Sunday's MAC Baseball Results
Ohio 19, Northern Illinois 10
Toledo 10, Central Michigan 9
Akron 2, Bowling Green 1
Kent State 6, Bufflalo 3
Eastern Michigan 9, Western Michigan 5
Ball State 4, Miami 3
Stories courtesy of Home MAC Sports Information Departments
Kent State 6, Bufflalo 3
KENT, Ohio – The Kent State baseball team remained perfect in conference play thanks to a 6-3 triumph over Mid-American Conference East Division foe Buffalo Sunday (April 8) to complete the weekend series sweep.
The Golden Flashes (18-13, 9-0 MAC) are off to their best start ever in MAC play in program history thanks to their third straight weekend conference series sweep to maintain their grip on first place. Kent State pulled out a 5-4 walk-off thriller Friday (April 6) and followed it up with a 6-3 come-from-behind win next the day over the Bulls (1-7, 7-18 MAC). The Flashes have won 10 of their last 13 games. Nine of Kent State's last 11 games have been decided by three runs or less with Kent State coming out victorious in six of those contests.
"It hasn't been pretty the whole way, but our guys have found ways to win," said eighth-year head coach Scott Stricklin. "We had a lot of wasted at-bats and opportunities again today, but we battled and our bullpen dominated."
Kent State's bats gave sophomore right-handed starting pitcher Tyler Skulina (Strongsville, Ohio) a cushion to work with by striking for three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Freshman third baseman Sawyer Polen (Wooster, Ohio) coaxed a one-out walk, went to second on a ground out back to the mound by freshman left fielder Alex Miklos (Grove City, Pa.) and scored on a single back up the middle by redshirt sophomore right fielder Troy Summers (Minerva, Ohio). Summers stole second, and sophomore second baseman Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio) followed by drawing a walk. Junior center fielder Evan Campbell (Beloit, Ohio) plated Summers with an infield single to first, and senior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.) made it 3-0 when he drove in Toadvine with a single through the left side.
The Bulls responded by posting single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to knot the contest at three-all. Buffalo scored its first run in the third when junior second baseman Jon Mestas drew a leadoff walk, went to third on a double down the right field line by senior right fielder Dan Scahill and scored on an RBI ground out by junior catcher Tom Murphy. The Bulls pulled within one in the fourth when sophomore third baseman Mike Scarcello coaxed a free pass and scored on a base hit to right by junior left fielder Matt Pollock. Buffalo tied the game in the fifth when Scahill smacked a leadoff double to right center and scored two outs later on an infield single to short by sophomore shortstop Michael Burke.
Kent State's offense made sure Skulina got the pitching win, though, by quickly grabbing the lead back from Buffalo in the home half of the fifth. Senior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) coaxed a leadoff walk and scored one out later on a double to left center by redshirt junior designated hitter Nick Hamilton (Avon Lake, Ohio) to put the Golden Flashes back in front, 4-3.
The Flashes tacked on another run in the sixth when sophomore right fielder T.J. Sutton (Uniontown, Ohio) sent his first collegiate home run of his career over the right field wall.
"It's not something I try to do when I go up, but I just got a good count," said Sutton of his first career dinger. "Right before I went up, my mom yelled, 'Do it for grandpa.' He was in the stands today and doesn't get to come often. I was happy I got to do it for him."
Kent State added one more insurance run in the eighth as Miklos laced his second career triple to left center and scored on safety squeeze play by Toadvine.
While Kent State's bats added runs to the scoreboard, its bullpen befuddled Buffalo's hitters as freshman right hander John Birkbeck (Canton, Ohio), redshirt sophomore southpaw Michael Clark (Akron, Ohio), redshirt freshman righty Josh Pierce (Avon, Ohio) and junior righty Casey Wilson (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) sealed the win by combining to retire Buffalo's final 12 batters in a row. Wilson picked up his fourth save of 2012.
"We have a lot of depth in our bullpen, and I'm really happy to see those guys throw the way that they've thrown," said Stricklin.
Skulina improved to 4-2 on the season, striking out five in five frames of work.
"I was glad we were able to get that run in there to get Skulina the win, because we he deserved it," said Stricklin. "He found a way to get himself through the fifth inning and gave us a chance to win."
