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MAC BASEBALL

February 18, 2013
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



MID AMERICAN CONFERENCE PRESS RELEASE

Sunday's MAC Baseball Recaps
 
Georgia Tech 5, Akron 3
ATLANTA, Ga. – The University of Akron (0-3) baseball team dropped the final game of the opening three game series to Georgia Tech (3-0) by a score of 5-3 on Sunday afternoon in Russ Chandler Stadium.
 
JT Brubaker was the starting pitcher for the Zips, which was his first collegiate pitching appearance. The freshman Brubaker went 4.1 innings with two strikeouts and five earned runs allowed. Brubaker's record now stands at 0-1 with the loss.
 
The Zips took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second against the Yellow Jackets off a solo home run by Joey Havrilak. Havrilak's homer gave the Zips their first lead of the season, and was his second homer in his collegiate career.
 
Brady Stewart continued his strong offensive start with a double and an RBI in three at-bats. Stewart has hit safely in the first three games of the season for Akron.
 
The UA lineup was shaken up for the afternoon game, as Daulton Mosbarger batted leadoff in place of Tyler Begun. Mosbarger responded to the challenge with two base hits, one stolen base and one run scored.
 
The Akron bullpen performed admirably following the exit of starter Brubaker. The bullpen of Matt LaRocca, Andrew Fanning and Samuel Trecaso registered a total of 3.2 innings with two strikeouts and no runs allowed.
 
Akron's next opponent will be No. 22 University of Louisiville on Saturday February 22, at 3 p.m., set to begin at Louisville, Ky.
 
Ball State 5, Middle Tennessee 1
Ball State's baseball team improved to 1-2 on the season after posting a 5-1 win at Middle Tennessee in the final game of the season opening three-game series.
 
After playing three scoreless innings, the Cardinals rallied for three run in the top of the fourth and added two in the top of the ninth to seal its first victory of the young season.
 
The victory marked the first for head coach Rich Maloney in the first year of his return to Ball State.  In addition, it marked Coach Maloney's 598th career win.  Maloney was also the Cardinals head coach from 1996-2002. 
 
With two outs in the fourth, Ball State's Sean Godfrey singled up the middle and stole second.  Cody Campbell single through the right side of the infield, scoring Godfrey to give Ball State a 1-0 lead.  T.J. Weir was next to the plate and hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot that gave the Cardinals a three run inning and a 3-0 lead.
 
After giving up one run in the bottom of the seventh, Ball State rallied again in the ninth with two outs.  Weir reached base on a throwing error by the Middle Tennessee third baseman.  Billy Wellman took advantage of the error and smacked his first home run of the season -- a two run blast that put the Cardinals up 5-1.
 
Sophomore right hander Scott Baker started for the Cardinals and pitched seven innings, allowing one earned run, while striking out eight and walking only two.  Baker earned the victory to go to 1-0 on the year.  Three other Ball State pitchers -- Cameron Schooley, Clay Manering and Miles Moeller -- combined to pitch the final two inning and allowed only one hit while facing seven batters.
 
Ball State managed five runs on six hits, while Middle Tennessee tallied only one run on seven hits.
 
The Cardinals will continue the 2013 season at the Lipscomb Friday through Sunday.  Ball State will face Bradley and Lipscomb in two games apiece at the Nashville, Tenn., school.
 
Western Kentucky 4, Bowling Green 3
BOWLING GREEN, Ky.—The Bowling Green State University baseball team could not complete the weekend sweep of Western Kentucky University on Sunday afternoon, falling to the Hilltoppers 4-3. The nonconference game was held at WKU’s Nick Denes Field. Despite the loss - which drops the Falcons to 2-1 on the season - Bowling Green was still able to win an opening-weekend series for the first time since 2007.
 
Despite struggling for much of the afternoon offensively, the Falcons sprung to life in the top of the ninth, thanks to a two-out error by the WKU defense. Following the error, Patrick Lancaster would step in. He would strike out, but the pitch was wild, allowing him to reach first base safely. Following a walk to Jeremy Shay, T.J. Losby would hit a dribbler down the third base line. He would reach first safely, but the throw from the WKU defense sailed down the right field line, allowing all three Falcons to score on the play.
 
