Sunday's MAC Baseball Results
Bowling Green 6, Toledo 3
Northern Illinois 9, Western Michigan 8
Kent State 13, Miami 2
Central Michigan 6, Ball State 3
Ohio 4, Akron 2
Buffalo 4, Eastern Michigan 0
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Bowling Green 6, Toledo 3
TOLEDO, Ohio—The Bowling Green State University baseball team completed a weekend sweep of their arch-rival Toledo on Sunday, coming from behind to win 6-3. The sweep marks the first time Bowling Green has swept a three-game Mid-American Conference series since May of 2010 vs. Buffalo. With the win, the Falcons improve to 11-19 (6-6 MAC) on the year.
For the third straight game, the Falcons jumped out to an early lead in the fourth inning. Andrew Kubuski extended his on-base streak to 19 consecutive games with a single to lead off the top of the fourth. After a Jeremy Shay single, T.J. Losby would sacrifice the runners into scoring position.
Jesse Rait would get an RBI ground out to the second baseman to put the Falcons on the board. The following batter, Logan Walker, would get an important two-out single to score Shay and give the Falcons a 2-0 lead.
Sophomore pitcher Trevor Blaylock cruised through the first four innings, striking out four batters. In the fifth, Toledo would tie the game with two runs. They would score in similar fashion to what the Falcons had done in the fourth, getting an RBI ground out and RBI single to knot the game up at two.
Toledo would take their first lead of the weekend with a run in the bottom of the sixth, but junior pitcher Ethan McKenney would work his way out of trouble to minimize the damage. Facing a bases-loaded situation with just one out, McKenney would get a ground out to third baseman Nick Glanzman for the second out. On that play, Glanzman would field the ball, throwing to the catcher Shay for the second out. McKenney would escape further damage by forcing a ground out to end the inning.
With momentum on the side of Toledo, the Falcons would respond. Walker led off the top of the seventh with a line drive down the left field line, hustling into second for the double.
Jake Thomas would sacrifice Walker to third, and Brian Bien would drive him in to tie the game at three.
After two quick outs in the eighth, Losby was hit by a pitch to put a runner on base. Following two infield hits, Thomas would come to bat with the bases loaded.
Facing a two-strike count, Thomas would foul off three pitches, eventually being hit in the foot for the RBI HBP.
Closer Nick Bruns would enter the contest with one out and a runner on second base in the bottom of the eighth. Like he has done all season long, Bruns would keep the Rocket runner right there, getting a pop out to the second baseman Brandon Howard, followed by a line out to the CF Thomas.
With just a narrow one run lead, the Falcons would get a few insurance runs in the ninth, in similar fashion to Friday’s contest.
Glanzman would lead off the ninth with a single, followed by a Howard sacrifice bunt. After an intentional walk to the cleanup hitter Shay, the junior captain Losby would deliver with an RBI single into left centerfield. Rait would follow with another two-out RBI single, giving the Falcons a 6-3 lead.
The first two runners would reach against Bruns in the bottom of the ninth, but he would get a strikeout, pop out, and ground out to complete the weekend sweep of the Rockets. The save for Bruns was his fifth of the season, 14th of his career.
The Falcons will return to the diamond on Wednesday evening, with first pitch at University of Notre Dame coming at 5:35 pm. With the sweep, head coach Danny Schmitz is now at 599 career wins.
Northern Illinois 9, Western Michigan 8
DeKALB, Ill. – Tied 8-8 in the bottom of the ninth with runners on first and second and two outs, junior Nate Ruzich (Joliet/South Suburban College) drove in classmate Landon Tenhagen (Burlington, Wis./Madison Area TC) from second base to give Northern Illinois (14-19, 9-3 MAC) a series sweep over Western Michigan (11-24, 5-7 MAC) on a walk-off win, 9-8. The Huskies stand atop the Mid-American Conference with Kent State with a 9-3 league register.
Entering the bottom of the third, the Huskies trailed the Broncos, 5-0, following a four run stanza in the top half of the inning. NIU bounced back to score two runs in the bottom of the third to make it a 5-2 game on bases loaded single up the middle by Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo./Kearney).
