Friday's MAC Baseball Results
Kent State 6, Akron 5
Central Michigan 14, Eastern Michigan 2
Northern Illinois 8, Western Michigan 3
Miami 8-2, Ohio 7-3 (DH)
Toledo 3-2 Ball State 8-1 (DH)
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Kent State 6, Akron 5
KENT, Ohio -- Junior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) sent a 2-1 pitch over the right field wall in the 12th inning to provide the Kent State baseball team with a 6-5 win over Akron in a Mid-American Conference East Division game today (May 20) at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium.
"I had a pretty good idea it was gone when I hit it," said Lyon. "It was a great feeling to battle through and get the victory."
Ranked No. 28 in the nation according to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Kent State (39-13, 21-4 MAC) has won 30 of its last 34 games - and seven straight - to clinch its eighth MAC series win in eight tries. The Flashes, who clinched the 2011 MAC regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament the day before, won all four of their MAC East Division series in 2011.
"It was a good baseball game," said seventh-year head coach Scott Stricklin. "It's a shame somebody had to lose that game. "
Lyon and junior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.) powered Kent State's offense with three hits. Senior right fielder Ben Klafczynski (Granger Township, Ohio) and freshman designated hitter T.J. Sutton (Uniontown, Ohio) each contributed two hits.
Senior right-handed relief pitcher Justin Gill (Canton, Ohio) earned his second victory in as many days, tossing 3.1 frames and fanning four to improve to 4-2 in 2011. Senior southpaw Kyle Hallock (Sandusky, Ohio) made his final home start, striking out five in six innings of work.
"It's good to see Justin finish strong," said Stricklin."Justin was insisting he wanted to finish the game. He's worked really hard and it's big to have him performing like he is."
Akron struck first by taking advantage of two Kent State errors to plate two unearned runs and take a 2-0 lead in the third.
Kent State's bats awoke in the bottom of the fifth to knot the score at two-all. Sophomore first baseman George Roberts (Summerhill, Pa.) battled back from an 0-2 count to lead off the frame with a base hit up the middle. Redshirt junior left fielder Joe Koch (Youngstown, Ohio) followed by singling through the left side. Freshman second baseman Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio) drew a four-pitch walk to fill the bases. Rider delivered an RBI-single one out later to score Roberts. Junior third baseman Travis Shaw (Washington Court House, Ohio) tied the game by serving up a sacrifice fly to left to allow Koch to tag up and score.
Akron capitalized on three hits and two walks to score twice and take a 4-2 lead in the top of the seventh, but the Golden Flashes responded to the challenge in the home half. Rider cracked a one-out base hit to left, and Shaw followed with a single through the left side to set the stage for a three-run blast over the wall in right-center by senior right fielder Klafczynski.
"Ben got an off-speed pitch over the plate and was able to get it up," said Stricklin. "Once again, it was a clutch hit by our senior captain."
Unfortunately for the Flashes, the Zips answered right back with a solo shot to left by freshman first baseman Kurt Gamby to even the score at five-all. Gill then entered the game for Kent State and held the Zips off the scoreboard to allow for Lyon's heroics in the 12th.
Kent State goes for 40 or more victories for the eighth time in program history and for its sixth MAC series sweep of 2011 on Senior Day at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium. The Flashes will honor the contributions of Klafczynski, Gill, Hallock and Brennen Glass (Springfield, Ohio) in a pregame ceremony. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Central Michigan 14, Eastern Michigan 2
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) - The Mid-American Conference West Division lead changed hands once again as Central Michigan University claimed a 14-2 victory and half-game lead over hosts Eastern Michigan University at Oestrike Stadium, Friday afternoon, May 20. Both teams will play in the series and regular season finale tomorrow, May 21, for the chance to claim the 2011 MAC West Division Championship.
Junior right-hander Zach Cooper played stopper for a CMU squad that let several leads get away the night before, going eight strong innings on Friday to earn his sixth victory of the season. Conversely, pitching wasn't the strong suit for the Eagles as four pitchers combined to give up 14 runs (12 earned) on 15 hits in the loss.
A one run game was broken wide open when the Chippewas scored three in the sixth and seven in the seventh to take a commanding 13-2 advantage on the way to their 12-run victory.
It was just the third time in their last 21 games that the Eagles were held without an extra-base hit. In fact, after CMU's Tyler Hall led off the game with a double, not a single player on either side was successful in recording another extra-base hit.
