Friday's MAC Baseball Results
Kent State 10, Bowling Green 4
Buffalo 7, Akron 6
Eastern Michigan 7, Central Michigan 3
Northern Illinois 3, Miami 1
Ball State 5, Ohio 4
Toledo 6, Western Michigan 5 (12 innings)
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Kent State 10, Bowling Green 4
KENT, Ohio – Kent State's (21-20, 10-6) offense found its way out of a slump, plating ten runs on twelve hits en route to a 10-4, series-opening victory over Bowling Green (14-20, 8-8).
The Kent State offense was also helped out by four Bowling Green errors and six walks. The Golden Flashes only struck out twice in the game.
"I thought our guys had really good at-bats," said head coach Scott Stricklin. "We got in good counts…put some things in play, made some things happen. "
Kent State took a 1-0 lead after the first after Sawyer Polen reached on a fielder's choice, advanced on a single by Evan Campbell and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of George Roberts.
They broke the game open in the third inning, scoring five runs. Derek Toadvine laid down a bunt single to start the fame, moved to second on a balk and advance to third on a passed ball. Then, Polen doubled down the line to plate a run. Campbell followed with a single to right before Roberts smacked a double to left center to score one. With bases loaded later in the inning, all runners advance on an error and another run came in when Zarley Zalewski was hit by a pitch. The fifth run came on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Revesz.
The Golden Flashes increased their lead to 9-0 with three runs in the fifth. Alex Miklos and Zalewski both doubled, then Zalewski scored on a fielder's choice. With bases loaded later on, Roberts reached on a fielder's choice that allowed Polen to score on an error.
Kent State tallied their final run in the eighth on a RBI double by Roberts after Campbell was walked and advanced to second on an error on a pickoff attempt.
Bowling Green plated three in the sixth and one in the ninth, but left 11 men on base and struck out twelve times in the game.
Taylor Williams did his job in the start, going six innings with three runs, six hits, two walks and six strikeouts. Eric Dorsch followed him, pitching 2.2 innings, striking out six while allowing one run on three hits and two walks.
"He competes," Stricklin said of his starter, Williams. "He's a great guy to have on Friday night, he's our ace. He did a great job to get the win."
Polen, Campbell, Roberts, Miklos and Zalewski all had two hits in the game. Roberts led with three RBI, two doubles, a sacrifice and a stolen base.
With the win, Kent State has sole second place in the MAC East, as Buffalo remains in first with a Friday win and Miami drops to third with a loss.
"For us to win a championship we have to keep winning," said Stricklin. "No one else is going to give us any help.
"We just need to come out and play. If we play like that, we have a great chance to win every time out."
Game two in the series is set for 1:00pm on Saturday at Schoonover Stadium.
Buffalo 7, Akron 6
AKRON, OH - Despite falling behind 5-1 after the first two innings of play, the Buffalo baseball team made history Friday evening, coming back to beat Akron (9-30, 6-10 MAC) 7-6, at Canal Park. With the win, the Bulls moved to 22-17 overall and 12-4 in the Mid-American Conference. The overall win mark matches the modern era record for wins in a single season, set by the 2010 team, and the 12 conference win sets a new high water mark for the Bulls in the MAC.
An important individual mark was set as well in the game, as senior Alex Baldock set the new career record for doubles, hitting his 51st in the first inning to pass James Kingsley (2003-06).
The game started on a rough note for UB, who scored the game's first run but still fell behind 5-1 after two complete innings. Jimmy Topps led off the game with a double, and Baldock's record-setting hit drove him in to make it 1-0. Led by three hits and four walks over the next two innings by Akron, though, the Zips moved ahead 5-1 against starter Mike McGee.
For the second straight weekend, Ben Hartz came in for a long relief role, and again the true freshman came through. After entering the game with two outs in the second inning, he went all the way through the end of the sixth, which allowed the offense to make its comeback.
The comeback started almost immediately by the Bulls, who plated three runs in the top of the third to support Hartz and cut it to a 5-4 game. Mike Scarcello led off with a single, and Topps would bunt his way on base for a single. Akron would get a ground out and a fielder's choice that nabbed Scarcello at home to work around the initial jam, but Buffalo would rally with two outs. Tyler Mautner hit a double down the left field line that would score Topps and Baldock, who had reached on the fielder's choice. Kyle Figgins then capped the inning with a single back up the middle.
