MAC Baseball Sunday Scoreboard:
Kent State at Bowling Green -- Cancelled (rain)
Central Michigan at Western Michigan -- Cancelled (rain)
Eastern Michigan 6, Toledo 1
Northern Illinois 18, Ball State 8
Ohio 7, Akron 3
Ohio 1, Akron 0
No. 30 Kent State Baseball's Game At Bowling Green Cancelled
Story courtesy of Kent State Sports Information
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- The Kent State baseball team's Mid-American Conference East Division game at Bowling Green today (May 15) has been cancelled due to rainy weather conditions. The contest will not be made up.
Ranked No. 30 in the nation according to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, the Golden Flashes (36-13, 19-4 MAC) will have to wait four more days for the opportunity to clinch the program's 11th MAC regular season title and first since 2008 when they take on Akron in the Fifth Annual Diamond Classic at Canal Park, a contest which benefits Akron Children's Hospital. 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 after outslugging the Falcons Friday (May 13), 17-10, then shutting them out, 8-0, Saturday (May 14).
Kent State plays host to Cleveland State Monday (May 16) in the final non-conference game of the year at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium. Cleveland State will be designated as the home team for the contest, as the washed out April 19 game was originally scheduled to be a home game for the Vikings at All Pro Freight Stadium. The game will be the last between the Flashes and Vikings, as Cleveland State recently announced its intent to end the baseball program at the conclusion of the 2011 season. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Central Michigan at Western Michigan Cancelled Due to Rain
Courtesy of Western Michigan Sports Information
Sunday's game three of the Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan baseball series has been canceled due to inclement weather in the southwest Michigan area. The game will not be rescheduled.
Western Michigan (24-26, 11-12 MAC) travels to Ann Arbor Tuesday to face Michigan at 6:05 p.m. The Broncos host Northern Illinois in its final conference series, May 19-21.
Chaffins Leads Eastern Michigan Past Toledo, 6-1
Story courtesy of Eastern Michigan Sports Information
TOLEDO, Ohio (EMUEagles.com) - Senior right-hander Corey Chaffins (New London, Ohio-New London) turned in a clutch performance in earning his seventh victory of the season and leading the Eastern Michigan University baseball team to a pivotal Mid-American Conference series win over host University of Toledo in a 6-1 rout at windy and soggy Scott Park, Sunday afternoon, May 15.
Chaffins improved to 7-4 on the season after a sparkling seven-inning effort in which he allowed just a run on six hits while striking out four and walking only one. The New London, Ohio native faced one over the minimum through his first three innings of work and scattered just two hits over his final three frames.
The offense produced in a big way as well as the top of the order, which included Ken Battiston (West Milton, Ohio-Milton Union), Brent Ohrman (Adrian, Mich.-Adrian) and Zack Leonard (Canton, Ohio-McKinley), went 6-for-12 with four RBI and five runs scored. Kyle Peterson (Chandler, Ariz.-Hamilton-Chandler-Gilbert C.C.) led all batters with a 3-for-4 effort including two doubles and a run scored from the ninth spot in the order.
With the win, the Eagles improved to 33-18 overall, 15-9 in the MAC and clinched a spot in the MAC Tournament for the sixth straight season. Meanwhile, Toledo fell to 25-25 (14-10 MAC) with the loss.
Leonard got the Eagles on the board in the third inning with a sharp grounder through the right side to score Battiston, who reached with a bunt single. After a Ben Magsig (Okemos, Mich.-Okemos-Lansing C.C.) sacrifice advanced runners to second and third, Tucker Rubino (Scottsdale, Ariz.-Horizon-Glendale C.C.) laid down a successful squeeze bunt to score the game's second run as Ohrman crossed the dish without a play.
Trailing 2-0, the Rockets pulled a run closer on Mark Lapikas' RBI single to right field, scoring Jeff Cola from second base. The Eagles minimized the damage by throwing Lapikas out at second on a botched hit-and-run call for the second out before Magsig made a superb play on a ground ball to third to get James Miglin at first to end the inning.
EMU tacked on a trio of insurance runs in the seventh inning. Battiston started the big inning with a sacrifice fly to left to score Peterson from third to make it 3-1. Peterson reached with a double to left to lead off the inning and then advanced to third on a balk by Jared Locke.
The next batter, Ohrman, then singled off the backside of Locke (2-2) with a hot shot up the middle. The hit forced Toledo Head Coach Cory Mee to make the switch and bring Tyler Scott in relief of his starter who went six and one-third innings and allowed four runs (3 earned) on seven hits.
