MAC Baseball Notebook; BSU's Wood Sets RBI Record

Updated 4/4/2001
Ball State senior Matt Wood set a MAC and school record for RBIs in a career when he singled in a run in the eighth inning last Saturday against Toledo for his 191st career RBI. The old mark of 190, which was previously held by BSU’s Mark Davis, had stood for 13 seasons before Wood’s record-breaking hit.
Wood, who has 22 RBIs this season through 26 games, is also chasing the league and school mark for home runs in a career. Wood is one homer short of tying former BSU Cardinal and current Pittsburgh Pirate Thomas Howard for the school record with 43 and is seven shy of the MAC record of 49, which is currently held by Kent State’s Mike Bishop.

Kent State junior John VanBenschoten hit safely in all seven games last week to increase his hitting streak to 19 games. VanBenschoten, who increased it to 20 on Tuesday with two hits in a win over Duquesne, is ranked third in the nation with a .486 batting average. He is also third in Division I in home runs per game (0.47) and is fifth in RBIs per game (1.53). The longest streak in MAC history is 28 games, set by Central Michigan’s Denny McNamara in 1990.

Ball State head coach Rich Maloney won his 200th game as skipper Sunday as the Cardinals won 20-7 at Toledo. Maloney becomes only the fourth skipper in BSU history to reach the plateau. The coach, who is in his sixth year at Ball State, is 10 wins shy of moving into second place at BSU following the Cardinals’ 4-3 win at No. 6/No. 8 Notre Dame Tuesday. Maloney is the fourth MAC head coach to reach a milestone this season. Western Michigan skipper Fred Decker won his 700th Mar. 3 against Florida Atlantic, 5-1, while Toledo's Joe Kruzel won his 200th in dramatic fashion as freshman Nick Szczur tossed a no-hitter at Xavier (9-0). Ohio's Joe Carbone won his 400th on Mar. 24 in an 18-9 win over Central Michigan.

Eastern Michigan leads the league in complete games with eight, after Eagle pitchers went the distance in three of the four meetings with Northern Illinois. EMU had five complete games in 56 games in 2000. The next closest to Eastern Michigan is Miami, which has six. EMU's Tom Gallus is tied with Ohio's Denny McGee for the top spot in complete games with four.

Northern Illinois junior John Brock set a school record in last Friday’s second game of a doubleheader with Eastern Michigan when he was hit by a pitch for the 25th time as a Huskie. Brock, who was hit for the seventh time this season, passed Marc McShane.

In four games last weekend with Akron, Central Michigan pitchers registered 48 strikeouts against Zip batters. Chad Pleiness had a career-high 12 strikeouts in six innings of work in Sunday’s finale, while Gavin Gillette fanned nine in 3.2 innings of relief in an 8-7 win on Saturday.

Miami senior Clark Mace became the school's all-time leader in total bases when he homered in Friday’s win over Western Michigan. Mace, who has 390 total bases, is 10 shy of becoming only the seventh player in MAC history to register 400 total bases. The outfielder is three bases shy of moving past former CMU standout Jake Sanborn for eighth place.

Marshall's David Colangelo started the week with a bang by hitting a home run on the first pitch of the first game of the doubleheader against West Virginia State and it only got better from there. The junior hit .600 for the week with a .636 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot in the order. He ran his hitting streak to 10 games and improved his season batting average to .414, which is tied for fourth in the MAC with Northern Illinois' Noel Danielson.

Central Michigan's Gavin Gillette has appeared in seven games as a pitcher and is 2-0 with a save and a 0.00 ERA. In 14.1 innings of action, Gillette has struck out 22 batters and opponents are batting only .114 off him.

While he ranks second in the MAC in stolen bases, Akron’s Steve Bowers leads the league in stolen bases per game. The senior has swiped 14 bases in 15 tries and is tied for 14th in the nation in stolen bases per game (0.78). Bowers trails Toledo’s Tony Miller, who leads the league with 18 stolen bases.

Bowling Green's Kelly Hunt nearly hit for the cycle in Sunday’s game at Ohio. The sophomore went 4-for-5 with five RBIs in the 19-14 win. Hunt had a pair of doubles, a triple and a home run.

This season, 18 players have recorded hitting streaks of 10 games or better, including seven players who have an active streak. Listed below are the players that through Apr. 1 have current hitting streaks of 10 games or more:

Name, School - Streak
John VanBencschoten, KSU - 19
Mike Gates, CMU - 14
Brandon DiCesare, UB - 13
Ryan Kyes, Ohio - 11
Jason Ricceri, MAR - 10
David Colangelo, MAR - 10
Brady Nori, MIA - 10