MAC Baseball: Results From Friday's Conference Openers

Updated 3/23/2013


Friday's MAC Baseball Results
Western Michigan 13, Bowling Green 6
Toledo 8, Ohio 5
Ball State 2, Akron 1
Miami 4, Eastern Michigan 0
Kent State 3, Northern Illinois 2
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Western Michigan 13, Bowling Green 6
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio. – The Western Michigan Broncos faced off against the Bowling Green State University Falcons in game one of the Mid-American Conference opening series.
The Broncos had 17 hits on the day, with six players recording multi-hit games. Steve Buglione went 5-for-6 with three runs batted in. Hunter Prince went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in and Andrew Sohn contributed with three hits of his own, including his second home run of the season.
Getting the start for Western Michigan was LHP Mike Moyer, who tossed five and a third innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out three Falcons.
Starting on the mound for BGSU was RHP Cody Arthrope, who was chased from the game after three and third innings, giving up six runs on ten hits.
Bowling Green catcher T.J. Losby got the Falcons offense started by taking a pitch deep off the wall in left center to score the Falcons first run of the game. Third baseman Jeremy Shay followed with his first home run of the season to left center, giving BGSU a 3-0 lead.
The Broncos bounced right back when third baseman Patrick Duncan led off the top of the second with a line drive up the middle on a 2-0 count. First baseman Hunter Prince followed with a single down the third base line. Theo Piccirilli then sent a blooper into right field to score Duncan.
Shortstop Andrew Sohn led off the third with a single to right center and swept second for his second stolen base of the day. Center fielder Steve Buglione singled past the third baseman to put two men on base. Duncan then took a pitch off the back, loading the bases. Caleb Caton hit a slow roller to the third baseman, scoring Sohn. Prince followed with a two run single to right center, giving the Broncos a 4-3 lead.
With two outs in the fourth, Sohn took a fastball deep to left field for his second home run of the season. Jared Kujawa followed with a double to right center. Buglione added a single up the middle to score Kujawa. Stepping up to the plate next was Duncan who smoked an Apthorpe fastball to left field for his second hit of the day, knocking Apthorpe out of the game. Western Michigan finished the inning scoring two runs, on four hits.
Mike Moyer picked up his third win of the season. Pat Haynes relieved Moyer in the sixth inning with bases loaded and retired both batters he faced to get out of the jam. Monty Porter came out of the bullpen to start the seventh inning. Porter pitched three innings, allowing one run on three hits en route to his first save of the season.
The Broncos added some insurance runs when Piccirilli led off the eighth inning with a single and was followed by Vinnie Booker being hit in the head by the pitch. Sohn laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Kujawa was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. A balk and wild pitch from Bowling Green plated two runners for the Broncos. After the pitching miscues by BGSU, Buglione added his fourth hit of the day with an RBI single.
Western Michigan batted through the lineup in the ninth, adding four runs on three hits, putting the game out of reach for the Falcons.
“The most impressive thing today was seeing us battle back after giving up three runs in the first inning,” said WMU head coach Billy Gernon.
“It was nice to see the offense come alive and pick up some clutch RBIs. We also got some nice work out of the bullpen by Haynes and Porter”.
Western Michigan is now 5-15 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.
The Broncos and Falcons were scheduled to play one game on Saturday and one game on Sunday, but due to the weather forecast Sunday’s game has been moved to Saturday. The teams will now play a doubleheader beginning at noon tomorrow.
LHP Steve Laudicina will get the start on the bump for Western Michigan tomorrow as the Broncos look to take another conference game from the Falcons.
Toledo 8, Ohio 5
ATHENS, OH – Toledo opened defense of its Mid-American Conference West Division crown with an 8-5 victory over Ohio (3-17, 0-1 MAC) on Friday under the lights at Bob Wren Stadium. With the win, the Rockets improve to 8-11 on the season.
UT received a solid start from senior LHP Kyle Shaw (2-3) to snap a three-game losing skid in conference openers. Shaw allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits with six punchouts in a season-high 8.0 innings to earn his second victory of the season.
Sophomore RHP Adam Tyson came on in relief of Shaw and worked a scoreless ninth frame to register his first save in 2013.
The Rockets were equally as effective offensively as on the mound against a group of four Ohio hurlers, pounding out 11 hits. The quartet of senior 1B Matt Delewski (2-for-5, RS, RBI), junior 3B Wes White (2-for-5, RS), sophomore DH Anthony Smith (2-for-3, RS) and sophomore SS Nate Langhals (2-for-3, RS, RBI) paced the attack with two hits each.
In addition, junior LF Tyler Grogg (1-for-5, RS) extended his hit streak to a career-best 14 consecutive games with a single in the sixth inning.
Toledo opened the scoring with a pair of tallies in the second frame against the Bobcats’ RHP Jake Miller (1-3). The Rockets took advantage of two hits, an Ohio error, one walk and back-to-back RBI groundouts by Langhals and freshman 2B Deion Tansel (1-for-3, RBI) to stake claim to the early lead.
Ohio was quick to counter with two runs of its own in the bottom of the second inning on the strength of a RBI hit by J.R. Reynolds (1-for-3, RS, RBI), followed by a costly Toledo infield error to draw the teams even at 2-2.
After each squad plated one run in the fifth frame, UT tallied four runs in the sixth frame to assume an advantage it would not surrender. The big hit in the inning was a two-out, three-run blast off the bat of senior CF Ben Hammer (1-for-5, RS, 3 RBI) to give the Rockets a 7-3 cushion. It was Hammer’s first round tripper of the spring.
The Rockets tacked on one insurance run in the seventh inning without the benefit of a hit. Toledo was able to capitalize on one walk, one hit by pitch, one Ohio error and one perfectly executed sacrifice bunt to extend its cushion to 8-3.
The Bobcats did not go quietly, though, and took advantage of a two-run double by SS Dan Schmidt in the bottom of the seventh frame, but it was too little too late as the Rockets won their conference opener for the first time since 2009.
Ohio’s Miller was saddled with the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits with one strikeout in 5.1 innings.   
Offensively, 2B Nate Squires (2-for-4, 2 RS) and Schmidt (2-for-3, 2 RBI) led the home team with two hits each in a losing effort.

