Written by: Christian Turner
The Akron Zips baseball team shut out the Bowling Green University Falcons in a three-game series, with the AK Rowdies cheering every step of the way.
“What I love most about Zips baseball right now is winning,” said AK Rowdy member and graduate student Chris Stimler. “I really love how much effort the team has put in this off season. They’re really turning the season around, and it’s great.”
The Zips started the series off at Canal Park with a 3-0 win. Saturday, they returned and clutched the win in the bottom of the ninth inning with a score of 4-3. Sunday they sealed the series with a 2-1 victory.
Pat Dyer started Saturday’s game off from the mound facing 27 batters.
“I’m going to go with Pat Dyer, 6-foot-8, left-handed pitcher, freshman,” said A.J. Fosselman, president of the AK Rowdies, on his favorite Zip this season. “Give him a couple years and the scouts will be coming for him”
Dyer allowed eight hits with the Falcons putting three runs on the board during his tenure. He struck out three and walked one.
In the third inning, Akron got the bats going. Infielder Matt Rembielak started off with a single to first base with two strikes against him. Center fielder Devan Ahart laid down the sacrifice bunt, getting Rembielak around to second base.
Third baseman Sam Watkins got out on a ground ball to the pitcher, but was able to put Rembielak on third. Infielder Tyler Begun took advantage of the runner in scoring position and hit a shot down the left field line, putting the Zips first run on the board.
Bowling Green came back strong in the top of the seventh inning with four big hits, resulting in three runs on the board, but it wouldn’t be enough to stop the Zips in the bottom of the ninth.
Right fielder Darius Washington got things going at the plate after being hit by a pitch. First baseman Sam Trecaso grounded out to short stop, advancing Washington to second base.
Outfielder Jared Turocy singled to the shortstop, putting Washington on third. Rembielak kept the momentum going with a perfect shot just inside the right field line, getting Washington across the plate and putting Turocy on third.
Watkins would return to the plate to hit what would be the first of two walk-off hits of the series. The transfer from Allegany College of Maryland hit a perfect smash down the left field line, scoring Rembielak and Turocy.
On Sunday, the Zips again sealed the win in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Senior lefty Alex Loftin pitched a full nine innings, advancing his record from the mound to 2-1. With an overall ERA of 2.79, the Stow, Ohio, native faced 35 batters, striking out six, allowing one run and walking one.
Akron put their first run of the game on the board in the fifth inning. Trecaso led off with a walk on a 3-2 count. Rembielak did the same on four straight balls across the plate. Ahart grounded out to third base on a sacrifice bunt, advancing the runners. Watkins flied out to left field, gaining the RBI with Trecaso crossing the plate.
In the ninth, Trecaso went down looking on a 2-2 count. Rembielak fell short with a fly ball to center field. Ahart was able to produce a single to the mound. With two outs and a 1-2 count, Watkins produced a walk-off single to bring the Zips to victory.
On Friday, senior right-handed pitcher Andrew Brown tossed a stellar performance from the mound, earning the first win of the series. Brown, who pitched 167 innings for an ERA of 2.67 in the 2011 season, only allowed two hits from BG. Only two Falcon batters got to first on a walk, and Brown took down six at the plate.
The team got the bats going in the fourth and seven innings to put runs on the board to close the 3-0 victory.
This sweep is the first since Akron took down the Northern Illinois Huskies in 2009.
Akron returns to Canal Park on Tuesday to play Pittsburgh a 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Zips head to Columbus to face off against The Ohio State Buckeyes.