Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Eastern Michigan 6, Kansas 4
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (EMUEagles.com) — The Eastern Michigan University baseball team kicked off its four-game series against Kansas University with a 6-4 victory against at QuikTrip Park Friday, March 1. The Eagles (2-5) received a seven-inning effort from starter Neil Butara (1-2) and three RBI from right fielder Sam Ott.
EMU held a narrow 2-1 edge over the Jayhawks (4-4) until the seventh inning, when the Green and White scored four runs for a 6-1 lead. A potent Kansas lineup made it interesting with a run in the eighth and two more in the ninth, but Joe Battistelli left the tying run at the dish for his second save of the year.
The top six hitters in Head Coach Jay Alexander's lineup were responsible for all nine hits on the afternoon, with leadoff man Daniel Russell (2-for-3), three-hole hitter Ott (2-for-4) and clean-up batter Lee Longo (2-for-4) all turning in a pair of knocks apiece. Russell also tallied the game's winning run on a wild pitch in the seventh.
One of Ott's hits was his first home run of the season, a two-run blast in the fourth. Shortstop John Rubino had the other two RBI on a 1-for-2 afternoon. Rubino also scored a run and worked a base on balls.
Butara's final line was seven innings pitched, seven hits, one earned run, one walk and five strikeouts. Battistelli struck out one batter in his one inning on the hill.
For Kansas, starter Frank Duncan (1-1) suffered his first loss of the season in 6.2 innings of work over which he gave up six runs (two earned) and eight hits. Third baseman Jordan Dreiling paced the KU offense, going 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI and two doubles.
The Jayhawks scored the game's first run in the bottom of the third inning on Dreiling's first two-bagger of the game. EMU came back to take the lead in the fourth with Ott's blast to right field. The homer scored Russell, who was hit by a pitch to begin the frame.
In the sixth, Alex DeLeon poked a single through the left side to put runners at the corners with two out. Butara worked his way out of trouble as Dakota Smith grounded to shortstop for the force at second.
Eastern Michigan's offense made it a 6-1 affair in the seventh as a throwing error by KU shortstop Justin Protacio proved to be a costly mistake for the Jayhawks. Duncan recorded the first two outs before Miles Sories reached base on Protacio's miscue. Marquise Gill was then plunked by a Duncan offering and both runners then advanced on a passed ball. That forced the Jayhawks to intentionally walk Russell to load the bases.
Rubino stepped up to the plate and made Kansas pay with a two-RBI single through the left side of the infield to make it 4-1. Russell then scored on a wild pitch and Ott drove in Rubino for an insurance marker before the third out was made.
KU nearly posted a comeback in the final two innings, touching up EMU reliever Devon Bronson for three runs on three hits, but Battistelli came on with nobody out in the ninth and limited the damage.
Games two and three of this four-game set will be played Saturday, March 2, as part of a doubleheader beginning at noon central time.
Central Michigan 6, Stetson 5
DeLAND, Fla. — Sophomore Jordan Foley put together yet another strong outing to lead Central Michigan to a 6-5 win over Stetson in the opening game of the Brighthouse Invitational Friday night.
Foley, the reigning MAC West Pitcher of the Week, struck out six over 5.1 innings of work, while allowing just one earned run to earn the win.
The Chippewas (3-5) scored in the first inning for the fifth-straight game to take a 1-0 lead when sophomore Pat MacKenzie singled with one out and later came across on a RBI single by senior Jordan Adams.
Foley was put to the test right away as the Hatters (2-5) loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame, but the righty was able to get a key strikeout with the bases loaded to keep the scoreboard clean.
CMU was able to extend its lead in the top of the second thanks to freshman Logan Regnier. Senior Tom Lally started things off with a one-out single and advanced to third on a single by junior Noel Santos. After a stolen base by Santos, Regnier drove a 2-2 pitch up the middle to plate both runners and give the Chippewas a 3-0 advantage.
After a solo home run by Garrett Russini in the bottom of the second cut CMU's lead to 3-1, Foley settled back in and didn't give up a hit the next three innings.
The Chippewas added a run in the fourth on a sacrifice squeeze by sophomore Alec Ornelas that plated redshirt freshman Neal Jacobs, before a defensive miscue on the Hatters allowed MacKenzie to score in the top of the fifth to give CMU a 5-1 lead.
The Hatters mounted a comeback with a pair of runs each in the sixth and seventh innings, but CMU was able to add a very important insurance run on a RBI groundout by Adams in the seventh that kept them up, 6-5.
