The Eastern Michigan University men’s baseball team ended its season with a three-game home stint against Mid-American Conference foe, the University of Toledo, winning one of its last three games on Saturday afternoon in Ypsilanti.
Eastern Michigan (20-35, 8-17 MAC) was beaten by the University of Toledo (24-31, 16-11 MAC) in two of the team’s last three games, but the Eagles were able to muster a win on Senior Night, which was also their last game of the 2014-2015 campaign.
The Eagles were beaten Thursday evening by the Rockets with a final score of 7-1, and the team was only able to scrape together two hits on the night, compared to the Rockets tally of 13 hits.
Starting pitcher Charlie Land (3-8) took his eighth and last loss of the season. Land pitched a full nine innings, giving up all seven runs on 13 hits, walking one batter and striking out five. This game would be the last for Land as an Eagle due to graduation.
The Rockets scored all seven of their runs in the first three innings, scoring one in the first, four in the second and two in the third. By the end of the third inning Eastern Michigan was in a 7-0 hole, and they wouldn’t be able to comeback.
The Eagles scored their only run of the night in the seventh inning when third baseman Mitchell McGeein reached base on an error by Rockets shortstop Deion Tansel, which allowed Eagles right fielder Jordan Peterson to cross the plate.
Friday's evening match-up with the Rockets didn’t end any better for Eastern Michigan, as they were defeated 11-4 at Oestrike Stadium.
Starting pitcher Ryan Lavoie (2-6) would make his last appearance with the Eagles, being handed his sixth loss of the season. Lavoie also pitched all nine innings of his final game for Eastern Michigan, giving up 11 runs on 14 hits, also walking four and striking out two Rocket batters on the evening.
Despite earning 11 hits on the game, the Eagles were only able to cross the plate four times and were outscored by seven runs in what could be called a consistently played game by the University of Toledo. Toledo scored three runs in the first and then two runs in each of the third, fifth, seventh and eighth innings. As seen throughout the season, the Eagles were unable to respond effectively to runs being scored on them, and they couldn’t answer with multiple run innings of their own.
The Eagles scored their first run in the second with Jackson Martin fouled out to left field, but allowed runners to advance and also scored Mitchell McGeein.
The sixth inning saw Tony DiLeo ground out to short-stop, but by a fielder’s choice Mike Mioduszewski scored for the Eagles bringing the score to 7-2 through six innings.
Mitchell McGeein singled to left field in the seventh inning, scoring the Eagles record- breaking stolen base leader John Rubino to bring the game to 9-3.
David Lett pushed Tony DiLeo across home plate in the eighth inning after he grounded out to first base.
Eastern Michigan played its final game of the season against the University of Toledo on Saturday afternoon, which was also Senior Night for the graduating Eagles on the team. The Eagles won by a score of 10-7 to close out the season.
Honored before the game started were seniors John Rubino, Adam Dennison, Charlie Land, Ryan Lavoie and Jake Andrews. Andrews (3-6) started the game on the mound for the last time in his collegiate career.
Andrews pitched six innings in his final appearance, giving up six runs on eight hits, while walking none and earning his last three strike-outs for the Eagles.
Sophomore Sam Delaplane came in for relief to earn his seventh save of the season, striking out two batters and giving up no hits or runs.
The Eagles started off strong in their final game of the season, rallying to earn 12 hits and scoring 10 runs on the afternoon. In the first inning Justin Peterson singled to left field, which allowed Luke Devenney to score. Later in the inning Jackson Martin flied out to left field, but the out allowed Brennan Williams to score, putting the Eagles up 2-1 after one inning.
The second inning saw much of the same for the Eagles, earning three runs thanks to hits by John Rubino, Mitchell McGeein and Mike Mioduszewski to further the lead to 5-1 after two innings of play.
John Rubino made his presence further known in the third inning when he hit a single to left field, earning a RBI when Brennan Williams crossed the plate again. The score was 6-1 after three innings, signaling the Eagles best start to a game in quite some time.
Eastern Michigan added three more runs to their tally in the fifth inning, after the Rockets were able to score one earlier in the inning. Mitchell McGeein tripled to left center scoring Rubino, Devenney and Williams.
Toledo made its presence known in the seventh inning when it scored four runs to bring the game to 9-7, threatening to spoil Senior Night for the Eagles. But relief pitcher Sam Delaplane came in and dominated the Toledo line-up to close out the game after the Eagles scored one more run in the eighth inning for good measure, closing the 2014-2015 season out with a 10-7 win.
Season of Woes
In head coach Mark Van Ameyde’s first season in control of the Eastern Michigan baseball team, he holds a record of 20-35 overall and a record of 9-18 in conference play. The Eagles have missed the Mid-American Conference tournament for the third consecutive year, with their last appearance being in 2012.
Follow Robert Sherman on Twitter: @r__sherman