This Weekend in MAC Baseball
Central Michigan (13-17, 2-4 MAC) at Akron (6-20, 0-6 MAC)
Central Michigan enters the weekend at 2-4 in Mid-American Conference action. After getting swept at Miami to open the conference season, CMU took 2-of-3 at Ohio a weekend ago. CMU moved their overall record to 13-17 with a 9-4 home win over Michigan on Wednesday. Tyler Hall (.330, 13 RBI) and Matt Faiman (.322, 13 RBI) lead CMU at the plate. Sam Russell has driven in a club-best 21 runs. The Chippewas hit .261 as a team and hold a team ERA of 4.01...Akron opened Lee R. Jackson Baseball Field with a 5-0 shutout of Youngstown State on Tuesday. Junior centerfielder Drew Turocy continues to lead Akron in numerous offensive categories and enters Tuesday's game on the strength of a 12-game hitting streak. Turocy is batting .440 (22-of-50) during his current streak and has raised his overall average to .385. Turocy also leads the team in slugging (.590), runs (15), RBIs (11), and on-base percentage (.413).
Ohio (15-14, 2-4 MAC) at Western Michigan (14-16, 3-3 MAC)
This is the third weekend of Mid-American Conference play, as Western Michigan welcomes Ohio to Robert J. Bobb Stadium for a three-game series. WMU enters with a team batting average of .247 and a team ERA of 3.67. Ohio comes in with a .249 BA and a 4.17 ERA. The Broncos posted a three-game shutout sweep over Akron to start MAC play, but dropped all three games last weekend to Kent State, as WMU's MAC record is an even 3-3. One of the losses to the Flashes was in 10 innings, and two of the three were by one run. Ohio owns a 2-4 MAC record, going 1-2 in series against Ball State and Central Michigan. Western Michigan's starting weekend rotation of Brian Stroud, Casey Webber and Steve Laudicina has one of the best ERA's in the MAC, as the three combined have an ERA of 2.72 (39 ER - 129.0 IP). The Bobcats are led in batting average by first baseman Taylor Emody, who sits at .337. Third baseman Dan Ward has a team-high 24 RBIs, five homers, 55 total bases and a .482 slugging percentage.
Buffalo (7-18, 0-6 MAC) at Toledo (13-15, 4-2 MAC)
Toledo will continue the Mid-American Conference portion of its schedule this weekend, April 8-10, with a three-game home series against Buffalo. The Rockets are a perfect 5-0 at home this season and sport a 61-41 (.598) ledger at the corner of Parkside Blvd. and Hill Ave. over the last five-plus seasons. UT is in the midst of a six-game win streak, tied for the second-longest unbeaten stretch under eighth-year Head Coach Cory Mee, including midweek victories against Dayton on Tuesday, 7-4, and Cleveland State on Wednesday, 5-1. Buffalo enters this weekend's series with a 7-18 overall record, 0-6 in the league...The Bulls, who have been swept in their first two conference weekends by Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois, own a .300 batting average and are averaging 6.8 runs per game. Tom Murphy and Alex Baldock pace the team with .389 and .388 batting averages, respectively. On the mound, UB has a 7.84 ERA and opponents are batting .344 against the Bulls. Their pitchers have tallied 151 strikeouts while issuing 111 walks.
Eastern Michigan (18-10, 5-1 MAC) at Kent State (17-10, 5-1 MAC)
Control of the Mid-American Conference regular season title race hangs in the balance this weekend as the MAC East Division-leading Kent State baseball team stares down Eastern Michigan, the MAC West leader, in a three-game conference set this weekend (April 8-10) at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium. The Eagles have won seven of their last nine games, most recently taking two of three contests from Bowling Green last weekend (April 1-3). Senior right-handed starter Corey Chaffins has fanned a team-high 37 batters this season and is five strikeouts shy of third place in Eastern Michigan's record book...Kent State enters the weekend having won six straight games and nine of its last 11. The squad's 17-10 start is in stark contrast to its 12-15 start through the first 27 games of the season in 2010 and is Kent State's best start since rolling to a 21-6 beginning to the '09 campaign. The Golden Flashes rank 19th in NCAA Division I with a team earned run average of 2.78. Redshirt sophomore left-handed starting pitcher Andrew Chafin is sixth in the country with an ERA of 0.65
Bowling Green (9-15, 3-3 MAC) at Ball State (6-20, 4-2 MAC)
Ball State enters the weekend with a 6-20 overall record and a 4-2 mark in Mid-American Conference play. The Cardinals have won two league series with wins over Ohio at home and at Miami. Ball State has scored 110 runs (4.23 runs/game) and is batting .238 as a team. The Cardinals have a 6.01 team ERA and opponents are batting .300 against BSU. Junior second baseman Mitch Widau leads the team with a .305 batting average. Widau is second on the team with 25 hits and 14 RBI while leading the team with 14 walks... Bowling Green enters the weekend with a 9-15 overall record and a 3-3 mark in Mid-American Conference play. The Falcons dropped a pair of midweek games at Western Michigan and home to Oakland. BGSU is batting .268 as a team and has scored 135 runs (5.625 runs/game). On the mound, the Falcons have a 4.83 team ERA and opponents are batting .294 against.Jon Berti leads the team offensively with a .400 batting average as he has a team-high 32 hits and is tied for the team-lead with 14 RBI.
Miami (15-14, 4-2 MAC) at Northern Illinois (11-15, 4-2 MAC)
NIU's sweep of Buffalo on the road came with two rare feats. The Huskies swept a road doubleheader for the second time since 2008 and swept a road MAC series for the third time since 2003. Fittingly, the last time the Huskies swept a road MAC series was in the same place they did it this past weekend -- at St. Bonaventure's McGraw-Jennings Field on March 22-23, 2008. Starting pitchers Zach Oates, Tom Barry, and Jeremy Gonzalez tamed the Buffalo Bulls offense last weekend. The Huskie hurlers combined to limit UB to two earned runs over 21 innings of work... Miami is coming off two of their best performances of the season this week, sweeping a pair of Big Ten foes -- vs. Indiana on Tuesday (6-1) and at Ohio State on Wednesday (12-4). both outings, the RedHawks got solid pitching, allowing just five hits to each team, while striking out a total of 16. Only three of the five runs allowed over 18 innings were earned. Marcus Makuch leads the team with a .387 average, including a remarkable .545 in four league games. Bryce Redeker, who has hit safely in 21 of the last 23 games, stands second at .348, while Kyle Weldon hits at a .336 clip.