As the four-game series against Kansas University came to a close Sunday afternoon, the Eastern Michigan University baseball team earned a split with an 11-6 win.
The offense held its own with a season high of 16 hits and 11 runs in the ball game, while EMU senior pitcher Taylor Dimmerling picked up his first win of the season.
The four batters in the middle of the lineup for EMU contributed three hits each in this victory: Sam Ott, Lee Longo, Adam Sonabend (all 3-for-5) and Jamie Simpson (3-for-4).
EMU (3-7) had a 2-1 lead before breaking it open in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded, a wild pitch and passed ball led to Ott and Longo crossing the plate. A Jayhawk pitching change was made, but another wild pitch would lead to Sonabend scoring EMU’s third run of the inning. Mitchell McGeein came through with his second home run of the year with a runner on base, making it a 7-1 ball game.
Dimmerling (1-0) came in to relieve starter Paul Schaak after 4.2 innings of work and let up three runs in the bottom of the sixth. the Eagles responded with three runs off the bats of Longo and Sonabend.
Dimmerling’s final line was 4.1 innings pitched, giving up four runs (one earned) off three hits with three strikeouts. The nine combined strikeouts between Dimmerling and Schaak are tied for the team’s season high, when it had nine punchouts against Campbell on Feb. 15.
The middle of the lineup for the Eagles had a big weekend, batting a .433 average (26-for-60) against the Jayhawk pitching.
Sonabend, who is on a six-game hit streak, now leads the team in hits (16), batting average (.421), on-base percentage (.488) and runs batted in (9). He went 7-for-14 at the plate this weekend.
Ott is now up to 10 runs for the season after scoring four times Sunday. He is the team leader in runs and second in batting average (.359), hits (14), RBI (8), total bases (19) and OBP (.444).
Neil Butara (1-2) has had the most work on the mound thus far, with 19 innings pitched. After getting his first win of the season Friday, he has accumulated 11 strikeouts with two walks and has nine earned runs against him.
The Eagles will head to Columbia, Mo., for a two-game set against the University of Missouri Tigers starting Tuesday.