Friday's MAC Baseball Results
Kent State 8, Miami 6
Northern Illinois 4, Eastern Michigan 3
Ohio 14, Buffalo 12 (12 innings)
Toledo 9, Central Michigan 3
Western Michigan 18, Ball State 6
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Kent State 8, Miami 6
KENT, Ohio - The Kent State baseball team scored three runs in both the fourth and sixth innings and held on for a key Mid-American Conference East Division victory over Miami, 8-6, today (May 6) at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium.
The Golden Flashes (31-12, 16-3 MAC) won its eighth straight game and ran its home record to 12-1 this season, maintaining its position as the frontrunner for the conference regular season title.
"Winning on Friday is big, as is extending our lead in the conference," said seventh-year head coach Scott Stricklin. "It was a good win for us. "
Senior right fielder Ben Klafczynski (Granger Township, Ohio) led Kent State's offense with three hits while junior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.) and freshman second baseman Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio) chipped in two hits apiece. Kent State won despite being outhit by Miami (26-19, 13-6 MAC), 13-12.
Redshirt junior left-hander Andrew Chafin (Wakeman, Ohio) came out of the bullpen for Kent State and struck out four over four frames, allowing three earned runs on seven hits en route to improving his pitching record to 5-1. Chafin relieved junior right-handed starter Ryan Mace (Tallmadge, Ohio), who fanned six while allowing three runs - two of them earned - over 4.2 innings. Junior right-handed closer Kyle McMillen (North Canton, Ohio) picked up his 14th save of 2011 after inducing the final out of the contest.
Kent State landed the first punch in the bottom of the first. Rider cracked a one-out single up the middle to get things started. Klafczynski singled to center one out later. Miami could not track down the ball in the outfield, allowing Rider to scamper home.
Miami struck back in the top of the second when senior catcher Adam Weisenburger sent a leadoff home run over the left field wall.
The RedHawks took the lead in the third. Senior second baseman Jon Edgington and junior center fielder Ryan Brenner smacked back-to-back one-out singles. Mace struck out senior third baseman Brad Gschwind, but Edgington stole second and then scored on a throwing error to put Miami in front.
The Flashes snatched the lead back with three scores in the bottom of the fourth. Klafczynski got things rolling with a leadoff double to right. He advanced to third two outs later on a wild pitch. Sophomore first baseman George Roberts (Summerhill, Pa.) coaxed a four-pitch walk to put runners on the corners for Kent State. Redshirt sophomore left fielder Joe Koch (Youngstown, Ohio) plated Klafczynski with a two bagger to left. Toadvine brought in Roberts with a base hit to left. The RedHawks fumbled around with the ball in the outfield again, allowing Koch to scamper home on the play and give the hosts a 4-2 lead.
Miami cut Kent State's lead back to one when Brenner reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a single up the middle by senior first baseman Kyle Weldon.
Kent Sate extended its lead to four runs thanks to one swing of the bat by Toadvine in the bottom of the sixth. Freshman designated hitter T.J. Sutton (Uniontown, Ohio) smacked a leadoff double to right center, and Koch followed one out later by drawing a walk to set the table for Toadvine's three-run blast over the wall in left center - the first round tripper of his collegiate career.
"In my first at-bat, the pitcher fooled me with a breaking pitch and made me look bad," said Toadvine. "(Assistant) Coach (Scott) Daeley told me to look for a fastball. I was just sitting on the fast ball, and it happened."
The Golden Flashes made it a five-run affair in the seventh when Klafczynski led off with a base hit to left and scored on a triple to center by junior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.).
The RedHawks did not go quietly, however, plating three runs in the top of the ninth. McMillen came on to force a fly out to center, though, to seal the key conference win for the Flashes.
Kent State searches for its third straight MAC East series win Saturday (May 7). First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Senior left-handed starter Kyle Hallock (Sandusky, Ohio) will be going for a team-best eighth pitching victory of the season.
