MAC Baseball Saturday Scoreboard:
Kent State 8, Bowling Green 0
Central Michigan 3, Western Michigan 0
Toledo 4, Eastern Michigan 3
Northern Illinois 10, Ball State 9
Ball State 13, Northern Illinois 7
Miami 8, Buffalo 2
Akron at Ohio -- Game Halted after 7 innings. Will resume on Sunday at 1 pm
No. 30 Kent State Baseball Rides Hallock's Arm, Campbell's Bat To Series Win Over Bowling Green
Story courtesy of Kent State Sports Information
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- The Kent State baseball team rode the arm of left-handed starting pitcher Kyle Hallock (Sandusky, Ohio) and the bat of sophomore center fielder Evan Campbell (Beloit, Ohio) to an 8-0 shutout and a Mid-American Conference East Division road series victory over Bowling Green today (May 14) at Steller Field.
Ranked No. 30 in the nation according to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, the Golden Flashes (36-13, 19-4 MAC) are now one victory away from clinching the 2011 MAC regular season title, which would be the 11th in program history and first since 2008. Kent State has won 27 of its last 31 games and seven of eight conference series - including four straight series wins over MAC East foes.
"It's nice that the task at hand is finally here, which is winning the championship," said seventh-year head coach Scott Stricklin. "We've been kind of counting down and getting ready for this day. We'll just play it like we've been playing the last few weeks, like every game is the most important game we're going to play. "
Hallock dealed a career-high 8.1-inning shutout of the Falcons (18-28, 10-13 MAC) and fanned a career-high 10 batters to move into second place on Kent State's career strikeouts list with 224, passing current Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Matt Guerrier, who pitched for the Flashes from 1997-99. Hallock improved to 9-4 on the season with the mound triumph, tying Joe Skodny (1982-85) for seventh place on the school's career wins list with 21. His nine wins rank first on both the team and in the MAC. He has made a serious case to be named MAC Pitcher of the Year, winning his last seven starts by working through the seventh inning in each and striking out seven or more in his last five outings. During the seven-game stretch, Hallock has tossed three shutouts, tallied 48 strikeouts, allowed just four earned runs and recorded an ERA of 0.69.
"Kyle was outstanding," said Stricklin. "He commanded the strike zone and threw all four of his pitches for strikes. In fastball counts, he was able to throw his changeup and his slider. He did everything you need your guy to do to be successful."
While Hallock had a big day on the mound, Kent State enjoyed an equally solid day as a team at the plate. Kent State totaled 17 hits -- marking the second game in a row and fifth time this season the Golden Flashes have recorded at least 15 hits. Campbell led the charge with a career-high five base hits and drove in two runs. Senior right fielder Ben Klafczynski (Granger Township, Ohio), junior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) and freshman designated hitter T.J. Sutton (Uniontown, Ohio) all chipped in two hits to Kent State's cause.
"We played solid all the way around," said Stricklin. "We played great defense and made tons of plays behind Kyle. Offensively, we got hits when we needed them. I thought our guys had a lot of good at-bats."
Kent State wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, plating three runs in the top of the first. Campbell got the ball rolling with a single up the middle. Klafczynski singled through the left side two outs later, and Lyon plated Campbell with a base hit to center. Sutton followed with an RBI single to center to score Klafczynski. Sophomore first baseman George Roberts (Summerhill, Pa.) singled home Lyon with a hit through the left side.
The Flashes tacked three more on in the third. Lyon cracked a leadoff single to left. Sutton followed with one to right that moved Lyon to third. Roberts laid down a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt back to the mound that allowed Lyon to scamper home. Freshman second baseman Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio) sent a single down the left field line to bring around Sutton one out later. Junior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.) scored Toadvine with a single to left.
While Kent State's offense did their part, Hallock sat down the side in order in five frames - including the first 11 straight batters to set the tone.
Kent State added its last two runs in the top of the ninth. Sophomore pinch hitter Jason Bagoly (Austintown, Ohio) hit a one-out single to third and was replaced on the base path by freshman pinch runner Troy Summers (Minerva, Ohio). After Summers stole second, redshirt junior left fielder Joe Koch (Youngstown, Ohio) coaxed a walk. After a double steal put Summers and Koch in scoring position, Campbell singled both home with a hit to left.
Bowling Green sophomore right-handed starter Nick Bruns suffered the pitching defeat for the Falcons, surrendering six earned runs on 10 hits and a walk in just 2.2 innings of work.
The Golden Flashes shoot for their fifth MAC series sweep of the season Sunday (May 15). Junior southpaw David Starn (Hudson, Ohio) gets the start for Kent State.
