“The Akron Zips baseball team will officially open the home part of their schedule today at 3:00 p.m. when they take on Duquesne University at Lee Jackson Field. Akron (10-7) was originally supposed to host Pittsburgh last Wednesday and open Mid-American Conference play with a weekend series against Ball State but had to cancel all four games due to unplayable field conditions.””
The Akron Zips baseball team will officially open the home part of their schedule today at 3:00 p.m. when they take on Duquesne University at Lee Jackson Field. Akron (10-7) was originally supposed to host Pittsburgh last Wednesday and open Mid-American Conference play with a weekend series against Ball State but had to cancel all four games due to unplayable field conditions. However, head coach Pat Bangtson said Monday that the field, and his players, are ready to go.
We will play Tuesday, Bangtson said. Our guys are eager to get out there and now we have the field in good condition. We’re ready to go.
Duquesne (6-10) provides a good opening game for the Zips, as they are riding a six game winning streak coming into play. The Duke’s first 10 losses of the season came to powerhouses Florida State, LSU, West Virginia and South Carolina. This is something that Coach Bangtson is aware of.
Duquesne has a good team and they always play a really tough early season schedule, Bangtson said. We split with them last year, and just about every year I’ve been here, so we’ve got to be ready to play.
The Zips won’t get much of a breather either, as they will again take the field on Wednesday to battle the Penguins of Youngstown State.
Youngstown has quite a bit of talent coming back from last year, Bangtson said. They’re another team that loads their early season schedule with quality opponents. They have a new coaching staff and a good players; it’s another team we need to be ready for. In these first two games we’ll probably have 10-12 guys throw for us and hopefully we’ll see a lot of different guys contribute.
MAC play also looms for the Zips, as they will travel to Toledo for a weekend series against the Rockets.
Toledo has done very well; they made the MAC tournament last year, Bangston said. Of course in the MAC you look forward to playing Miami, Kent State and Central Michigan as those three have traditionally been on top. Even though our series against Ball State was cancelled we’ll hopefully get to see them in the tournament.
As the Zips look ahead, the past few weeks have proven to be a good start for Akron, as they have won at least two games in every tournament they’ve been in except for one. Last week during their Florida trip they went 4-2 and are looking to bring their winning ways to their home field.
The way we have designed this team is to not rely on one or two hitters or pitchers, but to be able to get contribution out of the whole lineup and pitching staff top to bottom, Bangtson said. In our first 17 games we’ve been capable of winning 16 of them, so were off to a good start.
When asked if there were any goals in terms of wins or team statistics for the season, Bangston simply said, We just want to come out and compete as hard as we can.
“” #1.1361154:3915252356.jpg:McNulty, Doug_CMU20.jpg:Doug McNulty is batting .238 so far in the 2008 season. :Jeff Harwell / Zips Sports Photography”