Sunday's MAC Baseball Results
Kent State 8, Eastern Michigan 5
Central Michigan 10, Akron 0
Northern Illinois 2, Miami 0
Ball State 13-5, Bowling Green 4-10 (DH)
Toledo 9, Buffalo 5
Stories courtesy of MAC home sports information deparments
Kent State 8, Eastern Michigan 5
KENT, Ohio - Junior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) and third baseman Travis Shaw (Washington Court House, Ohio) each smashed solo home runs to right field as the Kent State baseball slugged its way to an 8-5 win over Eastern Michigan today (April 10) in a Mid-American Conference game atOlga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium.
A large, sun-soaked crowd watched as the Golden Flashes (20-10, 8-1 MAC) piled up 13 hits and five players finished with multi-hit games as Kent State ran its win streak to nine straight overall and seven conference wins in a row to maintain its hold on the top spot in the quest for the overall conference crown. The sweep of the Eagles (18-13, 5-4 MAC) marked Kent State's second straight over a MAC West Division foe.
Lyon collected three hits in the win to lead Kent State, while Shaw, junior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.), freshman left fielder T.J. Sutton (Uniontown, Ohio) and sophomore first baseman George Roberts (Summerhill, Pa.) all posted two apiece.
Junior left-handed starting pitcher David Starn (Hudson, Ohio) worked 6.1 frames and struck out five to up his record to a team-best 5-1. He allowed two earned runs on six hits and two walks. Sophomore righty Casey Wilson (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) tossed 2.1 innings and fanned one, and junior right-handed closer Kyle McMillen (North Canton, Ohio) got the final out of the ninth to earn his eighth save of the season. McMillen now stands alone for the third most saves in school history with 12.
Eastern Michigan landed the first punch of the game in the top of the first when senior right fielder Ken Battiston led off with a double to left and later scored on a sacrifice fly to left by senior second baseman Zack Leonard.
The Flashes knotted the contest at one-all in the bottom of the second as senior right fielder Ben Klafczynski (Granger Township, Ohio) coaxed a leadoff walk, advanced tothird on a single to right by Lyon, then tagged up and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by sophomore designated hitter Jason Bagoly (Austintown, Ohio).
Kent State broke the tie in the fourth with two runs. Lyon smashed a leadoff solo shot to right. Roberts singled up the middle two outs later, then scored courtesy of a throwing error by the Eagles.
The Flashes tallied single runs in both the fifth and sixth. Shaw sent a laser over the right-field fence in the fifth to make it 4-1 infavor of Kent State. Sutton hit a one-out single to left, advanced to third on an infield single to second by Roberts, then scored on a passed ball in thesixth.
The Eagles cut into Kent State's lead when junior shortstop Tucker Rubino hit a solo homer to left to open the seventh, but Kent State expanded its advantage to 7-2 in the bottom half when Lyon placed a two-outbase hit into center, then scored on a double to right by sophomore pinch hitter Evan Campbell (Beloit, Ohio). Sutton singled Campbell home with a hit to right.
Kent State plated its eighth run in the eighth when redshirt junior Joe Koch (Youngstown, Ohio) reached on an error by the Eagles, then scored on a single to second by Rider.
Wilson got the first two outs of the ninth, but an error led to three unearned runs by Eastern Michigan and brought McMillen into the game to seal the win. Rider made a spectacular defensive play deep in the hole at short to end the game on a force at second.
Eastern Michigan sophomore right-handed starting pitcher Steve Weber was saddled with the pitching defeat for the Eagles, allowing three runs - two of them earned - on five hits and a walk over 3.2 innings. Battiston and Rubino led the offensive effort for the Eagles with three hits apiece.
Kent State takes on Youngstown State in a home-and-home series Tuesday (April 12) at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium and Wednesday (April 13) in Youngstown, Ohio. The Flashes then return to conference action with a three-game road trip at Central Michigan next weekend (April 15-17).
Central Michigan 10, Akron 0
AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron baseball team was shutout by Central Michigan, 10-0, on Sunday in the finale of the clubs' 3-game series.
CMU's Jake Sabol went the distance on the mound and limited Akron to just four hits. Akron starter Myles McVeigh was forced from the game after just 1.2 innings. McVeigh was touched up for six runs although just two were earned.
Akron (6-23, 0-9 Mid-American Conference) squandered an early chance to score when Jared Turocy was stranded on third in the bottom of the first. Turocy had started the inning with a leadoff double and moved to third on a Matt Corpora sacrifice bunt. Sabol would strike out Drew Turocy and force Kurt Gamby into a flyout to left to end the inning.
