Sunday's MAC Baseball Results
Eastern Michigan 6, Buffalo 5 (11 innings)
Kent State 8, Toledo 2
Northern Illinois 3, Bowling Green 0
Western Michigan 7, Akron 0
Ball State 1, Ohio 0
Stories courtesy of MAC Home Sports Information Departments
Eastern Michigan 6, Buffalo 5 (11 innings)
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) - A relentless come-from-behind victory was capped off with a game-winning RBI single by senior Ken Battiston (West Milton, Ohio-Milton Union) in the bottom of the tenth inning, propelling the Eastern Michigan University baseball team to a 6-5 Mid-American Conference victory and a sweep over the University at Buffalo Bulls at Oestrike Stadium, Sunday afternoon, March 27.
Battiston and junior Brent Ohrman (Adrian, Mich.-Adrian) each tallied a pair of hits while junior Kyle Klein (Grand Rapids, Mich.-West Catholic) recorded his second three-hit game of the series. Joe Battistelli (Allen Park, Mich.-Allen Park) picked up the win with two hitless innings in relief to move to 3-1 on the season.
The Eagles improve to 15-8 overall, 3-0 in the MAC with the win, while the Bulls drop to 7-14 (0-3 MAC).
The Eagles manufactured its first run of the ballgame after Battiston led off the inning with a walk and a steal of second base. He advanced to third and then to home on a pair of groundouts to get the Green and White on the board in the first inning.
EMU added an unearned run in the third as junior Kyle Peterson (Chandler, Ariz.-Hamilton-Chandler-Gilbert C.C.) led off the inning with a walk and eventually came around to score after a throwing error by the left fielder on Brent Ohrman's single.
The Bulls came back with a big fourth inning, taking advantage of two Eagle miscues to take a 3-2 lead.
With a runner on second and nobody out, River McWilliams looked to have grounded out to the second baseman, but the throw to first was mishandled and put runners on the corners. The next batter, Jordan Camp singled home Tom Murphy to cut the Eagle lead in half, 2-1.
A sacrifice bunt advanced runners to second and third with one out and a sacrifice fly by Andrew Smietana tied the game at 2-2. Jason Kanzler then grounded to third, but an overthrow prolonged the inning and allowed Camp to score, giving the Bulls a 3-2 advantage.
UB extended its lead to 5-2 with a pair of runs in the fifth inning. McWilliams and Camp each recorded RBI singles and, with EMU starter Steve Weber's (North Royalton, Ohio-North Royalton) pitch count running high, Head Coach Jay Alexander made the change.
Defensive miscues cut Weber's day short as three errors extended scoring innings for the visitors. Weber lasted just four and two-thirds and allowed five runs (2 earned) on six hits, but struck out seven while walking just one.
Meanwhile, Buffalo right-hander Copping retired 11 of the final 14 batters he faced, blanking the Eagles for the final four frames he pitched before exiting after the seventh inning.
Copping, who entered the game with an ERA above 13, lowered it to 7.45 after allowing just two runs (1 earned) on three hits over seven innings pitched and left the game with a 5-2 lead.
Jeff Thompson relieved Copping in the eighth and it turned out to be just what the Eagles were waiting for. Tucker Rubino (Scottsdale, Ariz.-Horizon-Glendale C.C.) stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, two outs and a full count and looped a single to right center field to drive home two runs and cut the Bulls lead to 5-4.
Ben Magsig (Okemos, Mich.-Okemos-Lansing C.C.) then stepped into one and drove an RBI single to right field to tie the game. Magsig finished with a 2-for-4 effort.
Kevin Hughes relieved Thompson and got Peterson to ground out in another bases loaded opportunity to end the inning.
After two perfect frames in relief by Battistelli, Rubino led off the tenth with a walk and advanced to second on Magsig's sacrifice bunt. Klein then singled to center advancing Rubino to third and, two batters later, Battiston singled him home with a walk-off single to left.
The Eagles win their 15th game of the season 10 games sooner than last season when they defeated Oakland 11-1 back on April 14, 2010. They continue to have their best start in 23 years when the then-Hurons began the season 16-6-1 through their first 23 games.
EMU will be back in action this week as they host a pair of midweek non-conference games against Cleveland State Tuesday, March 29, and Michigan Wednesday, March 30. Both games are slated to begin at 3 p.m.
Kent State 8, Toledo 2
KENT, Ohio -- The Kent State baseball team manufactured runs and produced solid pitching to earn an 8-2 win over Toledo Sunday (March 27) and capture its first Mid-American Conference series triumph of 2011 by taking the rubber match at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium.
The Golden Flashes (12-10, 2-1 MAC) won Friday (March 25), 1-0, but Toledo (7-15, 1-2 MAC) responded Saturday (March 26) with a 5-2 victory to even the series.
Junior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) finished a spectacular three-game stretch in grand fashion, going 2-for-3 with four RBIs and a run scored - including a three-run home run over the right field wall in the bottom of the second. Lyon finished the series batting a whopping .778 with seven hits - including two doubles and a homer - with six RBIs and a run scored. He posted a slugging percentage of 1.333 and an on-base percentage of .818.
