AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron (10-10, 3-0 MAC) baseball team downed Eastern Michigan University (8-11, 0-3 MAC) in both games of the doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Lee R. Jackson Field to complete the series sweep and open Mid-American Conference play undefeated. Akron won game one by 10-5, then shutout EMU in game two, 6-0.
Sophomore JT Brubaker made his fourth start of the season in game one on Friday, and came away with 6.2 innings pitched, six strikeouts and five earned runs. Prior to exiting with the bases loaded, Brubaker had allowed just two runs.
Akron scored first in game one on a sacrifice fly out to right field by redshirt senior Brady Stewart to put UA up 1-0. EMU came back quickly with two runs in the second on RBI singles by Adam Dennison and Nick Rotola.
Brubaker posted a scoreless a frame in the top of the third, allowing Akron to take a 3-2 lead with two runs scored in the bottom half of the inning. Redshirt senior James Sheltrown was able to score on an error by EMU's left fielder Michael Mioduszewski, while Stewart secured his second RBI of the day on a run scoring single to left.
The Zips added two more runs in the fifth, which made it a 5-2 advantage. Stewart drove in his third run on a groundout, and freshman catcher Brian Lees posted an RBI single to right in the inning.
EMU was able to tie it up at 5-5 in the seventh with a three-run rally. Sophomore Zach Beaver took over on the mound for Brubaker with the bases loaded, and allowed a two-RBI by Sam Ott and an RBI infield single by Lee Longo. All of the runs were tagged to Brubaker, with Beaver finishing the game at 1.1 scoreless innings with two strikeouts and three hits allowed.
With the game tied at 5-5, the Zips offense came alive for one run in the bottom of the seventh and a four-run rally in the bottom of the eighth to bring the game to its final score of 10-5. Lees registered an RBI single in the seventh to put Akron up for good, while Kris Simonton took a hit-by-pitch with the bases juiced followed by Joey Havrilak with a two-RBI single to centerfield. Devan Ahart capped off the four-run rally with an RBI groundout.
Freshman Josh Davis came on for the ninth, and struck out all three batters he faced during the inning.
Overall in game one, Akron's offense registered 13 base hits, nine RBI, four walks and seven stolen bases. Havrilak led the UA attack with a 4-for-5 performance with three runs and two RBI. Simonton, Lees and Daulton Mosbarger each had two hits apiece in game one's 10-5 win.
Redshirt junior Myles McVeigh made his first start of the season in the game two win over Eastern Michigan, which is also his first start since the 2012 campaign. McVeigh made good use of his time on the mound, as he struck out two batters apiece in the first, second and third inning.
McVeigh, a Cheyenne, Wyo., native, did not allow a runner to reach base until the fourth when EMU's John Rubino notched a single to right. McVeigh earned his first win of 2014, improving to 1-0, and finished with 6.0 scoreless innings on the mound, one hit allowed and nine strikeouts.
Meanwhile on the offensive side of the ball, the Zips took advantage of early opportunities, plating six runs in a span of three innings. UA posted three runs in the second inning on RBI base knocks by Sheltrown, Simonton and Ahart, which were followed by a Mosbarger sac fly and a Simonton RBI double in the two-run third.
UA's final run came in the bottom of the fourth on Mosbarger's second sacrifice fly of the game to finalize the Zips scoring, and bring the game to its final score of 6-0.
The Zips recorded 11 base hits, six RBI, and three walks in game two of the doubleheader sweep. Simonton, Havrilak and Lees each had two hits in game two, while Mosbarger and Simonton led the squad with two RBI apiece.
Akron's series sweep over Eastern Michigan was the first of the season, and was also the second series win in the past two years to open MAC play. UA has two midweek games ahead, an away matchup at Wright State on Tuesday and a home contest on Wednesday vs. Malone at Lee Jackson Field. The Zips next weekend series will be against the Toledo Rockets in Toledo, Ohio next weekend.