In a weekend that saw Eastern Michigan University second baseman John Rubino break the school’s record for stolen bases, it also saw the Eagles drop another weekend series with losses on Saturday and Sunday, with scores of 10-3 and 10-2 respectively.
Eastern Michigan (18-32, 8-15 MAC) came into the weekend series against Ohio University (30-18, 15-9 MAC) needing wins in order to advance to the Mid-American Conference Tournament, but it was the Bobcats who left Ypsilanti with three wins, leaving the Eagles with little to play for.
Saturday’s afternoon match-up saw the Eagles muster only three runs and give up 10, while the Bobcats handed starting pitcher Jake Andrews (2-6) his sixth loss of the season. Andrews pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on four hits while striking out two batters.
Ohio saw the game off to an early start, scoring two runs in the first inning, adding three in the third, two more in the fourth and three runs in the fifth before the Eagles could score their first run of the afternoon. Eastern Michigan had a mountain to climb after five innings, going down 10-1.
Second baseman John Rubino put the Eagles on the board in the fifth inning when he advanced to second base on a wild pitch, allowing David Lett to score. Rubino went 2-for-4, and earned one RBI and stole one base. The base that he stole tied him for the school’s record with Kyle Rhoads, an Eastern Michigan alumni, at 32 stolen bases.
The Eagles would be able to add two more runs in the eighth and ninth innings, but it would seldom help the tempo of the game and the Eagles would take their 31st loss of the season.
Sunday afternoon held more of the same for Eastern Michigan, as they would drop the third game of the season by a score of 10-2, putting the team in even more of a hole when it comes to the MAC Tournament seeding.
Relief pitcher turned starting pitcher Sam Delaplane (5-3) made his first start of the season on Sunday, but would also take his third loss, as the change of pace by coach Mark Van Ameyde didn’t seem to work. Delaplane pitched five innings, gave up three runs on four hits and struck out two.
Ohio took a three run lead in the top of the third inning, but the Eagles responded in the bottom of the inning with a run of their own thanks to a sacrifice fly-out by Mike Mioduszewski that scored John Montgomery.
Eastern Michigan cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth inning when Adam Dennison grounded out to second base, but would allow Jackson Martin to cross the plate. The Eagles looked like they would be able to respond to Saturday’s loss with a positive outcome on Sunday but it wasn’t meant to be.
The game went scoreless between the fifth and ninth innings, but when Ohio took to the plate in the ninth inning it exploded for a seven run inning, effectively putting the Eagles hope for redemption to rest.
Centerfielder Jordan Peterson went 2-for-3 at the plate, while Adam Dennison and Mike Mioduszewski picked up the Eagles two RBI’s on the afternoon.
Second baseman John Rubino, who had tied the stolen base record the night before, stole another base on Sunday to bring his season tally to 33, breaking the Eastern Michigan baseball single season stolen base record.
The Eastern Michigan University baseball team will play two mid-week games as they head into the final week of the season. On Monday, Oakland University will travel to Oestrike Stadium to complete a prior game that had been cancelled due to inclement weather. Oakland University is 10-34 on the season and holds a Horizon League record of 5-21. This game has no MAC Tournament implications for the Eagles.
On Tuesday, Eastern Michigan will travel to Ann Arbor to take on the University of Michigan who hold a record of 31-21, and a BIGTEN conference record of 14-10. This game also has no MAC Tournament implications for the Eagles.
Follow Robert Sherman on Twitter: @r__sherman