Junior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.), junior third baseman Travis Shaw (Washington Court House, Ohio), senior right fielder Ben Klafczynski (Granger Township, Ohio) and freshman second baseman Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio) all also finished with two hits apiece in Kent State's Sunday win.
Junior left-handed starting pitcher David Starn (Hudson, Ohio) kept the Toledo bats in check most of the day to up his season record to 3-1 and his career mark to 12-4. The southpaw tossed 6.1 frames of six-hit ball, allowing one earned run with one walk while fanning seven. Senior righty Justin Gill (Canton, Ohio) and junior righthander Kyle McMillen (North Canton, Ohio) combined to throw the remaining 2.2 frames, allowing one earned run on one hit and two walks while each struck out a batter.
Toledo plated the game's first run in the top of the first as senior shortstop Chris Dudics led off the contest with a base hit to center field and later scored.
The Flashes got right to work at climbing into the driver's seat in the home half of the frame. Redshirt junior left fielder Joe Koch (Youngstown, Ohio) coaxed a leadoff walk, and Rider followed with a single to right. Shaw reached on a fielder's choice that ended in a throwing error by Toledo that allowed Koch to scamper home and tie the game. Lyon gave Kent State the lead for good with a single through the right side that brought around Shaw and made it 2-1 in favor of Kent State.
Kent State did the bulk of its damage in the ensuing inning thanks to some two-out lightning. Rider provided the spark with a two-out single through the left side. Shaw reached on a fielder's choice to put two men on. Klafczynski drove in Rider with a two bagger to left center. That set up Lyon's three-run round tripper that increased Kent State's advantage to five at 6-1.
The scoreboard read 7-1 after five frames after a throwing error by the Rockets gave Kent State extra life, as freshman first baseman Cody Koch (Sandusky, Ohio) drew a one-out walk and later scored on a sacrifice bunt by Joe Koch.
Toledo sliced Kent State's lead to five with a run in the top of the seventh, but the Flashes answered right back in the bottom portion after Cody Koch was hit by a pitch and later scored thanks to a single to left by Toadvine.
Toledo junior right-handed starting pitcher Lincoln Rassi fell to 0-4 on the season, lasting 2.0 innings with six earned runs on seven hits and one walk. He fanned one in defeat. Junior third baseman Joe Corfman led the Rockets at the plate two singles.
Kent State closes out the March portion of its 2011 schedule with its first midweek home game of the season, hosting Penn State Wednesday (March 30) at Schoonover Stadium. First pitch is penciled in for 3 p.m.
Northern Illinois 3, Bowling Green 0
DeKALB, Ill. - In the finale of a Mid-American Conference and home opening series for Northern Illinois, the Huskies shutout Bowling Green 3-0 behind a gutsy performance from starter Jeremy Gonzales Sunday afternoon at Ralph McKinzie Field.
The win marked NIU's first in league play and sixth in its last nine games. The shutout effort by the Huskie staff is the third this season. Prior to the first shutout of the year on March 16 against North Dakota, NIU had gone 108 games between shutouts. Now, the Huskies (6-13, 1-2 MAC) have three over their last nine games.
Gonzales (2-4) spear-headed the three-man shutout by throwing seven innings and allowing just four hits and one walk with six strikeouts, tying a season high. The senior has gone at least six innings with four hits given up and six strikeouts in two of his last three outings, both for wins.
Helping Gonzales' cause was the fact he let only two of seven leadoff hitters reach base, which played a large factor in the Falcons (8-11, 2-1 MAC) only having one scoring opportunity with less than two outs the entire game. That chance came in the in the seventh after a leadoff walk and sacrifice bunt, but Gonzales retired the next two batters to finish his day and turn it over to the bullpen.
"That was a big performance for us," said NIU head coach Ed Mathey of Gonzales' scoreless effort. "He's been struggling with his command and Coach [Ray] Napientek has been helping him with that. He's doing a good job to correct it. He's not the type of kid that can pitch behind in counts. For him to pitch ahead is huge. As a team, this was a big performance for us. Shutting out that team was pretty good today."
Equally as important for Gonzales was the early lead he had to work with. Down two games to none after NIU went 19 innings without the lead in the series, the Huskies cracked through the scoreboard first with two runs in the second and one in the third.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the second, Tom Kotis reached out and slapped a two-strike offering up the middle for two runs. Comfortable with a lead, Gonzales put up a zero in the top of the third and Alex Jones kept momentum on NIU's side in the bottom of the third. The lefty blasted a homer that wrapped around the right field foul pole, giving Gonzales all he would need to lock down the Huskies' first win at home and first in league play.
"With everything that was going into this game -being down 0-2 - [scoring first] was important for us," Mathey said. "We sensed it in the dugout, especially after Kotis had the big two-out hit. We had something positive going. Gonzo picked up on it and competed incredibly out there. That was big for us.