Northern Illinois 4, Eastern Michigan 3
YPSILANTI, Mich. - Northern Illinois ace Zach Oates outdueled his counterpart Rob Wendzicki as the Huskies received the go-ahead run from Alex Jones in the ninth to claim a 4-3 win in Game One of a three-game Mid-American Conference West Division series on Friday evening at Oestrike Stadium.
Tied 3-3 entering the ninth with both starters still in the game, leadoff hitter Jamison Wells started the Huskies (23-21, 11-8 MAC) out with a single to right field off Wendzicki. After reliever Kristian Calibuso entered the game and Cory Krupp's successful sacrifice bunt, Jones roped a 1-0 delivery to left field for the game-winning hit, ending EMU's (30-16, 12-7 MAC) impressive 11-game winning streak.
Replacing Oates to start the ninth, closer Kyle Glancy shut the door. Although the midseason National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year watch list member allowed a one-out double to Sam Ott, he induced Ken Battiston to fly out to right and Brent Ohrman to ground out to second, picking up his ninth save in 10 tries.
"Kyle was good," said NIU head coach Ed Mathey. "He hasn't had some game action in a while. He was good tonight. He did a nice job and was ahead of the count most of the time. He got a nifty play from Jake Hermsen to end the game. But he made the guys swing the bats, which is what you want to see with a lead in the ninth. I'm really happy to see him do a nice job."
Glancy's solid outing locked down a well-deserved win for Oates (4-5), who improved his career-high win total to four on the year. For the 11th time in as many tries, the tall right-hander lasted at least six innings as he threw eighth frames, allowing three earned runs on six hits and three walks with a career-high-tying eight strikeouts for the third time this season.
"Zach was a warrior today," Mathey said. "He did a great job. He had a glitch in the fifth with the walks, but he limited the damage to two runs. We probably extended him the farthest we've extended him in his career pitch-wise. He battled and was on top of his game most of the day. I'm happy he got the win out of the deal."
Spotted with a 1-0 lead in the first inning after another Jones RBI hit, Oates gave the run right back as a leadoff Battiston triple came around to score. But the senior would not allow the Eagles to score again until the fifth, which was the last time EMU was able to produce a run on the day.
"That was pretty good stuff from Wells and Jones in the first and ninth," said Mathey. "Jones rose to the occasion, he had a good night. Jamison Wells had a good night. Jeff Zimmerman had a great night swinging the bat. We took advantage of them early but their pitcher limited the damage and did a good job hanging tough."
By the time the bottom of the fifth rolled around, NIU had a 3-1 lead as Jeff Zimmerman launched his team-leading sixth home run over the left-center fence in the second and then added his seventh in the fifth inning over the right field fence. The two-homer performance was the first of the season for the freshman and the second of the year for NIU as he joined Troy White on the list.
Oates' fifth inning problems revolved around control issues as two of his three walks came in the inning. The first led off the inning, and after giving up a single, the second loaded the bases with no outs. Fortunately for Oates, both runs scored on outs. Ohrman grounded into a fielder's choice RBI and Zack Leonard followed with a sacrifice fly.
Both pitchers then settled in until the ninth. Oates allowed just two hits over his final three frames and left three runners on base. Wendzicki did nearly the same, giving up two hits and leaving two stranded. But it was the lead off ninth-inning single to Wells that ended up leading to the left-hander getting his fifth loss, as Wendzicki (4-5) surrendered four earned runs in eight-plus innings on 12 hits and no walks with eight strikeouts.
As one streak ended, another extended with the Huskies' third straight win, their fourth winning streak of at least three games in 2011. Coupled with Toledo's win over Central Michigan, the victory also broke the three-way tie atop the West. For the moment, UT is on top, CMU and EMU are tied for second and NIU is in third, just one game away from second and two from first.
