MAC Baseball: Opening Weekend Round Up

The Kent State baseball team looks to defend it's MAC crown after last years CWS run. - Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

The MAC baseball season kicked off this weekend, and featured a couple series' with some surprising results.

Snow, cold, rain, and every other type of bad weather you could imagine forced our MAC schools to adjust their baseball schedules this weekend. Most schools played double headers either Saturday or Sunday, some schools had their games moved to a place where there was nicer weather. But somehow, someway, the six match-ups scheduled for the weekend were played.

Western Michigan at Bowling Green - Western Michigan Sweeps Series 3-0

Game 1 - WMU 13 - BGSU 6

In game one of the series, the quiet Bronco bats finally erupted to the tune of 13 runs and 17 hits. The Broncos attack was lead by the duo of Andrew Sohn and Steve Buglione who combined to go 8-for-10 with six RB (three each) including a Sohn home run. Buglione was 5-for-6 at the plate.

The Falcons came out and put up three runs in the bottom of the first, but from there the pitching folded, resulting in four ultiple run innings for Western. Mike Moyer (3-2) was the beneficiary of the run support, he picked up the win after tossing 5.1 innings, giving up four earned runs and striking out three. Monty Porter came out of the WMU bullpen and pitched three innings, only giving up one run and picking up his first save of the season.

The Falcons were led in game one by Pat Lancaster's three hits, while Jeremy Shay went 2--for-4 with a home run, and 3 RBI. Cody Apthorpe (0-2) took the loss, going 3.2 innings and giving up 10 hits and six earned runs.

Game 2 - WMU 4 - BGSU 3

Western jumped out to a 4-0 in the top of the first inning making the lead last the rest of the way. The Falcons put up two runs in the bottom of the seventh to give BGSU a chance, but the Western bullpen was up to the task, and slammed the door shut in the eighth and ninth.

It was the five through eight hitters who did the damage for Western. Steve Buglione, Pat Duncan, Hunter Prince, and Brandon Cable all picked up RBIs in the opening frame. The Broncos only managed four hits as a team, and had only one hit after the first inning. Steve Laudicina (1-5) picked up his first win of the year, going 6.1 innings, scattering 10 hits, giving up three earned runs, while striking out six. Gabe Berman was the hero out of the bullpen, going 2.2 perfect innings for his first save.

Catcher T.J. Losby was the key bat for the Falcons, going 2-for-4 with two RBI. The Falcons managed 12 hits as a team, including five players who had multiple hits. But they left nine runners on base in the game. Mike Frank (0-4) remained winless, but went a solid seven innings, giving up four hits, four earned runs and notching six strikeouts.

Game 3 - WMU 4 - BGSU 3

In the series finale, the Falcons jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one inning, but again couldn't hold the lead. It was gone by the third inning when the Broncos responded with three runs in the top half of the inning.

The big hit in the game for the Broncos came in that third inning when Andrew Sohn knocked in two runs with his only hit of the day. Steve Buglione had the game winning RBI with his single in the fifth inning. Pat Borlik (2-1) pitched into the ninth for WMU, going 8.1 innings, scattering seven hits, and giving up three runs, only two of which were earned.

The Falcons had a golden chance to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, putting runners at the corners with one out, but Pat Haynes came on for Western, getting the final two outs and his second save of the season. Matt Pitzulo and Andrew Kubuski each had an RBI for BGSU. Trevor Blaylock took the loss and fell to 0-5, thanks to some shaky defense. He went 6.2 innings giving up seven hits and four runs; only one was earned.

Akron at Ball State - Akron Wins Series 2-1

Game 1 - Ball State 2 - Akron 1

Game one of the series was a pitchers duel, with only 13 hits between the two teams. Ball State was able to pick up a walk-off win in the bottom of the 10th to claim the series opener.

The hero for Ball State was Sean Godfrey, who drove in Blake Beemer in the 10th with his second hit of the day. Godfrey finished the day 2-for-5 and had both of the Cardinals RBI. Chris Marangon started for Ball State, going seven innings giving up only six hits and just the one run. Tyler Jordan picked up the win in relief, going the remaining three innings and giving up just one hit.

Jared Turocy was the only Zip to register multiple hits, going 2--for-5. Devan Ahart drove in the only Akron run in the third inning to give Akron a 1-0 lead. J.T. Brubaker started for Akron, going six innings giving up five his and one earned run. Sam Trecaso fell to 0-1, giving up the winning run in the 10th, in addition to two walks.

