Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Central Michigan 18, Akron 8
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Central Michigan pounded out a season-high 23 hits and every starter scored at least one run Sunday afternoon to earn a much needed Mid-American Conference win over Akron, 18-8.
Sophomores Nick Regnier (4-for-4), Cody Leichman (4-for-6) and Pat MacKenzie (4-for-5) combined to go 12-for-15 in the game with 10 RBI and senior Jordan Adams drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double to help senior Rick Dodridge earn his third win of the season on Senior Day.
After falling behind in the top of the first, 1-0, senior Tom Lally extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an infield single and came around stress free when Regnier drilled his fifth home run of the season to left field in the bottom of the frame to give the Chippewas (23-27, 10-14 MAC) the lead, 2-1.
Redshirt freshman Neal Jacobs led off the second inning with a triple down the right field line and scored on a sac fly by MacKenzie to extend the lead to 3-1, but the Zips (15-33, 10-13 MAC) were able to even the game in the top of the third, 3-3.
Leichman quickly swung the momentum back in the Chippewas' favor in the bottom of the third however, leading off the frame with a solo home run off the flag pole in left center that sparked a seven-run inning.
Jacobs followed with a single and advanced to third on a passed ball and wild pitch before scoring on a MacKenzie double and sophomore Joe Houlihan reached on an error allowing MacKenzie to score from second.
Regnier walked later in the inning with the bases loaded to score Houlihan from third and after an Akron pitching change, Adams cleared the bases on a 2-2 pitch that he sent off the wall in centerfield for a 10-3 lead.
The Chippewas weren't done as they came right back in the next inning with another seven-run frame to take a 17-3 lead.
Jacobs again reached to lead off the inning with a walk and stole second before scoring on a MacKenzie double to start the scoring barrage. A bunt single by Houlihan put runners on the corners which allowed Lally to drive in a run on a sacrifice fly. Nick Regnier scored Houlihan with a single to centerfield and Leichman later drove in Regnier with a single of his own to left center.
Adams scored on a passed ball later in the inning before Jacobs came up with his second extra-base hit of the day, a double to left center, to score sophomore Tyler Huntey and Leichman for the 17-3 advantage.
The Maroon and Gold capped their scoring in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI single by MacKenzie that plated Leichman.
Freshman Jimmy McNamara pitched the final four innings of the contest for the Chippewas and earned his first career saved, giving up a pair of runs - one earned - on seven hits while striking out two.
The Chippewas have just three regular season MAC games remaining at Western Michigan next weekend and will look to secure their 11th straight trip to the MAC Tournament in Avon, Ohio May 22-25.
CMU is back in action Tuesday afternoon versus Michigan State where it will resume play from the Clash at Comerica before playing the final game of the three-game regular season series versus the Spartans. First pitch for the resumed game will take place at 1:05 p.m. and the second game will begin approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first contest.
Eastern Michigan 12, Northern Illinois 7
DeKALB, Ill. – Northern Illinois (21-28, 15-9 MAC) dropped game three of its series to Eastern Michigan (24-26, 11-13 MAC) Sunday as the Huskies fell to the Eagles, 12-7. Five of NIU’s batters collected multiple hits in the game while Nate Ruzich (Joliet/South Suburban College) and Brian Sisler (DeKalb/DeKalb) collected two RBI apiece.
NIU is now two games ahead of Ball State in Mid-American Conference’s West Division with three conference games remaining at BSU for the division championship.
The Huskies celebrated Senior Day prior to the game, honoring seniors Zach Badgley (McHenry/McHenry), Connor Duckhorn (Darien/Cowley County CC), Jacob Goldenberg (Syracuse, Ind./Wabash Valley) and Jamison Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly), all of whom made an impact in today’s game.
“Today was a similar story as yesterday, Eastern Michigan swung the bats well and they kept moving the ball around, they worked the whole field today as hitters with a good approach,” said Head Coach Ed Mathey. “The big thing for me is we have to limit the big innings, we had three of them yesterday, we had 1.5 today and it’s a situation that we need to improve upon. 17 and 12 runs are hard to overcome today. We swung the bats yesterday and today, we swung well enough to win some games but not when you can’t get some outs.”