"[Eastern Michigan is] a good ball club," Mathey said. "They are pretty confident. They pitch well and have weapons in their lineup. Our guys came in, hung tough, and thought we could win this game. Eastern's been on a big run. This was a big win with a chance to get the series tomorrow and own the tiebreaker. Maybe it will make them rethink what they need to do to get back on track while we are on a streak of our own, albeit smaller, but it's a good streak nonetheless."
The teams resume the series tomorrow at 2 p.m. CT and Sunday at noon. The scheduled pitching matchup for Saturday features NIU LHP Tom Barry (3-4 | 4.11 ERA) versus EMU RHP Corey Chaffins (6-3 | 4.81 ERA) while Sunday showcases NIU RHP Tony Manville (6-1 | 5.44 ERA) against EMU RHP Joe Battistelli (5-1 | 4.21 ERA).
Ohio 14, Buffalo 12 (12 innings)
BUFFALO, N.Y.-Ohio right fielder Adam Gecewich drove in five runs, while center fielder Ethan Newton and third baseman Bryan Barnes scored four times apiece to power the Bobcats to a 14-12 12-inning victory over host Buffalo Friday afternoon at the Amherst Audubon.
The Bobcats improved to 21-24 and 6-13 in the Mid-American Conference, while Buffalo dropped to 10-31 and 1-17 in the league.
Gecewich, Newton and Barnes all had three hits. Buffalo catcher Tom Murphy went 4-for-6 with four RBIs, while center fielder Matt Pollock went 5-for-6 with four runs scored.
Ohio reliever Ben Trimbur (3-2) got the win, yielding four earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Bobcat starter Seth Streich threw nearly 160 pitches in nine innings, allowing seven runs on 14 hits with seven strikeouts and three walks. Buffalo reliever Mike Klaus (0-1) suffered his first loss after giving up two runs on no hits with no strikeouts, one walk and two hit batters. UB starter Josh Edwards allowed six runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts and four walks in five innings.
The Bobcats jumped on top early with two runs in the first on RBIs by designated hitter Jensen Painter and Gecewich and another in the third on a Gecewich single to center. UB took the lead, however, with four in the bottom half of that inning.
Ohio went back ahead 6-4 after a run in the fifth an infield single by left fielder Kory Burkhart and two more in the sixth when first baseman Tyler Backstrom doubled to left center and came around to score on Burkhart's sacrifice fly to center.
UB tied it again with single tallies in the seventh and eighth, but then Gecewich launched an RBI double to left center to give Ohio a scant one-run lead heading into the bottom half of the inning. It wouldn't be enough as UB knotted the game again when Pollock scored on a fielder's choice ground ball.
Ohio went up again in the 10th after Newton and second baseman Wes O'Neill came home on a single to center by Barnes, but UB answered right back in the bottom half with a pair of runs on an errant throw from the outfield that bounded into the UB dugout.
The Bobcats finally struck the death blow in the 12th when they plated five runs. The first came home when Streich was hit by a Jonathan Fragulia pitch with the bases loaded and Gecewich followed with a two-run single through the right side. Catcher Trace Voshell knocked in two more with a single to right to put Ohio up 14-9.
The Bulls would still mount a charge in the bottom half, scoring three times, but Trimbur got back-to-back strikeouts to finally end the contest some three hours, 40 minutes after it began.
The teams combined for 10 doubles in the game and the Bobcats notched a season-high 19 hits in the contest.
The two teams will play the second game of the series Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.
Toledo 9, Central Michigan 3
MOUNT PLEASANT, MI - Toledo flexed its muscles and claimed an impressive 9-3 victory over Central Michigan on Friday in its Mid-American Conference series opener at Theunissen Stadium. With the win, the Rockets improve to 24-20 overall, 13-6 in the league.