With left-handed batter Andrew Kubuski coming to the plate, WKU coach Matt Myers went to the pen. LHP Ian Tompkins would come on to record the final out, getting the best of Kubuski.
 
The Hilltoppers got off to a quick start on Sunday afternoon, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. After starter Trevor Blaylock retired the first batter of the game, five straight Hilltoppers would reach base. This allowed WKU to take a 3-0 lead following the first inning.
 
Blaylock would settle down, not allowing another run until the bottom of the fifth when a sacrifice fly would score Thomas Peter, who had begun the inning with a double.
 
Kubuski's double in the second was the lone Falcon hit until Losby's infield single in the ninth.
 
The Falcons will travel to Murray, Ky. next weekend for a three-game series with the Thorobreds of Murray State University. The series will begin on Friday.
 
Buffalo 10, North Carolina A&T 6
GREENSBORO, NC - Spearheaded by a dominating start from starting pitcher Mike Burke, the Buffalo baseball team tallied its first win of the early season Sunday afternoon, beating North Carolina A&T 10-6. Down 3-0 after three innings, the Bulls dominated the middle innings to get the win.
 
In the top of the fourth inning, UB was first able to slice into the Aggies lead. A single by Alex Baldock, an error, and a walk to Ryan Tulloch loaded the bases with no outs, and River McWilliams was able to draw another walk to score Baldock before a Mike Scarcello sacrifice fly brought in another run. Now down just 3-2, the team would recapture some of its late season magic from 2012 and score big in the clutch.
 
After the first two batters were retired in order in the top of the fifth, Baldock doubled and Tyler Mautner was hit by a pitch. They both would come home on a two-run opposite-field double by Tulloch to put UB out front. Two straight walks and another hit batter would bring in a third run, and Jason Kanzler would take a free pass to let the fourth run of the inning walk trot home. That would give the team a 6-3 lead, one it would no reliquish.
 
Burke was able to use his power pitches to work 5.2 innings of work and allow just the three early runs to NC A&T. The junior struck out a career-high nine batters in his start, before giving way to the bullpen.
 
The Aggies got back within one after the sixth inning before two more UB runs in the top of the seventh would put the game away. The team scored the pair in a much more conventional matter than earlier in the game, using an RBI double by Scarcello to drive in Kyle Brennan, before Kanzler scored Scarcello with a sacrifice fly.
 
An Aggie run in the home half of the seventh would again be matched by UB in its next chance, when Baldock led off with a double before moving to third on a single from Tulloch. Buffalo then executed a perfect double steal that brought home Baldock.
 
In the ninth inning, up 9-5, Buffalo again loaded the bases thanks to a Jon Mestas single, a Thomas Richards double, and an intentional walk to the red-hot Baldock. Mautner would reach on a fielder's choice to score Mestas.
 
With its last ups, NC A&T was able to load the bases with one out, but only could muster one run on a sacrifice fly before McWilliams sealed the win with a strikeout.
 
Mautner led the team offensively with a 3-5 day, hitting two doubles. Baldock, McWilliams, and Scarcello all had two hits, and Kanzler drove in a team-best three runs.
 
After a long bus ride home, the team will rest up before hitting the road for four games next weekend. Starting on Friday, the Bulls will have two games each against VMI and Maryland-Eastern Shore. First up will be UMES on Friday at 12:30.
 
Central Michigan 10, Lousiana-Lafayette 2
LOUISIANA, La. - Central Michigan got the sticks going and senior Rick Dodridge pitched six strong innings in his first appearance of the season to help the Chippewas earn their first win of 2013 Sunday afternoon at Louisiana, 10-2.
 
Dodridge gave up just one run on six hits while striking out four over six strong innings of work and was able to get into an early comfort zone as the Chippewas gave him a five-run lead in the first inning.
 
Sophomore Nick Regnier doubled to lead off the game and scored when sophomore Pat MacKenzie reached on a fielding error. After freshman Zack Fields walked to put runners on the corners, redshirt freshman Neal Jacobs recorded his first career RBI with a single to left center, plating MacKenzie and giving CMU a 2-0 lead.
 
