Friday's MAC Baseball Results

Updated 5/18/2013


Friday's MAC Baseball Results
Kent State 4, Akron 3
Miami 13, Ohio 6
Eastern Michigan 10, Toledo 4
Ball State 14, Northern Illinois 3
Buffalo 4, Bowling Green 3 (10 innings)
Central Michigan 5, Western Michigan 3
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Kent State 4, Akron 3
AKRON, Ohio – Tyler Skulina led the way on the mound to a 4-3 victory for Kent State (33-21, 19-7), beating Akron (15-36, 10-15) not just in the game, but in the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge between the two schools.
With the series win, the Golden Flashes beat the Zips eight to seven in the 15 sport head-to-head competition.  Kent State is now undefeated in the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge in its two year existence.
"It's a great rivalry," said head coach Scott Stricklin.  "Both teams are going to play hard regardless, but winning the wagon wheel for Kent State and keeping it at Kent State means a lot to us.  It's a great competition.  We're glad we could win it for our school."
Skulina went eight innings in the start, registering a career-high 11 strikeouts.  He allowed three runs in the fourth inning (two earned), but only allowed four hits and one walk in the outing.  Dan Kopcak came up big for the Flashes in back-to-back games, earning his second career save by closing out the ninth.
Offensively, Kent State struggled, scoring just four runs despite having 13 hits in the game.  They also left 13 men on base and had some base-running miscues that took away scoring opportunities.
"We didn't have the kind of energy that you'd like to have, which is understandable after what we went through last night," said Stricklin.  "Today we were flat."
The Golden Flashes took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Tommy Monnot reached on an error, moved to third when T.J. Sutton singled and Monnot came home later on a wild pitch.
Akron scored three in the fourth inning and held the lead until Kent State was able to tie things in the sixth.  Alex Miklos led off the inning with a solo homerun over the left field wall that seemed to rejuvenate the Kent State bats.  Later in the inning, Jason Bagoly singled and came home on a Derek Toadvine base hit.
The win was clinched in the eighth when Sutton led off the inning with a single and was pinch ran for by Troy Summers.  Cody Koch also came into the game to pinch hit and raked a double off the center field wall to put runners on second and third with no outs.  Justin Wagler got the deciding RBI with a sacrifice fly to right field to score Summers.
Toadvine led the way at the plate with three hits in five at bats.  George Roberts, Miklos and Sutton all had two hits.
Going in to the final regular season game of the season on Saturday, Kent State sits in second place in the Mid-American Conference a half game behind Buffalo who won in extra-innings on Friday.  The final game takes place at 1:00pm at Lee Jackson Field in Akron.
"We've got to come out tomorrow with more energy," said Stricklin.  "We've got a chance to win a championship tomorrow and we need to make sure we come out here to try to win." 
Miami 13, Ohio 6
Story not available...
Eastern Michigan 10, Toledo 4
YPSILANTI, Mich. ( – The Eastern Michigan University baseball team kept its Mid-American Conference Tournament hopes in its own hands with a 10-4 victory over the University of Toledo, May 17, at Oestrike Stadium. The Eagles evened the series and can now clinch a MAC Tournament berth with a victory in the rubber match Saturday, May 18.
Joe Battistelli got the victory in his longest outing of the season for EMU (26-27, 12-14 MAC), throwing six innings and allowing two runs on six hits. The senior starter punched out a career-high eight batters while not allowing a walk to improve to 3-5 on the 2013 campaign.
Struggling for only four hits in game one of the series, the EMU bats got hot, racking up 14 hits. Lee Longo had an impressive day at the dish, going 3-for-5 with four RBI and a pair of runs. John Rubino, Adam Sonabend, Jamie Simpson and Nick Rotola each had multi-hit performances with two hits apiece.
UT starter Cameron Palmer (3-6) took the loss as he matched Battistelli, pitching six innings and giving up two earned runs. The Eagles tagged Toledo reliever Kyle Slack for six runs in just 0.2 inning during the seventh. At the plate, five Rockets tallied two hits for a total of 13 throughout the game, including a home run by Ryan Callahan.
After failing to get a run in the first game against the Rockets, the Eagles wasted no time jumping on the board in game two. Daniell Russell drew a leadoff walk and Rubino advanced him into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Longo cruised into second after sending a shot down the left field line to give EMU the early 1-0 lead.
Toledo answered right back in top of the second. Following a leadoff double, Battistelli was able to get the next two Rockets to fly out to center field. However, a two-out double by UT left fielder Anthony Smith brought in a run, knotting the game up at one apiece.
The Eagles countered in the bottom half of the inning to regain the lead, 2-1. Simpson started it off with a single to left, before moving on to second courtesy of a bunt by Austin Wilson. Showing his speed on the base paths, Simpson stole third, allowing him to cross the plate after a Mitchell McGeein groundout to shortstop.
