Sweeney and Jon Savarise also saw time on the mound for the Huskies.
 
Offensively, sophomore Jake Madsen (Cincinnati, Ohio) went 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI while junior Kyle Dean (Athens, Ohio) chipped in with two hits. Freshman Nate Squires (Plain City, Ohio) chipped in with a hit as senior Ben Otto (Menomonie, Wisc.) also chipped in with an RBI.
 
Despite not recording a hit, freshman Nick Squires (Plain City, Ohio) reached based three separate times after he was hit-by-a-pitch each time.
 
Northern Illinois scored two runs in the top of third to take a 2-0 lead. Jamison Wells singled up the middle to bring in Nate Ruzich. In the next at-bat, Tommy Hook doubled to right field to bring in Wells.
 
Ohio tied things up in the ensuing inning thanks to Gaertner’s home run over the right centerfield field wall. The catcher’s home run was his first of the season.
 
The Bobcats took a one run lead in the top of the fourth, 3-2. With the bases loaded, Otto’s sac-fly brought in senior Dan Schmidt (Lynnwood, Wash.) after he advanced to third off an infield bunt by Dean.
 
In the top of the sixth, Ruzich singled to left field to bring in Landon Tenhagen to bring the game to a 3-3 tie.
 
With the bases loaded for the second time of the day, the Bobcats retook the lead scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth as Gaertner and Madsen both drove in runs to increase Ohio’s advantage to two at 5-3.
 
The Huskies would score one more run in the seventh to cut the lead to one, 5-4, but they would get no closer as Barber shut NIU out in the eighth and ninth innings, leading to the save.
 
Game two of tomorrow’s three-game set begins at 3 p.m. inside Bob Wren Stadium.
 
Eastern Michigan 7, Western Michigan 1
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University baseball team topped Western Michigan University, 7-1, behind a two-hitter from Brian Hill (5-1) Friday afternoon, April 19, at Oestrike Stadium. Hill lost a no-hit bid with one out in the ninth inning, but still earned his first complete game at EMU and fourth-straight win.
 
The senior lefty recorded the first out in the ninth on a lineout to centerfield. Andrew Sohn then swung at the first pitch he saw and lined it to left field for a base hit. Sohn ended up scoring later in the inning, but the run was unearned. Hill threw 127 pitches and gave up just two ninth-inning knocks to go along with four strikeouts and a trio of walks.
 
Hill's two-hitter was the first for an EMU pitcher since Steve Weber did the same in a 2-1 loss to Miami University at the Mid-American Conference tournament, May 24, 2012.
 
The Eagles (16-18; 6-7 MAC) were shut down by Steve Laudicina (2-8) through four innings until Mitchell McGeein (2-for-4) came through with an RBI single for the first hit of the game. The wheels came off for the Broncos' (12-24; 5-8 MAC) pitching staff from that point on as EMU scored two runs in each of its final three innings.
 
Friday's win was the first series-opening victory for the Eagles in MAC play. Marquise Gill smacked his first-career triple on a 1-for-3 afternoon, while McGeein played long ball for the fourth time this season with a two-run jack in the eighth. Adam Sonabend (1-for-3) and Sam Ott (1-for-3) also connected for an RBI apiece. 
 
For the Broncos, Sohn finished 1-for-3 and Hunter Prince was 1-for-4 with an RBI.
 
Both pitchers sailed through the first four innings, allowing just a walk apiece. In the bottom of the fourth, the Eagles nearly broke through for the first hit of the game, but the WMU defense came up with big plays on both occasions. John Rubino hit a fly ball to the right-field warning track, where Kujawa battled swirling winds to make an over-the-shoulder catch. Ott was then the victim of a fine play by shortstop Sohn, who spun around and threw a strike over to first base for the putout.
 
In the fifth, Brandon Cable walked and Patrick Duncan reached on a throwing error by Jamie Simpson to put two aboard with one out. Hill escaped unscathed with a weak fly out and a foul out.  Sonabend walked to lead off the EMU half of the fifth and Simpson sacrifice bunted him into scoring position. With two gone, McGeein delivered the first hit of the game—a double off the left-field wall— and scored Sonabend for a 1-0 EMU lead.
 
Save for a hit batsman, Hill kept his no-hit bid in tact in the sixth.  The Green and White benefited from a pair of unearned tallies in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-0 lead. Rubino singled to short and took second on a throwing error. After advancing on a wild pitch, the EMU shortstop scored on a sharp single by Sonabend. Sonabend also crossed the plate on a throwing error by WMU catcher Brett Sunde. Sundae's throw down to second base was arrant as Simpson stole his team-leading eighth base of the year.
 
It became a 5-0 affair in the bottom of the seventh. Gill scored on a wild pitch and an Ott RBI single plated Austin Wilson.
 
Gill came up with a solid defensive play to make the second out in the eighth inning. Vinnie Booker grounded a ball just to the right side of second base. Gill threw off balance over to McGeein at first to retire Booker by a half step. Hill punched out Steve Bugilone for the final out of the inning and walked into the dugout just three defensive outs away from the no-hitter.
 
In the bottom of the eighth, McGeein added a pair of insurance runs with one mighty swing of the bat. The freshman's fourth homer of the season drove in Bowden as well.
 
It all came down to the top of the ninth, where Hill recorded the first out on a hard-hit ball by Theo Piccirilli that was hit right at Wilson in centerfield. Sohn swung at the first pitch and lined it to left field. The ball dropped in front of Bowden, who misplayed it and allowed Sohn to scoot over to third. The no-hitter was officially broken up and the Broncos would tack on an unearned run before Hill closed the book on what was still a terrific complete-game outing.
 
Game two of this three-game series is slated for Saturday, April 20, at 3 p.m.