Friday's MAC Baseball Results
Ohio 6, Ball State 1
Eastern Michigan 4, Central Michigan 0
Northern Illinois 8, Miami 7
Buffalo 3, Akron 2 (Game 1); Akron 5, Buffalo 4 (Game 2)
Toledo 7, Western Michigan 4
Bowling Green 6, Kent State 5
Stories courtesy of MAC Home Sports Information Departments
Ohio 6, Ball State 1
ATHENS, Ohio - Senior pitcher Brent Choban threw his second complete game of the season to lead the Ohio University team (17-16,7-3) to its sixth-consecutive conference victory Friday night, defeating Ball State (7-24, 3-7) 6-1 at Bob Wren Stadium.
Choban (Rittman, Ohio) improved his record to 5-2 giving up six hits and just one earned run. Ball State sophomore T.J. Weir would take the loss and fell to 1-6 on the year. In 2011, Choban has pitched no less than six innings in each of his nine appearances.
Senior captain Ethan Newton (Norfold, Va.), freshman Jake Madsen (Cincinnati, Ohio), and sophomore Garrett Black (Lima, Ohio) led the Bobcats' offense going a combined 6-for-12 with five RBI. Freshman Tyler Wells (Lexington, Ky.) would chip in with an RBI as well going 1-for-3.
As a team, Ohio outhit Ball State 10-6 and in the processed collected 10-or-more hits for the 16th time in its last 21 games.
Ball State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth off a sac-fly from Blake Beemer scoring Ball State's only run of the game.
The Bobcat Offense would get going in the bottom of the seventh as Newton would single in Black to even the game at 1-1. Ohio would later take the lead thanks to a Madsen's single up the middle, which scored Wells and Newton, while advancing senior Jensen Painter (Willshire,Ohio) to third. Painter got on base for the 33rd-consecutive game after he was hit by a pitch.
Ohio's offense continued the attack scoring three more runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach. Freshman Cody Gaertner(Allison Park, Pa.) scored from a sac-fly by Black, Newton would single in freshman Logan Cozart (New Philadelphia, Ohio) and Tyler Wells doubled up the middle to plate Newton. Ohio finished the evening with five two out base hits.
Ohio's 7-3 start in conference play marks its best start since the 2009 team started 9-3 in the MAC. That team would finish the year 29-24 and 19-8 in the MAC
Newton picked up his team-leading 14th stolen base Friday night and his 34 career swipe, which moved him into seventh place all time at Ohio.
Ohio returns to action Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. inside Bob Wren Stadium for game two of its three-game series with Ball State. Senior Jason Moulton (Toledo, Ohio) takes the mound for the Cats. In three starts at home this season, Moulton has an ERA of 0.48.
Eastern Michigan 4, Central Michigan 0
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com)—The Eastern Michigan University baseball team pushed its winning streak to five with a 4-0 shutout of Mid-American Conference West Division rival Central Michigan University Friday evening, April 13, at Oestrike Stadium. The Eagles earned their first shutout of the year behind solid starting pitching from Neil Butara.
Eastern Michigan (15-18; 7-3 MAC) made good use of its scoring opportunities as the team recorded only four hits on the evening, but scored a pair of runs in the third and single runs in the fourth and eighth innings to gain a two-game lead on the Chippewas (14-20; 5-5 MAC) for first place in the West Division.
On the other hand, Central Michigan stranded 14 baserunners on the evening and committed a pair of costly errors which resulted in two unearned runs for the Eagles. The Chippewas left the bases loaded twice including in the eighth inning, when they left the go-ahead run at the plate as Joe Battistelli sent William Arnold back to the dugout on a called third strike.
Butara (3-2) worked his way out of trouble in the early innings and settled down nicely before departing with a final line of 6.2 innings, no runs, four walks and four strikeouts. Battistelli's huge inning-ending strikeout in the eighth was followed up by three more to ring CMU up in order in the ninth and cap off a four-punchout showing. The Allen Park, Mich. native pitched 1.1 innings and earned his third save of the season.
