Saturday's MAC Baseball Results
Buffalo 2, Akron 1 (Game 1)
Akron 6, Buffalo 0 (Game 2)
Eastern Michigan 5, Ball State 4
Miami 7, Bowling Green 4 (Game 1)
Miami 2, Bowling Green 1 (Game 2)
Kent State 4, Ohio 0 (Game 1)
Kent State 9, Ohio 1 (Game 2)
Toledo 9, Western Michigan 2 (Game 1)
Toledo 3, Western Michigan 2 (Game 2)
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Edwards' Gem Leads Buffalo to Doubleheader Split
BUFFALO, NY - Spurred on by a complete-game effort from Josh Edwards, the Buffalo baseball team snapped its 17-game losing streak with a 2-1 win Saturday afternoon against Akron. It was game one of a doubleheader, with the Zips taking the second game 6-0.
Edwards earned his second win of the season by scattering five hits over the nine innings, walking only one batter and striking out two with his 118 total pitches. The Buffalo offense used a strong first inning to give Edwards his cushion. After the first two batters struck out on three straight pitches, Tom Murphy stepped up and crushed the first pitch he saw over the wall in centerfield for a solo shot. Cleanup hitter Alex Baldock followed that with a double to right field and Jordan Camp came up one batter later and followed suit, hitting a sharp grounder right over first base to score Baldock.
Little did both teams know, but that two-out RBI ended up representing the winning run, as Edwards was never really in major trouble with the Zips aside from the third inning, when the first two batter reached. A fly out and a double play started by third baseman River McWilliams got the team out of the jam. The score held at 2-0 until the seventh inning, when a leadoff double was converted to a run thanks to a bunt and sacrifice fly. That would be all the scoring for game one, as the Zips recorded only one more hit for the rest of the game after the leadoff double in the seventh.
"Josh stepped up big, and to break our losing streak at home was great," said head coach Ron Torgalski. "He battled for nine innings, made big pitches when he needed to and I thought we played good defense behind him. That's what we need to do when Josh pitches because he pitches to contact and if you make plays he's going to have success."
In game two, it was Akron starter Alex Loftin's turn to control the game. The Bulls were unable to get the key hit when necessary, especially in the fourth inning following a leadoff double from Alex Baldock. Two straight outs were recorded right after and a River McWilliams single was not deep enough to score the run. That would represent the best opportunity of the day for UB. In the seventh, two runners reached but were stranded, as was the case in the eighth.
Starting pitcher Kevin Crumb was the hard-luck loser in game two, giving up four earned runs on eight hits and four walks, but matching a season-high of seven strikeouts. Kevin Hughes allowed two runs in his 2.2 innings of relief.
Buffalo (8-29, 1-15 MAC) will look for its first series win of the conference season tomorrow, with a 1 pm first pitch scheduled against the Zips (10-30).
Late EMU Comeback Steals One From Cardinals, 5-4
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) - A four-run eighth inning paced the Eastern Michigan University baseball team to its eighth straight win as it posted a 5-4 victory over Ball State University in game two of a three-game set at Oestrike Stadium, today, April 30.
The EMU offense got off to a slow start much to the credit of Ball State starting pitcher, Morgan Coombs, but a successful suicide squeeze play by Sam Ott (Canton, Mich.-Salem) pushed the go-ahead run across amidst a four-run eighth to win it for the Eagles.
Coombs allowed four runs (3 earned) on eight hits over seven strong innings, but settled for the no-decision while EMU right-hander Steve Weber (North Royalton, Ohio-North Royalton) earned the win after striking out seven over 6.2 innings in relief of starter Corey Chaffins (New London, Ohio-New London), who lasted just an inning and a third.
Zack Leonard (Canton, Ohio-McKinley) turned in another multi-hit day, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI to stretch his hit streak to nine games and streak of reaching base to 18 straight. BSU's Cody Elliott led all hitters with a 3-for-4 effort with a run scored and an RBI.
