Preview: Akron

Image from
baseball-almanac.com

Akron
10:30am – March 1, 2009

John Session Stadium (Jacksonville Campus)
Jacksonville, FL
Media: Live Stats and Live Audio
Home Team: TBA
Probable Pitchers: Kolby Wood (0-0) vs Andrew Brown (0-0)
Michigan Record vs Opponent: 0-0
Last Series/Game: This is the first

Overview

The Akron Zips of the MAC Eastern division have been a young team the last two years who are finally getting experienced veterans at the starting positions. Last year marked the first year since 1997 that Akron finished above .500 (25-24), with a final RPI of 148. This year they look to improve on that record with strong senior leadership and experience on the mound.

Akron was chosen to finish 5th in the Eastern Division this year, well behind nationally ranked Kent State. So far this season they have gone 0-6, facing a variety of competition. They have lost two close games in this tournament already, including a 9-7 loss to UW-M and a 6-4 loss to Jacksonville.

Offense

I’m going to shorten this section for teams we only face once. I don’t think you need to know much about the batters that don’t appear to be a huge threat, even if they may have an explosive game against us. So if I skip a player and he for some reason goes 6-6 with a cycle and 3 home runs and 14 RBIs, the guy just didn’t catch my eye based on his long term stats.

The Zips are lead by senior shortstop Kevin Haas. Haas lead the team with a .347 batting average, scoring 52 runs and hitting in 30 RBIs. Haas had a mix of average and power, shown in his 11 doubles, 3 triples, and 2 home runs. Haas is currently batting .346 with 4 runs and an RBI.

John Turk will start behind the plate for Akron, who a year ago hit .313 with 30 runs scored and 28 RBIs. He was able to catch 11 of 34 stolen base attempts against him, which isn’t that great. This year Turk is currently batting .350, with 3 runs and 4 RBIs.

The most improved fielder so far this year is Phil Bednar at second base. Last year, Bednar hit only .252 with 21 runs and 39 RBIs. This year, Bednar is leading the team with .474 average (9/19) and three doubles.

In the outfield, Brandon White has taken over starting duties after getting spot starts last season. This year has seen him hit .429 with a team leading 7 RBIs. He and first basemen Kyle Hallett (.412) have been hitting very well behind Bednar, offering him great protection.

Pitchers

Andrew Brown is the probable starter for this game. He is a right handed freshman checking in at 6’2″. This will be his second appearance of the season. The first came in relief against Wake Forest, going 2.1 innings and giving up 6 hits, 5 runs (3 earned), on 2 walks, a hit-by-pitch, and a strikeout. There isn’t much we know about him yet, so this will be a learning experience for everybody.

The relievers haven’t really done that poor of a job this year for the Zips. Three relievers ( Bassitt, Fawcett, Fleming) still hold a 0.00 ERA over a combined 6 2/3 innings pitched. Danzinger has 8 innings with 8Ks with 4 runs given up. After that we start stretching to guys who had one bad inning.

Outlook

I’m not really certain about this one. Akron has been hit or miss (quite literally), but still can’t managed to pull out a W. Either way we need to salvage a victory just to keep face with some of the pollsters. We hopefully prove a little something to Coach Alexander of Jacksonville (one of the members of the coaches poll). I’m just not overly optimistic about it for some reason. Perhaps its the loss from Friday lingering? I don’t know.

Semi-Relevant Reading

I got nothin’

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