EMU pitchers finished the game with 10 strikeouts to their credit to mark the eight time this season they have fanned at least that many in a game.
Despite giving up only three hits, Zach Cooper (3-3) took his first loss in MAC play this season in 7.1 innings of work for CMU. Cooper gave up a trio of runs (two earned) and struck out six while walking a pair.
Butara and company limited a potent top portion of the CMU lineup to a 3-for-16 evening with no RBI, three walks and five strikeouts. Nate Theunissen (3-for-4) was the lone bright spot for a Chippewas team which has now dropped three straight contests.
Brent Ohrman went 1-for-4 Friday to push his hitting streak to 18 games. His game-winning RBI in the third inning was also good for his team-leading 25th of the year.
The other trio of EMU hits belonged to Sam Ott (1-for-2), Bo Kinder (1-for-4) and Lee Longo (1-for-1), who belted a pinch-hit double in the eighth inning. Ben Magsig drew a pair of walks to move him into eight place all-time in EMU history with 96 free passes in his career.
The Chippewas put a pair on in the first, but Butara struck out two batters and Magsig made a nice defensive play at third to record a force for the final out. In the second, Arnold grounded out with the bases loaded to keep the contest scoreless.
Cooper struck out Russell and John Rubino to begin the third inning, but Rubino made it to first base after swinging at a wild pitch. Ohrman drove Rubino in two batters later on a sharp single up the middle. Jamie Simpson made it a 2-0 game on a sacrifice fly to left field which plated Magsig.
Kinder reached third base to lead off the fourth on a would-be single which was misplayed by CMU centerfielder Tom Lally. Daniel Russell then grounded out to second base, which was good enough to score Kinder and increase the EMU lead to 3-0.
Butara continued to cruise through the Central Michigan batting order, allowing just one base runner in innings five through seven. Ben Dartnell relieved Butara with two gone in the seventh and recorded the final out off the bat of Sam Russell.
The mood turned tense at Oestrike in the following frame, as a hit batter and a pair of walks loaded the bases with Chippewas with two down. Head Coach Jay Alexander then called for Battistelli out of the bullpen, who caught Arnold looking for the final out.
Longo's first at-bat in nearly a week was a good one as the sophomore doubled down the left field line in a pinch hitting role in the eighth. Dae Bowden was relieved of his duties as first-base coach to pinch run for Longo and came around to score on a wild pitch and a fielding error to add an insurance run and make it 4-0.
Battistelli wasted no time putting game one in the books, striking out all three batters he faced in the final inning.
The Eagles' five game winning streak is the longest since the 2011 squad won 11 in-a-row from April 17-May 4. It was also the first shutout for the Green and White since a 1-0 blanking of Northern Illinois University, May 7, 2011.
Game two is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start, but be sure to check EMUEagles.com for changes as inclement weather is expected for much of the weekend.
Northern Illinois 8, Miami 7
OXFORD, Ohio -- After scoring just one run in each of its last two games, Miami's offense came alive, but wasn't enough as the RedHawks fell to Northern Illinois, 8-7, Friday night at McKie Field. Every batter for Miami (17-17, 4-6 MAC) had a base hit but the Huskies (9-24, 3-7 MAC) scored an unearned run in the top of the ninth to win.
Northern Illinois wasted no time as the leadoff hitter in the first inning ripped a double to left field, moved to third on a wild pitch and came in to score on a groundout to the shortstop. Miami countered with a run in the bottom of the opening frame. Matt Honchel singled to reach base, moved to third on a Kevin Bower hit and scored when John Crummy singled to left field.
The Huskies regained the lead in the top of the third after loading the bases with a single and a pair of bunt singles. Jordan Huffman drew a walk from Fiala to give NIU a 2-1 lead with no outs in the inning. After a short pop up for the first out, a sacrifice fly to right field extended the Husky lead to 3-1 before Fiala recovered to strike out the final batter.
