Toledo's Pilewski Named NCBWA Hitter of the Week; Baseball Notebook

Updated 4/10/2001
MAC Baseball Notebook
Several MAC teams exploded in the runs and home runs category last week. In league games alone, 92 home runs were hit, 19 of which came from Bowling Green in its series with Buffalo. Ball State and Kent State, meanwhile, each recorded 11 homers, while Akron was the lone team not to hit a homer in a MAC game. A total of 330 runs were scored in league games, with the Falcons leading the charge with 77 on 76 hits.

Overall last week, MAC schools hit 130 home runs, led by BG’s 21. Eight of the 13 teams had at least 10 home runs. In six games, Toledo pounded out 100 hits, while the Falcons had 90 in the same number of games.

Matt Wood, who last week became the MAC's and Ball State's career RBI leader, added the school's home run crown to the list on Sunday in the Cardinals’ first game with Miami. Wood's eighth home run of the season was also his 44th of his career, passing Thomas Howard for the top spot in BSU history. He is also fourth in MAC history in career homers, and is one shy of tying Bowling Green's Andy Tracy for third.

Bowling Green junior Len Elias, this week's MAC East Division Player of the Week, tied two Falcon records with five hits and eight RBIs in Sunday's series finale with Buffalo. Elias equaled Andy Tracy's RBI output set in 1995, while his hit total tied his own record as well as that of nine other former Falcons.

Toledo sophomore Phil Pilewski hit five home runs last week for the Rockets, four of which came in the two-game series with Marshall. This week's MAC West Division Player of the Week had three of the homers -- all solo shots -- come in the opener, the last of which was the game-winning hit in a 10-9 win over the Thundering Herd. For the week, Pilewski hit .615, drove in 15 runs, had four doubles and registered a 1.346 slugging percentage.

On Tuesday, Pilewski was named one of three National Hitters of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, joining Oklahoma’s Greg Dobbs and Valparaiso’s Brian Wolotka.

After playing 21 of its last 22 games in the friendly confines of Bob Wren Stadium, which includes Monday’s 14-5 win over West Virginia State, Ohio now takes to the road for a lengthy run. The Bobcats will play their next 11 games away from home, visiting Dayton, Akron, Cincinnati, Buffalo and West Virginia. The next home game is scheduled for April 27 against Miami.

Central Michigan's Gavin Gillette has not allowed an earned run in his last eight outings, which has spanned 18.1 innings. Opponents are batting .145 against the junior, while he has fanned 26 against seven free passes. Gillette pitched four scoreless innings in relief to win the series opener with Eastern Michigan and raised his record to 3-0.

Northern Illinois' Noel Danielson scored the hard way in last Saturday’s first game with St. Xavier. After reaching first via a single in the fifth inning, the junior proceeded to steal second and third base in the next at-bat. After a strikeout, Danielson then stole home. Danielson is a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen bases this year.

Despite playing only five of its first 29 games at home, Marshall, at 16-13, is off to its best start since the 1990 team opened with a 17-12 mark. The Herd, who are 12-12 on the road and in neutral site games and 4-1 at home, host Bowling Green in a critical conference series this weekend.

This season, 23 players have recorded hitting streaks of 10 games or better, including seven players who have an active streak. The longest streak in the MAC this year was Kent State’s John VanBenschoten, who hit safely in 22 consecutive games. Listed below are the players that through Apr. 9 have current hitting streaks of 10 games or more:

Name, School -- Streak
Ryan Kyes, Ohio -- 17
Jason Ricceri, MAR -- 14
David Colangelo, MAR -- 14
Jason Knoedler, MIA -- 13
Bryan Scheurer, CMU -- 11
Andrew See, Ohio -- 11
Chuck Lombardy, Ohio -- 11

Four MAC schools have been on a tear of late. With a 14-5 win on Monday over West Virginia State, Ohio has won six in a row to move past the .500 mark with a 15-14 mark. Northern Illinois and Bowling Green each have won five straight, while Ball State has won three in a row. The Huskies moved over the .500 level with their five wins last week, while the Falcons, who lead the East Division with a 9-2 mark, have won eight of their last 10. The Cardinals, who top the West Division standings with a 9-2 record, have won 14 of their last 15.

Kent State sophomore second baseman Chris Welsch has been perfect on the left side of the infield. Welsch has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 134 chances. Welsch has 57 putouts and 77 assists and has teamed with three different shortstops in turning 19 double plays. Welsch currently has a 37-game errorless streak dating back to last season when he committed just one error.