Hall finished the game 3-for-6 with three runs scored to boost his average to .358 on the season. Nate Theunissen also finished with a three-hit effort as six Chippewas finished with multi-hit games. Six Eagles tallied one hit apiece as Zack Leonard (Canton, Mich.-McKinley) and Ben Magsig (Okemos, Mich.-Okemos-Lansing C.C.) each finished 1-for-3 with a run scored.
With the loss, EMU falls to 34-18 overall, 16-10 in the MAC while CMU improves to 28-25 (16-9 MAC).
The Chippewas fired the opening shot, just as they did in game one on Thursday night, with a first inning run. Tyler Hall started it off with a leadoff double to left-center field and advanced to third base two batters later on a groundout to the right side. Tom Howard then chopped one over the head of Battistelli and Tucker Rubino (Scottsdale, Ariz.-Horizon-Glendale C.C.) chased it down, but Howard beat it by a half-step which allowed Hall to score to give CMU the lead.
The Eagles, who overcame deficits on four separate occasions last night, responded right away with two runs in their first at-bat to overtake the lead. Both runs came with two outs as Ken Battiston (West Milton, Ohio-Milton Union) and Brent Ohrman (Adrian, Mich.-Adrian) were retired to lead things off.
Leonard and Magsig then singled followed by a walk to Rubino to load the bases. With Sam Ott (Canton, Mich.-Salem) at the plate, a passed ball by Cooper allowed Leonard to come in and score to tie the game. Ott then gave the Eagles a 2-1 lead with a run-scoring single through the right side, scoring Magsig.
EMU starter Joe Battistelli (Allen Park, Mich.-Allen Park) shut down Central Michigan in the second and third, receiving help from his defense in the process as Leonard, Rubino and Klein combined on a pair of inning ending double plays. In the fourth, however, CMU cracked the scoring column again with two runs.
The EMU sophomore would see his day come to an end in the sixth after allowing the first five batters to reach base and six-of-seven overall before being replaced by Jordan Glover (Toronto, Ont.-Ontario Schools). A pair of errors didn't help his cause either as Battistelli went just five and two-thirds innings, allowing six runs (4 earned) on eight hits while striking out one and walking two to fall to 6-3 on the year.
Meanwhile, after those two first inning runs by the Eagles, CMU's Cooper settled down and cruised for the remainder of his start. He retired eight batters in a row into the fourth inning and put together another string of sitting down 10-of-11 hitters through the seventh inning.
Cooper received more than enough run support as his offense added a seven-run seventh inning to increase the already generous lead to a 13-2 score.
He went eight innings, allowing two runs (1 earned) on six hits while striking out eight and walking two. Reid Rooney came on for the ninth and retired the side in order.
The rubber match on Saturday, May 21, won't only secure a series victory for the winner, but will also determine a MAC West Division Champion and the beneficiary of the No. 2 seed in the MAC Tournament, which takes place May 25-28, in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Senior Corey Chaffins (New London, Ohio-New London) will take his 7-4 record into game three on Senior Day and face fellow right-hander Jake Sabol (4-3) in a 1 p.m. start at Oestrike Stadium.
Northern Illinois 8, Western Michigan 3
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Northern Illinois broke a two-run game open with three runs in the ninth to even the series with Western Michigan, defeating the Broncos 8-3 Friday. WMU will look to rebound tomorrow and go for a series win with game three at 1 p.m.
Both teams scored two runs in the first inning. Northern Illinois posted a run in the third and two more in the fourth off Bronco starter Casey Webber to take a 5-2 lead. WMU came back with a run in the sixth, but left the tying run stranded in scoring position after putting two aboard with no outs. Western Michigan left 12 runners on base in the game. Two fielding errors in the ninth resulted in three unearned runs for the Huskies.
Jack Scanlon scored Jimmy Martinez (walk) with an an RBI double to get WMU started in the first. Ryan McMillin followed with an RBI triple to right center. Tim Cross singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth and scored on a high chopper over the third baseman by Vinnie Booker. Booker and Dustin Ditsworth (walk) moved up a bag on a wild pitch, to put the tying run at second with no outs. NIU's Tom Barry got Martinez to strikeout swinging and Brad Wehrmeyer and Scanlon to flyout to get out of the inning. The bullpen duo of Zach Badgley and Kyle Glancy did not allow the Broncos another hit.
Ben Etcheverry doubled twice and drove in three runs for Northern Illinois, including both in the ninth. Leadoff batter Jamison Wells went 4-for-4 with four runs scored.