Buffalo freshman left-handed starting pitcher Mike McGee was saddled with the mound defeat and fell to 0-2 on the season.
Kent State steps out of conference competition to play a home-and-home series with Youngstown State in non-conference midweek action, visiting the Penguins Tuesday (April 10) before playing host to Youngstown State the following day. First pitch for both contests is slated for 3 p.m.
Ohio 19, Northern Illinois 10
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois baseball team swung hot bats, combining for 12 hits and 10 runs, but it wasn't enough for the Huskies as they fell to Ohio, 19-10. NIU falls to 2-7 in Mid-American Conference play.
"We swung the bats better today and 10 games is going to win you a lot of ball games most of the time but they swung their bats a lot better than us," said Head Coach Ed Mathey. "We started to mount a little bit of a charge in the middle innings, but when you give up one or two here and there, it just makes it that much more tougher emotionally. We need to keep working and we need to start getting done what we need to get done. We just have to start playing better baseball."
Ohio totaled 19 runs and 19 hits in the ball game and committed an astonishing six errors in the field, including three from Bobcat shortstop Garrett Black. They posted five runs in the third and seventh innings and also rattled off four in the fourth.
The Huskies got their first run of the game in the second inning with runners on first and second on an Alex Jones single up the middle, scoring Alex Beckmann (Batavia, Ill.) who walked at the start of the inning to make it a 2-1 game. Ohio would increase its lead to 11-1 at the middle of the fourth inning.
Northern Illinois would then round three runners to cut the lead to 11-4 on three hits and an error. Connor Duckhorn stepped in as a pinch hitter in the inning and singled to center field to score Beckmann from third. Jordan Huffman doubled to drive in Duckhorn and Brett Frantini.
NIU would then add a run an inning to their tally and trailed 17-7 after seven innings. Pitcher Kyle Glancy would blank Ohio in the eighth inning on the mound, forcing three pop outs in the swirling DeKalb winds and gave way to Kevin Sweeney in the ninth who made his collegiate debut for NIU. Sweeney surrendered two hits and two runs in his opener.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Huskies continued to fight as Jordan Rishavy singled and Connor Schomig doubled down the left field line to get the rally started. Joe Battaglia would score Rishavy when he lined a ball off the glove of the third basemen, forcing an error and reaching base. Jones tallied his second RBI of the game on a single to score Schomig, followed by Huffman's second RBI to score Battaglia.
Beckmann finished the the day 2-for-4 and was a Huskie-best 5-for-10 in the series versus Ohio. Troy White extended his hitting-streak to 13 games against the Bobcats with an RBI single in the sixth inning.
Northern Illinois will play a midweek tilt Tuesday April 10 when it hosts Illinois State at 3:05 p.m., its final home game of an eight-game stretch at Ralph McKinzie Field.
Toledo 10, Central Michigan 9
MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan missed earning its first series sweep of the season, falling to Toledo at a windy Theunissen Stadium Sunday afternoon, 10-9.
After making a spectacular diving catch and throw from center field in the top of the ninth for an inning-ending double play, the tables were turned on junior Tom Lally, who lined into a double play to end the game with senior Sam Russell being tagged out at second.
The Chippewas (14-18, 5-4 MAC) led, 9-5, through five innings Sunday, but the Rockets (13-18, 4-5 MAC) scored five runs in the top of the sixth and limited CMU to just one hit over the final 4.1 innings to avoid the series sweep.
After a solo home run by Toledo's Wes White in the top of the first put the road team up, 1-0, CMU came roaring back in the bottom of the fourth with four runs of its own.
Senior Tyler Hall had his first triple of the season to drive in junior Jordan Dean to tie the game, 1-1, and senior William Arnold drove Hall home one batter late with a single to right field. The triple by Hall was the 12th of his career and moved him into sole possession of third place all-time in CMU history.
Two walks to junior Reid Rooney and senior Nate Theunissen loaded the bases for CMU, before senior Sam Russell had a RBI infield single and Lally earned a RBI when he walked with the bases still loaded.
Both teams added single runs in the third inning, with CMU's coming off the bat of Theunissen when he hit his third home run of the season to give CMU a 5-2 advantage.