The first batter Scott faced was Leonard, and the EMU career hits and doubles leader, sent a run-scoring two-bagger to right field to make it a 4-1 Eagle lead. Sam Ott (Canton, Mich.-Salem) capped off the scoring with a sacrifice fly to right to make it 5-1.
Ohrman gave the Green and White a 6-1 lead with a two-out hustling infield single that scored Battiston all the way from second base.
Chaffins gave way to right-hander Steve Weber for the final two innings and he retired six of the seven batters he saw to end the game and seal a crucial road series victory for the Eagles.
EMU pulls within a half-game of first place Central Michigan, which had its series finale against Western Michigan canceled due to inclement weather. The Eagles control their own fate as they host the Chippewas in a three-game series to conclude the regular season at Oestrike Stadium May 19-21. Thursday's opener is slated for 6 p.m.
Huskies Beat Ball State 18-8, Clinch MAC Tournament Berth
Story courtesy of Northern Illinois Sports Information
DeKALB, Ill. - With the help of seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings and an eight-run eighth, Northern Illinois took down Ball State 18-8 on Sunday afternoon at Ralph McKinzie Field during Senior Day. The three-game series rubber match win clinched the Huskies' first appearance in the Mid-American Conference Tournament since 2008, and gave them their sixth conference series win in eight tries.
"It's a big thing," said NIU head coach of the MAC tournament berth. "Our kids truly believe we need to be there on a regular basis. We haven't been there in a couple years and we needed to be there. It's a big deal to us and we hope to continue to do this on a yearly basis."
Despite 28 MPH wind gusts toward right-center, NIU starter Tony Manville was able to keep Ball State (13-34, 9-14 MAC) in check as the Huskies (26-23, 14-10 MAC) took advantage of the favorable hitter conditions. NIU put up 18 runs on a season-high 19 hits, marking its seventh game with 10-plus runs, and launched a season-high four home runs.
"It was definitely a hitter's day, a hitter's weekend, actually," said Mathey.
After giving up four runs through four innings, Manville settled in just in time for his offense to help him out. Down 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth, Jamison Wells knotted the game with his first career home run, a liner over the left-center wall, with one out.
Following consecutive singles by Cory Krupp and Alex Jones, Joe Etcheverry doubled home a run down the right field line. Troy White then delivered a two-run single up the middle to cap the scoring on the four-run frame, leaving NIU ahead 7-4.
The Huskies kept the bats going in the sixth with an impressive two-out rally. With two outs after a Jake Hermsen leadoff single, Jones singled and Etcheverry reached on a fielding error by shortstop T.J. Baumet, which allowed a run to score.
Following a pitching change, Michael Sandman threw a wild pitch to move both runners up. Once again, White cashed in by hitting another two-run single, this time to right-center.
"The runs we got in the fifth and sixth innings were big," Mathey said. "We had good approaches and the middle of the lineup was driving in runs. That's a good thing because it means the guys ahead of them are getting on base and both parts of the lineup were doing their jobs."
With his offense rolling, eventually breaking out for eight runs in the eighth inning on seven hits, Manville (8-1) held the Cardinals scoreless in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to finish his outing strongly. In picking up his eighth straight win, the junior allowed the four runs on nine hits and three walks with four strikeouts in his seven innings of work. In his first season as a Huskie, the Iowa transfer's eight wins rank in a tie for second on the NIU all-time single season list.
"I have to tip my hat to Tony Manville," said Mathey. "He kept us in it and started to hit smooth sailing after the fourth inning. He did a great job for us, but our bats were up to the task today.
"[His eight-game winning streak] is pretty good anywhere, in college or the pros. He did a good job today because they made him work. They got some hits on him in those first few innings, but he battled. I'm very happy for him."
Ball State starter Devin Wilburn (1-2) was tagged with the loss after he surrendered seven runs on eight hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 4.1 innings.
Adding to the fun of the day for NIU was the fact that nearly all eight seniors contributed, especially the position players, in their final home game as Huskies. Krupp went 2-for-5 with two runs and a walk; Etcheverry was 2-for-6 with two runs and an RBI; Marvin Sanchez was 1-for-1 with a run scored; Kevin Smith was 1-for-1 with an RBI and run scored; Tom Kotis walked and scored. Pitcher Jeremy Gonzales did not get in on the action but his teammate Zach Oates, the staff ace, struck out in his lone career at-bat.