On the first pitch of the fourth inning, Tenhagen jacked a ball into the head wind and down the left field line to put the Huskies within two runs, 5-3. Following a one run top of the fifth by WMU, Northern Illinois tacked on four runs in the bottom of the frame to put the Huskies on top, 7-6. Ruzich had a two-run double down the left field line to give the Huskies their first lead.
Western Michigan went on to tie the game in the top of the seventh on Jared Kujawa’s blast over right field, 7-7. NIU regained the lead with runners on first and second as Ruzich curved a ball past the pitcher and off second base to escape the infielders and allow Tenhagen to score, 8-7.
In true essence of the ball game, the Broncos rallied back to tie the contest on a pair of singles by Andrew Sohn and Hunter Prince in the top of the ninth inning to force the Huskies to bat in the bottom of the ninth.
After a popout by Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park/Andrew), Tenhagen worked a full count at the plate with one out and took the next pitch off his side to put the winning run on first. A strikeout by Brian Sisler (DeKalb/DeKalb)after hit-and-run attempts put the Huskies backs against the wall with two outs. A single by Tommy Hook (Lockport/Lockport Township) right back at the mound put two runners on base for Ruzich, who hit a ball to third base that swept past the fielder and into the outfield.
With the left fielder charging the ball as Tenhagen rounded third, Patrick Duncan was unable to field the ball cleanly, over running the ball to allow the Huskie to score and win in walkoff fashion, 9-8.
“From our stand point, it was good to see our hitters bounce back,” said Head Coach Ed Mathey, “as Coach (Tom) Carcione pointed out, in just about every inning (WMU) scored, we scored runs. We talk a lot about momentum and those are the things you have to do. We stood up and took advantage of the situations that they gave us. We were productive in run scoring opportunities.”
Ruzich finished the day 2-for-5 with four RBI to lead the Huskies to two different leads in the ball game while four other players, Klonowski (2), Connor Schomig (1) (Darien/Hinsdale South), Tenhagen (1) and Zimmerman (1), all registered RBI in the game. Anthony Andres (Western Springs/St. Rita) pitched 1.1 relief innings to earn his third win of the season, allowing three hits and one earned run.
The Huskies will return to Ralph McKinzie Field Tuesday for a midweek showdown with Bradley, starting at 3:05 p.m.
Kent State 13, Miami 2
OXFORD, Ohio – Kent State (17-16, 9-3) was able to continue excelling in all aspects of the game to win the finale 13-2 over Miami (14-18, 7-5) and earn their first series sweep of the season.
"That's the best we've played, no question about it," head coach Scott Stricklin said. "This is the most consistent weekend we've had."
The win secures a first place ranking in the Mid-American Conference East Division. Northern Illinois sits atop the West with an identical 9-3 conference record.
"I'm just really excited about the way we played and we completed," Stricklin said. "Hopefully we can keep it rolling."
The offensive onslaught began with a two-run second and third inning. In the second, Tommy Monnot and Justin Wagler singled and scored on a two-RBI double by Derek Toadvine. In the next inning, George Roberts walked before Jason Bagoly smashed a no doubt, two-run homerun over the left field wall.
Miami's only damage came in the bottom of the third when they scored their two runs on two singles and a double to make it 4-2.
But, Kent State was just getting started. They widened the socring margin with a big five-run fifth inning, taking advantage of Miami's mistakes. Bases were loaded when Roberts walked, Bagoly was hit by pitch and Monnot was walked. Alex Miklos then reached on a fielding error, allowing Roberts to score. With bases still loaded and no one out, T.J. Sutton singled to score two. Miklos came home to tally the fourth run of the inning on a wild pitch. Sutton came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Wagler.
The Golden Flashes posted another big inning in the seventh, scoring four more runs. Wagler led off the inning with a double and was followed by a base hit by Toadvine. Wagler then scored on a sacrifice fly by Sawyer Polen. Kent State loaded the bases after that as Evan Campbell singled and Roberts walked. Miami walked in a run and allowed another run to score on a fielding error. The final run of the game came in on a fielder's choice RBI by Miklos.