The Eagles improve to 27-15 overall, 11-6 in the MAC with the win while the Cardinals fall to 12-27 (8-8 MAC) with the loss. It's the best start since 1982 for the Green and White which have won eight straight and nine of the last 11 overall.
Chaffins had a start he would soon like to forget after allowing three runs over an inning and a third. Ball State played small ball early on and got its first run in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Kevin Franchetti.
In the second inning, the Cardinals pushed across two more runs to make it 3-0 and then loaded the bases shortly thereafter with just one out gone in the frame.
It was evident Chaffins didn't have his good stuff and Head Coach Jay Alexander was quick to make the switch as he brought in the right-hander Weber. The sophomore came in and bailed Chaffins out with two strikeouts to end the bases-loaded threat.
The Eagles went down quietly in the first two innings, but put together a scoring frame in the third as Ben Magsig (Okemos, Mich.-Okemos-Lansing C.C.) drove in the team's first run with a sacrifice fly to right field. As a result, EMU still had runners on the corners and Leonard at the plate.
BSU starter Coombs rose up to the challenge, however, and struck Leonard out with a tantalizing slider that got the senior chasing it out of the zone.
Cardinals added a run in the sixth on a Franchetti RBI double that fell just in front of Ken Battiston (West Milton, Ohio-Milton Union) as he gave chase towards the right field line. It scored Sean Godfrey and gave BSU a commanding 4-1 lead.
The Eagles inched a little closer on Leonard's RBI double that never left the infield. A hot shot down the third base line ricocheted off Stephen Claypool's glove and got away from him, allowing Daniel Russell (Grandville, Mich.-Grandville) to score from third and Leonard to take second base.
With Ball State still leading, 4-2, the next batter Tucker Rubino (Scottsdale, Ariz.-Horizon-Glendale C.C.) belted one to deep center to bring home Magsig on the sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to one run.
Matt Hitt (Fishers, Ind.-Fishers-Kishwaukee C.C.) then tied the score with a base hit to right field that scored Magsig to make it 4-4. The next hitter, Lee Longo (Mayfield, Ohio-Mayfield), reached on one-of-four Cardinal errors on the day to put two on with one out. That forced Head Coach Alex Marconi to bring in Devin Wilburn in relief of Michael Sandman.
The next EMU batter, Ott, took the 1-1 pitch from Wilburn and placed a perfect suicide squeeze attempt past the pitcher to score the pinch-runner Wally Gerbus (Fairfield, Ohio-Stephen T. Baden) from third base to give EMU a 5-4 lead it would not relinquish.
Reliever Kristian Calibuso (Brandon, Fla.-Armwood-Florida State College-Jacksonville) made it an interesting ninth as he walked three batters, but finished off the comeback in dramatic fashion as he froze BSU's Blake Beemer on strike three of a full count with two outs for his fourth save of the season.
The Eagles will seek the series sweep as both teams meet for the finale, tomorrow, May 1, at Oestrike Stadium. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.
Miami Sweeps Doubleheader for Eighth Straight Win
OXFORD, Ohio -- Miami beat Bowling Green twice on Saturday afternoon, 7-4 and 2-1 to complete the weekend series sweep at McKie Field. Tyler Melling and Brooks Fiala were solid on the mound in their respective starts, while Sam Dawes completed the efforts with saves in both games.
The RedHawks (26-18, 13-5 MAC) won their seventh and eighth-straight games and put distance between themselves and the third-place Falcons (15-25, 8-10 MAC). Miami also kept pace with first-place Kent State, which swept three conference games over the weekend and is two games ahead of the RedHawks.
In the opener, Melling picked up his sixth win of the season, surrendering three runs on six hits and a walk over 7 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out five for his first win since March 26, a span of five outings.
Melling's only blemish through the first seven innings was a home run in the second to leadoff hitter Jeremy Shay. The RedHawks charged back and took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Brad Gschwind opened the frame with a single to left and moved up on a bloop single by Kyle Weldon and a sacrifice bunt by Adam Weisenburger. Gschwind scored on Kevin Bower's groundout to the shortstop. Bryce Redeker followed Bower's RBI with the go-ahead 2-run shot over the left field fence.