Senior Randon Henika then gave the Chippewas (1-3) a comfortable 5-0 advantage by smashing a three-run shot over the left field fence to score Fields and Jacobs. The home run was the first for Henika in the Maroon and Gold. 
 
Dodridge went right to work on the mound, giving up just a single hit in the first and second innings to keep the sheet clean while the Chippewas' bats continued to produce. Senior Jordan Adams led off the top of the third with his first home run of the season and sophomore Alec Ornelas drove a double to centerfield and later came around to score to put CMU in front, 7-0.
 
The Ragin' Cajuns (3-1) were able to get on the board with a single run in the fourth, but that is all they would get off the senior lefty as he worked five clean innings in his six innings pitched.
 
Freshman Logan Regnier displayed his game-changing speed in the top of the eighth after coming on to pinch run for Jacobs, who led off the inning with a single. Regnier stole second and third before scoring on a bases-loaded balk by the Cajuns.
 
CMU was able to add a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth when MacKenzie tripled to lead off the inning and scored on a RBI single by Adams. Regnier then went to work again on the base paths, stealing second and advancing to third on a wild pitch before coming across the plate on a passed ball.
 
Adams finished the game 2-for-5 with the solo home run and two RBI, while Jacobs went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Henika 1-for-4 with three RBI.
 
Freshman Taylor Lehnert came on in relief for the Chippewas and pitched effectively in his second appearance of the weekend, giving up just two hits and a run in 2.1 innings of work. Redshirt freshman Blake Louscher finished the game by getting the final two outs and stranding the bases loaded full of Cajuns. 
 
UNC-Wilmington 13, Kent State 8
Wilmington, N.C. – The Golden Flashes (0-4) started off the day battling back, but errors and a poor day on the mound saw them end the weekend without a win as they lost the final game of the weekend 13-8 to UNC Wilmington (2-1).
 
"I thought we competed a little bit better early on today, especially at the plate," head coach Scott Stricklin said.  "I thought our kids battled. But, we just weren't good enough today.  We just didn't have an answer for them.  They swung the bats really well and just out-played us.  So it was disappointing to wrap up the weekend like that."
 
Kent State went into an early 3-0 deficit after the first inning, but answered back in the second and the third to tie the game at three.  After loading the bases on two singles and a walk, Freshman Zarley Zalewski grounded into a double play that allowed Kent State's first run to score.
 
In the next inning, they plated two runs, starting with a double by Justin Wagler.  He came around to score on an error and T.J. Sutton came home later on another error to tie the game at three.  However, the Flashes left three men on base, ending the threat.
 
The Seahawks took the lead right back in the bottom of the third, scoring two runs of their own.
 
Kent State was able to grab a one-run lead in the top of the fourth.  After two Flashes walked, Sutton and Evan Campbell came up with RBI singles.  Sutton later scored on a successful hit-and-run.
 
But, UNC Wilmington responded yet again, plating four runs in the bottom of the inning to put the game away for good.  Kent State's last two runs came when Tommy Monnot doubled in the seventh and scored on another double off the bat of Jason Bagoly.  Bagoly then scored on a RBI base hit.
 
The Golden Flashes' pitching staff gave up twelve earned runs on the day, including 15 hits and seven walks while only striking out four.
 
"We walked too many hitters," Stricklin said of the team's pitching performance.  "We hit too many hitters.  We gave our opponents too many free bases.  If you do that, you're not going to win against good teams.  We gave our opponents too many opportunities and they took advantage of it."
 
Kent State suffered with three errors in the game, bringing their four-game weekend total to 14.
 
"It's unacceptable," said Stricklin.  "To have 14 errors in four games; we're never going to win.  We played as bad defensively as I've ever had a team play, so we've got to fix that.  We've got to make routine plays."
 
Monnot finished the day 3-for-5 with two runs and one RBI.  Bagoly and Sawyer Polen both went 2-for-4 with a RBI.  Nick Jensen-Clagg (0-1) got the loss as the starter, going three innings allowing seven runs on seven hits and two walks.
 
A positive on the weekend were the first-time performances by the freshman.  Zarley Zalewski finished batting .357 in three games with a double.  Justin Wagler had three hits with a double, triple and RBI.  Eli Martin threw two innings in relief without allowing a hit or an earned run.  Aaron Tadian pitched in, going three innings in two appearances.
 