Miami answered back in the bottom of the fourth when Marcus Makuch pulled fastball off the wall in right field for his first career triple, scoring Dan Walsh, who had singled. Ryan Brenner added the tying run when he grounded out to second to score Makuch. The RedHawks took their first lead on Honchel's double that scored Scott Slappey from second. Bryce Redeker finished the rally with a single to score Honchel, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. The four-run outburst gave Miami a 5-3 lead through four innings.
Northern Illinois responded with a four-spot of its own in the top of the fifth inning thanks to a sacrifice fly, RBI single and two-run homerun that just cleared the left field fence to retake the lead at 7-5.
Joe Neff took the mound in relief of Fiala in the top of the sixth and quickly sat the Huskies down in order. In the bottom half of the inning, the Miami offense again came to life as Redeker hit a pitch to shallow center field to score Brenner and Slappey from second and third, respectively.
Neff continued his mastery of Northern Illinois in the top of the seventh as he again put the visitors away in order with two strikeouts and a softly hit grounder to short. The RedHawk righty retook the mound in the top of the eighth and retired two of the first three batters he faced, but with both outs coming on long fly balls to right field, Miami head coach Dan Simonds brought in closer Nathan Williams to finish off the inning.
In the top of the ninth, Williams struck out the leadoff hitter, but the next Husky, Alex Jones, lifted a fly ball to left field that Honchel mishandled for Miami's only error of the game. Jones moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly to right to give Northern Illinois the late lead. Huskie closer Kyle Glancy pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth to record his sixth save.
RedHawk starter Brooks Fiala went five innings, surrendering seven runs, all earned, on 10 hits and a walk while striking out four. Taylor Nawrocki (3-3) earned the win for Northern Illinois, giving up seven runs on 13 hits and a walk. He struck out four.
Miami and Northern Illinois continue the series on Saturday, April 14 at 3 p.m.
Buffalo 3, Akron 2 (Game 1); Akron 5, Buffalo 4 (Game 2)
BUFFALO, NY - It was a long day at the ballpark Friday afternoon, with the Buffalo Bulls (9-20, 2-8 MAC) scheduled to play two games against Mid-American Conference east division rival Akron (14-20, 7-4 MAC). While game one cruised to a quick finish and a 3-2 UB win, game two went 16 innings before Akron pulled out the 5-4 win. The Bulls tied game two up in the bottom of the ninth inning to force the record-setting bonus baseball.
The 16 innings are a new modern-era record for the Bulls. The previous high was 14 innings on March 29, 2007 against Marshall.
In game one, the story was all about the pitchers. Senior Cameron Copping shined for his third straight conference start, nearly going the distance. After allowing an unearned run in the fourth inning, Copping held the Zips scoreless until the ninth inning. His counterpart in the other dugout, Andrew Brown, was also on point for the day and kept the Bulls off balance for much of the game.
In the first inning, the Bulls found themselves in a bases-loaded situation with no out in the inning thanks to Matt Pollock being hit by a pitch, Jon Mestas beating out a sacrifice bunt attempts for a surprise single, and a walk drawn by Dan Scahill. Tom Murphy came to bat and hit a swinging bunt that went just up the first base line. The Akron catcher made the force at home, but his attempt to throw Murphy out at first was thwarted by an errant throw that struck Murphy in the shoulder to send the ball ricocheting into the outfield. Mestas would score from second and UB found itself with two runners in scoring position with only one out. In a foreshadowing of the team's luck for the day, the Bulls could not get another run across the plate in the inning.
With the Zips scoring an unearned run of its own in the fourth inning, the offense looked to regain the lead and give Copping a chance at the win. Dan Scahill led off by reaching thanks to an Akron error, and he would come in to score on a Murphy double that went all the way to the outfield wall in center field. Thomas Richards would then provide the pivotal run by driving in Murphy with a double of his own on a line drive that missed the leaping first baseman's glove by mere inches.
