Baseball Completes Sweep, Defeats Ohio 5-4
AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron (19-14, 9-3 MAC) baseball team completed the series sweep against Mid-American Conference opponent Ohio University (5-27, 1-11 MAC) with a final score of 5-4 on Sunday afternoon at Lee R. Jackson Field. The Zips are 7-0 at home this season, and are now riding a five-game win streak.
"Very impressed with the way our guys hung in there today, playing their hardest until the final out," Head coach Rick Rembielak said following the sweep. "Our bullpen did an outstanding job stopping the leak and minimizing damage. We were able to load up on our bullpen because of the success with our starting pitching in the first two games."
Akron starter Myles McVeigh struggled out of the gate, allowing three earned runs in the first inning. McVeigh would work his way out of the first, but was replaced with freshman right-hander Josh Davis with two away in the second. McVeigh ended the afternoon at 1.2 innings, three hits, three runs, three walks and a strikeout.
Davis performed exceptionally well out of the bullpen, tossing 3.1 innings with one run allowed and two strikeouts. He earned a no-decision in the win.
The Zips were able to chip into the Bobcat lead with one run in the second inning on a RBI groundout by sophomore Billy Salem, plating Kris Simonton on the play. Ohio added one run in the fourth to regain a three-run lead at a score of 4-1.
Akron started mounting their comeback in the bottom of the fourth inning with two runs scoring in the frame on back-to-back wild pitches by Ohio starting pitcher Jake Miller. Grant Alvarez and Simonton scored on the errant throws, which minimized the Ohio lead, 4-3.
Sophomore Zach Beaver took over on the mound for Davis in the top of the sixth inning. Beaver was masterful in three scoreless innings with one hit allowed and a strikeout, utilizing just 30 pitches in his time on the hill.
Beaver tossed a scoreless eighth, giving the Zips the chance to complete the series sweep and comeback win. Rembielak came up clutch yet again as he lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to take a 5-4 lead. Redshirt senior James Sheltrown, who was hit by a pitch twice in the contest, scored the game-winning run.
"Great game for [Matt] Rembielak, giving us two strong at-bats late in the game," Rembielak said. "He also played well in the field and had good performances throughout the series."
Right-hander Matt LaRocca came out of the bullpen to close out the game. LaRocca notched back-to-back swinging strikeouts to finish sweep, giving him his third save of 2014. Beaver earned the win to improve his season record to a sparkling 5-0.
The bullpen, collectively, was outstanding on Sunday afternoon. Davis, Beaver and LaRocca combined for 7.1 innings, five hits allowed, one run, and five strikeouts.
On the offensive side, Akron totaled seven base hits, three RBI and six walks. Simonton played well with a team-high two hits and two runs scored, while Rembielak had a base hit and two RBI in the win. Redshirt junior Devan Ahart notched two walks and a base hit during the game.
Akron will look ahead to two midweek games within the state of Ohio. UA's first matchup will be on Tuesday at Lee Jackson Field against Marshall, and then the team will travel to Avon, Ohio to play Western Michigan in a non-conference tilt on Wednesday.
Wednesday's game will be played at All Pro Freight Stadium, home of the 2014 MAC Baseball Tournament and the Frontier League's Lake Erie Crushers.