The Eastern Michigan University baseball team (14-24, 2-13 Mid-American Conference) had a rough week at Oestrike Stadium, playing the University of Miami (18-20) in a three-game series and losing all three games, before picking up a win against Hillsdale University (13-27).
Coach Jay Alexander was disappointed about the results of the Miami series, but gave Miami’s pitchers credit for their performance.
“All three guys we faced are going to be draft picks in the upcoming draft,” Alexander said. “And they pitched outstanding and were hard to hit.”
EMU started the series on Friday losing 3-1, leaving 11 runners on base. EMU lost despite outhitting Miami, 10-9.
“We had our chances, but we failed to execute the bunt and get a hit with men in scoring position.” Alexander said.
Sam Ott was the leadoff man for the Eagles for the third straight game and he performed well again. Ott went 2-for-4 with one run batted in.
Austin Wilson (2-4) also had a good game, scoring the only run for the Eagles after a base hit to centerfield from Ott in the bottom of the ninth.
Sterling Sharp (1-3) got his fourth start of the year and had a good day’s work. Sharp pitched seven full innings and only allowed three runs off of eight hits. No EMU pitcher had a strikeout in the game.
Despite the lack of strikeouts, Alexander was happy with Sharp’s performance and his growth as the season has gone on as well as the rest of the defense.
“We were very good defensively and our freshman Sterling Sharp pitched like a Friday guy, giving us a chance to win,” Alexander said. “With Steve Weber out for most likely the rest of the year and Jake Andrews pitching on 75% for the rest of the year, we need young guys to fill in their roles immediately and effectively.”
The next day EMU went cold on both sides of the field getting outhit 16-3 in an 8-2 loss.
Starting pitcher Ryan Lavoie (2-3) did not have a bad game. He allowed eight hits, but only gave up two runs. The bullpen combination of Devon Bronson, Tyler Russell, and Sam Delaplane allowed the same amount of hits, but gave up six runs. Lavoie accounted for the lone strikeout of the game for the Eagles.
Ott was held quiet for the game, getting one hit on his one at bat with two walks.
Mike Mioduszewski helped Eastern get its only two runs of the evening with a triple in the bottom of the ninth.
The final game of the series was much closer for the Eagles, but they still got into their scoring late, as all seven of their runs came in the last three innings, in their 9-7 loss.
“We were able to get to their bullpen, which was not as good as their starters,” Alexander said.
Ott struggled in the game going 0-for-4 with one walk, but the bottom of the order had it going for Eastern in the game.
After Wilson came out of the game in the second inning, Bowden came in and went 2-for-4 with two runs to go with an RBI. Tony DiLeo also played well, after coming in for Ty Gilmore, going 1-for-1 with a score and two RBI’s. Marquise Gill, batting last, went 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.
Starting pitcher Jake Andrews (2-4) pitched for almost three innings and allowed nine hits and five runs to allow Miami to get to an early lead.
Relief pitcher Paul Schaak came in after Andrews and had a great game. Schaak only allowed four hits in just over five innings work and only allowed one run, while striking out four batters.
Charlie Land pitched the ninth inning and allowed three runs off of two hits and that pushed the game just out of reach for the Eagles who were just down just three runs going into the ninth.
Eastern finally had a good game hitting game against Hillsdale, winning the game 14-6.
Ott bounced back in the game. He went 3-for-6 and scoring three runs. Bowden got the start for Wilson and continued his hot play as of late; going 2-for-6 with three runs. John Montgomery also had a good game with two hits, two runs, and two RBIs.
Michael Marsinek started the game for the Eagles and pitched three innings, only giving up two hits and no runs. Kristian Calibuso (2-0) picked up the win for the game for just over two innings work with three hits, three runs, and three strikeouts.
“We need to do a better job of executing on the offensive side of the ball and getting ahead of pitchers. In addition, we need to stay positive and keep grinding because we are talented, just need to believe in our ability more,” Alexander said.
The Eagles have a tough weekend schedule ahead with a three game series against fellow MAC team, the University of Ohio in Athens, Ohio, April 25-27.
Alexander is positive about his teams’ chances to turn it around. They have their chance as the series opens on Friday at 6 p.m. The series continues at 3 pm on Saturday and the finale will start at 1 p.m. on Sunday.