"Our hitting was better," Mathey said. "We worked deeper counts and that toughness is what we need to continue. I liked our toughness and resolve to take this game. The last thing you ever want to do in this league is get swept. This win builds momentum for the week ahead. We are happy with that."
With a 3-0 lead, Tom Zelasko got the first two outs of the eighth and Kyle Glancy closed the final 1.1 frames of the game to pick up his third save of the season, staying perfect in three save chances.
Charles Wooten fell to 1-3 on the season in taking the loss. The righty surrendered three runs on four hits and three walks in 4.1 innings with five strikeouts.
Jones and Troy White led the Huskie offense with two hits in four at-bats apiece. Jones' longball was his first of the season and the second overall for the Huskies.
NIU wraps up a five-game home stand with two midweek games before heading to New York to take on Buffalo in a three-game MAC series next weekend. The Huskies face Chicago State and Aurora at 3:05 p.m. (CT) on Tuesday, March 29, and Wednesday, March 30, respectively.
Western Michigan 7, Akron 0
AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron baseball team was dropped by Western Michigan, 7-0, in the series finale of Mid-American Conference action at Canal Park on Sunday afternoon.
Drew Turocy recorded a pair of singles - his 11th multi-hit game of the season - to lead Akron (4-17, 0-3 MAC). Myles McVeigh was handed the defeat despite allowing just two earned runs in 6.1 innings, while Chris Bassitt pitched a pair of no-hit innings. Steve Laudicina recorded the win for WMU (13-11, 3-0) and David Brennan recorded a 4.0 inning save.
The Broncos benefited from an error to score the game's first run in the top of the third. Brad Wehrmeyer led off the inning with a double down the right field line. After Jimmy Martinez was hit by a pitch, McVeigh's pickoff attempt at second was mishandled by second baseman Sam Watkins allowing both runners to advance. Zach Thoma's sacrifice fly to center then scored Wehrmeyer unearned. Catcher James Sheltrown limited the damage and got the Zips out of the inning by gunning down both Martinez and Grant Simotes as they attempted to steal.
Akron looked to have a game-tying hit in the bottom of the third when Sam Watkins singled to left with Matt Corpora and Turocy on second and first. Corpora attempted to score on the play but was gunned down at the plate by Martinez.
The Zips threatened again in the fifth with runners on the corners and two outs. Watkins then hit a sharp grounder to Patrick Duncan at short and the throw was just in time to expire a diving Watkins at first.
McVeigh cruised through the middle three innings, facing just one over the minimum before being touched up for a pair of runs in the seventh as WMU blew the game open. The Broncos pushed across four runs in the inning on six hits with a Wehrmeyer two-run triple to center highlighting the inning.
The Broncos added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth off reliever Bobby Simone to make the score 7-0. Akron would load up the bags in their half of the eighth before Jason Corzine lined out to right to end the inning.
Akron is back in action at Canal Park on Tuesday, taking on Malone. First pitch is slate for 3:00 p.m.
Ball State 1, Ohio 0
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State baseball team claimed the Mid-American Conference series victory over Ohio with a 1-0 shutout of the Bobcats Sunday afternoon at Ball Diamond. The victory improves the Cardinals to 2-1 in MAC play this season and marks their first series victory of the year.
Senior right-hander Morgan Coombs (West Terre Haute, Ind./Lincoln Trail) and freshman left-hander Devin Wilburn (Wapahani, Ind./Selma) combined for the shutout as they limited Ohio to just four hits and only allowed one runner to reach third base in the victory. The shutout is the Cardinals' first of the season and the first since a 2-0 blanking of Northern Illinois last season (May 16, 2010).
Coombs (1-3) picked up the win as he tossed 6.0 shutout innings while allowing four hits and striking out five. Wilburn posted his first career save as he worked the final 3.0 innings and did not allow a base runner, retiring nine straight.
Ball State opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning against Ohio right-hander Jason Moulton. Junior Mitch Widau (Richmond, Ind./Richmond) and redshirt freshman Billy Wellman (Portland, Ind./Jay County) drew two-out walks. Freshman third baseman Kenny Mahala (Highland, Ind./Andrean) put the Cardinals in front 1-0 as he dropped a single over the shortstop's head and Widau beat the throw home for the game's first run.
Ohio (12-11, 1-2 MAC) threatened in the top of the fourth inning as Jensen Painter walked and Seth Streich was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Coombs settled in and recorded three straight outs to strand two on base keeping the Cardinals in the lead.
The Bobcats last threatened in the top of the sixth inning as they put two on base after one out taking advantage of an error and a walk. Coombs once again buckled down and got an infield pop fly and a ground out to end the threat.
Ohio would lead off the seventh inning with a single by Garrett Black that chased Coombs from the game. Wilburn came on in relief and induced three straight ground outs to strand Black at third base. The Bobcats would not have another base runner in the final two innings.
Moulton (1-2) picked up a tough loss as he posted a complete game working 8.0 innings of three hit baseball. He only allowed one run while striking out eight batters but issued five walks in the loss.
Ball State will be off during the midweek before returning to MAC action next weekend with a three-game series at Miami beginning Friday evening at 6 p.m.