The RedHawks added another run in the fifth after Ryan Kaup led off with a single to right. Jon Edgington and Ryan Brenner loaded the bases with back-to-back bunt singles before Gschwind hit a sacrifice fly to left.
Miami added three insurance runs in the sixth that proved to be the difference in the game when Bower walked to become the third consecutive leadoff hitter to reach base for the `Hawks. Redeker moved him to second with a single followed by a sacrifice bunt by Marcus Makuch to put both runners into scoring position. Kaup was intentionally walked before Edgington earned an RBI with a ground out to second, scoring Bower. Brenner added to the lead with a double up the middle, plating Redeker and Kaup and putting the Red and White out in front 7-1.
Melling got into trouble in the eighth, getting two outs, but allowing two base runners. Joe Neff relieved him and got the final out, but not before three Falcons crossed the plate to cut the Miami lead to 7-4. Dawes came in for the ninth and gave up a single to the leadoff hitter but settled down to strike out the side and earn his team-leading sixth save of the season.
Nick Bruns (3-3) was charged with the loss, giving up four earned runs on six hits and a walk while striking out two.
In the second half of the twin bill, Fiala (4-4) threw a gem, keeping the Falcons off the scoreboard through 6 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and a walk with three strikeouts. He topped Charles Wooten (2-6), who started and took the loss for the Bowling Green.
Miami jumped out early to a 1-0 lead with a run by Gschwind on a Weisenburger single to right. Gschwind put himself in scoring position with a double and advanced to third on a ground out to short by Weldon.
Miami tacked on a necessary insurance run in the bottom of the seventh to take a 2-0 lead. Makuch singled to left and was replaced by pinch runner Ryan Curl, who used his speed to move to third on a single by Kaup and score on a squeeze bunt by Edgington.
Matt Rosinski, who relieved Fiala in the seventh, finished that inning and recorded the first out of the eighth before surrendering a home run to Alex Davison that cut the lead to 2-1. Dawes entered in the eighth and struck out three batters in 1 and 2/3 innings of work in route to his second save of the afternoon and team-leading seventh of the year.
Miami next heads to Kent State for a pivotal series May 6-8.
Kent State Sweeps Doubleheader, Series in Athens
ATHENS, Ohio-The Kent State baseball team got a stellar effort from its pitching staff to take both ends of a doubleheader from host Ohio Saturday at Bob Wren Stadium.
The Flashes won the first game 4-0 and the second by a 9-1 score to sweep the doubleheader, and series, from the Bobcats. KSU improved to 30-12 overall and 15-3 with the victories, while the Bobcats dropped to 19-24 and 5-13.
KSU starting pitchers Kyle Hallock and David Starn both registered victories on the day after fine performances on the mound. Hallock won game one after throwing seven and a third innings with no runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. He was relieved by closer Kyle McMillen, who came on and got his 13th save of the season after surrendering just a hit in one and two-thirds innings with two strikeouts. Starn improved to 7-1 after giving up no earned runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. Relievers Brennen Glass and Justin Gill kept the Bobcats off the board in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings of the second game as well.
Ohio starter Brent Choban (3-4) pitched well in the first game, but was tagged with the loss. He gave up one earned run on eight hits with three strikeouts and two walks in eight and one-third innings. Fellow starter Matt Robin (2-3) also fell to the Flashes, giving up five runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and two walks in five and two-thirds innings. Reliever Scott White pitched well in the ninth innings, whiffing two Flashes and walking one.
Kent State catcher David Lyon continued to haunt the Bobcats, going 4-for-8 on the day with three doubles. For the weekend, he went 9-for-14 with five extra-base hits, five RBIs and 17 total bases. He, shortstop Jimmy Rider and center fielder Evan Campbell all drove in three runs on the afternoon.