After the Rockets scored three runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game, 5-5, the Maroon and Gold put together another four-run inning to claim the 9-5 lead.
A walk, hit by a pitch and single loaded the bases for CMU and Lally earned his second RBI of the game on a fielder's choice in which he beat out a double play attempt. Dean then roped a two-run double to left field that was just out of the reach of the defender and Hall singled one batter later for his second RBI of the day.
Two CMU errors and five Toledo hits allowed the Rockets to bat around and score their five runs in the top of the sixth, but just two of the five were earned.
Ryan Longstreth, who earned his first save of the season in Saturday's win, suffered the loss to fall to 2-3 on the season, despite pitching just 2/3 of an inning. Lincoln Rassi earned the win for Toledo, tossing the final 4.1 innings of the game and holding CMU to just one hit.
Dean and Hall each finished the game with two hits and two RBI to lead the Chippewas offensively, while Regnier drew three walks in the game and has now reached base safely in 17 consecutive contests.
The Chippewas will return to midweek action Wednesday afternoon when they travel to Rochester to take on the Oakland Grizzlies before returning to MAC play next weekend at Eastern Michigan.
Akron 2, Bowling Green 1
AKRON, Ohio – For the second day in a row, senior Sam Watkins sent The University of Akron baseball team to a thrilling win over Bowling Green with a ninth-inning, walk-off hit at Canal Park.
The 2-1 win gives UA (13-17, 6-3 Mid-American Conference) the series sweep over the Falcons (11-20, 2-7). It is the first Akron sweep since the Zips took three from Northern Illinois in 2009.
Senior Alex Loftin produced his best start of the season, going the distance and allowing one unearned run. Loftin scattered seven hits and struck out six. Watkins drove in both Akron runs.
Akron took a 1-0 lead into the top of the ninth when TJ Losby led off the frame with a single up the middle. Losby advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and then moved to third on a passed ball. Loftin would strike out Jeremy Shay for the second out of the inning and then got Brian Bien to strike out with a pitch in the dirt. However, the pitch bounced away from catcher Brady Stewart, and Losby scored from third to tie the game.
Watkins heroics were made possible by a two-out single up the middle by Devan Ahart. BGSU closer Nick Bruns (1-2) then made a crucial error, throwing a pickoff attempt into foul territory and allowing Ahart to motor around to third. After fouling off a number of two-strike offerings, Watkins lined a 1-2 pitch into left field to clinch the sweep.
Losby picked up a pair of hits for Bowling Green. Starter Patrick Martin allowed one run in four-plus innings of work.
Loftin was outstanding all game long, getting groundout after groundout and walking just one. The senior righty also pitched out of jams in the first and second innings.
The Zips opened the scoring in the fifth, despite not recording a hit in the inning. Sam Trecaso and Matt Rembielak drew back-to-back walks to start the frame. Ahart bunted the pair over and Watkins hit a sacrifice fly to left to bring home Trecaso.
Akron returns to Canal Park on Tuesday for a midweek game against Pittsburgh. First pitch is at 3 p.m. UA then travels to Ohio State on Wednesday before heading to Buffalo next weekend.
Eastern Michigan 9, Western Michigan 5
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan fell 9-5 in Sunday's game three, as Eastern Michigan completed a series sweep of the Broncos. WMU falls to 14-14 on the year and 5-3 in the Mid-American Conference.
The Eagles (13-18, 6-3 MAC) used four hits and an error in the top of the first to score three runs off of Bronco right-handed freshman Will Nimke. Nimke gave up a walk and a single in the top of the second and then would be replaced by freshman RHP Nick Bradley. One of the two runners went on to score, and EMU held a 4-0 lead after one and a half innings.
Western Michigan pushed three runs across in the bottom of the second to trail one, 4-3. Ryan McMillin and Patrick Duncan hit back-to-back singles and each moved up a bag on a wild pitch. McMillin also scored on a wild pitch, as Dan Shutes reached base after EMU's catcher wasn't able to hold onto a swinging third strike in the dirt. Both Duncan and Shutes scored when Andrew Sohn singled to the outfield and EMU's right fielder bobbled the ball. Sohn was credited with one RBI.
