The Eastern Michigan University (16-24, 6-9 MAC) baseball team won a weekend series against MAC conference foes Ball State University Cardinals (24-14, 9-6 MAC), taking the weekend series 2-1 after dropping the game on Friday and winning two straight on Saturday in a double header.
Friday evenings didn’t go as planned for the Eagles, who failed to score a run until the eighth inning despite earning ten hits in the game. Eastern Michigan dropped the first game of the weekend series by a score of 5-2.
Ball State started Friday’s match-up off hot, scoring three runs in the first inning and then adding two more in the fourth inning. The Cardinals were unable to get on the board again after the fourth, but the Eagles couldn’t take advantage.
Starting pitcher Charlie Land (2-6) was handed his sixth loss of the season. Land gave up all five runs on seven hits, but struck out three batters.
Relief pitcher Brent Mattson pitched four and two-thirds innings and gave up no runs on five hits while striking out two Cardinals.
Shortstop David Lett went 2-for-3 at the plate and earned the Eagles only RBI. First baseman John Montgomery also went 2-for-3, while third baseman Mitchell McGeein earned two hits on four at-bats.
Starting pitcher Ryan Lavoie (2-4) earned his second win of the season on Saturday afternoon when he led the Eagles to an 8-4 win over the Cardinals, tying the weekend series at one.
Lavoie pitched six innings and gave up four runs on 11 hits and struck out none, but was consistent enough on the mound to earn the victory.
Relief pitcher Matthew Beaton earned his second save of the season, pitching three innings and only giving up one hit on the afternoon.
Eastern Michigan went down early in the first inning after a Cardinals double allowed a run to score, but it was in the second inning that the Eagles answered back with two runs of their own bringing the score to 2-1 after two innings.
The Cardinals struck again for a run in the fifth and two runs in the second, bringing the score to 4-2. The Eagles once again answered back though, after Justin Peterson reached base on a fielding error, which allowed two runners to score. Later in the inning Mike Mioduszewski singles to short stop and allowed Peterson to score. The score was 5-4 after six innings.
Eastern Michigan put an end to the game in the seventh inning when they scored three consecutive runs thanks to hits by John Rubino and Mike Mioduszewski. The Eagles took game two of the series by a score of 8-4.
Eastern Michigan stole the last game of the series from the Cardinals in a thrilling 9-8 victory on Saturday evenings.
Relief pitcher Sam Delaplane (4-1) earned his fourth win of the season in the affair, pitching for three and two-thirds innings at the end of the game. Delaplane only gave up one hit and no runs, striking out a remarkable eight batters.
For the third time on the weekend the Eagles went down to the Cardinals in the first inning. But the Eagles answered back in the first inning, scoring four runs compared to Ball States two. The Eagles held the lead 4-2 after one inning.
The Cardinals tacked on four more runs between the second and fourth inning, while holding the Eagles to no runs. The Cardinals took the lead in the third and kept it, with a score of 6-4 until the fifth inning.
The fifth inning saw Mike Mioduszewski sacrifice fly to centerfield, allowing John Montgomery to score and bring the game to an even 6-6.
Ball State answered back in the sixth inning with two more runs of their own, putting the Cardinals up 8-6 with time running out in the game.
And then the seventh inning came. It started with Montgomery earning a hit and getting to base. Then Mioduszewski came up to bat and singled to right field, allowing Montgomery to score, bringing the score to 8-7.
Then, Austin Wilson singled to center field, scoring DiLeo as well as Mioduszewski to give the Eagles the led going into the home stretch of the game.
Sam Delaplane then dominated the Cardinals batters for the remaining two innings, sealing the victory and the weekend series for an Eagles team that wasn’t expected to win. Eastern Michigan took game three by a score of 9-8.
The Eagles won’t play a mid-week game, but they will travel to Dekalb, Ill., to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies in a MAC conference weekend series. The series will run from April 24 to April 26. Northern Illinois is 15-24 on the season with a 5-10 MAC conference record.
Follow Robert Sherman on Twitter: @r__sherman