The Eastern Michigan University club baseball team dropped a doubleheader to Northern Michigan University on Saturday in Southgate. The Eagles were shut out 7-0 in the morning and lost again to the Bobcats 10-5 that night.
“We came out flat today,” EMU coach Adam Kittle said. “We got outplayed in every aspect of the game. We’re not trying to make excuses for ourselves, we just didn’t execute today. We didn’t give Northern Michigan the credit they deserve. It was a tough day to play baseball with the rain. We played 15 games this season and it’s a shame we finished on this note, with a sour taste in our mouth heading into winter workouts. Baseball is a team sport and you gotta have all nine guys know what they’re doing. We’re a talented team and it sucks we lost Northern twice. ”
Coming in to Saturday’s doubleheader, the Eagles had won five of their last six games and led the NCBA District V – East standings, one game ahead of Northern Michigan. The Bobcats were able to sweep the doubleheader and take control of the conference lead.
“In the first game we struggled to hit,” Kittle said.
Northern Michigan was able to shut out the Eagles 7-0.
EMU took a 4-0 lead in the first inning of the second game, but six errors allowed Northern Michigan to take the second game 10-5.
“You can sum the day up by saying they wanted it more than we did,” Kittle said. “If you continuously shoot yourself in the foot and give teams four outs an inning you’re not going to be successful at any level. You have to be able to throw your fastball for a strike. If you establish your fastball it sets up your changeup/curve ball and keeps hitters off balance and keeps them guessing. Our pitchers inability to get ahead in the count really hurt us. Today NMU was in fastball counts all day long. It’s no secret that we have some issues to address and they will be addressed. We played 15 games this season and there were a lot of positives. We have to work hard over the off season and get better and I know our players will.”
The Eagles sophomore catcher Preston Boyd is third in the NCBA Div. II in runs with nine. EMU freshman third baseman Adam Michael and freshman second baseman Zach Phillips each have six runs. Boyd and Michael are tied for the NCBA Div. II lead in hits this season, each has eight. Boyd also leads the Division in RBI with 12.
EMU club baseball competes at the National Club Baseball Association Division II level against other colleges and universities. Eastern is a member of the District V – East Conference, along with Michigan Tech, Saginaw Valley State, Northern Michigan, and Grand Valley State. The Eagles goal this season is to attend the NCBA Div. II World Series May 16-20 in Paducah, Ky.
The Eagles head into the NCBA winter break with a non-conference match up against Washtenaw Community College Wednesday Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. Eastern Michigan club baseball returns to play in March, hosting Saginaw Valley State on Mar. 24.
Follow Robert Jones on Twitter @RobertJonesEcho.