Baseball is finally back, and even though the Eastern Michigan University Eagles traveled south for the opening series, the team still couldn’t escape the snow.
EMU opened their season over the weekend in Buies Creek, N.C., against the Campbell University Fighting Camels. The three-game series was initially planned to open Friday with a doubleheader the following day, but Mother Nature had some plans of her own.
The doubleheader was held Friday and snowfall postponed game three until Sunday at 1 p.m, but ended up being canceled.
Campbell, which is coming off a 41-win 2012 season, won the first game, but the Eagles came back with a strong, offensive victory in the second game.
EMU senior Neil Butara got the start for the first game by throwing three strikeouts, but the Camels came back with a huge four-run rally in the second inning. Butara (0-1) gave up seven hits, eight runs (two earned) and struck out five while walking one in five innings.
Being limited to five hits and causing four errors gave the Eagles their first loss of the season with the score of 8-2.
The EMU bats came alive in the second game: Fifteen hits, including doubles hit by junior designated hitter Lee Longo and junior catcher Adam Sonabend led the way for the Eagles’ first win of the year.
Senior Kendall Lewis (1-0) gave up a solo home run to Campbell’s Ben McQuown in the 3rd inning, giving the Fighting Camels an early 2-0 lead, but that’s about as bad as it got for Lewis. After six innings of work, Lewis gave up three hits, two earned runs, walked one batter and struck out three.
Senior Joe Battistelli earned his first save of the season in four outs, giving up one hit and four strikeouts. This capped the Eagles’ first win of the season, 10-6.
Sonabend and true freshman shortstop John Rubino had solid showings, starting their seasons off on the right foot. Sonabend went 5-for-7, including one double, one base on balls, four RBI and a pair of runs. Rubino batted 4-for-9 with one walk, and scored two runs.
Campbell’s senior All-American second baseman Michael Felton was very limited in this series. In two games, Felton went 1-for-8 at the plate with an RBI and a run.