Despite multiple chances by the Hatters to take over the game, the CMU bullpen came in and shut things down behind sophomores Dylan Rheault and Matt Trowbridge. Rheault pitched his way out of a bases-loaded jam with a strikeout to end the seventh and Trowbridge came on to get the final six outs for his second save of the season.
The Chippewas struck out 11 Hatters in the contest, led by Foley who struck out six to improve to 2-0 on the season. Redshirt freshman Blake Loushcer had two strikeouts in an inning of work, while Trowbridge struck out three in earning the save.
Logan Regnier led the way at the plate with his 2-for-4, two RBI performance, while MacKenzie scored three runs.
CMU will be back in action tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. when they take on UCONN in game two of the Brighthouse Invitational.
Tennessee Tech 10, Bowling Green 4
COOKEVILLE, Tenn.—The Bowling Green State University baseball team couldn’t overcome committing a season-high six errors on Friday afternoon, falling to Tennessee Tech by a final score of 10-4. Falcon pitching only allowed three earned runs on the afternoon. With the loss, Bowling Green drops to 2-5.
The Falcons scored a run in the first inning to jump ahead early on. T.J. Losby's RBI infield single scored Patrick Lancaster to put the Falcons ahead. Prior to Friday’s contest, the Falcons were 2-0 on the year when scoring first.
The Golden Eagles would respond with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first, helped by two costly Falcon errors. All three runs that would come across the plate for TTU in the home half of the first were unearned.
Cody Apthorpe battled through five innings, striking out four. Apthorpe received little defensive support, as the Falcons committed four errors while he was on the mound. Five of Apthorpe’s runs were unearned on the afternoon.
After collecting six hits in the first two innings off TTU starter Tristan Archer, the Falcons would not get another hit until the seventh. After Brian Bien collected a leadoff single, he would come around to score on a fielder’s choice.
Pinch-hitting for Matt Pitzulo to begin the eighth, Matt Smith would draw a walk. He would score from second when Trey Keegan flicked an RBI triple into the right field corner.
TTU would add two more unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth, and hold onto the lead in the ninth for the win.
Chris Miller and Devin Daugherty combined to pitch three innings in relief, collecting five combined strikeouts while not allowing an earned run.
The two teams will continue the series tomorrow, with first pitch coming at 12 pm CT. Mike Frank will take the mound for his third start of the season, looking to end the Falcons’ five-game losing streak.
Longwood 5, Buffalo 2
FARMVILLE, VA - Three runs in the middle innings proved to be enough for Longwood (4-3), who beat the Bulls (4-4) 5-2 in the opening game of a three-game weekend series Friday afternoon. The two runs were a season low for UB, as it was frustrated by an inconsistent offense. Jon Mestas drove in the lone runs for the Bulls.
After the Lancers posted a single run in the bottom of the first, the Bulls were only able to record two hits through the first four innings of the game. In the third, UB was able to tie the game after Mestas drove in Jimmy Topps on a single through the right side after Topps took second on a wild pitch.
Mestas would drive in the team's final run in his next time at the plate, giving the team a brief lead in the top of the fifth. Kyle Figgins earned his second walk in as many at bats and moved to second on a balk. A single by Topps put runners on the corners with only one out, and Mestas would loft a single to left that would easily score Figgins.
Longwood would tie the game in the bottom of the fifth and then put the game away in the sixth with three runs on four hits to chase starter Mike McGee from the game. Aside from a rough final inning, McGee had a solid start, controlling his pitches and walked just two batters with five strikeouts. He allowed eight hits and all five of the Lancers' runs, and took the loss to move to 0-2 this season.
Freshman Mike Kaelin made his UB debut out of the bullpen and was dynamic, pitching two innings of one-hit ball with four strikeouts to help keep the score at 5-2, but the UB offense was unable to muster a comeback.
The Bulls put two runners on with only one out in the seventh, but a successful pickoff put the team at a disadvantage and the inning would come to a harmless end. Alex Baldock hit a one-out double in the eighth but was worked around, and UB would fall in order to close out the game in the ninth.
Buffalo's 2-3-4 hitters combined to go 1-12 in the game. Mestas and Tyler Mautner led the team with two hits each. With his eighth inning double, Baldock now has 40 doubles his career, moving him into a tie for fifth place in the category in program history.
The series continues tomorrow afternoon with a 1 pm game. Anthony Magovney will take the mound for the Bulls.
Louisville 14, Kent State 2
Louisville, Ky. – Kent State (1-8) got into an early deficit against Louisville (8-1) that they could not overcome, resulting in a 14-2 loss to a No. 4-ranked Cardinal team on Friday (Mar. 1).