Ohio center fielder Ethan Newton had a great day at the plate, going 5-for-7 with a stolen base to give him a team-high 17 for the season.
Both teams took a scoreless draw into the fifth inning of the first game, when the Flashes finally broke through when second baseman Derek Toadvine scored from third on a two-out Bobcat fielding error.
The visitors tacked on three more in the ninth on a two-run double to left center by Campbell and a run-scoring double to center by third baseman Travis Shaw, who had two in the game to give him 11 on the season.
The Flashes broke on top early in the second game with a run in the first, but Ohio knotted the affair with a single to left center by second baseman Bryan Barnes.
That would be Ohio's only RBI of the day, however, as KSU added another run in the fifth, four in the sixth, two in the eighth and one in the ninth for the game's eight run margin.
Rider had a three-run double in the sixth frame to give him 13 for the season. He and left fielder Joe Koch had stolen bases in the game, their fourth and eighth of the season, respectively.
All of Ohio's 15 hits on the day went for singles.
The Bobcats will be back in action Tuesday and Wednesday when Wright State and Youngstown State come in on back-to-back days. Both games are set to begin at 6 p.m. ET at Bob Wren Stadium. The YSU game was rescheduled after rain forced a postponement on Tuesday.
Cooper, Nixon Pitch CMU to 3-1 Win Over Huskies
MOUNT PLEASANT - Zach Cooper and Mike Nixon combined on a three-hitter to lead Central Michigan to a 3-1 win over Northern Illinois at Theunissen Stadium on Saturday.
Cooper worked seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits to improve to 3-3 on the season. He struck out eight and walked two. Nixon entered the game to open the eighth inning and needed just 21 pitches to retire each of the six batters he faced.
"He gave us his all, and that's all we asked him to do," said CMU head coach Steve Jaksa of Cooper. "It was just an outstanding performance. We couldn't have asked him to do anything other than what he did."
The win was CMU's fifth in its last six games and keeps the Chippewas (23-20, 11-6 Mid-American Conference) atop the MAC West Division standings. NIU falls to 20-20 overall, 10-7 in the MAC.
Cooper retired 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but the CMU offense was not able to touch NIU starter Tom Barry until the bottom half of the sixth. With two outs and runners on the corners, Tom Howard lined a triple over the head of NIU rightfielder Tom Kotis. Howard's first career three-bagger scored Jordan Adams and Jordan Dean.
NIU got one run back in the seventh on an RBI single by Jordan Rishavy, but CMU plated an insurance run in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Dean. Nixon took over from there, setting the Huskies down in order in the eighth and ninth frames.
"We weren't sure, since he threw 38 pitches yesterday, where he would be today," Jaksa said of Nixon, "and he was outstanding. He hit his spots really well, he threw his breaking ball for strikes again, and he didn't throw many balls. We're very pleased with where he is at."
Dean, Tyler Hall and William Arnold all had a pair of hits to lead the CMU offense. Three different players had one base hit apiece to account for all of NIU's offense.
CMU tries for its second weekend sweep of the season on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.
Toledo Sweeps Doubleheader vs. Western Michigan, 9-2 & 3-2 in 10 Innings
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo remained undefeated at Scott Park with a doubleheader sweep against Mid-American Conference West Division foe Western Michigan on Saturday. The Rockets prevailed 9-2 in today's opener and 3-2 in 10 innings in the nightcap to improve to 12-0 at the corner of Parkside Blvd. and Hill Ave. this spring.
UT (23-20, 12-6 MAC) received outstanding pitching, clutch hitting and timely defense against the Broncos (18-24, 7-11 MAC) to ultimately sweep the weekend series for the second-consecutive season.
In today's first matchup, the Rockets scored the final eight runs to post nine runs on the scoreboard for the second time in as many days.
Seven of Toledo's nine starters had a hit against a trio of WMU pitchers, including junior INF Joe Corfman (2-for-4, 3 RS, HR, 3 RBI), sophomore INF Wes White (2-for-4, RS, 2 RBI), junior OF Ben Hammer (2-for-3, RS, 2 RBI) and sophomore OF Andy Mix (2-for-4, RS) with multi-hit efforts.