Webber (4-6) took the loss, surrendering five runs on seven hits and four walks. He struck out five.
Booker (2-for-4) and Scanlon (2-for-5) each had two hits for Western Michigan. Barry (4-5) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings to earn the win. He walked five and struck out five.
Western Michigan slipped to 25-28 overall, 11-12 in MAC play, while NIU improved to 28-25, 15-11 MAC. Tomorrow's meeting will be the regular-season finale for both teams, each of which have secured a spot in next week's conference tournament.
Miami 8-2, Ohio 7-3 (DH)
ATHENS, Ohio-The Ohio baseball squad earned a split of a doubleheader with arch-rival Miami by taking a 3-2 decision after dropping an 8-7 game Friday at Bob Wren Stadium.
The Bobcats are now 26-27 overall and 10-16 in the Mid-American Conference, while the RedHawks are 32-23 and 18-8 in the league.
Ohio can clinch the eighth and final seed in next week's Mid-American Conference Tournament with a win over Miami in tomorrow's series finale (3 p.m.) AND two Bowling Green losses at Buffalo, also on Saturday. That scenario would give the Bobcats a .407 winning percentage to .400 for the Falcons, who are currently holding down the #8 spot.
Bobcat center fielder Ethan Newton had a big day at the dish, going 6-for-10 with three doubles and three RBIs. Third baseman/second baseman Bryan Barnes went 5-for-9, while designated hitter Jensen Painter drove in four runs. For Miami, first baseman Kyle Weldon went 4-for-8 with four RBIs.
The RedHawks got up early in game one, scoring one in the second and three in the third. The Bobcats cut that margin in half when Painter launched a pinch-hit, two-run blast over the wall in left for his fifth round-tripper of the season.
Miami appeared to put the game away with four more runs in the seventh to take an 8-2 lead, but the home team responded with a furious comeback in the bottom of the ninth.
Newton knocked in the first one with a fielder's choice before left fielder Kory Burkhart scored another with a single up the middle. Painter then tacked on a two-run double to left center and right fielder Adam Gecewich added a run-scoring groundout to third to bring the Bobcats within one. RedHawk closer Sam Dawes, however, ended proceedings with a strikeout to kill the Bobcat rally just shy of its goal.
Ohio first baseman Taylor Emody went 2-for-2 during the contest, while Miami catcher Adam Weisenburger added a 3-for-5 effort with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Miami starting pitcher Mac Thoreson (5-3) allowed just four hits with three strikeouts and one walk in five innings. Matt Rosinski also pitched well, tossing one and one-third scoreless innings with one hit and one strikeout. Ohio starter Brent Choban (4-6) took the loss, giving up nine hits with five earned runs, one strikeout and three walks in six and one-third innings. Ben Trimbur pitched well at the end, holding the RedHawks scoreless over the final two and one-third innings with one hit and two strikeouts.
The second game started in a much different fashion as both teams failed to score in the contest's first four innings. The RedHawks broke through first with a sac fly to right in the fifth, but Ohio went on top with two unearned tallies in the bottom of the seventh on a run-scoring double to left center by Newton and catcher J.R. Reynolds scoring on a double play ball.
Miami tied it at 2-all in the top of the eighth, but Ohio came back in the bottom half and wrenched the lead back on another Newton double, this time to right field, scoring Ward.
The RedHawks were not able to muster a comeback in the ninth inning against Ohio starting pitcher Seth Streich, who went the distance for the second-straight outing, as the tall righthander got two strikeouts and a groundout to second to close the deal.
Streich (3-6) got the victory, giving up one earned run on seven hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. Rosinski was the hard-luck loser (2-3) as all three of the runs that were charged to him were of the unearned variety. He allowed three hits and one walk in one and one-third innings. RedHawk starter Tyler Melling pitched five and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up six hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Dawes kept the ‘Cats off the board in the eighth, surrendering just a hit.
The program will honor its six seniors at a pregame ceremony prior to Saturday's 3 p.m. start.
Toledo 3-2, Ball State 8-1 (DH)
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State baseball team notched a split of a Mid-American Conference doubleheader Friday against Toledo as the Cardinals won game one 8-3 before falling in game two 2-1 at Ball Diamond. The Cardinals end the afternoon 14-35 overall and 10-15 in MAC play while Toledo improves to 26-26 on the year and 15-11 in league action.