The Rockets and Bobcats will wrap up their three-game series tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. Freshman RHP Kyle Slack is slated to start the first contest on the hill, while junior LHP Ryan Wilkinson has been penciled in as the starter in the series finale.

Ball State 2, Akron 1

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Sean Godfrey drove home Blake Beemer in the bottom of the 10th inning Friday to lift the Ball State baseball team to a 2-1 victory over Akron at Ball Diamond.

It was the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams and the home opener for the Cardinals, who were forced to move last weekend's games from Muncie because of wet field conditions.
Ball State improved to 11-8 on the season (1-0 MAC) with its sixth straight win, while Akron dropped to 2-17 (0-1 MAC). Because of the forecast for unfavorable weather on Sunday, the teams will conclude their series Saturday with a doubleheader. Game one is slated to begin at Noon.
Godfrey drove in both Ball State runs Friday, including one with a solo homer in the fourth inning that tied the game at 1-1. It was his second home run of the year.
Both teams then went scoreless until the 10th inning although each side had scoring opportunities before the game became Ball State’s first of the season to go to extra innings.
Akron loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth and Ball State put runners at second and third with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but neither team was able to score.
In the top of the 10th, Ball State's Tyler Jordan used a key double play to face just three batters in his third straight scoreless inning in relief of starter Chris Marangon. Then the Cardinal bats ended it in the bottom of the 10th.
Beemer led off and was hit by a pitch. Elbert Devarie laid down a sacrifice and reached on an error when the Zips failed to cut down Beemer at second. That brought Godfrey to the plate with two runners on and no outs. The junior outfielder ripped a shot deep over the head of Akron centerfielder Devan Ahart to score Beemer from second and set off a celebration.
It was the third walk-off victory in seven days for Ball State, which also won two games in its final at-bat last weekend against IPFW.
Jordan (1-2) earned his first win of the season, limiting Akron to one hit in his three innings of relief. Marangon scattered six hits and struck out six over the game’s first seven innings. He wound up with a no-decision, turning the ball over to Jordan for the eighth inning with the game tied.
Samuel Trecaso (0-1) suffered the loss for Akron after surrendering the winning run. He and Andrew Fanning pitched in relief of Zips starter JT Brubaker, who allowed one run on five hits through six innings.
Kevin Schlotter joined Godfrey with two hits to lead the way for Ball State offensively, while Jared Turocy notched a pair of hits for Akron. Ahart drove in the Akron run with a single in the third inning that gave the Zips a brief lead until Godfrey’s game-tying home run in the fourth.