"Louisville came out and put a lot of pressure on us early," head coach Scott Stricklin said after the game. "They were able to put some runs on the board early to put us behind, and they did a great job executing offensively."
Louisville jumped to an early start, plating five runs on six hits, two of which were back-to-back RBI doubles. They had another big inning in the bottom of the third, scoring seven runs. The Cardinals had two triples and a double in that inning. The Flashes gave up 17 hits, five for extra bases, in the game. All 14 of the Cardinals' runs were earned.
Kent State scored their first run in the 4th as Zarley Zalewski walked and then came around to score on a single by Sawyer Polen. Polen also picked up the Flashes' only other RBI of the night as he singled again in the 8th. Kent State had ten hits of their own, but stranded 11 batters in the defeat.
"I thought we swung the bats pretty well," said Stricklin. "We made a lot of loud outs, too. We hit a lot of line drives right at them, and they made the plays. But we're still not executing with runners in scoring position. We had some early chances to put some runs on the board and make the game interesting early on, and we just couldn't do that. Against a team like Louisville, when you get opportunities you have to take advantage of it."
Tyler Skulina (0-1) had a rough start, lasting just two innings while allowing 11 runs on nine hits and three walks. Nick Jensen-Clagg was impressive in relief, throwing four shutout innings while not allowing a walk and striking out three batters.
"That was really good," Stricklin said of Jensen-Clagg's performance. "That was really encouraging to see him do that as a freshman against a really good team. We're going to need him as we go on this season, and he's a guy that's a potential future starter for us. So it was encouraging to see Nick throw the ball that well."
Polen finished the day 3-for-4 with the team's only RBI. T.J. Sutton and Justin Wagler also had multi-hit days, both going 2-for-3.
The Flashes look to recover tomorrow as they face Louisville again at 1:00 pm.
"We have to move forward," said Stricklin. "We can't look back. We're still trying to come together as team. It's still early. But it is frustrating. Our kids are playing hard. I thought we competed better today; we just got behind early and couldn't do much about it. Again, it's frustrating, but I still think this is a good baseball team and we're going to find our stride. I hope it's sooner rather than later, but I think we're going to find our stride and we're going to be a very good baseball team that contends for another championship."
Mercer 11, Miami 5
MACON, Ga. -- One big inning cost Miami a chance at a big win on Friday night.
Mercer plated nine runs during the fifth inning, turing a 1-0 lead into double digits, then hung on for an 11-5 victory over Miami at Claude Smith Field. Kevin Bower hit a two-run homer, his first of the season, in the eighth.
Mercer (9-1) struck first on a leadoff home run in the third inning. The Bears capitalized on two Miami errors and a wild pitch for their big inning. Back-to-back RBI doubles, following by a home run accounted for the first three runs and chased starter Brooks Fiala (0-2). A walk and double off Brian Thene led to another run and a 7-0 score.
Another error, two walks and wild pitch forced another pitching change, with Clay Cinnamon allowing a hit, wild pitch and walk for two more runs before he got the final two outs.
Miami (2-4) got on the board with four runs in the eighth. Matt Honchel singled before Kevin Bower connected for a home run to right. A dropped fly in left allowed two runs to score later in the frame. The four runs equalled Miami's biggest outburst of the season.
The RedHawks got their final run in the ninth when Adam Yacek singled in Chad Sedio.
The two teams conclude their weekend series with a doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch is at 1 p.m.
Utah 6, Northern Illinois 1
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Northern Illinois opened the 2013 Dairy Queen Classic with aggression and smarts at the plate with eight hits and five walks to get runners on base versus Utah (5-3). The Huskies (1-8) were unable to drive the runners home however as they left 11 men on base in a 6-1 loss to the Utes.
"The big difference in this ball game was execution offensively," said Head Coach Ed Mathey. "If you look at the stat line across the board, the hits were 10-8 (Utah), guys on base - probably about the same, but they got hits when they needed to. We're putting guys on base, we're just not executing to get those runs across - steak producers for our RBI guys.
"We left 11 runners on - bad news, good news - we got them on there, we just didn't score them. I thought outside of a play or two by Ruck (Jordan Ruckman) on the mound, I thought our defense was pretty good. We need to continue to get guys on base and we need to get them home."
The Huskies had a consistent presence on the base path as they accounted for at least one base runner in every inning of the game. NIU was able to get on base through eight hits and five walks but left 11 men on base during the ball game.
NIU combined for three hits in the fourth inning to rally some momentum to its side with successive hits by Landon Tenhagen (Burlington, Wis./Madison Area TC), Micah McCulloch (Rochelle/Rochelle Township) and Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo./Kearney). However, the Huskies were unable to gather a run from the effort.