Casey Wilson (4-3) earned the win in his five innings of work. He let in two runs on six hits and three walks while also striking out three. Four relief pitchers combined to shutout Miami and only allow two hits. Dan Kopcak struck out the side in the eighth, throwing 15 pitches, all but two were strikes.
"Casey Wilson was a little under the weather today, but he fought it and got through five," said Stricklin, "and then our bullpen was lights out."
Toadvine finished the day 3-for-5 with two RBI and a double. Monnot and Wagler both picked up two hits and scored two runs apiece. Roberts was walked in all five of his plate appearances. Four of those five were on full counts.
The sweep could not have come at a better time for Kent State, as they dig deeper into conference play and shake off an up-and-down early season schedule. They showed their potential in all aspects of the game all weekend long.
"That's where we were last year when we got on that streak," Stricklin said. "We pitched it, played defense and got big hits, and that's what you need. We did a great job of that all weekend long and the bats came alive. If we play like that the rest of the year, we're going to have a successful year."
The Golden Flashes return home for 5:00 pm games against Niagara on Tuesday and Wednesday before resuming conference play on the road at Buffalo next weekend. The team will try to ride the high of a sweep into the next series to remain in first place in the MAC.
"We have a lot of momentum," said Stricklin. "We just played really well and got our jobs done, and we just want to get some momentum going into next weekend.
"Buffalo's playing really well. We're going to have to be ready to play."
Central Michigan 6, Ball State 3
MUNCIE, Ind. — Central Michigan picked up a much needed win and series victory Sunday afternoon, scoring four runs in a dramatic ninth inning to defeat Ball State, 6-3.
The Chippewas (15-19, 5-7 MAC) trailed 3-2 entering the top of the ninth when sophomore Joe Houlihan delivered in the clutch with a pinch-hit single to center field to drive in sophomore Cody Leichman.
A single by sophomore Nick Regnier forced a pitching change by the Cardinals (15-17, 5-7 MAC) and a walk to freshman Logan Regnier loaded the bases with just two outs. Senior Jordan Adams then went the other way for a bases-clearing double to right center for the game-winning runs.
Freshman Jason Gamble, who came on to pitch in the bottom of the seventh to pitch the Chippewas out of a jam, secured the win with a quick 1-2-3 ninth.
Gamble allowed just one base runner on a hit by pitch, earning his first career win in the Maroon and Gold.
The Chippewas fell behind in the first inning for the second straight day on a two-out RBI double by Billy Wellman that scored Blake Beemer. A wild pitch two batters later allowed Cody Campbell, who singled earlier in the inning, to score from third giving Ball State a 2-0 lead.
Adams started the Chippewas' first come back with a solo home run in the fourth before a single by Leichman drove in redshirt freshman Neal Jacobs to tie the game, 2-2.
The Cardinals reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh on a RBI double by Sean Godfrey before Gamble came in to shut the door the rest of the way.
Adams finished the day 2-for-5 with four RBI, while Jacobs had a multi-hit day going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The Chippewas will be back in action Tuesday afternoon when they host Calvin College before traveling to Detroit Wednesay evening for the third annual Clash at Comerica versus Michigan State.
Mid-American Conference play will resume next weekend with a three-game series at Toledo.
Ohio 4, Akron 2
ATHENS, OHIO - Freshman right-hander Connor Sitz threw a two-run complete game to lead the Ohio University baseball team (8-26; 4-8 MAC) Sunday en route to a 4-2 victory over the University of Akron at Bob Wren Stadium.
Sitz (Westerville, Ohio) had a strong outing as he gave up seven hits, no walks and struck out one, which marked his first career. His complete game also was the first for Ohio this year. Sitz was efficient in his eighth outing on the year as he threw just 102 pitches.
Offensively, senior third baseman Ben Otto (Menomonie, Wis.) and freshman center fielder Nick Squires (Plain City, Ohio) led the way for the 'Cats. Otto went 2-for-3 with a run scored and Nick Squires had a hit and three RBI.
