Friday's MAC Baseball Results
Kent State 4, Eastern Michigan 2
Western Michigan 5, Ohio 1
Miami 8, Northern Illinois 9
Bowling Green 2, Ball State 0
Stories courtesy of home sports information departments
Kent State 4, Eastern Michigan 2
KENT, Ohio -- Redshirt junior left-handed starting pitcher Andrew Chafin (Wakeman, Ohio) reached double digits in strikeouts for the third time this season to help Kent State down Eastern Michigan, 4-2, today (April 8) in a Mid-American Conference game at Olga A. Mural Field atSchoonover Stadium.
The victory puts the Golden Flashes (18-10, 6-1 MAC) in the driver's seat for the race for the MAC regular season crown and runs Kent State's winning streak to seven - including five straight conference victories, which is the program's longest such streak in three years.
"We pitched outstanding," said seventh-year head coach Scott Stricklin. "Andrew was great out there again. It's amazing, he wasn't his sharpest, but he still had 13 strikeouts and no walks. When you win on Friday against a really good team, it's a good win for us."
Chafin tallied 13 strikeouts -- just two off of his career high set two weeks ago against Toledo - and allowed one earned run on seven hits in 8.2 innings of work. He did not issue a walk and improved to 4-1 on the season. Junior right-handed closer Kyle McMillen (North Canton, Ohio) earned his third straight save and seventh of the season. His 11 career saves ties him with Chad Wagler (2003-06) for fourth place in program history.
"It feels great to get the win," said Chafin. "I didn't have my best stuff out there, but I pushed through it and got the win."
Junior third baseman Travis Shaw (Washington Court House, Ohio) led the Flashes at the plate, going3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
The Flashes struck first with two runs in the bottom of the second. Freshman second baseman Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio) smacked a leadoff double to left to get things started. Redshirt junior left fielder Joe Koch (Youngstown, Ohio) was hit by a pitch to put two men on with no outs. Junior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.) laid down a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt back to the mound to move both runners up 90 feet. That set the table for an RBI base hit to left by Shaw.
Eastern Michigan (18-11, 5-2 MAC) took advantage of two miscues by Kent State in the top of the fourth. Junior center fielder BrentOhrman led off the with a base hit, then advanced to second on a throwing error. Sophomore Daniel Russell reached base safely courtesy of an error. Ohrman crossed home plate one out later thanks to a single to center by senior second baseman Zack Leonard.
The Flashes got a run back in the bottom half as junior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) smacked a leadoff double down the left field line, then scored off a double to left by sophomore designated hitter Jason Bagoly (Austintown, Ohio).
The Eagles answered right back in the top of the fifth when freshman designated hitter Dae Bowden cracked a one-out single to left, advanced to second on a base hit to right by senior right fielder Ken Battiston, stole third and then scored on an RBI groundout to short by Ohrman.
That's as close as the Eagles got, though, as Chafin sat down the side in next two frames - including three straight strikeouts in the seventh. Kent State added to its lead in the eighth when Rider double down the left field line and later scored.
Chafin recorded back-to-back strikeouts to begin the bottom of the ninth, then McMillen closed the door on the Eagles by inducing a force out to end the game.
Kent State and Eastern Michigan square off again Saturday (April 9) in a 1 p.m. meeting at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium. The Flashes will send senior southpaw Kyle Hallock (Sandusky, Ohio) to the mound.Western Michigan 5, Ohio 1
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Junior right-hander Brian Stroud threw his second complete game of the season, leading Western Michigan to its first win over the visiting Bobcats since 2005, 5-1. WMU blew a 2-1 game open with three runs in the eighth, scoring on a squeeze bunt by Troy Forton and a two-run single by Brad Wehrmeyer.
Western Michigan improved to 15-16, 4-3 in MAC play with the victory, while Ohio dropped to 15-15, 2-5 MAC. Stroud gave up just four hits and fanned seven, boosting his record to 5-2 on the year. The win snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Bobcats, dating back to May 1, 2005.
WMU scored two runs in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead. The Broncos had a chance to score three runs in the inning, but Jimmy Martinez was thrown out at a bang-bang play at the plate after a flyout to right field. Jack Scanlon and Patrick Duncan came through with two-out singles to give WMU the advantage.
Stroud sat down the Bobcats in order in the first and second and did not surrender a hit until the fourth. Ohio cut the lead in half in the seventh, scoring a run on a pair of doubles.
Western Michigan made Ohio pay for a fielding error in the eighth, plating three unearned runs. Scanlon scorched a one-out single up the middle and Duncan reached after the Ohio second baseman couldn't handle what could have been an inning-ending double-play ball. With runners at the corners, Forton laid down a perfect squeeze bunt for a base hit to extend WMU's lead to 3-1. Brad Wehrmeyer recorded two RBIs with a two-out single up the middle.
With a 5-1 cushion, Stroud returned to the mound in the ninth to finish off the game. Byran Barnes slapped a leadoff double, but Stroud retired the next three batters, two with swinging strikeouts.
Seth Streich (0-4) took the loss for Ohio, allowing all five Bronco runs and nine hits. Scanlon and Wehrmeyer each went 2-for-3 at the plate for WMU. Martinez also had a pair of hits.
Western Michigan and Ohio return to Robert J. Bobb Field at Hyames Field tomorrow to play games two and three of the series with a doubleheader starting at noon. The series was originally scheduled as game two on Saturday and game three on Sunday, but was bumped up due to inclement weather expected in the region Sunday.
