Zips begin road trip

“The baseball team’s season is about halfway through, but its remaining games are the most crucial. The Zips (15-11, 3-6 MAC) began an 11-game road trip Wednesday against Youngstown State. Coach Pat Bangtson and his team don’t fear the long road swing. The guys saw the schedule before the season, they have prepared themselves all along, Bangtson said.”

The baseball team’s season is about halfway through, but its remaining games are the most crucial.

The Zips (15-11, 3-6 MAC) began an 11-game road trip Wednesday against Youngstown State.

Coach Pat Bangtson and his team don’t fear the long road swing.

The guys saw the schedule before the season, they have prepared themselves all along, Bangtson said. It prepares them not only for the season, but prepares them for life after baseball.

The Zips 3-6 conference record ranks third in the Mid-American Conference East behind Kent State (15-20, 6-6 MAC) and Miami (18-13, 7-3 MAC).

Having yet to play a game against any fellow MAC East opponents, the Zips are left with half a season loaded with divisional action.

We are at a point where we would like to be further along record wise, Bangtson said. But we have all our East opponents coming up. Now is the time when we need to play our best baseball.

During these 11 games away from Lee Jackson Field, the Zips play crosstown rival Kent State, in the inaugural Diamond Classic of Kids.

The game will be held Tuesday April 24 at Canal Park. Tickets will be $10 for adults, $5 for children and $5 for students. All the proceeds will be donated to Akron Children’s Hospital.

It’s a great opportunity to play for a cause more important than the game, the game of baseball that is, Bangtson said. It gives the community something to rally around and it’s a great cause, the guys are really excited.

First, the Zips will travel north to Bowling Green (14-20, 2-10 MAC) and play a weekend series against the MAC East opponent.

Last weekend’s results

Last Saturday, the Zips finished a disappointing homestand, losing three of four games.

Friday afternoon, the Zips were defeated 6-1 by Central Michigan. The Zips were held scoreless until a ninth-inning RBI double by Kurt Davidson erased the shutout.

Due to inclement weather, the team played a doubleheader Saturday instead of playing a game on Sunday.

The team beat Central Michigan in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader giving them their third Mid-American Conference victory.

The team rallied late, scoring five in the sixth inning and two in the eighth, to defeat Central Michigan 7-6.

Freshman left hander Zach Yike, earned his first collegiate victory and sophomore Ryne Romick recorded his second save of the season. Kurt Davidson added a three-run homer in the sixth inning to start the five-run rally.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Zips were routed 28-12.

The two teams combined for 42 hits, eight errors, 95 at-bats and seven pitchers.

Coach Pat Bangtson isn’t concerned with the defeat.

There are times in baseball that these things happen, said Bangtson. If you think back a couple weeks we did the same thing scoring 18 runs on Duquesne.

Record watch

Davidson is close to breaking the University of Akron’s home run record.

He currently has seven this season and 26 for his career. The record of 28 is held by Mike Doerbecker and Dick Duncan.

Senior pitcher Pat Gliha is two appearances away from breaking the record of 64 held by Joe Header.

Also noteworthy, co-captain Charlie Lenhard was hit five times in the series against Central Michigan, bringing his season total to a team high 15. Second place is held by Davidson and John Turk with three.

The Zips have more than 20 games remaining, so both records should be broken.