After dropping a doubleheader against Northern Michigan on Saturday, the Eastern Michigan University club baseball team lost to the Bobcats again on Sunday, 5-4, in the series finale.
The Eagles surrendered the lead in the conference standings to Northern Michigan on Saturday and have now fallen two games behind the Bobcats heading into the winter break.
“Right now, we’re just not a good baseball team,” said EMU coach Adam Kittle. “One day we can go out and beat a highly ranked team and look good and the next day we can go out and lose to an unranked team who hasn’t won a game. We’re inconsistent in a lot of areas.”
Eagles senior pitcher Adam Kaptanowsky pitched four and two thirds innings allowing five hits and three walks. Freshman third baseman Adam Michael went two for four at the plate and had two Runs Batted In. Michael has hit .350 this season.
Northern Michigan went up 2-0 early in the first inning. The Bobcats extended their lead to 3-0 in the third. In the bottom of the third, Eagles senior outfielder Ryne Telle singled up the middle and scored on an RBI from Michael to get the Eagles on the board 3-1.
Kaptanowsky was pulled in the top of the fifth inning with runners on second and third. Michael was brought in to relieve him. Michael was instructed by coach Kittle to intentionally walk Northern Michigan’s next batter. With the basses loaded, the Bobcats hit a fly ball to left field to end the inning.
“I wanted to put Adam in the most favorable position,” Kittle said. “It takes a lot of trust in a pitcher to put them in that situation and he did his job and got us out of the inning. He’s the kind of player you want to coach and I am glad he’s in your dugout. He gives his all no matter what the situation is.”
Eastern opened the bottom of the fifth inning with a lead-off walk by Telle and a single to left field by Eagles freshman second baseman Zach Phillips. A sacrifice bunt by Kaptanowsky advanced Telle and Phillips to third and second base, respectively.
Telle would score on a sacrifice fly by Michael to reduce Northern Michigan’s lead to one, 3-2.
Phillips was able to make it home on an RBI by sophomore catcher Preston Boyd to tie the game 3-3.
In the sixth inning, the Bobcats scored two unearned runs to take the lead 5-3. In the bottom of the seventh, Phillips drew a walk with one out and was able to score on an RBI double by Michael to get the Eagles within one again, 5-4. With two outs and the tying run on second base, Boyd grounded out to end the game.
“To play baseball you have to have a bad memory,” Kittle said. “Whether you win or lose, you have to put yesterday in the rear view and move on.”
The Eagles head into the National Club Baseball Association winter break two games behind Northern Michigan. The Eagles hope to reach the NCBA Division II World Series in May in Paducah, Ky.
Eastern returns to play after the winter break against Saginaw Valley State University on March 24.
Follow Robert Jones on Twitter @RobertJonesEcho.