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Misc The MAC The MAC Archive A Fun Evening at the Ballpark for a Great Cause
Written by Mike Spinelli

Mike Spinelli

baseballNortheast Ohio loves baseball, supporting no less than five minor league teams. On Thursday May 17, another level of future stars will be playing in beautiful Canal Park, considered one of the finest ball parks in baseball. And it’s for a great cause. 

The Sixth Annual Diamond Classic for Kids puts rivals the University of Akron and Kent State against each other on the diamond. All of the proceeds of the game go to “next door” Akron Children’s Hospital, one of my favorite causes.

Akron Zips Head Coach Rick Rembielak feels strongly about the hospital, and the game. “The Diamond Classic enables all of us a time to give our support to Children's Hospital & hopefully bring some enjoyment to many great kids.  Besides the game, we look forward to visiting some children staying in the hospital & talking baseball.  There are many local fans of both universities who will not only see a super athletic event, but will also support the benefits given by Children's Hospital.”

Kent State Golden Flashes Head Coach Scott Stricklin also feels strongly about the Classic. "Akron Children's Hospital has done so much for our community and this is our way of trying to give something back. This is a special event that brings Kent State and the University of Akron together as rivals to support the hospital and the children of Northeast Ohio. We hope the community can come out and see and great game and support a great cause."The hospital’s spokesperson Sara Lundenberger agrees. ““We are very excited to once again partner with the baseball teams from the University of Akron and Kent State to raise money for our School Health Services Program. Akron Children’s Hospital is supported by such a generous community and this event is a great example of that.”With four specialties on the US News & World Report Best Children’s Hospitals rankings, Akron Children’s is the largest pediatric provider in northeast Ohio. It has two hospital campuses, 18 primary care and 63 pediatric specialty locations, and the dedicated staff handles more than 650,000 patient visits a year. Akron Children’s is a major teaching affiliate of Northeast Ohio Medical University and offers a number of pediatric subspecialty fellowship programs. In addition to providing high value, family-centered care, they strive to find ways to advance the prevention and treatment of childhood illness and injury through research.  For more information, visit

 First pitch is at 6:30pm. Canal Park is located within a block of several restaurants and establishments, and sits along the Towpath Trail. The hospital is visible in left field, it’s possible their transport helicopter “Air Bear” will fly over the park transporting a patient. It all makes for a great evening at the ballpark, for a great cause.

 The University of Akron Zips go into a weekend series with Ohio with a 10-11 record. First year Coach Rembielak has taken the Zips from a 7-20 MAC record in 2011 to a possible bid in the MAC Baseball Tournament. Akron won the tournament in 1996.

 Kent State is currently in first place in the Eastern Division with an 18-3 record. The winners of the last three titles (four of the last five) are the heads-up favorites to win the tournament again this year which will be played May 23-26 at Avon’s All Pro Stadium. The two schools are also battling for the first PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge. The Flashes have a 7.0-5.0 advantage in the school-year-long rivalry, with three points remaining.


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