Central Michigan tops Western Michigan, 3-0
Story courtesy of Western Michigan Sports Information
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan dropped a 3-0 decision to Central Michigan Saturday, as the Chippewas evened the three-game series at one game apiece. Zach Cooper threw a complete-game one-hitter for CMU. Tim Cross had the Broncos' lone hit in the fifth.
Central Michigan generated a run on a pair of singles and a sac bunt in the third, but wouldn't score again until the ninth as the game was tight until the end. CMU's Sam Russell tucked a solo home run just inside the left field foul line in the ninth and William Arnold drove in the Chippewas' third run with a sacrifice fly.
Western Michigan only had four base runners in the game and missed out on the scoring opportunities it had. The Broncos twice had a runner at second with one out and failed to advance them any further. Vinnie Booker drew a walk in the fifth and moved to third on a two-base throwing error, but Cooper got Jimmy Martinez to strike out in the next at bat. Cooper fanned six in the game.
Bronco starter Casey Webber had a solid showing, allowing just one run over seven innings, scattering seven hits, walking two and striking out three. His record dropped to 4-5 with the loss. Mike Moyer recorded the first out in the eighth and then was replaced by Monty Porter with two runners on base. Porter recorded the final two outs of the inning with strikeouts and left three Chippewas stranded. Porter would however get touched for the two runs in the ninth.
WMU held its stadium dedication ceremony prior to the game, as the ballpark officially took the name of Robert J. Bobb Stadium at Hyames Field. Robert. J. Bobb threw out the first pitch.
Western Michigan (24-26, 11-12 MAC) and Central Michigan (27-23, 15-8 MAC) will play the rubber match tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Toledo Drops Eastern Michigan with a come-from-behind 4-3 win
Story courtesy of Toledo Sports Information
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo scored a pair of runs in the eighth inning and claimed a 4-3 come-from-behind victory against Eastern Michigan (32-18, 14-9 MAC) on Saturday at soggy Scott Park. With the combination of today's triumph and a Ball State loss, the Rockets (25-24, 14-9 MAC) have secured a spot in the upcoming MAC Tournament for the third-consecutive season and fourth time in the last five years.
UT plated a pair of runs on the strength of four-consecutive singles in the game-deciding frame to post its second win of the spring when trailing after seven innings. Junior OF Ben Hammer and junior INF Matt Delewski started the rally with back-to-back singles to send EMU starter Joe Battistelli (6-2) to the showers. Junior DH Mark Lapikas greeted Eagles' reliever Kristian Calibuso with a run-scoring single up the middle to bring Hammer home with the equalizer. Freshman 3B James Miglin then stepped to the plate and continued to swing a hot stick this weekend with another single up the middle to score Delewski with the eventual game-winning run. Miglin has a team-high five hits in the first two contests this weekend.
Junior RHP Alex Radon (5-3) was credited with the victory, working 2.1 scoreless relief innings with four strikeouts.
Senior RHP Matt Zahel closed the door for Toledo in the ninth frame with a pair of batters to preserve the come-from-behind triumph and collect his team-high 10th save of the spring, second-most in school history in a single season.
The Midnight Blue & Gold also received an outstanding pitching performance from junior RHP Lincoln Rassi. The hard-throwing right-handed hurler yielded three runs on five hits with four punchouts over the opening 5.2 innings but did not factor into the decision. The Goshen, IN native cruised through the opening 5.0 frames and allowed only one hit.
UT outhit EMU, 11-8, led by multi-hit efforts from senior C Jim Vahalik (2-for-2), Miglin (2-for-4, RBI) and Lapikas (2-for-4, RS, RBI). Eight of Toledo's nine starters had a hit against a pair of Eastern Michigan hurlers.
The Rockets opened the scoring with a run in the second inning on a RBI single off the bat of senior OF Dan Sherwood. The damage could have been a lot more extensive for the home team, but they had a pair of runners get thrown out at the plate to keep the difference at 1-0.
UT doubled its lead in the third frame on a first-pitch, leadoff home run by junior OF Jeff Cola. The third-year Rocket turned on an inside pitch and blasted it over the right-field wall to register his first round tripper of the spring.
With Rassi and the Rockets seemingly in control of the contest, the Eagles countered with three tallies in the sixth to establish their first advantage. The visitors pounded out five hits in the frame and took advantage of a sacrifice fly from Zack Leonard and a run-scoring hit from Ben Magsig to draw the teams even and end the afternoon for UT's Rassi. Radon then stepped to the rubber and surrendered a two-out RBI single off the bat of Daniel Russell to propel the visitors into the lead, 3-2.
Toledo was now down to its last two at-bats and needed a spark to get itself back into the contest. The resilient bunch dug deep and strung together those clutch plate appearances in the eighth frame to give themselves a lead they would not relinquish.
