AKRON, Ohio – Sophomore John Valek III's complete game shutout keyed The University of Akron (17-14, 7-3 MAC) baseball team to an 8-0 win over Mid-American Conference opponent Ohio University (5-25, 1-9 MAC) in the series opener on Friday afternoon at Lee R. Jackson Field.
In his longest outing of the season, Valek allowed six hits and one walk while striking out two Ohio batters. His record improved to 3-2 on the season, following the 103-pitch outing.
After a scoreless first, the Zips took a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the second, a lead the team would not relinquish throughout the contest. Freshman James Meeker III lifted a sacrifice fly to left field, allowing Kris Simonton to score easily from third.
Two scoreless frames through the second and third innings kept the game at the 1-0 Akron lead, until senior Grant Alvarez drilled a RBI double over Ohio's left fielder Austin Rieman. Junior Matt Rembielak was able to score from first base on the double to make it a 2-0 UA advantage.
The Zips broke the game open with a six-run rally in the bottom of the seventh. Rembielak led off the frame with a single, followed by redshirt junior Devan Ahart with a hit-by-pitch and Alvarez with a walk to load the bases. Simonton scored Rembielak as he reached on a fielder's choice for the first run of the inning.
Akron's next three base hits would result in RBI as Billy Salem hit a run scoring single to left, Meeker blasted a RBI double to left-center and Sheltrown drove in two runs on a single up the middle. Redshirt sophomore Derek Carmichael drove in the sixth run of the frame with a sacrifice fly out to centerfield. The Zips held a commanding 8-0 lead over the Bobcats after the seventh inning.
Valek worked scoreless frames with two hits allowed in the eighth and ninth innings to close out the contest and bring the game to its final score of 8-0. The southpaw's complete game shutout was the first for Akron baseball this season.
UA registered 11 hits during the ballgame, their 15th time this season with 10 hits or more. Meeker led the mob with a 3-for-3 performance with one run, two doubles and two RBI. Salem registered his second, two-hit game in a row, and Sheltrown had two RBI, his second two-RBI game of the 2014 campaign.
The Zips and Bobcats will continue the three-game tilt for the second game of the series at 1 p.m., on Saturday at Lee R. Jackson Field. Admission is free to all Akron home games. Live stats and video will be available through GoZips.com.