Buffalo would square the game up at 5-5 in the next inning, as Jon Mestas manufactured his own run. He would lead off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, then stole second with one out. After an infield single from Mike Burke, Scarcello brought Mestas home from third with a sacrifice fly.
Akron would not go quietly, and nearly broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth. Devon Ahart led off the inning with a triple, and scored on a sac fly to put the home team back up, 6-5. With two runners on and just one out, Brady Stewart singled through the left side, but Topps came up throwing and managed to snag the runner at home for the critical second out. Hartz would allow another hit to load the bases, but escaped with no further harm.
The Bulls would take the lead back for good in the top of the sixth, starting with a lead off single from Kyle Figgins. After he made it to second on a wild pitch, Mestas doubled him home to make it 6-5. A groundout moved him to third, and Burke would score him on a sacrifice fly.
In the seventh inning, Hartz was relieved for closer River McWilliams, who was dominant over his three innings to nail down his ninth save of the season. He came into the game in the seventh after Hartz allowed a lead off single, and he immediately drew a double play ball. He threw a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and allowed one hit in the bottom of the ninth but got a fly out to end it.
Scarcello led the team with a perfect 3-3 day, as Topps and Figgins also recorded multiple hits. The Zips held a 15-11 advantage in hits, making it just the third time in 16 opportunities that UB won a game in which it allowed more hits to the opposition.
After playing the opening game at Canal Park - home of the Akron Aeros, Double A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, tomorrow's game will be played at Lee R. Jackson Field. The original start time has been moved from 1 pm to 2 pm, with Anthony Magovney earning the start for UB.
Eastern Michigan 7, Central Michigan 3
MT. PLEASANT, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University baseball team used a late-innings push to overtake Central Michigan University, 7-3, Friday, April 26, at Theunissen Stadium. The Eagles (20-18; 9-7 MAC) have now won five games in-a-row including four straight in Mid-American Conference play.
The Chippewas (17-22; 6-10 MAC) scored a pair in the sixth to take a 2-1 lead. EMU responded with three runs in its half of the seventh thanks to a pair of CMU errors, a wild pitch and a Daniel Russell infield RBI single. The Eagles kept the offense humming with two more markers in the eighth and one in the ninth.
Eastern Michigan recorded its 20th win of the season, making it 21 straight seasons in which the Green and White has reached the 20-victory mark.
On the mound, Brian Hill's (6-1) winning streak reached five games. The senior lefty pitched 6.1 innings, allowing just two earned runs on six hits and four strikeouts. Neil Butara pitched 1.2 innings of relief and Taylor Dimmerling finished the job in the ninth.
Offensively, the Eagles needed just five hits thanks to CMU's five defensive miscues. Lee Longo had the hot bat Friday, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Russell scored twice, swiped two bases and knocked in a run on a 1-for-2 afternoon. Adam Sonabend (1-for-2) and Dae Bowden (1-for4) had the other EMU hits, while Jamie Simpson (0-for-4) recorded an RBI and a stolen base.
Central Michigan ace Jordan Foley (6-3) was ill-served by his defense in a 6.1-inning, four-run (two earned) loss. Foley struck out four but also walked four batters. At the plate, slugger Nick Regnier went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and Cody Leichman was also 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Longo got the Green and White off to a 1-0 lead in the first inning with an RBI single to centerfield. Russell scored on the play after leading off the game with a walk.
EMU's one-run edge lasted until the sixth, when Pat MacKenzie led off with a single and Regnier followed with a double to put runners at second and third. MacKenzie scored on an RBI single from Jordan Adams and a Neal Jacobs sacrifice bunt scored Regnier to give the Chippewas a 2-1 advantage.
In the seventh, the Eagles recorded just one hit but scored three times thanks to a pair of costly Chippewas' errors. With one out, Mitchell McGeein reached on a miscue to put runners at the corners. Foley then uncorked a wild pitch and allowed Sonabend to score from third to tie the game at two. Another error brought McGeein across and a two-out single by Russell plated Bowden to make it a 4-2 contest.
Two more CMU errors in the eighth helped the Eagles tack two more runs onto the scoreboard. Simpson knocked in Nick Rotola while reaching on a muffed throw for the first run. The second tally was scored when CMU catcher Dylan Goodwin threw wild trying to catch Simpson swiping second base.