The Chippewas (16-17, 5-4 MAC) blew the game open with a six run second. After McVeigh struck out the first batter of the inning, the freshman righty walked the bases loaded. Robbie Harmon then snapped a sharp grounder to Jason Corzine at third whose throw home was errant and allowed the Chippewas first run of the inning. Three doubles and a sacrifice fly in the next four batters pushed across five more Central Michigan runs.
CMU would add three runs in the fourth of reliever Benjamin Danziger. Danziger would settle in however finishing the day with a season-high 4.1 innings pitched and six strikeouts.
The Chippewas capped the scoring with an unearned run in the seventh when pitcher Bobby Simone bobbled a tapper back to the mound by Nate Theunissen. Theunissen would then score on a Eric Wrozek single.
The Zips will take on Ohio State in a midweek doubleheader on Wednesday in Columbus. The two teams will play a pair of seven inning game beginning at 4:35 p.m.
Northern Illinois 2, Miami 0
DeKALB, Ill. - Jeremy Gonzales was nearly perfect during Northern Illinois' 2-0 victory that secured a 2-1 Mid-American Conference series win over Miami (Ohio) on Sunday afternoon at Ralph McKinzie Field.
"One game does not make a series," said NIU head coach Ed Mathey. "We didn't do much offensively in the first game and we responded yesterday and that makes Sunday a lot of fun. We did a decent job with bats today on a day that wasn't a hitter's day. Wind blowing at the back of the pitcher doesn't help the hitters. The big thing was Gonzo, though. That was a pretty special performance."
The senior retired every RedHawk in order through 5.2 innings before a sharp liner to right field by Jon Edgington broke up Gonazales' bid for a perfect game. The hit did not break his focus, though. Extending his scoreless innings streak to 25.2 innings, the MAC's hottest pitcher put together his first career complete game shutout, marking the fifth shutout for the Huskies (13-16, 6-3 MAC) this season. The last time NIU had five shutouts in a season was in 1996. Prior to the first shutout of the year on March 16 against North Dakota, the Huskies had gone 108 games between shutouts. All five in 2011 have come in a 19-game stretch.
Furthering the details on Gonzales extraordinary day and third career complete game, the righty retired the side in order in every inning except the sixth, eighth and ninth as he allowed just three hits and fanned a season-high seven. He also only fell into four full-counts as he threw 109 pitches, 73 for strikes, to the 30 batters he faced. Gonzales is the first Huskie hurler to allow no walks in a game since 2007.
Of the 20 outs in the field, 15 were on fly balls. On a day where the wind was steadily blowing in around 20-30 MPH the whole game, the fly ball pitcher received plenty of help from the wind as fly balls that may have been trouble on a less windy day were held up by the gusts and allowed the Huskies to camp underneath.
The only time Miami (16-16, 5-4 MAC) got close to scoring is when Gonzales was at his best. After Adam Weisenburger led off the eighth inning with a double to left, Gonzales induced a fly out to center off the bat of Kevin Bower. He then recorded swinging strikeouts against Brad Gschwind and Ryan Kaup to end the threat, and pumped his fist twice emphatically as he walked off the mound.
Being absolutely in the zone, Gonzales surrendered a two-out single to pinch-hitter Nate Bowles in the ninth, and once again, got Bryce Redeker swinging to end the game as he pumped his fist a final time with his teammates running out to mob him on the mound in congratulatory fashion.
Enabling Gonzales to earn his third win in a row and even his record to 4-4 on the year was a two-run fourth inning, much like yesterday's win. With two outs, Jeff Zimmerman singled to right to extend his NIU season-best hitting streak to 10 games. Alex Klonowski backed it up with a double to left that rolled to the wall after Marcus Makuch's dive came up empty. Zimmerman scored easily on the play. Gonzales' battery mate, Brian Riegler, then delivered a sharp single off third baseman Gschwind's glove to bring home Klonowski.
As he continues to excel in his role as the third weekend starter for NIU, Gonzales has at least six starts left and a good chance to eclipse the 4-4 record he put up last year in his first year with the Huskies. Spending most of his time as the No. 2 weekend starter in 2010, Gonzales has blossomed as a No. 3 starter in 2011, especially since the start of the MAC schedule. In his three starts during MAC play, Gonzales has gone 3-0 and has yet to allow a run. In 24 innings, he has given up just 11 hits and five walks with 18 strikeouts and has held hitters to a measly .136 batting average.
