Buffalo's Magic Number is down to 12, with 12 conference games remaining. There is still a lot of baseball to play but every UB win from here on out brings them closer to their first division title since joining the MAC. While UB is sitting in first they can play without too much pressure as they have already put together their best season ever in the MAC, everything from here on out is gravy.
Akron also has a lot to play for this weekend. Despite a slow start to the season the Zips are locked in a four way battle with Ball State, Central Michigan, and Toledo. Right now that block of teams occupies the 7-10 slots in the MAC and only the top 8 teams play in the MAC championship tournament.
At the plate Akron's main threats are Devan Ahart, Joey Havrilak, and Matt Rembielak. Ahart is one of the toughest guys in the conference to strike out and is pretty good at generating extra base hits. While Rembielak is tied for third in the conference for triples during MAC play.
Once they reach base Akron plays it dangerously. Few teams in the conference is as likely to try take a base as the Zips, though their percentage leaves a bit to be desired. This is definitely a series where Brennan and Figgans need to be on their game, UB can also not afford some of the pick off errors they have been throwing lately
On the mound Akron's WHIP is a bit high because they hit a lot of batters and walk even more. The Zips have a very young set of starters as JT Brubaker (10 starts) and Valek (9 starts) are both freshman. In fact no Zip starter is beyond being a sophomore and this has led to a lot of "rookie mistakes".
Valek is by far the pitcher most likely to shut an opponent down. His ERA is well below any of the Zip's main pitchers and he has put in 20 more innings than anyone on the team.
To keep UB from getting ahead of themselves they should take stock of some games they have lost to what seems to be lesser teams. In particular the losses to EMU and WMU show that no team can be taken for granted. Despite the fact Akron is struggling this season they have managed to steal a game from both Miami and Bowling Green.
It only takes one bad inning, just a fraction of a game, to turn a win into a loss and with Miami still on UB's schedule the Bulls needs every win they can get.
|| Lee R. Jackson Field
|Sat||4:00 PM||Akron||Lee R. Jackson Field||Live Stats|
|Sun||1:00 PM||Akron|| Lee R. Jackson Field
|Buffalo at Akron
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|148||1.61||Doubles / G||1.29||244|
|81||0.29||Triples / G||0.13||238|
|78||0.5||Home Runs / G||0.26||199|
|191||0.89||Stolen Bases / G||0.79||218|
|149||141||Base on Balls||94||283|
|95||46||Hit by Pitch||31||233|
|93||3.81||Earned Run AVG||5.32||238|
|238||5.7||Strikeouts / 9i||4.5||293|
|118||9.03||Hits Allowed / 9i||10.61||250|
|162||3.75||Walks Allowed / 9i||3.96||192|
|251||0.58||Double Plays / G||0.87||72|
|148||0.356||On Base %||0.297||292|