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MACBats: Eastern Michigan completes sweep, Kent State takes series at Central Michigan

Sunday concluded the MAC season's opening weekends, with just one team emerging unbeaten

Eastern Michigan (9-13, 3-0) 8, Bowling Green (8-16, 0-3) 4

Tyler Butzin helped the Eagles glide to a sweep on Sunday thanks to 7.2 innings of strong pitching in which he allowed just one unearned run on six hits and struck out three. Eastern Michigan's offense acted as a fine compliment to its terrific day on the mound, clubbing four homers in the game. Catcher Jeremy Stidham led all hitters with a pair of hits, including a homer of his own and 2 RBI's, while right fielder Jackson Martin, left fielder Mike Mioduszewski and third baseman Mitchell McGeein each dingered in solo form. For the Falcons, first baseman Randy Righter went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while second baseman Riley Minorak finished with two hits. Bowling Green will host Findlay on Tuesday, while Eastern Michigan will face off against Oakland on Wednesday.

Northern Illinois (6-17, 2-1) 3, Ohio (10-13, 1-2) 1

The Huskies polished off a strong weekend of pitching with a 7 1/3rd innings of one run baseball by Donovan Sims to pick up the win in Athens on Sunday. Sims surrendered just four hits and two walks while fanning five in the effort. His counterpart, Connor Sitz, tossed 5 2/3rd innings and allowed just one run on five hits to pick up the tough-luck loss. Right fielder Stephen Letz was once again a strong middle-of-the-order presence, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored for NIU, with catcher Johnny Zubek finishing with a pair of hits as well. On Ohio's side, catcher Cody Gaertner stretched his program-record hit streak to 20 games with a 2-for-4 afternoon that included a double. Ryne Blanton pitched 1 2/3rd innings to notch the save for the Huskies, who will travel to face Big Ten foe Iowa on Wednesday. The Bobcats, meanwhile, will also meet a Big Ten challenger when they host Ohio State on Tuesday.

Ball State (14-11, 2-1) 9, Miami (9-12, 1-2) 6

A pair of taters for the home team weren't enough as Ball State rode a few big days at the plate to a series-clinching win on Sunday. Catcher Jarett Rindfleisch was crucial to the Cardinals' attack as he homered for the fifth time this season to punctuate a 2-for-4 day at the plate. Designated hitter Zach Plesac, meanwhile, stepped away from the mound to deliver a 2-for-5, two RBI showing. Second baseman Ryan Spaulding also picked up a pair of RBI's despite not having a hit on the day. For the RedHawks, right fielder Tyler Harris and shortstop Chad Sedio each crushed homers, while second baseman Steve Sada went 1-for-4 with two RBI's out of the leadoff spot. Colin Brockhouse earned the win for Ball State with five innings pitched on the mound and four earned runs allowed. The Cardinals will face off against Valparaiso on Tuesday, while Miami will take on Morehead State on Tuesday.

Toledo (4-20-1, 1-2) 3, Buffalo (8-11, 2-1) 2

The Rockets mustered just two hits but still secured a W on Sunday, thanks in part to the bat of left fielder of A.J. Montoya. Montoya continued a strong series showing with a second homer of the weekend, giving him four on the year. Montoya's homer was the only earned run Toledo got off of Buffalo starter Shawn Dubin, who pitched eight innings and struck out five while walking just two. It was the Rockets' Caleb Schillace, however, who emerged as the winning pitcher, thanks to three shutout innings of relief on the mound. Michael Jacob followed with a scoreless ninth to pick up the save. Shortstop Bobby Sheppard was the lone star at the plate for Buffalo, doubling and driving in two with a 2-for-4 performance. Toledo will face Ohio State for the second time this season on Wednesday, while Buffalo will face St. Bonaventure in a rare Tuesday doubleheader.

Central Michigan 13, Kent State 10

Kent State (16-6, 2-1) 5, Central Michigan 2 (5-19, 1-2)

The Chippewas got to enjoy supremacy for just one out on Sunday, playing the 27th out of Saturday's game before dropping Sunday's scheduled contest. Four Chippewas gathered two hits on Saturday, but nobody's mattered more than those of catcher Robert Greenman, who drove in five runs. Sean Renzi earned the W for Central Michigan in Saturday's contest, despite three innings of relief in which he allowed four runs to score.

First baseman Alex Borglin was the only Chippewa to keep up Saturday's offense on Sunday, finishing 2-for-4 at the plate with a double. Right fielder Luke Burch became a catalyst for Kent State on Sunday, going 1-for-2 in the leadoff spot with three RBI's and two runs scored. Eli Kraus was fantastic on the mound for the Flashes, yielding two runs, one earned, in seven innings of action. Kent State will be back in action Tuesday against Lake Erie, while Central Michigan will travel to Michigan on Tuesday.

Butler 7, Western Michigan (7-14) 3

The Broncos' weekend of non-conference action ended on a sour note Sunday, as the team fell to Butler on the road. Designated hitter Evan Nelson homered as part of a 2-for-4 day at the plate and drove in a pair, while center fielder Connor Henderson entered the game late and hit a solo shot. Tanner Allison took the loss in this one, throwing three innings and allowing four runs, two of which were earned. The Broncos will stay on the road when they take on Chicago State on Tuesday.