This Weekend in MAC Baseball
Buffalo (7-11, 0-0 MAC) at Eastern Michigan (12-8, 0-0 MAC)
Eastern Michigan is off to its best start in 23 years after going 12-8 through its first 20 games this season. The last time the Eagles started better was in 1988 when the then-Hurons went 14-5-1 on the way to a 35-22-1 overall record and a MAC runner-up finish. The Eagles are 11-4 in their last 15 contests. Brent Ohrman had his 12-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-3 effort against Michigan March 20, but the junior is still hitting .468 (29-for-62) over his last 15 games. Ohrman has nine multi-hit games during that span including going 4-for-5 in the rubber match against Kansas, March 13. He has five stolen bases during the streak and has made just one error in 43 chances in the field...Buffalo enters Mid-American Conference play with a 7-11 overall record. The Bulls, picked to finish sixth in the MAC East Division, have won their last five games by outscoring opponents 57-19 during that span. The Bulls are hitting .328 as a team with 25 homeruns so far this season.Heavy-hitter, Tom Murphy, already has six homers and 26 RBI while posting a .400 (28-for-70) batting average and 18 runs scored. Additionally, he has nine doubles, giving him 15 extra base hits and slugging percentage of .786.
Western Michigan (10-11, 0-0 MAC) at Akron (4-14, 0-0 MAC)
Akron snapped a 3-game losing streak by capturing a 4-3 comeback win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday. James Sheltrown, Sam Watkins, and Samuel Trecaso each drove in a run during a 3-run Akron seventh that moved the Zips in front. Against North Dakota State on 3/16, Andrew Brown through a five-hit complete-game shutout to lead the Zips to a 1-0 win over the Bison. Brown needed just 104 pitches in the outing, Brown was named Mid-American Conference East Pitcher of the Week for his efforts...Western Michigan begins Mid-American Conference play with a record of 10-11 this spring. The Broncos were losers of 3-of-4 in a series at Cincinnati last weekend. Ryan McMillin leads WMU at the plate and is the only Bronco batting over .300 (347). McMillin has also driven in 15 runs. Jack Scanlon and Grant Simotes have driven in 16 runs each to lead the Broncos in that statistic.The Broncos lead the all-time series between the two schools 21-15, with the Zips winning 2-of-3 last season in Kalamazoo.
Bowling Green (6-10, 0-0 MAC) at Northern Illinois (5-11, 0-0 MAC)
After 16 games away from home, the Huskies are ready for their first home games of the season. NIU enters the weekend having won five of its last six games and has won seven of eight home openers under ninth-year head coach Ed Mathey. Not only does this series serve as the home opener for NIU, it's also the beginning of the Mid-American Conference schedule. During a tough 16-game road stretch to start the season, the Huskies battled through a 0-10 beginning to win five of its last six games on the trip. The strong ending, which included NIU's longest winning streak (5) since 2007, has the Huskies hitting stride at the right time, with the Mid-American Conference schedule kicking off this weekend...In just 16 games this season the Falcons have played in four extra-inning games this season, holding a 1-3 record in those contests. The Falcons were twice taken to extras against Cleveland State on the weekend of March 18, splitting those games. In games that have gone to extra innings, the Falcons have been outscored by a margin just as close as those games have been, 20-21. In 2010, the Falcons played in only three extra-inning games all year, holding a 1-2 record in those games.
Toledo (6-13, 0-0 MAC) at Kent State (10-9, 0-0 MAC)
The Kent State baseball team opens Mid-American Conference play this weekend (March 25-27), hosting Toledo in a three-game interdivision series. The Golden Flashes won the MAC East Division with an 18-9 mark in conference play and enter the 2011 campaign with a 613-519-2 (.541) all-time conference record. The Flashes split a pair of midweek games this week, falling at Louisville, 11-2, Tuesday (March 22) before rebounding in a big way and thumping host Xavier, 22-2, Wednesday (March 23)... Toledo has lost 10 of its last 14 games since defeating then-No. 16 Louisville twice. The Rockets edged Cincinnati, 7-5, Wednesday (March 23). Senior infielder Chris Dudics (Shelby, Ohio), a 2010 Second-Team All-MAC performer, has hit safely in10 consecutive games and 17 of 19 contests this season. Dudics leads Toledo with a .347 batting average.
Miami (9-11, 0-0 MAC) at Central Michigan (9-12, 0-0 MAC) (games to be played in Oxford, Ohio)
Slated to open the Mid-American Conference schedule on the road this weekend, Miami now finds itself in the unique situation of three extra home games. With wintry weather pounding the upper Midwest, the league approved moving the RedHawks' series with Central Michigan to Oxford this Friday to Sunday. Sophomore catcher Nate Bowles has been hot lately, hitting .471 (8-of 17) over a current five-game hitting streak. The run has his average up to a team-high .391. Bryce Redeker has hit safely in 12 of 13 games, including 10 straight, raising his average to .368. He leads the team with 19 runs batted in....CMU Junior Tyler Hall leads the Mid-American Conference with 27 hits on the season entering this week. He leads the Chippewas with a .360 batting average. Sam Russell has flexed his muscle this season, smacking nine doubles to lead the Mid-American Conference entering this week. The Chippewas entered the week leading the league in doubles with 50. The junior outfielder also ranks second in RBI with 17 and fifth in home runs with three.
Ohio (11-9, 0-0 MAC) at Ball State (2-17, 0-0 MAC)
Ohio is 11-9 this season and has won nine of its last 11. The Bobcats are led in batting average by first baseman Taylor Emody, who sits at .300. Catcher Trace Voshell has a team-high 15 RBIs, while third baseman Dan Ward has three homers. Like Ward, second baseman Bryan Barnes has 35 total bases while left fielder Jensen Painter boasts a team-best .430 on-base percentage and is riding a 14-game hitting streak. Center fielder Ethan Newton leads the squad with 17 runs scored and eight stolen bases. Designated hitter Seth Streich's six doubles are also a team-high. As a team, Ohio has hit .263 thus far, while giving up a .278 average... Ball State enters the weekend with a 2-17 overall record. The Cardinals have scored 84 runs (4.4 runs/game) and have a .236 batting average as a team ... Ball State has 7.09 team ERA and opponents are batting .327 against the Cardinals. Junior second baseman Mitch Widau leads the team with a .368 batting average