"[Jeremy Gonzales] has been great [in his scoreless streak]," Mathey said. "You can attribute it to throwing strikes and relying on his defense. He still gets his strike out chances, but he's not trying to not pitch to contact. He's the guy that hitters walk away from saying, ‘boy, I should've gotten a hit.' He doesn't have 92 MPH fastball and killer slider, but the fastball, change-up and slider he throws with location works well for him. He and [pitching coach] Ray Napientek have done a great job in making some adjustments this year."
Each of Gonzales' MAC starts has come with different stipulations. His first win came on March 27 at home against Bowling Green -- a seven inning performance that salvaged the finale of the series for NIU. His second win was on April 3 at Buffalo as he closed out a sweep for NIU with eight effective innings. His third victory gave the Huskies the rubber match edge, locking down their second MAC series in as many weekends. NIU's 6-3 record in league play is the best the Huskies have stood nine games into the conference schedule since 2007.
With a 3-2 five-game home stand complete, NIU hits the road for its next six games. The Huskies will put their 5-4 road record to the test starting with a 3 p.m. CT contest against Illinois State on Tuesday, April 12.
Ball State 13-5, Bowling Green 4-10 (DH)
Boxscore (Game 1)
Boxscore (Game 2)
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State baseball team suffered its first Mid-American Conference series loss of the season as the Cardinals split a Sunday doubleheader to Bowling Green. The Cardinals won the first game of the twin bill 13-4 before dropping the second game and the series 10-5 at Ball Diamond. The Cardinals end the doubleheader with a 7-22 overall record and a 5-4 MAC record while the Falcons improve to 11-16 and 5-4 in league action.
Freshman first baseman Kenny Mahala (Highland, Ind./Andrean) tallied three home runs and drove in 10 runs in the doubleheader to lead the Cardinals. He posted two grand slams and eight RBI in the first game of the twin bill before posting a two-run home run in the second game of the double dip.
Game One - Ball State 13, Bowling Green 4
Ball State freshman first baseman Kenny Mahala (Highland, Ind./Andrean) drove in a career-high eight runs as he pounded grand slams in back-to-back innings to lead the Cardinals to a 13-4 victory over visiting Bowling Green in the first game of a Sunday doubleheader at Ball Diamond.
Mahala, who entered the game with three RBI on the year, recorded eight RBI in two at-bats in the third and fourth innings. His eight RBI is a season-high for a BSU player this season and the most since Ian Nielsen posted eight RBI one year ago to the day against Bowling Green in the Cardinals' 32-10 victory.
Bowling Green struck early against senior right-hander Morgan Coombs (West Terre Haute, Ind./Lincoln Trail) as Frank Berry and Andrew Kubiski led off with back-to-back singles. After a ground ball got the first out of the inning, BGSU designated hitter Matt Pitzulo connected on a three-run home run over the right center field wall for the early 3-0 Bowling Green lead.
Ball State broke out in the bottom of the third inning as it scored five runs to chase BGSU starter Nick Bruns from the game. Freshman Sean Godfrey (New Albany, Ind./New Albany) led off the inning with a single and moved to second as junior Cody Elliott (Florence, Ky./Beechwood) singled through the left side.
Bruns walked senior T.J. Baumet (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) to load the bases before junior Mitch Widau (Richmond, Ind./Richmond) blooped a single over the shortstop's head to score the Cardinals' first run of the afternoon.
Ball State took over the lead as Mahala unloaded on a 1-1 pitch high over the left center field wall for a grand slam giving the Cardinals their first lead of the afternoon at 5-3. The home run was the first of Mahala's career and the Cardinals' second grand slam in as many MAC weekends as Elliott hit a grand slam last Saturday against Miami.
The Cardinals added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning against BGSU reliever Ross Gerdeman. Godfrey led off the inning with his first career home run high over the scoreboard in left center field for a 6-3 Ball State lead.
Elliott kept the inning going as he singled into center field before Gerdeman issued back-to-back walks to Baumet and Widau to load the bases. The Cardinals and Mahala struck once again as he crushed his second grand slam of the game high over the left center field wall for a 10-3 lead.
Ball State extended its lead to 13-3 with three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to chase Gerdeman from the game. Sophomore Stephen Claypool (Dearborn, Mich./Divine Child) led off the inning with a single and moved to second as Godfrey drew a four-pitch walk. Baumet gave the Cardinals a double-digit lead as he lifted his team-leading third home run over the left field wall for a three-run shot off reliever Levi Fisher.