Game 2 - Akron 7 - Ball State 4

In game two, the Akron bats came alive and posted seven runs in the first five innings to give Akron its first conference win. Ball State made four errors to help the Akron cause.

Darius Washington led the Zips attack with two hits and two RBI. Gerrard Rohan managed to drive in two runs without getting a hit in the game. John Valek pitched six innings, giving up seven hits and two earned runs to improve to 2-3 on the season. Matt LaRocca picked up his first save of the season.

The Cardinals outhit the Zips 12-10. Billy Wellman, Blake Beemer and Sean Godfrey all had two hits. Jon Cisna was roughed up on the mound, but wasn't helped out by his defense. He went 4.1 innings, giving up eight hits and all seven runs, though only five were earned.

Game 3 - Akron 4 - Ball State 3

Akron was able to claim the opening series by pushing across a run in the top of the 9th, thanks to an RBI hit from Devan Ahart. Ball State had tied the game in the seventh on an RBI hit from Sean Godfrey.

Matt Rembielak lead the way for Akron, going 2-for-5 and chipping in an RBI. Devan Ahart's RBI in the ninth inning drove in Jared Turocy for the winning run. The Zips got a solid start from Pat Dyer who tossed six innings, giving up six hits and only one earned run. Sam Trecaso (1-1) picked up the win in relief, giving up just one hit.

Billy Wellman lead the Cardinals offense, going a perfect 4--for-4 at the plate with a RBI. Sean Godfrey was 2-for-4 and also had a RBI hit. Ball State also had a solid outing from its starting pitcher, Scott Baker. He went 7.1 innings, scattering seven hits and giving up just two earned runs. Tyler Jordan (1-3) was handed the loss.

Toledo at Ohio - Toledo Wins Series 2-1

Game 1 - Toledo 8 - Ohio 5

This one was close until the sixth inning when the Rockets took off in the sixth inning with four runs to turn a 3-for-3 game in a 7-3 game. The big blow came from Ben Hammer, who hit a three-run homer with two outs in the inning.

The Rockets offense tallied 11 hits and had four players with two-hit games. Nate Langhals and Matt Delewski each had two hits and an RBI. Eight different players scored runs for the Toledo offense. Kyle Shaw was a workhorse for Toledo, pitching 8 innings, giving up eight hits, four earned runs and improving his record to 2-3 on the season. Adam Tyson tossed a perfect ninth to earn his first save of the season.

The Bobcats offensive attack was led by Nate Squires and Dan Schmidt, who each had two hits. Squires scored two runs and Schmidt had two RBI. The Ohio defense helped Toledo with three errors. Starting pitcher Jake Miller (1-4) was roughed up going 5.1 innings, giving up 11 hits and six earned runs. The Bobcats bullpen didn't give up a hit, but walked one batter while hitting four.

Game 2 - Ohio 9 - Toledo 3

The Bobcats evened up the series with patient hitting that led to nine runs and was helped greatly by nine walks from the Toledo pitching staff. Toledo actually led this game after the top of the fourth inning but nine straight Ohio runs, including five in the bottom of the fifth, gave Ohio the victory.

Scott White was the star for the Bobcats, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. Jake Madsen was 2--for-3 with two RBI. Tyler Wells also had two RBI for Ohio. Marck Paliotto (1-4) picked up his first win of the season giving up five hits in five innings and giving up just one earned run. Sean Kennedy was the only other Bobcat pitcher, closing out the final four innings.

Ben Hammer continued to nail the ball for Toledo, going 2-for-3 with two RBI. Matt Delewski chipped in going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Kyle Slack was given the loss, going four innings, giving up four hits and four earned runs. In a Cameron Palmer followed him and in only two innings gave up four hits, four earned runs walking four.

Game 3 - Toledo 5 Ohio 2

Toledo was able to leave Ohio with the series win after claiming the rubber match thanks to dominating performance on the mound from Ryan Wilkinson. Ohio led 2-0 after two innings, but Wilkinson buckled down and Toledo scored the final five runs to get the win.

Wilkinson was the star of the game, going the full nine innings, giving up just four hits while walking none and surrendering just the two earned runs. At one point he sent 14 straight Bobcats back to the dugout. He improves to 2-1 with the win. James Miglin starred at the plate going a perfect 5--for-5 and driving in one run. Ryan Callahan went 3-for-5 and hit his second home run of the year in the fourth inning to go along with three RBI for the game.