One the mound, freshman LHP Ryan Wilkinson (4-1) was credited with the win. The southpaw pitcher was one of three UT hurlers to toe the rubber, working 1.2 scoreless relief innings to record his fourth win of the season.
Junior RHP Alex Radon came on in relief of Wilkinson and finished off the first-game victory with 1.2 flawless frames to collect his first collegiate save.
The Midnight Blue & Gold also received a quality start from junior RHP Lincoln Rassi, allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits with a pair of punchouts in 5.2 innings.
Western Michigan tallied its first run of the weekend in the second frame on a RBI single off the bat of Troy Forton. The visitors' effort was aided in the frame by a two-base throwing error by UT's Rassi on a failed pickoff attempt at first base with two outs.
UT quickly countered with a two-out single by White to knot the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the second frame.
After the Broncos plated a run in the third, UT began its offensive onslaught with a single tally on the sacrifice fly by junior INF Matt Delewski to even the score at 2-2 in the fifth inning.
Toledo then captured the lead for good in the sixth frame on the strength of a run-scoring groundout by senior C Jim Vahalik and a four-pitch, bases loaded walk from Hammer to make the difference 4-2.
The Rockets continued to put up good at-bats down the stretch, utilizing a safety squeeze bunt from White in the seventh inning to extend their cushion to three runs.
The Broncos threatened in the eighth frame and had runners on the corners with one out, but UT's Radon induced a double play to halt the potential big inning.
Toledo then put the opener away with four insurance tallies in the bottom of the eighth frame. The big hit in the inning was a three-run home run by Corfman, his first round tripper of the season.
WMU's Casey Webber (3-4) was saddled with the loss, yielding four runs (one earned) on six hits in 5.1 innings.
In today's second game, UT's Hammer singled down the left field line with the bases loaded in the 10th frame to drive in the game-winning run.
Vahalik drew a one out in the first extra frame to get the game-deciding inning started. Senior INF Chris Dudics followed with a single up the middle to put runners at the corners. Sophomore OF Tyler Grogg was then intentionally walk to load the bases and setup a force out at any base, but Hammer lined a single down the left field to bring Vahalik home with the winning run, sending the UT bench into a frenzy.
Senior RHP Matt Zahel (1-2) claimed the triumph in relief, yielding only one hit with four strikeouts in a season-high 3.0 innings.
Sophomore RHP Jared Locke was solid in his second-consecutive weekend start in place of injured sophomore RHP Mike Hamann, surrendering only one unearned run on three hits with two punchouts in 6.1 frames.
Toledo's trio of hurlers held the Broncos to six hits in the finale, including only one extra-base hit.
Dudics (3-for-5, RS) and Hammer (2-for-4, RBI) fueled the UT offense with at least two hits each.
The nightcap was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when Toledo took advantage of a run-scoring groundout by Delewski and a RBI single from Corfman to assume a 2-0 lead.
The Broncos finally solved Locke in the sixth frame, slicing the deficit in half on a Forton fielders choice.
WMU then tied the score at 2-2 in the eighth inning on a wild pitch by Toledo's Zahel with a runner on third base.
The Rockets came within inches of retaking the lead in the bottom of the eighth frame. With UT's Dudics on first base, Hammer laid down a perfect bunt and WMU pitcher Forton's throw to first base sailed high. Dudics tried to circle the bases and score all the way from first, but a perfect relay throw from right field cut him down at the plate.
UT had another chance to win the game in the ninth with a runner on third base and two outs, but WMU reliever Eric Heckaman recorded a strikeout to send the series finale into extra innings.
Heckaman (2-3) suffered the loss, allowing the game-winning run on two hits in 0.2 inning.
The Rockets will now take the next five days off to focus on final exams before returning to action next weekend, May 6-8, at MAC West Division preseason favorite Central Michigan.