EMU's Battistello was saddled with the loss, allowing four runs on nine hits with a pair of strikeouts in 7.1 innings. Brent Ohrman and Russell had two hits apiece for the Eagles.
The two teams will play the rubber match in the three-game series tomorrow beginning at 1:05 p.m. Sophomore RHP Jared Locke is slated to make his fourth-consecutive weekend start for Toledo.
Miami tops Buffalo 8-2 on Senior Day
Story courtesy of Miami Sports Information
OXFORD, Ohio -- On Senior Day at McKie Field, Miami celebrated with an 8-2 win over Buffalo to complete the weekend series sweep Saturday afternoon. Brad Gschwind batted in two runs and scored another to lead the Miami offense and starter Brooks Fiala went seven innings, giving up five hits and two unearned runs while striking out four for his fourth consecutive win.
The RedHawks (31-21, 17-7 MAC) won for the 13th time in their last 16 games dating back to April 16 and move to 29-6 all-time against the Bulls (12-36, 2-21 MAC).
Miami struck first with an RBI fielder's choice by Gschwind in the third inning that scored Marcus Makuch from third. Makuch reached third with a single to lead off the inning, followed by an error by the Buffalo second baseman off the bat of Ryan Brenner and a walk by Jon Edgington.
Buffalo answered back in the top of the fifth, taking the lead with two runs in the inning extended by a two-out error by Ryan Kaup trying to throw out a runner at first.
The RedHawks responded in the bottom of the frame with two runs of their own to retake the lead. Gschwind picked up his second RBI of the game with a single to right field that brought Ryan Brenner in from third and moved Edgington from first to third, setting up Weldon for the RBI sacrifice fly to center field that scored Edgington to put Miami back in front 3-2.
Miami added four more in the seventh to stretch the lead to 7-2. Edgington and Gschwind got on base with singles up the middle before Weisenburger and Bower hit back-to-back, two-out singles to score Edgington and Gschwind. Bryce Redeker followed that with a deep drive to left-center to score Weisenburger and Bower. Redeker was called out to end the inning while trying to stretch his double into a triple.
Matt Rosinski relieved Fiala in the eighth and retired three of the four batters he faced, giving up just one hit.
Kaup wrapped up the scoring in the eighth with a double down the left field line to plate Ryan Curl, who entered the game as a defensive replacement for Makuch in the seventh and reached base with a walk to lead off the inning.
Ryan Campbell, a redshirt junior who participated in Senior Day with his classmates, relieved Rosinski to start the ninth inning and induced a groundout to Gschwind at third. Senior closer Sam Dawes replaced him to finish out the game and secure win.
Four RedHawks finished with multiple hits. Edgington finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, Gschwind finished 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run, and Weisenburger and Redeker were each 2-for-4. Weisenburger scored a run and drove one in while Redeker had two RBI.
Miami wraps up its home schedule on Tuesday, May 17 at 1 p.m. against Xavier.
Huskies and Cardinals split double header
Story courtesy of Northern Illinois Sports Information
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois split its doubleheader against Ball State Saturday afternoon at Ralph McKinzie Field, getting a walk-off 10-9 win before falling 13-7 in Game Two of a three-game Mid-American Conference series.
With an overcast sky, intermittent misting and a steady 14 MPH wind out to right-center, the favorable hitting conditions led to a combined 39 runs on 46 hits, including three frames where one team scored at least five runs. The crooked number innings defined each game.
In Game One, NIU (25-23, 13-10 MAC) erupted for five runs in the bottom of the first to build a 5-0 lead, most of which came from the first of two home runs by Jeff Zimmerman. The rookie launched a three-run shot over the right field fence to highlight the inning.
However, even after NIU added two more in the fourth, Ball State (13-33, 9-13 MAC) countered with six runs in the sixth, capitalizing on a pair of Huskie errors that extended the inning. The main damage came off of a three-run homer of the Cardinals' own, as Kenny Mahala hit a Zach Oates delivery over the right-center wall.
"I've been around this game long enough to know that you're never comfortable with a lead, no matter how big," said NIU head coach Ed Mathey. "We've done it before and had it done to us before. It was a hitter's day today, obviously."
Interestingly enough, all six runs (two earned) came off Oates, despite the fact that he had retired 13 batters in a row entering the frame.
Up 7-6, the Huskies added to their lead in the seventh after Zimmerman sent another ball out of the park, this time to center for two runs.
Once again, though, the Cardinals answered as they plated three in the eighth to set up NIU's dramatic ninth, which was started by a Troy White leadoff walk. Down 0-2 in the count, Zimmerman continued his huge game by flipping a single to left to move the winning run to second.