Game One - Ball State 8, Toledo 3
Ball State junior right-hander Cal Bowling (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown) tossed his fourth complete game of the season to guide the Cardinals to an 8-3 victory over visiting Toledo in game one of a Mid-American Conference doubleheader at Ball Diamond Friday.
Bowling improves to 5-5 on the season as he limited the Rockets to just three runs on five hits. He struck out two batters and only needed 101 pitches to post his league-leading fourth complete game in MAC play. Sophomore Blake Beemer (Dayton, Ohio/Northmont) led the Cardinals' 12-hit attack as he posted three hits and drove in three runs in the victory.
Ball State opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning against Toledo right-hander Lincoln Rassi. Junior Cody Elliott (Florence, Ky./Beechwood) drew a leadoff walk before moving into scoring position as Tim Issler (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) poked an opposite field double down the right field line.
Beemer put the Cardinals in front 2-0 as he doubled down the left field line. After a walk to freshman Kenny Mahala (Highland, Ind./Andrean), left fielder Sean Godfrey (New Albany, Ind./New Albany) ran the Cardinals' lead to 4-0 as he tripled over the center fielder's head for his first career three-bagger.
Ball State extended its lead to 5-0 with another run in the second inning. Junior Mitch Widau (Richmond, Ind./Richmond) started things off with a two out single up the middle and moved to second as Issler singled into left field. Beemer beat out an infield single in the ensuing at-bat as Widau hustled home all the way from second base on the infield hit.
Toledo broke through in the top of the third inning against Bowling. The Rockets quickly loaded the bases with nobody out before Bowling settled down to induce a sacrifice fly and a fielder's choice limiting the damage to just two runs.
The Cardinals got the two runs back in the bottom of the third inning as Godfrey was hit by a pitch and freshman T.J. Weir (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) dropped a single into center field. Elliott battled Rassi with two outs before slicing a two-run double down the right-field line on a 1-2 pitch to put the Cardinals in front 7-2.
Rassi (3-6) picked up the loss for the Rockets as he allowed seven runs on 10 hits in 5.0 innings of work despite striking out eight batters.
Game Two - Toledo 2, Ball State 1
Ball State senior left-hander Derek Grabner (Fort Wayne, Ind./Lincoln Trail) pitched a career-high 8.1 innings in his final collegiate start but the Cardinals dropped a hard-fought 2-1 decision to MAC foe Toledo in game two of the Friday doubleheader.
Grabner falls to 1-6 on the season despite working into the ninth inning for the first time in his career. He allowed just two runs on 11 hits while striking out five batters in the loss.
Toledo opened the scoring in the top of the second inning. Jim Vahalik led off the inning with a single and moved into scoring position after a hit by pitch. Wes White put Toledo in front 1-0 as he poked a single through the left side to plate Vahalik with the game's first run.
Toledo extended its lead to 2-0 with another run in the top of the fifth inning. Chris Dudics and Tyler Grogg posted back-to-back singles putting runners on the corners with two outs. Ben Hammer came through with a run-scoring double to plate Dudics with the game's second run.
Ball State cut the Rockets' lead in half in the bottom of the fifth inning against UT right-hander Jared Locke. Weir ignited the rally as he sprayed a single through the left side with two outs. Freshman first baseman Cody Campbell (Muncie, Ind./Cowan) made it a 2-1 contest as he ripped a run-scoring triple over the center fielder's head to plate Weir. The triple was the second of Campbell's career and the Cardinals second of the doubleheader.
Toledo threatened in the top of the ninth inning to add an insurance run as Chris Dudics reached on a single up the middle to end Grabner's afternoon. Sophomore Michael Sandman (Newark, Ohio/Utica) came on in relief and allowed an infield single to Tyler Grogg. The Cardinals' defense stepped up and catcher Kevin Franchetti (Highland, Ind./Andrean) threw out Dudics on the front end of a double steal attempt for the second out of the inning. Sandman ended the threat as he struck out Hammer to keep it a one run contest.
The Cardinals were held in check in their final at-bat as Toledo closer Matt Zahel came on and retired three straight to end the contest. Zahel notches his 11th save of the season while Locke improves to 3-2 on the year after working 6.0 innings of six-hit baseball.
The Cardinals and Rockets will close out the 2011 regular season Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Ball Diamond. The Cardinals will recognize seniors T.J. Baumet (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg), Scott Brothers Jr. (Monticello, Ind./Gulf Coast CC) and Derek Grabner (Fort Wayne, Ind./Lincoln Trail) prior to the game.