The two Huskies that stole the show, however, were a pair of juniors - White and Jones. The two combined to go 8-for-12 with nine RBI, six runs and two home runs. White himself drove in seven as he hit his third long ball of the season and of his career, going 4-for-6 at the plate. The seven-RBI performance was the second of the season for the third baseman, as he also accomplished the career-best feat on April 17 at Ohio in Game Two of a doubleheader. Jones went 4-for-6 as well, scoring a career-high four times and blasting his third homer.
"The hits Troy had in the fifth and sixth innings were huge," said Mathey. "They were solid run-producing hits. The game could have been completely different if he didn't get those hits."
Already in the MAC Tournament, NIU can now focus on making a run at the West crown. After first place Central Michigan was rained out and Eastern Michigan's 2-1 series win over Toledo in a second place battle, NIU now stands in third place, just one game behind second place EMU and 1.5 games behind CMU.
"Now we get a chance," Mathey said. "The MAC season is kind of like a baseball game; it's nine weekends. Now we are in the tournament and in the ninth inning, we can focus on getting the West Division. We have a shot at it. We are going to need a little help, but it's in our hands."
The Huskies return to action Tuesday, May 17, with a pair of seven-inning contests against UW-Milwaukee on the road before traveling to Western Michigan for their final MAC regular season series.
Ohio Tops Akron in Two Games
Story courtesy of Akron Sports Information
ATHENS, Ohio - The University of Akron baseball team dropped a pair of contests to the Ohio Bobcats on Sunday. The Zips (14-35, 6-18 Mid-American Conference) lost the resumption of Saturday's weather suspended game 7-3 and the fell in the series finale, 1-0.
Game 2 Recap
Akron was unable to make up a three-run deficit in the final three innings of the second game of the series, losing 7-3.
Dan Ward hit a pinch hit solo home run to lead off the eighth inning to provide the only scoring in Sunday's action. Ohio reliever Tyler Stage shut down the Akron bats with three innings of relief. Stage allowed just one hit - a pinch hit single by Samuel Trecaso in the top of the ninth.
In Saturday's action, the Bobcats opened the scoring when they hit back-to-back doubles to begin the bottom of the first off Akron starter Alex Loftin. Ohio would tack on a run with a Seth Streich one-out single to make it 2-0 after one.
The Zips would get three unanswered runs over the next two frames to take a 3-2 lead after 2.5 innings. Dan Burant drove in Jason Corzine with an RBI single in the second. Watkins then homered for the second straight game to lead off the third and tie the game, and James Sheltrown added a sacrifice fly.
Ohio then strung together five hits in the fourth to plate four runs and take a 6-3 lead. A three-run homer by Adam Gecewich highlighted the inning.
Both Loftin and Ohio starter Brent Choban settled in after the third as each put up three-straight shutout innings before play was stopped. Loftin allowed just one hit in his final three innings of work.
Game 3 Recap
A solo home run by Bryan Barnes in the sixth-inning was the only scoring of Sunday's series finale, as Ohio took a 1-0 pitcher's duel over Akron.
Akron starter Myles McVeigh threw six strong innings, allowing just one run on six hits. The freshman righty struck out three and did not issue a walk in taking the tough-luck loss. OU's Seth Streich fired a complete game four-hitter to take the win.
The Zips had a chance to tie the ballgame in the top of the ninth. Brandon White reached on a fielder's choice, moved to second on a ground out by Kurt Gamby, and went to third on a wild pitch. Streich struck out Tyler Begun however to end the game.
McVeigh found himself in a jam in the fifth after the Bobcats started the inning with back-to-back seeing eye singles to put runners on the corners with nobody out. McVeigh struck out Trace Voshell for the first out of the inning. McVeigh then induced a 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Wes O'Neill. The double play was perfectly turned by the Zips infield as third baseman Tyler Begun looked Garrett Black back to the bag at third before Sam Watkins made a good turn and Kurt Gamby made the pick at first.
The Zips stranded a runner on third in the sixth. James Sheltrown led off the inning with an infield single and moved to second on Matt Corpora's ground out to second. Sheltrown took third on a Streich wild pitch, but was unable to score as Watkins and Samuel Trecaso were retired on a ground out and a fly out to end the inning.
Ohio would grab the lead in the bottom of the sixth on the strength of a two-out solo home run by Barnes.
Akron relievers Benjamin Danziger and Chris Bassitt combined to shutout the Bobcats in the final two innings.