AVON, Ohio – Sophomore John Valek III aided The University of Akron baseball team with a one-run complete game on Thursday evening at All Pro Freight Stadium en route to a 7-1 victory over the sixth seeded University at Buffalo. Akron is now 2-0 in the 2014 Mid-American Conference Tournament.
The Zips scored the first run of the game in the top of the first for the second game in a row. Redshirt senior James Sheltrown led off the frame with an infield single, and came around to score on a sophomore Kris Simonton single through the right side to put Akron up 1-0.
Both teams went scoreless in the second inning, allowing the Zips to take a 2-0 lead in the third. With the bases loaded, redshirt junior Joey Havrilak worked a walk to bring in the second Akron run of the game.
UA extended the lead to 3-0 in the fourth as James Meeker III scored from third base on a Sheltrown ground out. Sheltrown now has 14 RBI this season.
Valek got into a groove in the bottom of the third setting down eight straight batters, before UB's Mike Carcello singled up the middle with two away in the fifth. Carcello would remain at first as Valek got the following batter to groundout to first base.
Akron's offense erupted in the top of the eighth for a four-run rally. After Matt Rembielak, Matt LaRocca and Sheltrown each reached base to lead off the frame, sophomore Daulton Mosbarger ripped a two-run double to deep centerfield.
Redshirt junior Devan Ahart followed with a RBI single, and sophomore Kris Simonton capped off the rally with a RBI double down the leftfield line. Valek tossed a scoreless eighth, which held Akron's lead at 7-0.
The Bulls fought back for one run in the bottom of the ninth after loading the bases to lead off the inning. However, Valek locked down the next three batters, eventually ending the game groundout to third.
Valek, a left-hander, saw his record improve to 6-4 with the victory. He finished Thursday's game with 9.0 innings pitched, six hits allowed, one earned run, two walks and a strikeout. Valek used 108 pitches in the complete-game outing.
The Akron offense totaled double digit hits for the second game in a row, registering 13 base hits in the win. Mosbarger and Ahart led the squad with three hits apiece, with Mosbarger tied for the team lead at two RBI and two runs scored. Sheltrown added two runs, while Simonton had two RBI and a team-high two walks.
The Zips will have an off day on Friday due to the two opening wins in the MAC Tournament. Akron will play the winner of the Buffalo/Miami (Ohio) matchup on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Buffalo and Miami play on Friday at 1 p.m.
Akron last won its first two games in the MAC Tournament during the 1996 postseason. For more information regarding the MAC Tournament, follow this link.