EMU scored the first runs of the game in the second inning when it scored on three hits in the inning, led by a two run single up the middle by Nick Rotola to take a 2-0 lead. Northern Illinois responded in the bottom half of the frame when Micah McCulloch (Rochelle/Rochelle Township) doubled to leadoff the inning.
After a walk by Duckhorn put the tying run on first, the Huskies recorded to two-straight outs, but Sisler took a 2-0 pitch to the wall in right centerfield to tie the game with his bases clearing triple, 2-2.
The Huskies took the lead in the bottom of the fourth with two more runs to take a 4-2 lead on RBI singles by McCulloch and Ruzich, but the Eagles responded in the top of the fifth with three runs to take a 5-4 lead. As with the spirit of the weekend as a whole, NIU tied it up in the bottom of the fourth as Tommy Hook (Lockport/Lockport Township) drove in Sisler on a ground ball to third base to make it 5-5.
The Eagles would take the final lead of the game in the top of the sixth however as it scored six runs in the frame, three of which came from a Lee Longo homerun over the left field fence, making it an 11-5 EMU lead.
Northern Illinois changed its approach in the seventh, recording two hits on the first pitch in the first three at-bats, including one by Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park/Andrew) to score Hook from second. The Huskies added one more run in the bottom of the ninth as Ruzich hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo./Kearney) and put NIU within five at game’s end, 12-7.
NIU will return to action Tuesday for a pair of seven inning games at UW-Milwaukee May 14. First pitch at Henry Aaron Field is set for 3 p.m.
The Huskies will then close the regular season May 16-18 at Ball State with the MAC West Division Championship on the line.
Buffalo 12, Miami 0
OXFORD, OH - The Buffalo baseball team rode the hot bat of senior Jason Kanzler to its eighth straight Mid-American Conference series victory Sunday afternoon, beating Miami (OH) (23-27, 12-12 MAC), 12-0. Kanzler drove in five runs and Mike Burke threw seven shutout innings to help the Bulls (29-20, 17-6 MAC) carry its overall lead in the MAC standings into the final series of the regular season.
Buffalo's senior centerfielder enjoyed one of his best overall weeks of the season, capped off with a 2-4 performance on Sunday that included a three-run home run in the top of the third that would ultimately be all the team would need. The opposite-field drive would bring home Mike Scarcello and Tyler Mautner. It was his tenth of the season, making him just the seventh player in program history to hit ten or more in a single season, and it was the 19th of his illustrious career, pushing him past Matt Pollock for fifth place in the record book.
He also added his fifth steal of the week, his 19th swipe of the season. It puts him in third in career steals, but moved him past Brad Agustin for the post-reinstatement record for stolen bases in a single season.
For the series, Kanzler batted .538 with seven hits and six RBI against the Redhawks, and he was one of three UB hitters to bat over .400 in the series. Mike Scarcello continued his torrid late-Spring stretch with six hits and three RBI in the three games, and Mike Burke also continued to snap out of an early season slump with a .444 batting average at the plate and another standout performance on the mound.
Burke set plenty of his own records on Sunday, as he picked up his seventh win of the season, tied for the second most by any UB pitcher and it sets the post-reinstatement-era record of six that was held by four different Bulls. He also continues to climb the regular season and career record lists in strikeouts and innings pitched along with wins and starts.
He was sharp again Sunday, allowing five hits - all singles - and no walks to a Miami offense that had put up 13 runs less than 18 hours earlier. Only one Redhawk found himself on second base all game, after moving over on a groundout, but Burke would not allow more than one hit in any inning and held Miami to a combined batting average of .185 while striking out five. River McWilliams closed out the final two innings as sucinct as he possibly could, facing six batters and retiring them all in order on 23 pitches.
Offensively, four batters had multi-hit games on Sunday, with Mautner leading all batters with three hits. Kyle Figgins, Kanzler and Scarcello all had two hits in the game, and Jon Mestas drew three walks and scored two runs. After batting .345 as a team in the Miami series, Buffalo's offense raised its season batting average from .269 to .274, and its MAC batting average from .275 to .286.