Looking to close out the win in the ninth, Copping ran into his first trouble of the day, allowing a one-out double, followed by a walk and a single to bring Akron within one, 3-2. The senior's day would be done and the ball was handed to River McWilliams with two runners on and only one out. The junior struck out the first batter he faced before inducing a harmless grounder to shortstop that ended the game and wrapped up his first career save.
Buffalo's strong day on the mound would extend into game two, with senior Jeff Thompson pitching an effective game and frustrating the Akron offense. Meanwhile, the offense scored two early runs thanks to more miscues from the defense. With two outs in the second inning, Andy Smietana hit a looping liner to right field that dropped in and took a nasty hop to get by the charging right fielder, giving him a triple. After a 3-2 walk drawn by freshman Justin Gonzalez, Jason Kanzler hit a ball to the left of the shortstop, and the Akron player could not handle the ball cleanly, scoring Smietana and leaving both runners safe on the error.
The Bulls found more two-out magic in the next inning, as Murphy hit a seeing-eye single through the left side of the infield to set up Alex Baldock, who took a pitch down the left field line for a stand-up double that scored Murphy easily from first.
Thompson used a strong mix of pitches and locations and pitched successfully to contact all afternoon, frustrating the Akron hitters who found themselves making countless outs on the first pitch. Thanks to that, Thompson kept his pitch count low and went deep into the game for his longest outing of the year. He, too, ran into trouble late, giving up a two-out rally in the eighth inning to the visitors. Thompson allowed a double, a walk, and an RBI single to chase him from the game and bring the score to 2-1 in Buffalo's favor with two runners in scoring position.
Anthony Magovney was tasked with getting the final out of the inning, and despite getting ahead in the count, Akron's Joe Havrilak fought off a bloop liner that landed right in front of a charging Matt Pollock. Both runners would score to put Akron up 3-2. The visitors would tack on an important insurance run in the ninth inning on a fielder's choice to extend the lead to two runs.
After a season full of disappointing walk-off losses, it was finally UB's chance to play the hero in the bottom of the ninth. Smietana started the inning strong with a line down the left field line for an easy double. Mike Scarcello entered the game as a pinch hitter and hit a screaming liner that glanced off the third baseman's glove to put him safely on first and move Smietana to third. Kanzler stepped up and hit an equally powerful line drive but he was less fortunate, as it was right back at the pitcher. Scarcello was caught in no-man's land off of first base, but the hurried throw from the pitcher was misplayed, saving Scarcello at first while allowing Smietana to come in from third and make it 4-3 Akron, now with only one out.
A strikeout from Pollock put Buffalo's back against the wall, but a fortuitous balk from Akron's Scott Foster moved Scarcello to second base. That would prove to be crucial, because Mestas would then hit a bouncing grounder back up the middle. Akron's shortstop was in position to make the play, but a late hop on the grounder skipped over his glove, bringing in Scarcello to tie up the ball game.
The Bulls' best chance to get the walk-off win in extra innings would come right away. A triple by Murphy to lead off the tenth inning would be squandered, as Akron intentionally walked the bases loaded and forced two infield grounders and a lazy fly ball to strand three baserunners. In the eleventh, Pollock hit a lead-off single to left and walks to Scahill and Baldock would again loaded up the bases with two outs. Mike Burke could not convert, flying out to center to end the inning.
After stranding six baserunners in the first two extra innings, the Bulls would be unable to threaten again over the next six innings of extra play. After blowing the save in the ninth, Foster remained in the game and pitched the rest of the way, throwing an astounding nine innings of relief. Not to be out done, McWilliams entered his second game in a row as a reliever in the ninth inning and threw seven innings of relief but did allow the eventual game-winning run to reach on a lead-off single in the top of the sixteenth inning. Kevin Crumb was the hard-luck loser for UB, allowing a lazy single that allowed the inherited runner on second base to score.