Brice Nikithser and Dan Schmidt each had an RBI for the Bobcats. Connor Sitz dropped to 0-3 going 4.1 innings, surrendering eight hits and four earned runs.

Central Michigan at Buffalo - Buffalo Wins Series 2-1

Game 1 - Buffalo 5 - Central Michigan 4

This was probably the most exciting game of the weekend, and featured a wild finish. The old saying among baseball pundits is, "the last three outs are the hardest to get." That certainly was the case for CMU as Buffalo rallied from down 4-0 in the bottom of the ninth to claim a walk-off win in game one of the series.

Buffalo loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth, when Jimmy Topps hit a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 4-1. Next, Jon Mestas drew a walk to reload the bases for Jason Kanzler, who promptly laced a double to the wall, clearing the bases and tying the game at 4-4. The very next batter, Alex Baldock, followed with a double of his own to drive in Kanzler for the Bulls win. Ben Hartz picked up the win, going three innings, giving up three hits and just one run.

The Chippewas wasted one of the best pitching performances of the season from Jodan Foley with the late collapse. Foley went 7.0 innings, giving up just 3 hits, and 3 walks, with no runs, and 10 strikeouts. Closer Matt Trowbridge fell to 0-2, giving up three runs in just 0.1 innings. Logan Regnier lead the CMU bats going 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBI.

Game 2 - Central Michigan 4 - Buffalo 3

Two more great pitching performances highlighted this game and this time, it was CMU rallying late, scoring two runs in the top of the eighth to take the lead and pick up the win. Both Chippewa runs in the eighth came with two outs on a pair of hits from two freshmen.

Zach Fields went 1-for-4 but made his only hit count, tying the game 2-2 with an RBI triple. Neal Jacobs played the hero for CMU, following with an RBI single to drive in Fields. Jacobs finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBI. Pat Kaminska improved to 2-3, going 7.2 innings giving up seven hits, three earned runs and just one walk. Matt Trowbridge rebounded from the previous day with a perfect ninth for his fifth save.

Jason Kanzler continued his hot hitting, going 3-for-4 and driving in two runs for the Bulls. Thomas Richards had two hits for Buffalo. Anthony Magovney was excellent on the mound for the Bulls, giving up just two hits and two runs in seven innings while striking out 10. River McWilliams took the loss, surrendering two runs in two innings.

Game 3 - Buffalo 7 - Central Michigan 0

Buffalo's Mike Burke was dominating in the series finale, shutting out the Chippewas in a complete game effort, giving the Bulls the series win in a game that took just one hour and 55 minutes to play. It was 2-0 game until a five-run fifth inning for Buffalo.

Burke (3-1) went the distance for Buffalo, shutting down CMU and limiting them to just three hits, striking out 10. The Buffalo bats were awake as well, with Ryan Tulloch leading the way. He went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Jon Mestas went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Alex Baldock also scored two runs for the Bulls.

Jordan Adams had a double for CMU, one of only three hits for the team. Dylan Rheault (1-1) was roughed up in 4.1 innings, giving up six hits, four walks and six runs (four earned).

Eastern Michigan at Miami - Miami Sweeps Series 3-0

Game 1 - Miami 4 - Eastern Michigan 0

When the weather is cold it usually benefits the pitching and the series opener featured another MAC pitching gem. Brooks Fiala (3-2) tossed a complete game shutout for the Red Hawks, giving up just nine base runners in the process.

With the complete game shutout, Fiala now has a scoreless streak that has stretched to 25.2 innings. He held the Eagles to six hits, walking three, while picking up six strikeouts. I'm not sure, but we may need to see if Dusty Baker manages Miami, because Fiala threw 124 pitches in the effort. Ryan Elble went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Matt Honchel went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

For Eastern, Dae Bowden was the only player with multiple hits, going 2-for-4. Neil Butara (2-3) was saddled with the loss, going 6.1 innings and giving up eight hits to go with four earned runs.

Game 2 - Miami 13 - Eastern Michigan 6

The Miami bats came out on fire in the middle game, scoring 12 runs in the first six innings. Miami dominated Eastern with the "death by singles" offense, of the 17 hits they registered, only two were for extra bases.

Alex Johnson, Dan Walsh and John Crummy each had three hits for the Red Hawks in the game. Johnson also added two runs to go with three RBI. While Walsh was even better with three runs scored and four RBI. Six players registered multiple hits and eight of the nine starters had at least one. Mac Thoreson went six innings giving up five hits and three earned runs to pick up his first win of the season.