The team's dream season will come to a close with its final five regular season games this upcoming week. In the balance, hangs a regular-season title which will likely come down to the final day as the Bulls battle Kent State for the MAC East division and overall race for the top seed in the upcoming MAC tournament. After closing out the home season Tuesday with a doubleheader against St. Bonaventure, the team will hit the road for one final conference weekend. It will not come easy, as rival Bowling Green stands in the way. The Falcons are in a bitter contest for seeding in the tournament, and have won two straight weekend series.
Fans are encouraged to come out and support the Bulls in its final home game of the 2013 season on Tuesday, as the Bulls face the Bonnies at noon for the first of two seven-inning games.
Kent State 4, Western Michigan 1
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Kent State (30-21, 17-7) completed the series sweep on the road at Western Michigan (15-35, 7-17) after a 4-1 Sunday victory.
The win was bolstered by a trio of Kent State hurlers that allowed just one run and six hits and did not walk a batter while striking out four. Casey Wilson earned the win in the start, going 6.2 innings. Eric Dorsch followed him with an inning of one-hit, two strikeout work. Brian Clark earned his eighth save of the season by picking up the last four outs of the game. Clark got two fly outs on two pitches and then struck out his third opponent on three pitches before getting a ground out to end the game.
"Casey Wilson was great on the mound," said head coach Scott Stricklin. "Eric Dorsch and Brian Clark came out of the 'pen and shut the door. When you pitch and play defense, you're going to win a lot of games. We had to manufacture runs, but we found ways."
The Golden Flashes' first three runs all came on sacrifice flies. In the third, Derek Toadvine led off the inning with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Evan Campbell. Campbell scored the team's second run in the sixth after he walked, stole second and came in on a sacrifice to center field off the bat of Alex Miklos. Campbell also plated the third run of the game, doubling in the eighth and scoring on a Tommy Monnot sacrifice. Miklos scored the team's final run after reaching on a base hit and coming home on a Zarley Zalewski single.
"We did a really good job today," Stricklin said. "Hits were tough to come by, [Western Michigan] did a good job on the mound."
Western Michigan's lone run came on three singles in the seventh.
Campbell finished the day 2-for-2 with two runs scored, a RBI, stolen base, sacrifice and two walks. Both his hits were for extra-bases as he hit a double and a triple. Zalewski also had two hits, going 2-for-4 with a RBI.
Kent State has now recorded at least 30 wins a season for 15 consecutive years, dating back to 1998. They remain in second place in the Mid-American Conference close behind Buffalo who also won on Sunday.
"Consistency," said Stricklin on reaching the 30 win mark for the 15th straight time. "That's the thing we've been preaching for a long time here is trying to be consistent in what we do and how we do it. I'm proud of this team and the way they've bounced back. We've put ourselves right in the hunt to win another championship."
That hunt will continue on Tuesday as the Golden Flashes travel to a nationally ranked Pittsburgh team for a 6:00pm game.
Conference play then wraps up against rival Akron on Thursday-Saturday. Thursday is the annual Diamond Classic for Kids, a charity game benefitting the Akron Children's Hospital played at Canal Park at 6:30pm. Friday and Saturday's games will be at Akron's home field both beginning at 1:00pm. If Kent State wins the series, they will clinch the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge for the second year, remaining unbeaten in the all-sport rivalry competition.
"This weekend we're going to be playing for a championship," Stricklin said, "so we've got to come ready to play on Tuesday in Pittsburgh and play against the Zips this weekend."
Bowling Green 16, Ohio 2
ATHENS, Ohio—The Bowling Green State University baseball team scored a season-high 16 runs on Sunday, routing the Ohio Bobcats 16-2 in the series finale. With the win, the Falcons improve to 18-26 on the season, while also moving to 12-12 in Mid-American Conference play.
The Falcons got huge production from their two, three, and four hitters, as Andrew Kubuski (2), Jeremy Shay (6), and T.J. Losby (4) combined for 12 RBI on the afternoon. The first four batters in the Bowling Green lineup combined for 11 of the 17 hits, as Brian Bien added a 3-for-6 afternoon while scoring four runs.
The Bobcats scored first on Sunday afternoon, getting two-out production to grab an early 1-0 lead in the second inning.