The two teams will have less than 24 hours to recover from the 25 total innings played, as the series will conclude Saturday at 1 pm at Amherst Audubon Field. Buffalo is aiming to win its first conference series since the 2010 season.
Toledo 7, Western Michigan 4
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo continued its strong play as of late, tallying a 7-4 victory over Western Michigan on Friday in Mid-American Conference action at sunny Scott Park. With the triumph, the Rockets' run their win streak to a season-tying best four consecutive games and improve to 16-18 overall, 5-5 in the league.
UT benefitted from another quality start by sophomore LHP Ryan Wilkinson (4-2) to win its seventh straight contest against the Broncos (15-16, 5-4 MAC), dating back to the 2010 campaign. Wilkinson allowed three runs (two earned) on nine hits with a career-tying best six punchouts in 5.1 innings to earn his squad-best fourth victory of the season.
Senior RHP Lincoln Rassi came on in relief and limited WMU to one run on three hits with four strikeouts over the final 3.2 frames to earn his first save of the spring.
Offensively, freshman SS Nate Langhals (3-for-4, RS, 2 RBI) led a balanced attack with a season-high three hits, while senior DH Matt Delewski (2-for-4, RS, RBI) and junior 3B Wes White (2-for-3, RBI) had two hits each. Eight starters collected hits against a pair of Western Michigan hurlers. UT has now tallied at least 12 hits in each contest during its win streak.
Western Michigan looked good early and took advantage of back-to-back two-out doubles off the bats of Ryan McMillin and Jack Scanlon to take a 2-0 lead in the first frame.
The Broncos threatened to break the game open in the third inning as they had the bases loaded with one only out, but UT's Wilkinson produced an inning-ending double play to keep the difference at 2-0.
Toledo fed off the momentum of that double play and plated three runs in the home half of the third to make the score, 3-2. The home team utilized three hits and three WMU errors to assume a lead they would not relinquish. The trio of senior CF Ben Hammer, sophomore C James Miglin and Delewski were credited with RBI hits in the inning.
UT's Wilkinson allowed a pair of singles to begin the fourth inning, but the southpaw hurler buckled down and fanned the next three hitters to help the Midnight Blue & Gold maintain a one-run cushion.
The Rockets then added to their margin with a pair of tallies in the fourth frame to make the score 5-2. UT plated its first run on a two-base throwing error by WMU pitcher Casey Webber on a failed pickoff attempt, before White ripped a run-scoring through the left side.
WMU was able to get one of the runs back in the top of the fifth inning with the aid of a Toledo infield error. The visitors had runners on second and third base with two outs when Andrew Sohn hit a hard ground ball that third baseman White could not corral and allowed the run to score.
Toledo was quick to counter though, receiving a two-run single up the middle by Langhals in the bottom of the fifth to establish a four-run advantage, 7-3.
The score remained the same until the ninth frame when WMU's McMillin belted a two-out solo home run. Toledo's Rassi did not allow the visitors to get any closer as he recorded the game's final out on a ground ball back to him to preserve the home triumph.
WMU's Webber (2-2) was saddled with the loss, yielding seven runs (four earned) on 11 hits with two strikeouts in 5.0 innings.
Scanlon (3-for-5) paced the visitors with three hits, while Jared Kujawa (2-for-4, 2 RS), Theo Piccirilli (2-for-2) and McMillin (2-for-4, 2 RS, 2 RBI) had multi-hit efforts.
The Rockets and Broncos will continue their three-game series tomorrow with a 1:05 p.m. first pitch at the corner of Parkside Blvd. and Hill Ave. Senior RHP Matt Kuna is slated to toe the rubber for Toledo.
