MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The University of Akron (2-14) baseball team defeated Quinnipiac University (5-5) by a score of 9-4 on Saturday afternoon in the third game of the Chanticleer Classic.
After falling to Quinnipiac on Friday by a score of 4-1, Akron turned to freshman John Valek III to take the mound on Saturday. The lefty Valek turned in a 7.2 inning performance with three strikeouts, and allowed two earned runs. Valek earned the first win of his collegiate career, improving his record to 1-3 this season.
"I was very pleased to see our guys bounce back from a poor day yesterday," Head Coach Rick Rembielak said Saturday. " [John] Valek had his best outing, and looked better as the game went on."
Joey Havrilak and Matt Rembielak ripped back-to-back doubles in the fourth inning to extend the UA lead to 5-1. Havrilak drove in one run with his double, while Rembielak's double brought in two runs. Rembielak recorded a total of two RBI, one walk and a run scored in the win on Saturday.
Quinnipiac fought back with one run in the fifth to bring the score to 5-2, but sophomore Grant Alvarez responded with a two-run homer in the bottom half to extend Akron's lead to 7-2. Alvarez has two home runs and four RBI in total this season.
Stewart tallied another RBI hit in the sixth inning to give UA its eighth run of the game. The catcher Stewart finished the afternoon with three hits, two RBI and one run scored. He is now hitting at a .304 clip, good for second on the Zips.
Havrilak finished the game – hitting out of the leadoff spot – with two hits, two runs score, two RBI and one walk. The sophomore is hitting .279 this season with three doubles, one home run and five RBI. Havrilak is second on the UA squad in RBI with five.
LaRocca registered two base hits on Saturday along with one RBI, a run scored and a walk. The native of Stony Brook, N.Y., leads the Zips in batting average with .312 and RBI with seven.
The Akron offense combined to collect six extra base hits – one home run and five doubles - against Quinnipiac on Saturday. The Zips also totaled four walks and 12 hits in the win. The 12 hits Saturday were the most in a single game for the Akron offense this season.
"We competed at the plate, and had very good at bats," Rembielak said following the 9-4 win. "Carrying it over against two high caliber teams tomorrow will be very important."
UA will compete in a doubleheader on Sunday to finish off the Chanticleer Classic, which will be split between the University of Michigan and Coastal Carolina University. The first game will be at 11 a.m., against Michigan with the second game to follow vs. Coastal Carolina at 3 p.m. Links to live stats and a video stream are available on the Akron baseball schedule page.