For the Eagles, Sam Ott was 3-for-5 with two RBI. Lee Longo also had two RBI while going 2-for-4 at the plate. The Eagles earned their six runs on just eight hits. Brian Valente took the loss for EMU giving up five hits and five runs (4 earned), in just 1.2 innings.

Game 3 - Miami 6 - Eastern Michigan 4

The Red Hawks picked up the opening weekend sweep behind a late rally that saw them score four times in the bottom of the seventh to erase a 3-2 deficit. The Red Hawk bats were hot again, racking up 15 hits in the series finale.

The Red Hawks offensive attack was lead by Ryan Elble, who had two hits and three RBI, all of which came on the game winning hit in the seventh, a bases clearing triple. Kevin Bower had three hits and scored a run. On the mound, Nathan Williams was solid, tossing six innings, giving up seven hits, three runs and picking up five strikeouts. Shane Kriss picked up the win in relief, hurling a perfect seventh inning. Ryan Powers went two innings for his first save of the season.

Austin Williams was the lead bat for EMU, tallying two hits and two RBI. Catcher Adam Sonabend went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. The big problem all series was the pitching and that continued as Brian Hill was knocked around for 14 hits and six runs, dropping him to 1-1 on the season.

Kent State at Northern Illinois - Kent State Wins Series 2-1

Game 1 - Kent State 3 - Northern Illinois 2

Another early season pitchers duel that saw just 11 hits between the two teams and 23 combined strikeouts. Both pitchers went seven innings or more. Northern Illinois had just two players collect hits in the the series opening game.

The story for the defending champions was Taylor Williams, who tossed seven innings, giving up only three hits and striking out nine Huskies. He improved to 4-1 picking up the win. Brian Clark went two innings giving up just one hit to earn the save. Derek Toadvine was the only Kent State player with multiple hits going 2-for-4. George Roberts drove in the only run for Kent State with his only hit of the game.

Jordan Ruckman matched Williams inning for inning, going 7.1 innings, giving up seven hits, walking one and striking out 10. He took the hard luck loss falling to 0-4 on the year. Jeff Zimmerman was the offensive star for the Huskies, collecting three of the teams four hits.

Game 2 - Northern Illinois 3 - Kent State 0

Another great pitching performance to add to the list from the weekend, this time from NIU's Eli Anderson, who went the distance while throwing 125 pitches. Each team had only six hits, but the Huskies were the more patient team, earning seven walks in the middle game.

Anderson (2-3) gave up six hits in the complete game shutout effort, while walking three, in addition to fanning eight batters. Tommy Hook was the spark for the NIU bats, going 1-for-2 with two walks, two runs and driving in a run. Alex Klonowski had two hits and an RBI.

Tyler Skulina took the loss for the Golden Flashes, throwing 110 pitches in 5.2 innings surrendering six hits and three runs. Cody Koch and Sawyer Polen each had two hits for Kent State.

Game 3 - Kent State 13 - Northern Illinois 1

Another great pitching performance in this series, with Casey Wilson hurling seven-plus innings in the rubber game between the two schools. But in this game, the Kent State bats finally woke up and pounded out 21 hits and 13 runs to convincingly take the series. The game was 1-1 after two innings, but it was all Kent State from there.

Wilson didn't need the run support, finishing the day with just 3 hits and only 1 run given up in 7.2 innings. He also struck out six, improving to 2-2. The Kent State offense was non-stop, with eight different players recording a multi-hit game. Evan Campbell had two hits, two runs and three RBI. Tommy Monnot had two hits and two RBI. Zarley Zalewski went 3-for-5 with three RBI. Derek Toadvine scored three runs to lead the team.

Alex Klonowski took the brunt of the Kent State attack, getting roughed up for 10 hits and eight runs in four innings. Joe Battaglia drove in the only run for NIU.

Conference Standings

East W L GB
Miami 3 0 0.0
Kent State 2 1 1.0
Akron 2 1 1.0
Buffalo 2 1 1.0
Ohio 1 2 2.0
Bowling Green 0 3 3.0
West W L GB
Western Michigan 3 0 0.0
Toledo 2 1 1.0
Central Michigan 1 2 2.0
Northern Illinois 1 2 2.0
Ball State 1 2 2.0
Eastern Michigan 0 3 3.0
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