However, despite what they learned in the early-going, leaving Wilmington without a win is not acceptable.
 
"We don't come down here to try to get moral victories," Stricklin said.  "We came here to win and to go 0-4 is disappointing and frustrating."
 
Kent State will try to leave the weekend's poor performances behind as they prepare to face another top-tier team in San Diego next weekend.  They enter Friday's (Feb. 22) game looking for their first win and hoping that it will propel them forward.
 
"We've got to move forward and we've got to get better," said Stricklin.  "We need to play well and try to get some momentum."
 
Furman 6, Miami 5
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Alex Johnson hit a three-run homer in the top of the eighth, but Miami couldn't overcome a late deficit in a 6-5 loss to Furman Sunday afternoon at Fluor Field.
 
Johnson was one of three RedHawks with a pair of hits in the contest, joining Scott Slappey and Dan Walsh. John Crummy registered a pair of RBIs.
 
Furman (2-0) struck first as four batters accounted for two runs. A leadoff single, wild pitch and double led to a 1-0 lead. After a stolen base and walk put runners on the corners, a groundout plated a second run.
 
Miami (0-2) answered right back in the second. With a runner on first and one out, Slappey doubled down the left field line. Crummy hit a 2-1 pitch through the right side to even the game.
 
The Paladins took the lead for good in the third. Starter Mac Thoreson allowed a leadoff double, but retired the next two batters on a sacrifice bunt and strikeout. However, another double brought home the run for a 3-2 lead.
 
Furman added three runs in the seventh when it loaded the bases with two outs. A popfly to Slappey at short was lost momentarily in the wind, then the ball popped out of his glove for a three-run single, making the score 6-2.
 
Miami closed the gap in the eighth on Johnson's long ball, the first of the season by a RedHawk. Jake Romano led off the frame with an infield roller to short for his first collegiate hit. After a walk, Johnson hit a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left center, trimming the deficit to 6-5. 
 
Two singles around a strikeout continued the threat, but a strikeout and flyout prevented the equalizer.
 
Thoreson (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five hits and three runs over four innings. Nathan Williams had similar numbers for hits and runs, surrending them over three innings, while converted infielder Cory Klenke gave up a pair hits and struck out two in a scoreless inning of work.
 
Furman's Jake Wollf (1-0) lasted five innings to pick up the win. Mark Solter, the fifth Paladin pitcher, retired all three batters he faced in the ninth -- two by strikeouts -- for the save.
 
Miami returns to Greenville next weekend for another round of action at the First Pitch Invitational. The RedHawks and Paladins will meet Friday at 5 p.m. on Furman's campus.
 
Norhern Colorado 2, Northern Illinois 1 (Game 1)
Texas Tech 13, Northern Illinois 0 (Game 2)
LUBBOCK, Texas - Extra base hits lifted Northern Illinois to a 2-1 lead over Northern Colorado in the bottom of the third, but a homerun by the Bears in the sixth and a pair of hits in the seventh gave UNC the final lead, 3-2.
 
Northern Illinois literally started the bottom of the third inning with a bang, as designated hitter Micah McCulloch (Rochelle/Rochelle Township) led the frame with a solo homerun down the left field line, his first of his NIU career, to tie the game, 1-1.
 
Later in the inning and with two outs on him, Connor Duckhorn (Darien/Cowley County College) singled to left field to keep NIU alive at the plate. Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo./Kearney) followed by ripping a triple to left center field to drive in Duckhorn and give the Huskies the 2-1 advantage.
 
Great defense kept the lead for Northern Illinois in the top of the fourth as the Bears forced a play at home plate that the Huskies made to capture the first out of the inning, started with a pickoff attempt by pitcher Eli Anderson (Glenview/New Trier) to first base. With a runner on second, NIU got the lead out on a fielder's choice for the second putout and ended the inning by catching a line drive in centerfield.
 
UNC tied the game in the top of the sixth inning with a solo homer over the left field fence to tie things up, 2-2. The Bears then took their second lead of the ball game in the seventh on single up the middle, 3-2.
 