EMU continued its streak of scoring a run in each inning as Longo touched home in the bottom of the third. The Eagles' designated hitter reached second after his fly ball was dropped in center field. Given an extra out in the inning, Sonabend took advantage, singling up the middle to score Longo.
The Rockets threatened a possible two-out rally in the top of the sixth. Battistelli struck out the first two batters of the inning. However, Matt Delewski sent a long fly ball deep to left field; EMU left fielder Wilson drifted towards the wall, reached over the fence, and brought the ball back into play, saving a home run even though he could not make the catch. After a hit batsman, Battistelli ended the threat, getting UT's designated hitter, Ben Hammer, to ground out to second.
The very next inning, UT cut the lead to EMU advantage to one. A leadoff double sent Battistelli out of the game, brining to reliever Neil Butara. The senior reliever could not retire his first batter, Smith, who grazed one past Butara into center to bring in a run. The Rockets would load the bases before Butara escaped the jam, forcing another ground out to Rotola at second base.
In the bottom half of the seventh, back-to-back singles, including a bunt base hit put two Eagles on with nobody out.  A sacrifice bunt and a strikeout sent Sam Ott to the plate with two runners in scoring position. However, the Rockets wanted nothing to do with the EMU left fielder, intentionally walking Ott to load the bases and bring Longo to the plate. The designated hitter wasted no time making Toledo pay as he sent the first pitch he saw into right field to bring home two Eagles. Simpson would do the same thing two batter later, recording two RBI of his own as the Eagles soared to a five-run margin. EMU would bat around and add two more runs, capping off a six-run, five-hit inning to lead, 9-2.
After Devin Bronson surrendered two runs in the eighth, Kristian Calibuso came on to get the final out of the inning. The Eagles scored an insurance run in the eighth, and Calibuso returned to get the game's final three outs in the ninth to send the Eagles home with a win.
EMU concludes its regular season with a 1 p.m. matinee, May 18, against Toledo. Eight Eagles will be honored on Senior Day for their contributions to the program. Also with a win, the Green and White will guarantee a spot in the MAC Tournament in Avon, Ohio.
Ball State 14, Northern Illinois 3
MUNCIE, Ind. - A seven-run first inning and a six-run eighth inning led Ball State baseball to a series win over Northern Illinois after posting a 14-3 victory Friday afternoon at Ball Diamond.
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 28-22 overall and 15-11 in Mid-American Conference action, while the Huskies fall to 21-31, 15-11 MAC.
The Cardinals are one game away from clinching the MAC West Division title, a feat that hasn't happened since 2009.
Leading the way offensively was Billy Wellman who went two-for-four from the plate with two runs and three RBI.  Wellman hit his fourth homerun of his career in the eighth inning.  Blake Beemer along with teammate T.J. Weir also homered in the eighth.  Weir went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and two homeruns.  Wes Winkle also had a strong showing going two-for-four from the plate which included a double and an RBI.
Defensively Cody Campell led the Cardinals with eight putouts while teammate Beemer added seven.
Jon Cisna tossed a no hitter up until the top of the fifth.  Cisna won the game on the mound for Ball State after six innings of work improving his record to 3-3 on the season.
The Cardinals scored seven runs off of six hits in their first at bat.  Ball State would then tack on another run in the fifth after a solo shot from Weir giving Ball State the 8-0 advantage over NIU.
Northern Illinois was held scoreless until the top of the seventh when the Huskies managed to cross the plate three times that inning making  the score 8-3. 
In the eighth inning, Ball State got their bats going which was started off by a single from Elbert DeVarie followed by a double from Campell and back-to-back-to-back homeruns from Wellman, Beemar and Weir.
The Huskies would have two hits, no errors while leaving two on base to end the ninth giving Ball State the 14-3 MAC victory.
The Ball State baseball team will close out Mid-American Conference regular season play at home Saturday in its final game against Northern Illinois at Ball Diamond.  First pitch is set for 1 p.m.  The Cardinals will also recognize their seniors before the game.
Buffalo 4, Bowling Green 3 (10 innings)
BOWLING GREEN, OH - The Buffalo baseball team maintained control of its own destiny Friday afternoon, battling back to take a 4-3 win over Bowling Green (19-28, 12-14 MAC) in 10 innings. The win gave the Bulls its 32nd win of the season, tying the all-time record set back in 1980, and brings Buffalo's Mid-American Conference record to 19-6.
It was slow-going early on for UB, who were stifled by BGSU starter Mike Frank. The junior was effective through the first seven innings of the game. The Falcons spotted him a run early, after Jeremy Shay hit a double down the left field line in the bottom of the first inning. The Bulls took advantage of a defensive miscue to tie the game back up in the very next inning, though, starting with a lead-off double by Tyler Mautner.
After a strikeout, Jon Mestas hit a chopper to shortstop. Mautner got a head start to third base, and the fielder elected to try and nab him at third rather than get the second out at first base. Thomas Richard was next to bat, and he hit a ground ball to second that was misplayed. The throw would ultimately not be in time, scoring Mautner for a 1-1 game.