After a Marvin Sanchez pinch-hit sacrifice bunt and Brett Frantini intentional walk, Alex Beckmann stepped to the plate against Scott Brothers Jr., and delivered. The junior lifted a sacrifice fly ball deep enough to left-center for left fielder Wes Winkle to have no chance to make a throw home, allowing White to cross the plate for the win.
Beckmann's heroic play gave Kyle Glancy (1-0) his first win of the year, despite blowing his second save as he threw a wild pitch in the eighth to allow the tying run to score. The loss was given to Michael Sandman (1-3), who allowed one run on three hits and two walks in 1.2 innings before giving way to Brothers Jr.
Down 4-0 in Game Two, the Huskies looked as if they were taking control of the game in the sixth. Just like Ball State did in the first game, NIU put up six runs in the frame to overcome the large deficit.
But no one could have seen what was in store for the Huskies in the seventh: a nine-run inning for Ball State. The runs came off of four different Huskie pitchers as the Cardinals did it on six hits, three walks and two errors.
Down 13-6, the deficit was too large for NIU to overcome as the Huskies were only able to muster one more run for the rest of the game.
"Nines beat sixes all day long," Mathey said. "We just couldn't' get momentum going after that inning. We got a run in the seventh but couldn't' get anymore. It just wasn't our game.
"It's hard, we had to get a stop. That's the one thing about this game that is different than other sports. When you have a lead, you can't just sit on it. You can't kill the clock. The other team always has a chance to come up. We just couldn't shut it down."
With three innings of relief, Seth Hobbs (1-1) picked up the win after allowing one run on seven hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Trey Lang (0-1) took the loss for NIU, giving up three runs on three hits with one strikeout in 0.1 innings.
Coupled with the fact that Central Michigan has split its series with Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan has done the same with Toledo thus far this weekend, NIU's split leaves the top of the MAC West Division standings the same as they were before the weekend. As the Huskies stand one game out of the second place tie between EMU and UT and two behind first place CMU, NIU needs a win tomorrow to clinch a spot in the league tournament for the first time in two years.
"We knew that we had played ourselves into this position two weeks ago at Central Michigan," said Mathey. "Our goal is to win games instead of looking at the standings. Unfortunately, we did not accomplish our goal today, which was to win both games to get into the Mid-American Conference Tournament. If we win the series, we are in that tournament. Then you look at the other things because seeding is still up for grabs."
Not only would a win help the Huskies achieve one of their primary season goals, it could go a long way in their seeding in the tournament, as the Huskies own tiebreakers over both EMU and UT, and have no games remaining against any of the three teams ahead of them.
The Huskies and Cardinals complete the series tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. CT. The scheduled pitching match-up features NIU RHP Tony Manville (7-1 | 4.79 ERA) versus BSU LHP Devin Wilburn (1-1 | 5.54 ERA).
Saturday's Ohio-Akron Game Halted in the Seventh Inning--Game will be resumed at 1 p.m. ET Sunday
Story courtesy of Ohio Sports Information
ATHENS, Ohio-The Ohio-Akron baseball game on Saturday was halted in the top of the seventh due to inclement weather with the Bobcats holding a 6-3 lead at Bob Wren Stadium.
Akron second baseman Sam Watkins will be at the plate with a 1-0 count and no outs when the game is resumed at 1 p.m. ET Sunday. The third game of the series will follow approximately 30 minutes after the completion of Saturday's suspended affair.
The Ohio outfield came through during the game's first six innings as center fielder Ethan Newton and left fielder Kory Burkhart combined to go 5-for-6 with two runs apiece, while right fielder Adam Gecewich torched a three-run homer to left in the third. Akron's Watkins, left fielder Brandon White and catcher Dan Burant all registered two hits each for the visitors.
The Bobcats came out strong in the first when Newton and Burkhart ripped back-to-back doubles into the left field corner. Burkhart scored the second run when designated hitter Seth Streich laced a single through the right side.
Akron would come back, however, as Burant had an RBI single to left center in the second. Watkins followed in the third with a solo homer to left and shortstop James Sheltrown added a sacrifice fly to left to give the Zips a 3-2 lead.
That advantage would be short-lived, though, as Ohio got four tallies in the bottom of the third to snatch a 6-3 lead. Third baseman Bryan Barnes plated Newton with a single to left before Gecewich's big blast three batters later gave the 'Cats the advantage it enjoys presently.
Neither team scored in the middle innings.
Ohio starting pitcher Brent Choban lasted six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and three walks before giving way to reliever Tyler Stage in the top of the seventh just before the rains came. Akron starter Alex Loftin has thrown all six innings for the Zips, yielding six runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
Akron has left seven men on base so far, while Ohio has stranded three. There have also been six doubles to this point in the contest.