Baseball team swept by Akron in opening series of MAC play

The Eastern Michigan University baseball team did not get off to the best of starts in its Mid-American Conference portion of the schedule as it lost all three games at the University of Akron.

The Eagles played their fifth doubleheader of the 2014 campaign and lost 10-5 in game one and 6-0 in the night cap.

Eastern Michigan (8-11, 0-3 MAC) was looking to add to its four-game winning streak after a doubleheader sweep at Northern Kentucky University March 15.

Akron (10-10, 3-0 MAC) came in having lost four of the last five ballgames, including losses at Ohio State University 6-5 in 11 innings Tuesday and at the University of Pittsburgh 11-8 Wednesday.

Akron took the first game with a 6-3 win Friday to snap the Eagles’ winning streak. Eagles starting pitcher Jake Andrews pitched 6.1 innings with four earned runs on six hits and struck out three and walked four.

The Zips got on the board first with four runs in the bottom of the third thanks to two hits, two walks and an error. Eastern Michigan responded in the next frame with two runs on one hit and one error.

The Eagles cut the Zips’ lead to 4-3 after Austin Wilson drew a one out walk and stole a base. Sam Ott scored Wilson with an RBI single. Ott was one of the few bright spots for the Eagles during the series after going 4-for-12 at the plate and drove in three runs, but saw a seven-game hitting streak come to an end in the nightcap of Saturday’s twin-bill.

“[Ott] was a patient hitter and making it frustrating for [Akron pitchers],” coach Jay Alexander said. “He was patient and got some hits.”

Akron scored single runs in the seventh and eighth innings with sacrifice flies from Brady Stewart in the seventh and James Sheltrown in the eighth.

The first game of the Saturday twin-bill saw Akron get out to a 1-0 lead. EMU responded with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning on four hits.

Mitchell McGeein and Adam Sonabend hit back-to-back singles and Michael Mioduszewski moved them over to second and third on a sacrifice bunt. Adam Dennison hit an RBI single to score McGeein and Nick Rotola followed with another RBI single to plate Sonabend. A lot like the first inning, the Zips put up two runs on four hits in the third and two more in the fifth to give Akron a 5-2 lead.

EMU tied the game in the seventh with three runs on three base hits. Mioduszeski led off the frame with a single to right and John Rubino and Dae Bowden got on base with fielder’s choices. Wilson got hit by a pitch to load the bases and chased Akron starter J.T. Brubaker out of the game as the Zips called Zach Beaver from the bullpen. Mioduszewski and Rubino eventually scored on Ott’s two-run single. Lee Longo drove in a Wilson with a single to tie the game at 5-5.

The Eagles called left Ben Dartnell from the bullpen to relieve starter Charlie Land to start the bottom of the seventh. Akron took the lead right back with a run on two hits as Zips catcher Brian Lees drove in Joey Havrilak from second with a single. The Zips added four runs in the eighth and went on to win 10-5.

The Eagles were limited to only two hits in the second game, and those came from Rubino and Ty Gilmore. Myles McVeigh of Akron shut out the Eagles with six innings of one-hit ball and gave up three walks and recorded nine strikeouts. Eagles starter Steve Weber lasted only two innings and surrendered four runs on seven hits and walked one and struck out a pair of batters. Michael Marsinek pitched six innings of relief and gave up one earned run on four hits.

“It’s disappointing when you get swept – it’s inexcusable,” Alexander said. “We lacked the fundamentals we are so accustomed to playing with.”

Eastern Michigan will return home Wednesday afternoon for a midweek contest versus the Wildcats of Northwestern University for a 3 p.m. first pitch. The Eagles will play host to Kent State University at Oestrike Stadium the weekend of March 28-30.

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