Northern Illinois continued to get runners on base in the seventh and eighth innings, with runners advancing to second and third on a pair of singles by Brian Sisler (DeKalb/DeKalb) and Duckhorn, and a walk by Jamison Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly) following the seventh inning stretch. The Huskies were unable to score in the frame however and remained in the chase.
 
Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park/Andrew) singled to lead off the eighth inning but was stranded at first for the rest of the inning. Zimmerman finished 3-for-4 in the game to lead all hitters in the game.
 
On the mound, Anderson finished his day with three strikeouts and two walks in 6.2 innings of work. Of his 96 pitches, one shy of his career-high, the junior threw 59 strikes (.615) in his first loss of the season.
 
Sophomore Ben Neumann (Verona, Wis./Verona Area) got out of two bases loaded jams in the eighth and ninth innings to finish the game (1.1 innings), surrendering one hit, two walks and striking out one. Anthony Andres (Western Springs/St. Rita) threw another scoreless inning of work in immediate relief of Anderson, surrendering one hit in his four batters faced.
 
NIU (0-3) will close the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic against Texas Tech (3-0) later this afternoon.
 
LUBBOCK, Texas - Northern Illinois freshman continued to shine at the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic as the pups highlighted the Huskies 13-0 loss against Texas Tech in the tournament finale.
 
"It was an early start to the day and there were a lot of things going on today with a doubleheader in front of us," said Head Coach Ed Mathey, "Our defense was good throughout the day and it was good to see how the young guys performed against the competition today. We gave ourselves a chance this morning but couldn't get anything going in the afternoon. We couldn't hit it hard enough and away from (Texas Tech's) defense."
 
After a stirring performance in the morning with a West Texas sunrise in the backdrop against Northern Colorado, Northern Illinois opened the ball game with gusto against the Red Raiders coming off Friday's loss.
 
With two scoreless innings defensively under NIU's belt, freshman Tommy Hook (Lockport/Lockport Township), in his first collegiate start and appearance at second base, drove a 1-1 pitch to left center field to land on second base in his first at-bat. Junior catcher Nate Ruzich (Joliet/South Suburban College) reached base in the next at-bat as he was hit by a pitch, but the Huskies stranded the runners.
 
The Red Raiders scored five runs in the bottom of the third and seven in the fifth inning. "They scored almost all of their runs in two innings of the game, if we put a stop to their runs sooner, the game ends a lot closer," added Mathey.
 
Later in the afternoon, Johnny Zubek (Oak Forest/Oak Forest) entered the game for Ruzich and singled in his first collegiate at-bat as well. Ruzich finished the day with no at-bats and was hit by two pitches.
 
From the mound Ryan Olson (Sterling/Newman Central Catholic), Justin Ruckman (Kankakee/Herscher) and Jon Savarise (Lincolnshire/Stevenson) combined for two scoreless innings in the game and only one hit.
Northern Illinois (0-4) will return to action at Nevada (1-2) next weekend for a four game series with Wolf Pack, beginning Feb. 22.
 
Pepperdine 10, Western Michigan 6
MALIBU, Calif.- Western Michigan dropped game four of its season-opening series at Pepperdine Sunday, 10-6. The game was called before Pepperdine batted in the eighth due to NCAA time limit restrictions. The Waves completed a four-game sweep with the victory.
 
Western Michigan's Patrick Duncan drove in Vinnie Booker with a sac fly in the top of the first to put the Broncos up 1-0, but the Waves posted two runs in the bottom of the first and third to take a 4-1 lead.
 
WMU scored a run in the top of the fourth and pulled back in front, 6-4, with a big four-run inning in the sixth. The advantage would be short-lived, as Pepperdine responded with three runs in the bottom of the sixth and kept Western Michigan off the board in the Broncos' next two at bats. The Waves tacked on three more runs in the seventh.
 
Sophomore shortstop Andrew Sohn went 2-for-3 at the plate and drove in two runs in the sixth with a two out single. Jared Kujawa also had a pair of hits, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Brandon Cable had one hit and drove in a run.
 
Sophomore RHP Will Nimke went 2.1 innings in the start and gave up seven hits and four runs. Five different players came out of the bullpen. Pepperdine totaled 17 hits.
 
WMU (0-4) travels to Minnesota this weekend, Feb. 22-24, for another four-game series.

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