The Orange and Brown would use some wildness by Ohio starter Sean Kennedy in the third inning, as he would hit a batter and walk three more. With Shay’s walk—the fourth free pass issued by Kennedy in the third—the Falcons tied the game at one. With the bases loaded, Losby would send a message that you can’t give the Falcons free bases, banging a bases-clearing double to center field, catapulting the Falcons to a 4-1 lead in the third inning.
In the top of the fourth, the Falcons would extend their lead to 5-1, as Nick Glanzman delivered an RBI single.
Receiving his first career start on Sunday afternoon, Jason Link would go four innings. He was credited with the win, as the start was predetermined as a short start. Ben Singer also went four innings, shutting the Bobcats down. At the time that Singer came into the game, the Falcons led just 5-1. When Singer finally exited the game, the Orange and Brown had extended the margin to 16-1.
The Falcons’ offense exploded over the final four innings, scoring 11 runs during three different innings. In the sixth and eighth innings, Bowling Green would tack on three runs, while crossing the plate for five runs in the ninth.
With two outs in the sixth, Kubuski and Shay would deliver back-to-back RBI doubles to push the Falcons out to an 8-1 lead.
In the eighth, Shay would continue his six-RBI day, destroying a pitch from the Ohio hurler for a three-run home run. Bien and Kubuski had singled in advance of Shay’s bomb. Shay’s six RBI on Sunday marks the first time in 2013 that a Bowling Green batter has had five or more RBI in one game.
In the top of the ninth, the Falcons would pour it on, scoring five times in the frame. The ninth inning would begin with two straight Bowling Green batters being retired. The Orange and Brown would follow with five hits and an error to score five, two-out runs in the inning.
The Bobcats would tack on a harmless run on in the bottom of the ninth inning, before Trevor Blaylock finished the game off.
Sunday’s win was the 12th conference victory for the Falcons in 2013, their most in the MAC since winning 19 in 2010. The series win over Ohio also marked the fifth series that the Falcons have claimed in MAC play. Last season, Bowling Green won just three MAC series’ all year long.
The Falcons will return home and finish the 2013 regular season with a four-game home stand. The home stand will begin on Tuesday, with a 3 p.m. contest against Northern Kentucky. Tuesday’s game will be DOLLAR DOG DAY at Warren E. Steller Field.
Then, the Falcons (12-12 MAC) will close the season with a three-game series against the first-place Buffalo Bulls (17-6 MAC). Buffalo will enter the weekend in first place by 0.5 games ahead of Kent State. The Falcons will enter in a fifth-place tie with Miami (12-12). Next weekend’s series will run Thursday through Saturday, with Saturday being Senior Day.
Toledo 11, Ball State 1
Ball State's baseball team suffered an 11-1 Sunday loss to Toledo, but managed to win 2-of-3 games against the Rockets to stay in second place in the Mid-American Conference West Division.
The Cardinals, who won the Friday and Saturday contests against Toledo, fell to 26-21 overall and 13-11 in league play. The Rockets improved to 20-29 overall and 11-13 in the MAC.
Ball State will play a Tuesday non-conference game at Indiana State before hosting Northern Illinois Thursday through Saturday in a battle for the MAC West Division Championship. NIU is 15-10 in league play and owns a two game lead over the Cardinals as they head to Muncie, Ind., for a three game series.
In Sunday's contest, the Rockets scored 11 runs on 14 hits, but managed only five earned runs off the Ball State pitching staff. The Cardinals tallied five errors defensively to assist Toledo in its victory.
Billy Wellman led the Cardinals offensively with a 2-for-3 performance from the plate, while Seth Vautaw managed the only run-batted-in for the game with a groundout that plated Cole Griesinger in the bottom half of the ninth.
Ryan Spaulding, Dominick Catanzarite, Blake Beemer and T.J. Weir each tallied one hit in the contest.
Jon Cisna suffered the pitching loss in the game and fell to 2-3 on the season. He pitched four innings, and allowed zero earned runs, but the Rockets scored four runs in his time on the mound.
Wellman managed a .545 batting average in the UT three game series, while Spaulding batted .417 and Sam Tidaback tallied a .400 hitting mark. The Cardinals batted .306 as a team in the three games, while limiting the league's top hitting team to a .226 mark. Toledo entered the weekend with a MAC leading .290 team batting average.