Miami 8, Northern Illinois 0
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois has been held scoreless only two times this season. Unfortunately, both times have been in Mid-American Conference home series as the Huskies fell 8-0 to Miami (Ohio) Friday afternoon at Ralph McKinzie Field.
The first shutout came on March 26 at against Bowling Green, when the Huskies (11-16, 4-3 MAC), oddly enough, lost 8-0 in game two of the series. NIU opened its three-game tilt with the RedHawks (16-14, 5-2 MAC) by suffering a very similar fate. The MAC's fifth toughest arm to score on (2.03 ERA), Mac Thoreson continued to baffle the league's hitters. In eight innings, the right-hander gave up five hits and two walks with four strikeouts to improve to 3-2 on the year, proving too much to handle for the Huskies to earn their 12th win in their last 17 games.
Helping Thoreson's cause were three first-inning runs off NIU ace Zach Oates, who took the loss after allowing seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits and two walks and tied a career high with eight strikeouts.
"We didn't hit the ball and put any pressure on their team at all offensively," said NIU head coach Ed Mathey. "Zach gave up a leadoff walk and they stole some bases to get those three first inning runs. We had some opportunities but we just got under the ball too much or hit it at their second baseman, who seemed to make every play."
Despite being a mark of consistency, Oates is only 2-5 in 2011. The tall righty has gone at least six innings and tallied four strikeouts in all seven starts this season, compiling a 4.40 ERA. However, he's given up 28 runs and only received 23 runs of support from the offense.
The immediate runs Miami put on the Huskies in the first inning allowed Thoreson to settle in and put pressure on the NIU offense. Two prime opportunities to crawl right back into the game in the third and fourth innings went awry and the Huskies struggled to threaten after.
The first chance came in the third with two outs and runners on second and third with Alex Jones at the plate. A lengthy at-bat by Jones ended in a groundout to second.
After the RedHawks increased their lead to 4-0 with a run in the fourth, NIU had a first-and-third situation with one out after back-to-back singles by Troy White and Jeff Zimmerman. Following a swinging strikeout by Jordan Rishavy and a walk by Brett Frantini, Tom Kotis went down looking to end the Huskies' best scoring chance of the game.
"We did not seem to use the field as well as [Miami] did today," Mathey said. "Once Zach settled down, he did well. They did what they needed to do early with him, though. The leadoff walk didn't help. They moved the ball around and did some things to force some action. We just weren't able to do those types of things today."
Going 3-for-4 on the day, Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to an NIU season-best eight games with three singles.
The Huskies and RedHawks continue the series at 1:05 p.m. CT tomorrow and Sunday. The scheduled pitching matchups showcase NIU LHP Tom Barry (2-1 | 4.15 ERA) versus MU Tyler Melling (5-0 | 2.85 ERA) on Saturday and NIU RHP Jeremy Gonzales (3-4 | 5.26 ERA) against MU's unannounced starter on Sunday.
Bowling Green 2, Ball State 0
MUNCIE, Ind. - Ball State junior right-hander Cal Bowling (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown) turned in his third straight complete game performance Friday afternoon but the Cardinals dropped a 2-0 decision to Mid-American Conference rival Bowling Green at Ball Diamond. The loss drops the Cardinals to 4-3 on the year in MAC play while the Falcons improve to 4-3 in league contests.
Bowling (3-2) was the hard-luck loser as he allowed two runs on 10 hits while striking out five batters. He becomes the first Ball State pitcher to post at least three complete games in a season since Brian Lynch recorded seven complete games during the 2003 season. The loss also marks the first blemish of Bowling's career in MAC play as he opened his career 8-0 against league foes in 12 starts.
Bowling Green right-hander Cody Apthorpe and right-hander Mike Frank combined to shutout the Cardinals as they held Ball State to just five hits. Apthorpe improves to 3-3 on the season as he went 7.0 innings allowing four hits and striking out eight batters. Frank tossed the final two innings and held the Cardinals to one hit for his second save.
Bowling Green broke a scoreless game in the top of the fifth inning as it took a 2-0 lead. The runs snapped Bowling's scoreless inning streak at 21.2 innings as he hadn't allowed a run since the first inning of the MAC opener against Ohio (March 25).
Clay Duncan led off the inning with a single and moved to third as Logan Walker singled to put runners at the corners. Bowling came within inches of getting out of the inning as he got a ground ball from Franklin Lancaster. The Cardinals tried to turn the double play but Lancaster beat the throw at first base allowing Duncan to score the first run of the afternoon. Lancaster stole second base and came home to score as Frank Berry singled up the middle for the 2-0 Bowling Green lead.
Ball State threatened in the bottom of the fifth inning against Apthorpe. Senior T.J. Baumet (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) worked a two out walk and moved into scoring position as junior Cody Elliott (Florence, Ky./Beechwood) doubled down the left field line. Apthorpe worked out of the threat as he induced a fly ball to center field to strand both runners.
Ball State brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning against Frank. Freshman Kenny Mahala (Highland, Ind./Andrean) gave the Cardinals some life as he ripped a one out double into the left center field gap. Frank was able to thwart the rally as he induced two ground balls to end the game for the Falcons.
Ball State and Bowling Green will continue its series Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Ball Diamond.