Miami 4, Eastern Michigan 0

OXFORD, Ohio -- Senior Brooks Fiala extended his scoreless innings streak to 25.2 and Ryan Elble tied his career high with three hits, leading Miami to a 4-0 victory over Eastern Michigan Friday afternoon at McKie Field. The game was the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.
The teams battled through three innings without any scoring before Miami (8-10, 1-0) broke the drought in the fourth. Kevin Bower drew a leadoff walk, then took second on a one-out wild pitch. John Crummy hit a 2-2 pitch down the right field line for a 1-0 lead. Elble delivered a two-out single later in the frame for the second run.
Elble started another rally in the seventh. He doubled to right to lead off the inning, then safely beat the throw on a sacrifice bunt fielder's choice by Chad Sedio. Matt Honchel, who finished the day 2-for-4 with a stolen base, fouled off the first seven pitches he saw, but then worked the count full. On the 11th pitch, he roped a ball to the wall in right center, driving in a run. A sacrifice fly by Bower capped the scoring.
Over his last three games, Elble is 8-for-12 with a pair of three-hit days.
Fiala, winner of three straight decisions after an 0-2 start, motored along. He gave up six hits and walked three, while striking out six. The reigning Mid-American Conference East Division Pitcher of the Week threw a two-hit shutout against Navy last Friday and left with two outs in the eighth, holding a 4-0 lead, vs. Illinois State on March 9. His last run allowed was on a home run by the final Mercer Bear he faced on March 1.
Neil Butera (2-3) threw 6.1 innings in a losing effort for Eastern Michigan. He gave up eight of Miami's nine hits, and walked two. He fanned three.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow in a 12 noon doubleheader at McKie Field. The series finale was scheduled for Sunday but has been moved up due to expected inclement weather.

Kent State 3, Northern Illinois 2

Chicago, Ill. – Kent State (7-11, 1-0) outlasted Northern Illinois (4-16, 0-1) 3-2 in a pitcher's duel on Friday (Mar. 22) to begin Mid-American Conference play.
Taylor Williams (4-1) moved up in the rotation to get the Friday start and cruised through the first seven innings.  He allowed just three hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out nine to earn the win.  Brian Clark followed him, throwing two innings of shutout baseball while allowing one hit and striking out one to get his first save this season.
"Taylor Williams and Brian Clark won us the game," head coach Scott Stricklin said of the pitching duo.  "They were outstanding on the mound.  They really competed on the mound and that's why we won that game."
The Golden Flashes jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Evan Campbell singled and came home to score on a triple by George Roberts.  The Huskies answered right back with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning, but Kent State got the lead right back in the second.  T.J. Sutton was hit by a pitch, moved to second when Jason Bagoly walked and came home when Troy Summers reached on an error.
Kent State's third run came in the eighth when Monnot led off the inning with a single, stole a base and was able to plate a run on an error.  Northern Illinois also scored a run in the eighth, but Clark came on in relief to secure the victory.
The first six players in the lineup all recorded a hit, with Toadvine grabbing two on the night.  Sutton was hit by a pitch three times in the game.  However, the Golden Flashes left nine men on base and struck out ten times.
"We were out of sync all day offensively," Stricklin said.  "We didn't take very many good swings.  We had some chances to produce some runs and we didn't do it."
This was Kent State's first Friday win this season, giving them confidence moving forward as conference play has begun.
"You certainly always want to win game one," said Stricklin.  "It's encouraging to get the win on Friday and have some momentum going into the rest of the weekend."
The second game of the series is set for 6:00 pm CST on Saturday (Mar. 23), or 45 minutes after the conclusion of the University of Illinois-Chicago's doubleheader.  Follow @FlashesBaseball on Twitter for the most up-to-date information on a start time.