Bowling Green 6, Kent State 5
The Bowling Green State University baseball team defeated Kent State in the bottom of the 14th inning, 6-5 on Friday afternoon. Drew Kuns collected the game-ending RBI, as he was hit by a pitch to give the Falcons the thrilling walk-off win. With the win, the Falcons improve to 13-20 overall and 3-7 in the MAC. The loss was the first in MAC play for Kent State, as they fell to 9-1 in MAC play.
The Falcons struggled offensively against last year’s MAC pitcher-of-the-year, David Starn. Starn only allowed one unearned run in his seven innings, giving up just three hits.
The Falcons trailed 4-1 when Starn came out of the game after seven innings, and the Falcons would jump on the opportunity. The Falcons would rough up Kent State closer Casey Wilson for three runs on three hits before an out would be recorded, and the game was tied.
Brandon Howard got things started in the eighth with a single to right field. Jake Thomas would take a Casey Wilson fastball and drive it to deep center field for a triple, scoring Howard from second. The next batter, Logan Walker, drove a ball into the right centerfield gap, scoring Thomas to cut the deficit to one. After Kuns was hit by a pitch for the first time, Matt Pitzulo would reach on a fielder’s choice for the game-tying RBI. The game would head into the ninth inning, tied at four.
After losing the last two Mid-American Conference games on walk-off hits last weekend, the Falcons would try to make it through the top of the ninth still tied so they could employ some magic of their own. Kent State, however, would tack on a run in the top of the ninth, giving them the one run lead as the Falcons came to bat in the bottom of the ninth.
Ryan Mace would come into the ballgame, looking to give the Golden Flashes the win, and himself the save. The Falcons had other thoughts, however, as T.J. Losby got the inning started with a base hit. A sacrifice bunt and a groundout would put Losby on third with two outs. Head coach Danny Schmitz would call for the pinch-hitter, Patrick Lancaster, with the game on the line. Lancaster would deliver, as he knocked the first pitch of the at-bat back up the middle to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth.
Danny Schmitz would be forced to lift his designated hitter spot, as Pitzulo, who had been the DH, went into the game at second base in the top of the tenth. This would mean that the Falcon pitchers would be in the batting order the rest of the ballgame.
Nick Bruns and Patrick Martin would do their job out of the bullpen, keeping the Golden Flashes off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game. Nick Bruns came on in the top of the ninth, going four innings, allowing just three Kent State hits. Bruns would be pinch-hit for in the bottom of the twelfth.
With the score still tied at five, Patrick Martin came on to replace Tyler Wynn, who had pinch-hit for Bruns, in the top of the thirteenth. Martin would set the Flashes down in order in the top of the thirteenth inning. The Falcons would load the bases in the bottom of the thirteenth, but could not take advantage of the base runners, as Kent State would keep the game tied at five.
Martin would retire the Flashes in the fourteenth, and the Falcons would get another chance to win the ballgame in the home half of the inning.
Brian Bien led off the inning with an infield bunt single. He would hustle into second after Sawyer Polen’s throw was up the line, and got away from the KSU first baseman. Patrick Martin, a former outfielder for the Falcons, would stay in the ballgame, as he would lay down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runner to third. The sacrifice bunt came in Martin’s first plate appearance of the season.
The game would become a chess match from that point forward, as the Falcons had the winning run on third with just one out. Kent State skipper Scott Stricklin would choose to intentionally walk the next two Falcons, which would load the bases for redshirt sophomore, Drew Kuns.
Stricklin would bring center fielder, Evan Campbell, into the infield to try to keep the Falcons from scoring. Campbell was placed between the shortstop and third baseman, giving KSU five infielders and just two outfielders.
After working the count to 3-2, Kuns was hit by the pitch, ending the ballgame, and giving the Falcons the thrilling 6-5 win in 14 innings.
The two teams will continue their series tomorrow afternoon at 1 pm from Steller Field. With the win, the Falcons improve to 7-1 at home on the year, 13-20 overall and 3-7 in the MAC. Kent State falls to 11-11 on the road, 19-14 overall and 9-1 in the MAC.