The Eastern Michigan University (13-21 overall, 2-10 Mid-American Conference) baseball team wrapped up a five-game stretch with a 4-3 win in 10 innings over the University of Michigan on Wednesday.
Their week started with a four-game home stand before going for a home-and-home set with Michigan that had the first of two cancelled due to snow Tuesday.
In the Michigan game, EMU coach Jay Alexander was very pleased with his team’s performance.
“We did the little things,” Alexander said. “It’s something that’s good to see. We did the little things well and we got ahead of hitters. And that’s the key thing.”
The Eagles started their home stand strong with a 15-9 win against Sienna Heights University (13-12) on Thursday. EMU rallied back in the game, outscoring Sienna Heights 12-1 in the sixth and seventh innings.
Eastern relief pitcher Layne Gusler (1-0) picked up the win, pitching over three innings, allowing three runs and four hits. EMU’s starter Zane Birchler also pitched three innings, but allowed six runs on six hits.
The top of the order for the Eagles was led by John Rubino. Rubino (3-for-4) had three runs batted in to go with three runs scored.
Leadoff man Austin Wilson (1-for-2) also performed well with three runs and two RBI. Lee Longo (3-for-5) picked up two runs and three RBI as well.
The team cooled down on Friday, only recording seven hits and two runs in the first of a three game series against Northern Illinois University (9-22-1), ultimately losing 10-2.
Wilson (2-for-4) had his second straight impressive performance as the only Eagle with more than one hit. Nick Rotola (1-for-3) and Ty Gilmore (1-for-2) were the only EMU players to score in the game.
Relief pitcher Sterling Sharp (1-2) got his third start of the year and put in four innings of work. Sharp struck out three batters, while allowing five runs on four hits.
The Eagles’ offense bounced back in the hitting department on Saturday, getting 10 hits, but it only led to three runs in a 5-3 loss that went 10 innings.
Despite the loss, there was an encouraging sign in the game; Sam Ott (3-for-5) got back on track. Ott scored two of EMU’s runs and was able to get on base consistently.
Jake Andrews did a solid job pitching in the game, going for six innings and only allowing two runs. Charlie Land (0-6) took the loss for the Eagles, allowing both of the game-winning runs in the tenth inning.
NIU starter Eli Anderson had a superb day against EMU, allowing three runs, while striking out 10.
Eastern wrapped up the series against NIU on Sunday on a positive note with an 8-4 win.
EMU went down 3-0 in the top of the first as starting pitcher Michael Marsinek walked two batters and allowed two hits and three runs.
Relief pitcher Ryan Lavoie (2-2) came in and pitched five innings as well as the rest of the first to help Eastern rally back. Lavoie only allowed one hit to go with one run and struck out three. Tyler Russell also came in and struck out four more batters for NIU, while only allowing two hits with no runs.
Alexander mixed up the batting, moving Ott to the leadoff spot, while moving Wilson further down into the order.
The results were uneven after the change. Ott went just 1-for-5 in the game, but he did score and get a RBI. Wilson thrived lower in the order, however going 2-for-3, getting one run and three RBIs along with a walk.
The team finished the week in Ann Arbor against Michigan with a win in ten innings, 4-3.
Paul Schaak started for the Eagles and was fantastic. Schaak pitched six innings and only allowed two runs and struck out six batters. The bullpen performed well also; Marsinek, Gusler and Devon Bronson (2-2) combined to pitch four innings and only allow four hits and one run.
Ott (0-for-2) struggled again as the leadoff man; recording zero hits, although he did get walked three times. Wilson also struggled with the change going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
The Eagles did get a career day from left fielder Michael Mioduszewski who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Mioduszewski recorded the game-winning RBI when he singled to right field allowing Rubino to score and give Eastern the lead.
“It feels good,” Mioduszewski said after the game. “I’ve just been focusing on the little things today. I just went back to the basics and tried to help out the team.”