EMU went on to score in the top of the third and the fifth, opening a 6-3 lead. Bradley walked a pair in the third and then gave up an RBI single. Daniel Russell hit a solo home run for the Eagles in the fifth.
Sohn singled for the second time in the seventh and scored on a base hit by Zach Thoma, as WMU crept within two, 6-4.
Eastern Michigan's Ben Masig took the wind out of the Broncos' sails in the top of the ninth, blasting a three-run homer off of LHP Mike Moyer, stretching the Eagles' lead to 9-4.
Western Michigan scored a final run in the bottom of the ninth, to make for a 9-5 final. Caleb Caton hit the second of his two doubles in the game, advanced to third on a balk and scored on a wild pitch.
Western Michigan used six different pitchers in the contest, Nimke (1-1) taking the loss. Eastern Michigan right-handed starter Ryan Lavoie (3-1) earned the win, tossing seven innings and striking out 11.
EMU's Masig batted 4-for-6 with four RBIs. Caton, Duncan, Sohn and Jordan Tillman each had two hits apiece for WMU. Eastern Michigan had 10 hits and the Broncos had 11.
Western Michigan is on the road for its next six-straight, playing at Valparaiso this Tuesday and Notre Dame Wednesday. The Broncos travel to Toledo for a three-game conference series next weekend, April 13-15, and then head to Michigan State for a meeting with the Spartans on April 17. The Broncos return to Kalamazoo to host Akron, April 20-22.
Ball State 4, Miami 3
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State baseball team posted its first series victory of the season Saturday afternoon as the Cardinals recorded a 4-3 victory over Mid-American Conference rival Miami at Ball Diamond. Senior third baseman Tim Issler (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) posted a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning scoring giving the Cardinals a 4-0 lead, scoring the eventual game-winning runs.
Sophomore right-hander T.J. Weir (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) picked up his first win of the season working 6.1 solid inning of shutout baseball. Weir allowed just seven hits while striking out seven on a career-high 116 pitches. He was one of four Cardinals' pitchers on the afternoon that held the RedHawks to three runs, all in the ninth inning.
Ball State (7-20, 3-5 MAC) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning against right-hander Brooks Fiala. Senior Mitch Widau (Richmond, Ind./Richmond) and Weir posted back-to-back one out singles to get the Cardinals started. Sophomore Sean Godfrey (New Albany, Ind./New Albany) gave the Cardinals the early lead as he lined a two-strike pitch into center field to plate Widau for the 1-0 lead.
Ball State added another run in the bottom of the sixth inning as Godfrey led off with a single and quickly stole second base. Junior Blake Beemer (Dayton, Ohio/Northmont) put the Cardinals in front 2-0 as he doubled off the right field wall plating Godfrey.
Miami threatened in the top of the seventh inning as Dan Walsh singled and Scott Slappey lined a double off the wall in left field to put two in scoring position ending Weir's afternoon. Left-hander Jon Cisna (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport Township) entered the game in a pressure-packed situation and worked his way out of the jam. Cisna recorded a strikeout of Ryan Brenner before getting a fly ball to right field stranding both runners in scoring position leaving the Cardinals with a 2-0 lead.
The RedHawks made some noise again in the eighth inning as Cisna walked two batters after getting the first out. He settled in and recorded a big strikeout before getting pinch hitter Jacob Wolf to fly out to left field stranding two more runners.
Ball State got a pair of crucial insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning after Fiala got two quick outs. Beemer kept the inning going as he was hit by the first pitch he saw. Issler hit the first pitch he saw high over the left field wall for his first home run of the season and third of his career giving the Cardinals a 4-0 lead.
Miami kept battling in the top of the ninth inning as Walsh led off with a single and Brennan drew a walk to put two aboard with one out. Bryce Redeker posted a run-scoring double to make it a 4-1 game before sophomore left-hander Devin Wilburn (Selma, Ind./Wapahani) came on in relief. Kevin Bower made it a 4-3 game with a two-run single into right field before Wilburn ended the threat with a ground ball to the shortstop to pick up his first save of the season and second of his career.
Fiala (2-4) was a hard-luck loser as he posted a complete game working 8.0 innings and allowing four runs on nine hits while striking out two batters.
Ball State and Miami will conclude its three-game MAC series Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Ball Diamond.