The home team put up a run in the bottom of the eighth, but Russell's speed resulted in a final EMU marker and another four-run spread in the top of the ninth, 7-3. Russell broke for third base and caught the attention of Goodwin behind the plate. Goodwin's throw was wild once again and the EMU speedster trotted home.
EMU and CMU continue their three-game set Saturday, April 27, at 2:05 p.m.
Northern Illinois 3, Miami 1
DeKALB, Ill. - Freshman Justin Ruckman (Kankakee/Herscher) threw a two-hit complete game, Northern Illinois' second such performance of the season, as the Huskies (17-22, 12-4 MAC) defeated Miami (Ohio), 3-1. It was NIU's seventh complete game of the season and the first of Ruckman's career. He completed the game with two hits, one earned run, two walks and five strikeouts.
"Energy, enthusiasm and good defense can go a long way in this game and I think that's exactly how it played out today," said Head Coach Ed Mathey, "Jordan Ruckman was outstanding. He was in the zone and had command of his fastball. Through the middle innings, he started snapping off his breaking ball well and saved himself enough pitches to have some things at the end of the game to finish. I'm very proud and happy for him.
"I thought our defense, with the exception of one play, was very clean for us especially at the end of the game with Jamison Wells diving and Alex Klonowski going vertical. Those were great plays for us," closed Mathey.
The Huskies came out in the second inning against Redhawk (19-21, 9-7 MAC) pitcher Brooks Fiala, who entered the game ranked 18th in the country in strikeouts with 73. After two straight pop outs in the swirling winds at Ralph McKinzie Field, Joe Battaglia (Westchester/St. Joseph) singled to start a rally, which eventually led to a bases loaded situation with Jamison Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly) at the plate.
On a 0-1 pitch, Wells slapped a ball to the shortstop and outran the throw to first to score Battaglia. Tommy Hook (Lockport/Lockport Township) followed suit as he hit a high chopper that bounced over the mound and to the second baseman, who was unable to throw out Wells at the bag to give NIU a 2-0 lead. A double clutch error by the shortstop on a throw to second scratched Nate Ruzich (Joliet/South Suburban College) across home plate to give the Huskies a 3-0 lead.
Mathey added, "from an energy standpoint, all of our runs were the result of two outs and with nobody on base to start the rally. Joe gets the hit, we get a couple more guys on and Jamison beats a throw at first base, beats another force play at second and then Tommy Hook beats a force out at second. Any of those things don't happen and we don't get those runs in the inning. That's what we needed, energy and enthusiasm."
Ruckman continued to post zeros from the rubber, holding runners who reached base and putting balls in play that allowed the field to work. Through seven innings, the freshman had only surrendered one hit.
A leadoff triple by Jake Romano in the eighth inning put Miami in scoring position for only the third time in the game. A groundout to first base by Nate Bowles gave the Redhawks their only run of the game to make it a 3-1 game.
Ruckman finished the game with a 1-2-3 ninth as he struck out the first batter and was aided with a pair of phenomenal grabs by Wells in centerfield and Klonowski at second base. Wells charged a dying quail and made an extended diving catch to record the second out. Klonowski finished the game off as Scott Slappey hit a hard, high line drive towards right centerfield that Klonowski launched himself at to end the game.
Ruckman threw 120 pitches with 77 strikes in the effort (.642). Klonowski threw a two-hit complete game March 3 at Minnesota to lead the NIU to a 2-1 victory.
The Huskies approach at the plate was the best of the season against a pitcher ranked in the top-30 in the NCAA in strikeouts as Northern Illinois only struck out three times with Fiala on the mound. NIU fanned 10 times versus Nevada's Braden Shipley, nine times versus Kent State's Taylor Williams and 12 times versus Central Michigan's Jordan Foley, all Friday starters.
The top of the Huskies order, Wells, Hook and Klonowski, each finished 2-for-5 with an RBI with Battaglia, Ruzich and Brian Sisler (DeKalb/DeKalb) accounting for NIU's runs.
Northern Illinois and Miami will play game two of the series tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Eli Anderson (6-3), who's won his last five starts on the mound, will face the Redhawks Mac Thoreson (2-6).
Ball State 5, Ohio 4
Ball State's baseball team tallied a 5-4 win over Mid-American Conference opponent Ohio Friday afternoon to improve to 7-9 in league play and 18-19 overall. With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 10-30 on the year and 5-11 in MAC play.
The two teams will meet for a doubleheader Saturday at noon at Ball Diamond instead of one game Saturday and one game Sunday due to impending weather conditions.
