The Eastern Michigan University baseball team won its home opener against Bowling Green State University, 5-4, behind a power performance from freshman pitcher Davis Feldman Friday afternoon in Ypsilanti.
Feldman went eight innings without an earned run, allowed only five hits and recorded six strikeouts, which ties his career high. Feldman was taken out in the ninth inning for right-hander Sam Delaplane, who got the save.
“Coming in, last start, I struggled in the beginning, made adjustments to my mechanics and ended that start pretty well,” Feldman said. “Today, I came in trying to build off the end of my last start and I thought I did pretty well throughout the whole game. I was hitting my spots. Coach called a good game and defense was playing good behind me.”
“He was tremendous,” EMU coach Mark Van Ameyde said. “A freshman making his first conference start and making it on Friday in game one of a series which can be an adrenaline rush for even upperclassmen because it can set the tone for the whole series. Since he kind of had a bump in the road with Oakland a couple weeks back, he’s come back with two really strong starts.”
In addition to a great performance by the defense, the Eagles had four players with two-hit games. Junior Michael Mioduszewski, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run scored, led the Eagles. Senior Jackson Martin and junior Jeremy Stidham would go 2-for-4 with Stidham knocking a run in. Freshman Max Schuemann went 2-for-4 with two singles and a run scored.
Bowling Green scored first on a dropped catch by Stidham, but the Eagles tied it up in the bottom of the second with Mioduszewski knocking in a run with a single.
After a quick three outs by Feldman, the Eagles took the lead in the bottom of the fourth off a RBI double by Stidham. Feldman would pitch another scoreless inning, followed by the Eagles taking a 3-1 lead off a RBI double from Martin. The Eagles would score two more in the sixth off RBIs from Marquise Gill and Mitchell McGeein.
Feldman came back out in the ninth, but two men allowed on base to start the inning ended his afternoon wallking off the field to a round of applause. Delaplane would come in and the righty ran into a bit of trouble, allowing a walk and loading the bases. He got the next two batters out, but then allowed three to come in on a sacrifice fly and back-to-back singles. The final out dribbled one to second, completing the game at 5-4 in favor of EMU.
“You’re feeling pretty good 5-1 in the ninth and sometimes it can be easy, especially for these kids to kind of [think],’oh it’s a forgone conclusion the game’s going to be over’,” Van Ameyde said. “But leadoff guy reaches on a throwing error and then a little ball goes off the mitt. Next thing you know you have energy in the other team’s dugout.”
“I think the bottom line is you get knocked around a bit, even in the ninth. But you come out on the right side of it and you gain quite a bit from it,” Van Ameyde said.