The seal was broken in the bottom of the fifth inning after a pair of leadoff walks by Brandon Mallder (Bridgeview/St. Laurence) and Jameson Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly). A pass ball put the runners in scoring position and Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park/Andrew) drove home Mallder from third on a fielder's choice to cut the deficit to one run, 2-1.
Utah would add one run in each of the final five innings of play and increase its run total to six in the game. NIU attempted the late, ninth inning rally after hits by Wells and Sisler but was unable to bring each player around the bases and ended the game stranded on third and second, respectively, in the 6-1 loss.
Klonowski had an impressive day at the plate as he finished 3-for-4 in the game to lead both teams in hits during the game. Zimmerman had one RBI and Mallder had one run in the game to with two walks to his credit.
Northern Illinois will play its second game of the Dairy Queen Classic tomorrow afternoon versus Dartmouth. The Huskies and the Big Gree
Virginia Tech 8, Ohio 2
CARY, N.C. - The Ohio University baseball team (1-5) dropped its weekend opener of the Irish Classic, falling to No. 25 Virginia Tech (10-1) Friday afternoon at the USA Baseball Training Facility.
Freshman right-hander Jake Miller (Westerville, Ohio) suffered the loss and dropped to 1-2 on the year. Miller worked 5.2 innings gave up 13 hits allowed eight runs and strike out one. As a team, Ohio was outhit 14-4.
Offensively, Ohio was held in check by Virginia Tech starter Eddie Campbell as he went 7.0 innings, holding the `Cats to just two hits and two earned runs, while striking out 10 as he picked up his first win of the year.
The Hokies opened the scoring in the first inning as they plated a pair of runs on two hits in the bottom half of the first inning.
Ohio fought back in the top half of the second frame with a pair of run to even the count at two apiece. Sophomores Tyler Wells (Lexington, Ky.) and Cody Gaertner (Allison Park, Pa.) got the inning going as they drew back-to-back walks. Sophomore Brice Nikithser (Pittsburgh, Pa.) came up next and reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases with no outs.
Senior Dan Schmidt (Kamiak, Wash.) drew in the first run as he drew a bases loaded walk. Two batters later freshman Nick Squires (Plain City, Ohio) drew another bases loaded walk to even the score at two apiece. Campbell walked four Ohio batters in the second, but would get out of the inning after he struck out junior Taylor Emody (Milan, Ohio).
In the bottom half of the frame, Virginia Tech reclaimed the lead as it plated a pair of runs to take a 4-2 lead. The Hokies added three more runs in the third to increase their advantage to 7-2. Ohio was held scoreless for the remainder of the game, while Virginia Tech added one more run in the sixth to secure the win.
Ohio returns to action on Saturday as it takes on Rhode Island, beginning at Noon. The game will be held at the USA Baseball Training Facility.
Saint Louis 6, Western Michigan 2
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- Western Michigan baseball fell to defending Atlantic 10 regular season champion Saint Louis in its opening game at the Snow Bird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla., Friday, 6-2.
Theo Piccirilli was one of three Broncos with multi-hit games, going 4-for-5 at the plate, and scoring both of WMU's runs from the leadoff spot. The four hits was a career high for the junior designated hitter.
Sophomore shortstop Andrew Sohn had the two RBIs, going 3-for-3, while sophomore outfielder Jared Kujawa batted 3-for-4.
Saint Louis opened up the scoring in the first by capitalizing on a Bronco fielding error. Western Michigan answered back in the bottom of the inning when Sohn drove a double into the left center gap to score Piccirilli who reached on a leadoff single.
SLU took advantage of more Bronco errors in the second plating two more runs on just one hit.
In the seventh inning Piccirilli singled through the left side to reach base for the fourth time of the game. He stole second and later reached third on an infield single by Kujawa. Sohn drove in Piccirilli on sacrifice fly to center field, cutting the deficit to two.
Saint Louis added two runs on two hits in the eighth inning to seal the victory over Western Michigan.
Starting LHP Steve Laudicina threw six and two thirds innings, giving up four hits and just one earned run. Monty Porter came in to relieve Laudicina in the seventh. Also pitching in relief for the Broncos was Derek Schneider and Chris Bossenbery.
The Broncos finished the day with five errors in the field, hard for any team to overcome.
Saint Louis improved to 6-2 on the season. The Billikins are coming off a 41-18 record last year. Western Michigan fell to 1-8.
WMU plays a doubleheader tomorrow, facing Northeastern at 10:30 a.m. and Maine at 2 p.m.