Scott Baker took the mound for the Cardinals and improved to 9-1 on the season with the victory. Baker, who entered the game ranked sixth in the nation in pitching wins, threw seven innings, allowing no earned runs and striking out five. Miles Moeller and Tyler Jordan combined for the next two thirds of an inning before T.J. Weir earned his second save of the year. Weir pitched the final 1.1 innings, allowing only two hits, no runs and striking out three.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Kevin Schlotter and Jakes Hines started the inning with back-to-back singles. After a sacrifice bunt by Sam Tidaback advanced the runners to second and third, Schlotter scored on a wild pitch.
Ohio responded with three runs on three hits and one Ball State error in the third to take a 3-1 lead, but the Cardinals answered right back with three runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Cody Campbell led the charge with a two-run homer -- his first of the season. Elbert Devarie added a single to score Schlotter, who had reached base on an error, and the Cardinals led 4-3.
A solo home run by Billy Wellman in the fifth put Ball State ahead 5-3 through five innings and the game would remain that way until an Ohio run in the top of the eighth closed the gap to 5-4.
Weir shut the Bobcats down in the ninth to preserve the victory and earn the save.
Wes Winkle led Ball State from the plate with a 2-for-4 performance, while Campbell was 1-for-4 with two RBI and one run. Schlotter was 1-for-4 with two runs scored, and Wellman was 1-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored.
Toledo 6, Western Michigan 5 (12 innings)
KALAMAZOO, MI – Toledo received a RBI single from junior LF Tyler Grogg in the 12th inning to notch a 6-5 victory over Western Michigan in Friday’s Mid-American Conference series opener at Hyames Field. With the win, the Rockets improve to 16-24 overall, 7-9 in the league.
Grogg (2-for-6, RS, RBI) singled to center field with two outs and runners on first and second base in the third extra frame to drive home the game-winning tally.
Sophomore RHP Adam Tyson (2-2) was credited with his second triumph of the spring, allowing only one hit with three strikeouts in 3.2 scoreless innings of relief.
Senior LHP Kyle Shaw drew the start and gave up five runs (all earned) on nine hits with four punchouts in 8.1 frames in a no-decision. Shaw has now worked at least 8.0 innings in five of his last six starts.
Offensively, senior 1B Matt Delewski (3-for-6, RS, RBI) and junior C James Miglin (3-for-6) paced the 2012 MAC West Division champions with a team-high three hits each.
The Broncos’ (12-27, 5-11 MAC) Pat Haynes (1-2) was saddled with the loss, surrendering one run (one earned) on one hit with three walks and three strikeouts in 3.0 innings.
WMU jumped on the scoreboard first on its opening at-bat, taking advantage of a three-run home run by Hunter Prince (1-for-6, RS, 3 RBI).
The host Broncos pushed their lead to 4-0 on a RBI single off the bat of Andrew Sohn (1-for-6, RBI) in the second frame.
UT responded with two runs in the third inning to cut the deficit in half, 4-2. Freshman 2B Deion Tansel (1-for-4, RBI) was credited with a RBI single, while the other run came as a result of a WMU throwing error with a base runner on third base. The Midnight Blue & Gold did all its damage after the first two outs were recorded in the frame.
The score remained the same until the eighth inning when Toledo plated one run to make it a one-run contest, 4-3. UT benefited from back-to-back singles from Delewski and Miglin and a passed ball to put a pair of runners in scoring position. The Rockets took full advantage of their opportunity and received a sacrifice fly off the bat of sophomore 3B Anthony Smith (0-for-4, RBI) to pull them within one run.
UT then assumed its first lead of the afternoon with two runs in the top of the ninth. The Rockets sent seven batters to the plate against a pair of WMU hurlers and profited from consecutive RBI hits from senior CF Ben Hammer (1-for-5, RBI) and Delewski to claim a 5-4 cushion.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, they were unable to hold onto the lead as WMU retaliated with one run in the bottom of the ninth to knot the score at 5-5 and send the contest into extra innings. Western Michigan received a one-out single by Patrick Duncan (1-for-3, RBI) to delight the home fans and in the process ended the afternoon for UT’s Shaw.
Toledo and Western Michigan will continue their three-game series tomorrow with a 1:00 p.m. first pitch. Junior RHP Cameron Palmer is slated to start for the Rockets on the mound.