Eagles drop weekend series to Northern Illinois
The Eastern Michigan University (17-26, 7-11 MAC) baseball team lost a weekend series against the Northern Illinois University Huskies (17-25, 7-10 MAC). Having secured a shutout victory on Friday, the Eagles dropped both games of a doubleheader on Sunday in Dekalb, Ill.
Starting pitcher Charlie Land (3-6) won his third game of the season on Friday when the Eagles dominated the Huskies by a score of 8-0. Land pitched nine full innings, earning a shut-out while giving up only four hits, one walk and also earning four strike-outs.
The game wasn’t only dominated by pitching, but also by batting for the Eagles with first basemen Mitchell McGeein leading the way by knocking in two runs off of three hits.
The Eagles Friday victory started with two runs being scored in the second inning. The first when Mike Mioduszewski scored off of a wild pitch, and the second when David Lett grounded out, but allowed Adam Dennison to cross the plate.
Mitchell McGeein hit a triple to right field in the third inning, pushing John Rubino to score, and bringing the score to 3-0 in favor of the Eagles.
The fourth inning saw Eastern Michigan score two more runs, pushing the score to 5-0 when Austin Wilson grounded out, letting Adam Dennison score and moving Jackson Martin to third base. The next at bat saw John Rubino single to right field, allowing Martin to score.
The Eagles scored three more runs in the game to secure an 8-0 victory and also gave Eastern Michigan the lead in the series.
Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois were scheduled to meet on Saturday for a matinee match-up, but the game was moved to the afternoon on Sunday, pitting the two MAC foes against each other for a Sunday doubleheader.
In the first game of the Sunday double header, the Eagles suffered an extra innings loss to the Huskies, by a score of 4-3. Relief pitcher Sam Delaplane (4-2) was handed his second loss of the season.
Starting pitcher Ryan Lavoie (2-4) pitched six and one-third innings, giving up three runs on four hits and earning three strike-outs on the evening.
Eastern Michigan took a brief lead in the top of the third inning when Mitchell McGeein hit a sacrifice fly ball to left field, which allowed Justin Peterson to cross home and open the scoring. John Montgomery then singled to left field, earning a RBI when John Rubino scored, bringing the tally to 2-0.
The Huskies answered back quickly in the bottom of the third thanks to a two run homerun by Northern Illinois catcher Johnny Zubek that tied the game.
Northern Illinois then added to their tally in the sixth inning when a ground ball allowed a run to score, subsequently ending Lavoie’s day on the mound. The score was 3-2 after six and it stayed that way until the ninth inning.
Pinch hitter Danny Kerr reached base on a fielding error by Huskie second baseman Carl Russell, but it was another error by Huskies right fielder Alex Smith that allowed the Eagles to tie the game in the ninth inning and force extra innings.
The first of two Sunday games ended when the Huskie scored in the tenth inning off of a fielder’s choice with a score of 4-3.
Eastern Michigan’s Sunday continued to be an unlucky one in the evening game between the two MAC foes, losing the rubber match of the series by a score of 12-3.
Starting pitcher Jake Andrews (2-4) captured his first start since going down to a concussion on April 11 when the Eagles faced Central Michigan University. Andrews pitched three and one-third innings on Sunday against the Huskies, giving up six runs on seven hits and striking out two on the evening.
The game was close until the fourth inning when Northern Illinois exploded for a seven run inning, going up 9-1.
Eastern Michigan was unable to get their bats going on Sunday evening and could only muster three runs out of the game even though the team earned nine hits. Mitchell McGeein was Eastern Michigan’s best batter on the evening, going 2-for-4 at the plate.
Eastern Michigan University will travel to East Lansing on Wednesday to face-off against the Michigan State Spartans (25-17, 9-6 BIGTEN). The last time Eastern Michigan and Michigan State met was last season when the Eagles were defeated by a score of 5-3.
Follow Robert Sherman on Twitter: @r__sherman