The Bobcats struck first with a run in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Tyler Wells (Lexington, Ky.) got the inning start with a single to short. He then moved into scoring position at third base following a single up the middle by senior Dan Schmidt (Lynnwood, Wash.). Fellow senior Scott White (Springboro, Ohio) came up next and drove in Wells to pick up the RBI.
Both teams went scoreless in the third and fourth inning. Akron tied the game (1-1) in the top of the fifth though with a run of its own.
Ohio broke up the tie in the bottom of the frame with two runs to take a 3-2 lead. Second baseman Nate Squires (Plain City, Ohio) got the inning started as he singled up the middle to extend his on base streak to 13 straight games. Otto followed with a single that moved Squires to second. Both runners advanced a base following a balk by UA starter Matt Larocca. Nick Squires came up next and singled up the middle to drive in in Otto and his twin brother Nate.
Akron cut the lead to one (3-2) in the seventh with a run scored by Anthony Bova, who came in as a pinch runner for Cale Giddings. Giddings reached base following a double to left field. Bova scored on a throwing error by Sitz.
Ohio threatened in the seventh as it loaded the bases with one out, but the Zips ended the threat thanks to a double play that was started by center fielder Devan Ahart. The Bobcats held the Zips from scoring in the eighth. Akron had a man in scoring position, but were unable to cut into the Bobcats lead.
The 'Cats scored another run in the eighth, extending their lead to 4-2. Junior Chandler Geller (Austin, Texas) scored from third base following Nick Squires' third RBI of the afternoon. Geller entered the game as a pinch runner for junior Kyle Dean (Athens, Ohio).
Ohio returns to action Tuesday as it plays host Marshall at Bob Wren Stadium. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
Buffalo 4, Eastern Michigan 0
YPSILANTI, MI - A day after allowing a season-high of nine runs, the Bulls (18-14, 8-4 MAC) turned to its Sunday ace Mike Burke to clinch the weekend series. The junior right-hander did just that, crafting up his second shutout of the season to earn a 4-0 shutout win over Eastern Michigan (15-18, 5-7 MAC).
Burke had one of his best games of the season, allowing just three hits and holding the Eagles to a .100 batting average as a team. None of the hits went for extra bases, and he struck out four. The three hits allowed matched the previous best for UB in MAC play, as Burke also allowed three hits in a 7-0 win over Central Michigan on March 24. He got better as the game wore on, allowing no base runners at all for the final three innings, highlighted by a nine inning where he used just seven pitches to end the day.
With two shutouts now this season, Burke has set the program's modern-era record for shutouts in a season. The last time that the UB pitching staff has had three or more total shutouts in a season was in 2005, when it had five. In the all-time shutout list for a single season, he moves into a seven-way tie for the second-most ever, and needs just one more shutout this season to claim a share of the single season record. Also, with his season record now standing at 5-2, he earned his 11th career win, putting him in a tie for eighth place.
Ultimately not needing much help from the offense, Burke was supported early by a pair of first-inning runs. Jimmy Topps led off by getting plunked on an 0-2 pitch, and Alex Baldock continued to rake through the weekend by driving him in with a triple to the right center field gap to make it 1-0. He would then come home on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Mautner.
With Burke cruising, the team added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning. Baldock drew a one-out walk, and back-to-back singles from Mautner and Kyle Figgins would bring him home. Mautner would later score on a two-out single from Thomas Richards, capping the game's score at 4-0.
It was a fortuitous pitching performance for the Bulls as a team, as it saves the bullpen for one of the busiest weeks in recent years. From this coming Tuesday until next Tuesday (April 23), the Bulls will play eight games.
It will start Tuesday, with a makeup doubleheader down in St. Bonaventure against the Bonnies. Then, the team returns home and will play a single game Wednesday at Canisius. After that will be the team's first East Division series of the year starting Friday, at home against none other than defending conference champions and College World Series participants Kent State, before a doubleheader at home against Niagara on Tuesday.