UT took advantage of the long ball in today's battle of MAC West Division co-leaders and blasted a season-high three home runs, including a pair of junior DH Mark Lapikas (2-for-4, 2 RS, 5 RBI) and one by junior OF Ben Hammer (2-for-5, 2 RS, 2 RBI). Seven of Toledo's starters posted a hit against five CMU hurlers (24-21, 12-7 MAC), led by junior INF Matt Delewski's (3-for-5, 2 RS) game-high three hits. The visitors' No. 3-6 hitters - Hammer, Delewski and Lapikas - did a majority of the damage and combined for seven hits, six runs scored and seven RBI.
On the mound, junior LHP Kyle Shaw (6-2) was magnificent over 7.0 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits with three punchouts to earn his team-best sixth triumph of the season.
Junior RHP Alex Radon came on in relief and did not give up a hit over the final 2.0 frames to preserve the first-game victory in the weekend series.
After spotting the home team a run in the bottom of the first inning, Toledo captured the lead on the strength of Lapikas' first round trippers in the second. Delewski led off the frame with a single and the Youngstown, OH native followed with a two-run homer to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
The Chippewas then plated single tallies in the fourth and fifth frames on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Tyler Hall and a solo home run by Will Arnold, before the Rockets responded with four critical runs in the sixth to take a lead they would not relinquish, 6-3. The big hit was a three-run home run by Lapikas to send CMU starter Morrow (1-5) to the shower. UT registered its other tally on a passed ball with a runner on third base.
Toledo then added insurance runs in the seventh on a two-run blast off the bat of Hammer and in the eighth on a wild pitch with a runner on third base to make the final difference, 9-3.
The teams will continue their three-game series tomorrow beginning at 2:05 p.m. Junior RHP Lincoln Rassi is expected to draw the start Toledo in the second contest of the weekend series.
Western Michigan 18, Ball State 6
MUNCIE, Ind.- Western Michigan scored a season-high 18 runs on the way to an 18-6 lashing of Ball State Friday in game one of a three-game Mid-American Conference series. Ryan McMillin led the charge with two home runs and six RBIs. Grant Simotes also homered for the Broncos.
It was the most runs scored by a Bronco team since plating 20 against Ball State on April 25, 2009, and just the fourth time this season WMU produced double digit runs. Western Michigan's previous high total was 12 against St. Bonaventure on March 1. The Broncos also set a new season high for hits with 17.
"This was a great win," said WMU head coach Billy Gernon as the Broncos snapped an seven-game losing streak against conference foes. "We're swinging the bat better and if there is a time of the year to get hot this is it. McMillin was big and really set the tone offensively. Brian Stroud was strong today with great command. We need to be ready to go tomorrow and bring great energy and high expectations to the yard."
McMillin put WMU on the board with a two-run homer in the second and then crushed a three-run blast in third. Western Michigan scored two more runs in the second and erupted for seven runs in the third to put the Cardinals in an early 11-0 hole.
Stroud held Ball State scoreless through six innings and gave way to Patrick Borlik after giving up a pair singles in the seventh. Both runners would go onto score, as Stroud finished the day, surrendering two runs on six hits in 6.1 innings of work. He struck out five and walked one.
WMU came back with four more runs in the eighth and Simotes hit a solo home run in the ninth. Ball State plated three runs in the bottom of the ninth off Borlik to make for an 18-6 final.
Western Michigan did most of its damage in the fourth with two outs, scoring five of its seven runs with two away. Troy Forton (3 RBIs), McMillin (RBI) and Tim Cross (RBI) each hit consecutive doubles.
McMillin went 3-for-3 in the game with four runs scored. Forton was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and four runs scored. Jimmy Martinez (2 RBIs), Dustin Ditsworth (2 RBIs) and Zach Thoma each collected two hits apiece. Stroud improved his record to 6-4 on the season and WMU improved its overall record to 20-25, 8-11 MAC with the win.
Ball State (12-29, 8-10 MAC) was led by T.J. Baumet with three hits.
The two teams continue the series tomorrow at Ball Diamond with game two scheduled for 1 p.m.