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MACBats roundup: Anderson, Simonetti shine as conference season begins

Ten teams began their MAC schedule on Friday, with NIU, Kent State and others picking up big wins

Northern Illinois (5-16) 2, Ohio (9-12) 0

This is one of the last matchups you'd expect to result in a pitching duel, but that's exactly what Ohio's Jake Miller and NIU's William Anderson were able to provide in Friday's MAC opener. Miller blinked in just one inning, allowing each of the two hits he surrendered in the fourth inning, the second of which came off the bat of right fielder Stephen Letz and scored the game's only runs. Miller went the distance while striking out eight, but ultimately took the loss. Anderson, meanwhile, was completely dominant, tossing eight shutout innings. He scattered four hits and two walks while striking out four. Ryan Blanton notched his second save of the year for the Huskies. The two will meet again Saturday at 3:00p.m.

Kent State (15-5) 17, Central Michigan (4-18) 5

Last season's top two tournament seeds have gotten very different starts to this season, and continued that trend in Friday's blowout. Left fielder Conner Simonetti was the catalyst for the Flashes in this one, going 3-for-5 with a home run and eight RBI's to lead his team on Friday. Third baseman Dylan Rosa served as a fine tablesetter in the middle of the order, reaching base in all six plate appearances with three hits and three walks while also driving in two. Eric Lauer turned in another terrific performance on the hill for Kent State, earning the win with 5 2/3rds scoreless innings, allowing two hits and four walks while striking out 11. Nick Deeg took the loss for Central Michigan, allowing eight earned runs in 6 1/3rd innings.The Chippewas will look for revenge against the Flashes Saturday at 4:05p.m.

Buffalo (7-10) 13, Toledo (3-19-1) 7

A big day at the plate from designated hitter Vinny Mallaro helped Buffalo get off to a hot start in its MAC season by taking down Toledo on the road. Mallaro led all hitters with a 4-for-6 performance that included a homer, two doubles and five RBI's. First baseman Andrew Taft also homered for the Bulls, while left fielder A.J. Montoya dingered out of the leadoff spot for Toledo. Alex Tuohy picked up the win for Buffalo, tossing a six quality innings and allowing three runs on five hits while striking out seven. Steven Calhoun continued to struggle for Toledo, meanwhile, giving up five runs, four earned, on 4 1/3rd innings in the loss. Mike Kaelin picked up his fourth save of the season with 1 1/3rd shutout frames. These two will be back at it Saturday at 1:00p.m.

Miami (9-10) 4, Ball State (12-11) 2

The RedHawks scrapped together some strong pitching to go with a couple of clutch late hits to knock off Ball State to start their MAC season. Nick Ernst and Ryan Marske combined for five shutout innings of relief, with Marske taking the win. Kevin Marnon was no slouch for the Cardinals, either, giving up three earned runs in 6 2/3rd innings while striking out eight. First baseman Ross Haffey and center fielder Jake Romano each went 2-for-3 for Miami, with Romano collecting a pair of RBI's as well. The two will meet for another nightcap Saturday at 6:00p.m.

Eastern Michigan (7-13) 5, Bowling Green (8-14) 4

Davis Feldman treaded through some shoddy defense to last eight innings and give up just three runs, all unearned, to earn the Eagles a win on Friday. Left fielder Mike Mioduszewski paced Eastern Michigan with two hits and two RBI's, while third baseman Jackson Martin, catcher Jeremy Stidham and second baseman Max Schuemann each added two hits as well. Sam Delaplane picked up his first save of the season for the Eagles. Caleb Schildt took the loss for Bowling Green, lasting 5 2/3rd innings and allowing five runs on nine hits. The two will square off again Saturday at 3:00p.m.

Western Michigan 2, Butler 0

Bradley 16, Western Michigan (6-13) 5

Keegan Akin continued to impress for the Broncos with 6 2/3rds innings of scoreless baseball and eight strikeouts to increase his scoreless innings streak to 22 2/3rd innings. Akin allowed just three hits and walked one. Unfortunately, the Broncos wouldn't be as fortunate with their pitching in the second game of the day, with Derek Schneider taking the loss thanks to nine earned runs in just 4 1/3rd innings. Third baseman Grant Miller put together a solid day at the plate for the Broncos, collecting three hits across two games and adding a couple RBI's. Western Michigan will face Bradley again Saturday at 3:30p.m.