Conversely, the Buffalo defense was sharp all afternoon to back up lefty starter Mike McGee. The sophomore induced double plays in the third and fourth innings to snuff out scoring opportunities. Jason Kanzler also saved his starter a pair of runs in the game, ultimately proving to be the difference in the game. In the second inning, a two-out hit up the middle appeared to be clinched, but Kanzler came up throwing and got the throw home in more than enough time. He would make a similar put out in the bottom of the seventh.
His throw in the seventh would be one batter too late, as Bowling Green would score a run to make it a 2-1 game, with the UB offense still not in rhythm. But as they have all season, the offense would answer back to the opponent, retaking the lead in the top of the eighth in a bizarre series of events. Alex Baldock drew a one out walk, and Mautner would single through the left side to chase Frank from the game. Kyle Figgins would draw a walk off the reliever to load the bases with just one out.
Mestas came up and hit a fly ball to center field, and pinch runner Nick Sinay readied himself at third. The throw to the plate was on-line, taking a hop right before the plate. The initial call at the plate was that Sinay was out, firing up the Falcon defense as they ran to the dugout. While the play was still live, though, the umpire reversed his call, claiming that the catcher had lost the ball while making the sweep tag. Not only was Sinay now safe, the Buffalo inning was still alive. Richards would take advantage of a shaken BG reliever, singling the first pitch he saw to the opposite field to score Mautner. Now, instead of a 2-1 deficit heading to the bottom of the eighth, Buffalo now led 3-2.
River McWilliams came into the game to try for the six-out save, but a fired-up Falcon offense was not about to let its season slip away. Three straight singles loaded up the bases with just one out, and a sacrifice fly would tie the game back up at 3-3.
In the ninth, UB loaded the bases up with two outs, but were unsuccessful. McWilliams found his back to the wall in the bottom of the ninth, however, as the first two batters of the inning would reach. A sacrifice attempt led to an out at third base. After a fly out, McWilliams would get the next batter swinging.
As the extra innings got underway, Mestas led off with a weak line drive down the right field line, drawing the first and second basemen along with the right fielder. He took a hard turn around first, and after seeing the fielders casually field the ball, he made the move for second and was safe for the lead-off double. He would go to third on a sacrifice, and Mike Burke would then draw a walk. Burke would steal second to take away the double play, and Mike Scarcello would fly out to center field. In a game where both teams were solid defensively in the outfield, Mestas would head home facing another solid throw. The ball would not be fielded cleanly, giving the Bulls a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the tenth, McWilliams got two quick groundouts, and then struck out the final batter of the game.
The win keeps the teams chances at a MAC regular season title alive. Though the team could clinch the title tonight with an Akron win over Kent State, a win over Bowling Green in the series finale tomorrow afternoon would serve the same purpose. Mike Burke will take the ball for a 1 pm first pitch. Live audio will again be available for the game.
Central Michigan 5, Western Michigan 3
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Central Michigan isn’t ready to let its season end just yet.
Seeking to qualify for their 10th consecutive Mid-American Conference Tournament, the Chippewas (24-30, 11-15 MAC) scored five unanswered runs to erase a 3-0 deficit to earn a dramatic come-from-behind win over rival Western Michigan in 10 innings Friday, 5-3.
The Broncos (16-36, 8-18 MAC) led 3-0 through six innings before the Maroon and Gold began their come back in the top of the seventh on a RBI single by freshman catcher Dylan Goodwin that scored sophomore Pat MacKenzie.
Freshman reliever Jimmy McNamara came on in relief in the bottom of the frame and held the Broncos without a run before the Chippewas were able to tie things up in the top of the eight with one swing of the bat.
Sophomore Cody Leichman led off the inning with a single to center field and redshirt freshman Neal Jacobs sent a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left field for his sixth home run of the season to tie the game, 3-3.
After neither team was able to secure a regulation victory, the Chippewas struck in the top of the 10th on back-to-back doubles by senior Jordan Adams and Leichman to take the lead, 4-3. Redshirt freshman Ryan Heeke pinch ran for Leichman and later scored on a sacrifice fly by junior Noel Santos to extend the lead to 5-3.
McNamara stayed in the game to start the bottom of the 10th and gave up a pair of singles before the Chippewas brought on sophomore closer Matt Trowbridge. The left hander needed just four pitches to earn his ninth save of the season, striking out Caleb Canton to move into second place on the CMU single-season saves list.
Jacobs had a perfect day at the plate to lead the Chippewas, finishing 4-for-4 with two RBI, while freshman Logan Regnier and Leichman each had a pair of hits. McNamara earned his first career win for CMU, tossing 3.2 innings scoreless innings and giving up just three hits.
A victory in the series finale by the Chippewas Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m., combined with a Toledo victory at Eastern Michigan would secure a trip to All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio for the start of the league tournament May 22.