The Eastern Michigan University (10-17, 2-4 MAC) baseball team held a successful campaign against the Michigan State Spartans (12-14, 2-4 BIGTEN) Wednesday night at Oestrike Stadium winning the game 10-5.
The Eagles went into the meeting having lost their last 3 games on the road before coming home to Ypsilanti to host the Spartans.
Wednesday night’s game was head coach Mark Van Ameyde’s first game against his former team after spending the past six seasons as the Spartan’s pitching coach before accepting the head coaching position at Eastern Michigan.
“I wasn’t looking forward to the day and I wasn’t excited to play them,” Van Ameyde said. “But when you’re competing you want to beat anybody that you play.”
And beating the Spartan’s is what Van Ameyde’s Eagles did.
Freshman starting pitcher Kyle Huckaby (1-1) earned his first collegiate win pitching 3 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and earning 2 strikeouts. Relief pitchers Matthew Beaton and Michael Marsinek combined for 3 strikeouts giving up 5 hits and allowing the Spartan’s 3 remaining runs. Closing pitcher Sam Delaplane successfully finished the game for the Eagles striking out 3 batters and giving up no hits in 1 2/3 innings pitched.
Michigan State took the lead early in the game going up 2-0 at the end of the second inning while the Eagles left the inning with bases loaded. Leaving the runners in scoring position is an issue that the Eagles have struggled with all year, but against the Spartans that issue seemed to fade.
“I try not to make a big deal about runners in scoring position,” Van Ameyde said, “so we try to treat it like any other at bat.” And Van Ameyde’s philosophy on the matter seemed to have a positive effect on the game against the Spartans.
John Rubino had the best night at the plate for the Eagles going 4-for-5 and scoring 2 runs. Mitchell McGeein went 1-for-3, but earned 2 RBI’s on the night. Altogether, Eastern garnered 13 hits with 7 of their 9 players earning a hit on the game. The Eagles only left 5 men on base.
After Wednesdays win, Van Ameyde is staying positive about the next part of the season.
“The team is learning and I’m seeing them learn and grow,” he said, “they are heading in the right direction.”
Follow Robert Sherman on Twitter at: @r__sherman