MAC Baseball This Weekend (April 6-8, 2012)
Bowling Green at Akron
Bowling Green is 11-17 and 2-4 in conference play this season. The Falcons were swept by Western Michigan in the opening weekend of conference play but took two of three from Central Michigan last weekend. Andrew Kubinksi (.412, 22 RBI) leads a club that hits .305 as a team. Eight other Falcons hit above .300 and TJ Losby has equaled Kubinski's RBI mark. On the mound, BGSU has a team ERA of 4.82 and opponents are batting .287. Closer Nick Bruns has four saves and a 1.02 ERA. Jason Link and Ben Singer have made 13 relief appearances each...Akron dropped 2-of-3 at Northern Illinois last weekend to even its MAC record at 3-3. After starting the season 1-8, Akron is 9-9 in its last 18 games. UA is hitting .283 and has a team ERA of 3.57 during that span. Sophomore Tyler Begun has moved into the top 100 in the national statistical rankings in several categories. Begun is 93rd in the batting average (.386), 44th in triples (3), 77th in slugging (.624), 85th in total bases (63), and 63rd in on-base percentage (.484).
Buffalo at Kent State
After two straight weekend against Mid-American Conference West Division opponents, the Buffalo baseball team (7-16, 1-4 MAC) will open its Eastern Division schedule with three games against the Kent State Golden Flashes (15-13, 6-0 MAC).The Bulls are hoping to snap a six-game losing streak, most recently dropping both games of a doubleheader on Tuesday to St. Bonaventure. The team lost game one 7-6 and game two 8-4. Matt Pollock had five hits and two RBI over the two games. Last weekend, Western Michigan took two games from UB, with the Sunday game rained out. So far in conference play, the Bulls have lacked the firepower that made it one of the most daunting in the nation, slugging .428 in the five MAC games as opposed to its .580 mark over 18 non-conference games to this point in the year...Kent State comes into the weekend on a run of its own, winning seven of its last 10 games to help push the team's record back over the .500 mark. The Flashes swept the first two weekends of conference games, beating Northern Illinois and Ball State with two wins against the Cardinals coming in extra innings. The team's success has been thanks to its balance of solid pitching and a knack for getting on base. Though it hasn't been able to hit the long ball (13 home runs in 28 games), Kent State has still slugged its way to 76 doubles and a team batting average of .301.
Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan
The Broncos enter the series 14-11 overall and 5-0 in the Mid-American Conference, having swept Bowling Green and winning both games of a shortened series at Buffalo. the Eagles own a 10-18, 3-3 MAC record, taking two from Miami in the opening weekend, and going 1-2 at Ohio last weekend. On the season, WMU is hitting .269 and has a staff ERA of 4.27. During MAC games, the team is batting .256 and has a 1.12 ERA. Ryan McMillin (.370), Troy Forton (.365), Patrick Duncan (.306) and Jack Scanlon (.300) are all batting .300 or better...Eastern Michigan is in its fourth season under head coach Jay Alexander and is off to a 10-18, 3-3 MAC start ... the Eagles have dropped their last three-straight, falling in games two and three at Ohio last weekend and 6-1 in a midweek matchup at home against Michigan State, April 4 ... Eastern Michigan has five players hitting .300 or better and has a team batting average of .284 and a staff ERA of 6.97 ... EMU has given up 36 runs in its six MAC contests, including 24 in the Ohio series.
Miami at Ball State
The RedHawks (15-13, 3-3) are coming off a Wednesday night loss at home to Ohio State, 9-2. Miami managed just five hits against the Buckeyes, while using eight pitchers in the mid-week affair. In league play, the RedHawks have split each of the first two series by 2-1 margins. After winning the opener at Eastern Michigan, they dropped two straight. Conversely, Miami lost the home opener vs. Toledo, then won back-to-back. Ball State (5-20, 1-5) split a pair of midweek extra-inning games, winning 7-6 in 10 over Indiana Tech before falling 6-5 to Indiana in 15. The Cardinals lost two of three to Akron and were swept by Kent State in the first two league weekends...Ball State enters the weekend with a 5-20 overall record and a 1-5 mark in Mid-American Conference play ... The Cardinals are coming off a 15-inning 6-5 loss at Big Ten foe Indiana Wednesday evening ... Ball State has scored 88 runs this season (3.52 runs/game) and is hitting .242 as a team ... Opponents have scored 193 runs (7.72 runs/game) this season and is batting .297 as a team.
Toledo at Central Michigan
The Rockets will be looking to break out of a mini-slump which has seen them drop their last four games. Their opponents are hitting .366 (53-for-145) during this stretch, averaging 7.8 runs on 13.3 hits. Offensively, senior INF Joe Corfman continues to pace the squad with a .308 average (36-for-117), followed closely by freshman 3B Anthony Smith and senior INF Matt Delewski with .302 (26-for-86) and .300 (21-for-70) marks, respectively. Corfman currently ranks third in the conference in runs scored (29) and stolen bases (13), tied for sixth in doubles (9), tied for seventh in home runs (3), tied for ninth in total bases (54) and tied for 10th in hits, while Smith has been the hottest Rocket at the plate as of late, batting .400 (16-for-40) over the last 10 contests (March 21-April 4)...Central Michigan Junior Jordan Dean has continued to rip the cover off the ball in 2012 and now has 17 multi-hit contests in the Chippewas' 28 contests. The shortstop has recorded two hits 12 times, three hits three times and a career-high four hits on two different occasions. He leads the Chippewas in average (.375), at-bats (128), runs (34), hits (48), triples (2), home runs (5), slugging percentage (.563) and stolen bases (6).
Ohio at Northern Illinois
The Huskies (8-20) enter this weekend's series, having won three of their last four games, defeating Milwaukee one and Akron twice. Northern Illinois opened the year by playing four nationally-ranked teams in the first month of the season. Senior Alex Jones leads the Huskies offensively with a .333 batting average and 19 RBI. Junior Jamison Wells has also proven to be a strong asset for the Huskie offense as he leads the league with 18 stolen bases. On the mound, Taylor Nawrocki leads all starting pitchers with an ERA of 5.31...Ohio is just under the 500 mark so far this season with a 13-15 clip and 3-3 in its MAC contests. Like the Huskies, OU won its first conference series last weekend when it defeated Eastern Michigan Saturday (7-2) and Sunday (10-9) to even its MAC record on the year. Big bats have been the Cats M.O. in 2012 as five batters carry averages over .300, including Jake Madsen's impressive .389 clip. He has a team-leading 42 and has driven in 15 runs. Jensen Painter, second on the team in average at .358, is Ohio's run generator and provider, smashing 11 home runs, 29 RBI, 26 runs and drawing 20 walks. Pitchers Jason Moulton and Brent Choban have been steady for Ohio as both have ERA's under with Moulton at 2.11 and Choban at 2.76.