South Florida 7, Toledo 5
TAMPA, FL - Toledo sustained a 7-5 loss at South Florida in Friday's series opener at USF Baseball Stadium. With the setback, the Rockets fall to 1-5 on the year.
The host Bulls (3-5) did all their damage in the second through the fifth frames to collect their third win of the young season. USF plated one run in the second, four in the third, one in the fourth and one in the fifth to win the first all-time matchup between the two schools.
Senior LHP Kyle Shaw (1-2) was saddled with the loss, yielding six runs (all earned) on nine hits with one strikeout in 3.1 innings. Shaw had been outstanding in his first two starts this spring, but the crafty southpaw did not have his best stuff this evening and was unable to get out of the fourth frame.
With Shaw getting roughed up and not able to get out of the fourth inning, the Rockets needed a strong performance from their bullpen to keep the game close and they certainly delivered. Senior Jared Locke allowed only one run on one hit with three punchouts in 2.2 innings, while junior RHP Jacob North made his collegiate debut on the hill and worked 2.0 scoreless frames with four strikeouts.
Offensively, senior DH Matt Delewski (4-for-5, 2 RS, RBI) led the Midnight Blue & Gold with a season-high four hits. Senior CF Ben Hammer (2-for-5, RBI) added a multi-hit effort against a quartet of USF hurlers.
UT opened the scoring on a two-out RBI off the bat of junior C James Miglin (0-for-5, 2 RBI) in its opening at-bat.
After USF knotted the score in the bottom of the second inning, Toledo recaptured the lead on a run-scoring double off the stick of Delewski to make the difference 2-1 in the third.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, they are unable to hold onto the advantage as USF plated four runs on five hits in the bottom of the third to assume a lead they would not relinquish. At one points, six-consecutive South Florida reached base after the first two hitters were retired.
The home team tacked on insurance tallies in the fourth and fifth inning, before the Rockets registered three runs in the seventh to make the final score, 7-5.
USF's Jimmy Herget (1-1) was credited with the win, giving up two runs (both earned) on four hits with nine strikeouts in 6.0 innings.
CF James Ramsey (3-for-4, RS, RBI) paced the victors at the dish with three hits, while DH Chris Norton (2-for-3, RS, RBI), SS Kyle Teaf (2-for-5, RS) and RF Austin Lueck (2-for-4, RS, RBI) posted multi-hit efforts in the win.
The Rockets and the Bulls will continue their three-game series tomorrow with a 6:00 p.m. first pitch. Freshman RHP Kyle Slack is slated to start on the mound for Toledo.
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Akron (0-7) baseball team dropped the series opener to the University of Kentucky (8-1) by a score of 21-2 on Friday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The pitcher of record for Akron was the starter Jon Pusateri. Pusateri pitched one inning, and gave up nine earned runs on seven hits with one strikeout. His record fell to 0-3 in the loss to Kentucky. Pusateri was followed on the mound by Michael Steensen and Pat Dyer from the bullpen, who also struggled to control the Kentucky lineup.
"Our first three pitchers did not attack the zone today," Head Coach Rick Rembielak said. "Jon (Pusateri) needs to make a mechanical adjustment and continues to work on it. He has it in him, it'll come around. We need him in that spot."
Junior Tyler Begun returned to the leadoff spot in the lineup on Friday afternoon. Begun had the strongest showing for the Zips, as he recorded four base hits with one run scored, his first hits and run of the season.
"We swung a little better today, and we're very pleased to see Tyler have such a good day. He has made an adjustment in his swing the past week, and it showed," Rembielak said following the game.
Devan Ahart and Matt LaRocca contributed one base hit and one RBI a piece in the loss. Ahart now has two RBI this season, while LaRocca's RBI was his first of the season.
Catcher Brady Stewart's consecutive game hit streak was stopped at six after going 0-4 against the Wildcats. Stewart did register a walk this afternoon, which extends his consecutive on-base streak to seven games.
Sophomore Matt Rembielak collected his second hit of the season, and also scored his first run of the season. The Akron offense totaled nine hits on the afternoon.
The pitching staff was roughed up through the second inning, but settled down as the game progressed. Joe Cochran and Joe Vazquez held the Wildcats scoreless for the last four innings of the game. Cochran finished with 3.0 innings pitched with two strikeouts, while Vazquez tossed one scoreless frame.
Akron and Kentucky will matchup again Saturday at 1 p.m. at Cliff Hagan Stadium. John Valek III is scheduled to start for UA. Live stats and video links can be found on the Akron baseball schedule page.