Winter break baseball round-up
The Eastern Michigan University baseball team lost its series opener at the University of Kentucky 8-2, Friday.
With the threat of inclement weather for Sunday, Saturday’s game was rescheduled as a doubleheader between the Eagles and Wildcats. Kentucky swept the twin-bill with a 9-5 win in game one and routed the Eagles in the nightcap 13-2.
EMU (4-7) only collected three hits as a team with singles from Sam Ott, John Rubino and Ty Gilmore. Starting pitcher Jake Andrews hurled 4 2/3 innings and gave up eight runs (seven were unearned) with four walks and a pair of strikeouts. Andrews got the loss to even his record at 1-1.
Kentucky (9-2) saw Friday’s starting pitcher A.J. Reed throw six innings of two-hit shutout ball and walked four along with five strikeouts and got a victory to improve his record to 3-1. Reed also had a productive day at the plate with a 1-for-3 day and scored a pair of runs. Leadoff hitter Kyle Barrett was 3-for-5 with an RBI. Catcher Michael Thomas was 2-for-3 and drove in a pair of runs.
The Eagles entered this weekend series with two wins in a three-game series against the University of Tennessee-Martin, which was played in Nashville, Tenn., due to unplayable field conditions at the Skyhawks’ home ballpark. EMU outscored Tennessee-Martin 38 runs while giving up 14 runs.
The Eagles stayed in the state of Tennessee to play Austin Peay State University for a Tuesday doubleheader. EMU lost the first game 8-3, but came back and won the nightcap 9-8.
Kentucky came in ranked 30th in the NCBWA poll and won its home opener against Wright State University Tuesday and had its Wednesday home contest against the University of Dayton postponed due to inclement weather.
The first four innings was a scoreless game and it appeared to be a pitcher’s duel between Andrews and Reed. The Wildcats loaded the bases in the third inning with Austin Cousino reaching on base with a fielder’s choice, and then Max Kuhn hit a double to advance Cousino to third. Reed was intentionally walked to load the bases, and then Reed was forced out at second on a groundball to end the inning.
Kentucky loaded the bases in the fifth inning, and centerfielder Micheal Thomas hit an RBI single to drive in the first run of the ballgame for the Wildcats. Matt Reida walked to push across another run, and then first baseman Thomas Bernal got a two-run single to put Kentucky up 4-0. The Wildcats scored three more runs to give UK a 7-0 lead on four hits and a pair of Eagle errors.
The Wildcats scored one run in the sixth. Reed hit a one-out single, Ka’ai Tom followed with a double down the right field line. Thomas then hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Reed.
Eastern Michigan put up two runs in the seventh inning after Sam Mahar came out of the Wildcats bullpen while Reed became a designated hitter after the switch.
Nick Rotola drew a one-out walk. Miles Sorise came up to bat to pinch hit for Rubino. Sorise hit a single up the middle and moved to second and Rotola went to third on Wildcat centerfielder Cousino’s throwing error. Austin Wilson hit a grounder to third baseman Kuhn, who botched the grounder to allow Rotola and Sorise to score. Mahar lasted one-and-one-third innings having given up those two unearned runs.
Wildcat freshman lefty reliever Logan Salow threw one-and-two-third innings of no-hit ball and struck out four batters. Wildcats sent the Eagles down 1-2-3 in the final frame to wrap up the game.
Kentucky will play a home and home series against the University of Cincinnati March 4-5.
The Wildcats will play host to Ball State University March 7-9.
Eastern Michigan’s next few games see them staying in Kentucky to play Morehead State University March 4-5 and then going to the University of Evansville March 7-9.