Bowling Green was held to just one run over the final eight innings as four Cardinal pitchers combined to post seven zeroes after the three-run first inning. Coombs (3-3) picked up the victory as he worked 6.0 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits as he struck out five batters. Freshman T.J. Weir (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) worked a scoreless inning while classmate Jacob Brewer (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph's) added two scoreless innings of relief.
Bruns (2-2) was charged with the loss as he was pegged with five runs on seven hits in 2.1 innings of work while Gerdeman allowed seven runs on four hits in 1.2 innings for the Falcons.
Game Two - Bowling Green 10, Ball State 5
Bowling Green scored 10 unanswered runs at one point against the Ball State baseball team to take home a 10-5 victory over the Cardinals in the series finale. Clay Duncan drove in five runs for the Falcons while Ryan Schlatter tallied four RBI as BGSU posted two grand slams.
Ball State struck first against Bowling Green right-hander Charles Wooten in the bottom of the fourth inning. Widau got things going as he poked an opposite field single down the left field line with two outs and took advantage of a miss relay throw by the BGSU left fielder to move into scoring position. Mahala struck again as he crushed his third home run of the afternoon high over the left field wall to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
Bowling Green answered back in the top of the fifth inning against senior left-hander Derek Grabner (Fort Wayne, Ind./Lincoln Trail). The Falcons loaded the bases courtesy of a base hit, error and a walk before Ryan Schlatter put the Falcons in front 4-2 as he hit a grand slam off the scoreboard in left center field for his fourth home run of the year.
The Falcons added to their lead in the top of the seventh inning against the Ball State bullpen. Ryan Schlatter led off the inning with a walk and moved to third as Jon Berti reached on a single. After a strikeout, Clay Duncan doubled to right field driving in Schlatter but the Cardinals threw out Berti at the plate. Logan Walker put the Falcons in front 6-2 as he poked a single through the left side scoring Duncan.
Bowling Green broke the game open in the top of the eighth inning against right-hander Seth Hobbs (Marseilles, Ill./Seneca). The Falcons quickly loaded the bases with a double by Andrew Kubuski, a walk to Frank Berry and a fielding error by Hobbs. After getting the next two batters out, Clay Duncan hit the Falcons' second grand slam of the game over the batter's eye in center field for a 10-2 lead.
The Cardinals scored three times in the bottom of the ninth inning against BGSU reliever Mike Frank. Elliott pulled the Cardinals within five runs as he hit his third home run of the season over the left field wall with two outs in the last frame.
Grabner (0-3) picked up the loss as he allowed four runs on 4.2 innings as he was the first of six Ball State pitchers to see the mound. Wooten (2-4) picked up the victory for the Falcons as he worked 6.0 innings and allowed two runs on four hits while striking out eight batters.
Ball State continues its five-game home stretch Tuesday afternoon as it hosts Big Ten foe Purdue. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. at Ball Diamond.
Toledo 9, Buffalo 5
TOLEDO, OH - The Buffalo baseball team broke out the bats Sunday afternoon in the third game of a weekend series in Toledo against the Rockets. The Bulls jumped out to its first lead of the weekend but a dominant late-inning effort helped the home team to a three-game series sweep with a 9-5 win.
It was a fast start for the team, as Matt Pollock led off the game with a double to left center field. After two groundouts failed to move him over, Tom Murphy came through with a two-out single to put Buffalo on the board in the first inning, 1-0. The Rockets scored three unanswered runs until the offense was able to convert again in the fifth inning with a two-out outburst.
In what has become a calling card for the team, the offense gelled with its back to the wall, scoring three runs in the fifth inning with two outs following a groundout and strikeout. Pollock woke the team up with a solo shot to right center field. After singles from River McWilliams and Alex Baldock, Murphy again proved to be clutch, lacing a double to score both runners and put the Bulls up 4-3.
Another run was added in the next inning thanks to a Jordan Camp home run to lead off the inning but a double from Andrew Smietana was squandered after he was gunned down trying to steal third base. The team threatened again in the seventh but were unable to convert, a fact that would haunt the team in the very next half of the inning. Toledo scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh, ruining what had been another great start from Cameron Copping. Copping got one out and the bullpen combination of Cory Folk and Kevin Hughes were unable to hold the lead. The UB offense was unable to respond, going down in order in the eighth and ninth.
With the loss, the Bulls fall to 7-21 and 0-9 in the Mid American Conference. The team will look to snap a recent losing streak with a mid-week doubleheader against Big Four rival St. Bonaventure Tuesday. First pitch at Amherst Audubon Field is scheduled for 2:00 pm.