Eastern Michigan University baseball starts its season with a four-game series against the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Hoover, Ala. from Feb. 15-17.
The Eagles will play 55 games this season, with 35 of those games being played on the road. The first 14 games for the Eagles this season will be played on the road, with non-conference games against tough teams like Notre Dame and Texas Christian University in those first few games. The Eagles finally get their first home game March 12 against University of Dayton.
The Eagles finished with a record of 22-34 and a 14-13 conference record last season under then interim coach Eric Roof. Roof took over the job shortly before the season started and was named the permanent head coach at the end of the season. Now in his first full year in charge, Roof looks to leave a mark on the Eagles.
“It was definitely an interesting year one,” Roof said on a recent appearance on the Eastern Insider podcast. “I think the good thing is you’re able to learn from some of those experiences and you’re able to grow and build off of it.”
The Eagles will have a lot of familiar faces back on the team for the 2019 season, suffering from little roster turnover from the 2018 team. On the 2018 roster, the Eagles had a total of three seniors: RHP Brad Allen, OF/RHP Luke DeVenney and RHP Justin McMurtrey all graduated. Also, junior IF Max Schuemann was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in round 20 of the MLB Draft. The Eagles only have four players who were on the 2018 roster who won’t be on the 2019 team.
The Eagles are also hoping to get good production out of their pitching rotation this season. The team was plagued by injuries last season, and if they can avoid the injury bug this year, they look to have a healthy balance of youth and experience in the rotation.
The Eagles add three freshmen pitchers to their rotation this year: RHP Justin Meis had a 1.40 ERA his senior season, RHP Tyler Koons pitched a 1.20 ERA his senior season, and RHP Jack Dungan had a 1.20 ERA his senior season. Combine those new faces with returning players, such as sophomore LHP Scott Granzotto who pitched a 4.15 ERA last year, the Eagles look to have a balanced pitching attack going forward.
The Eagles look to have a better outing this season compared to last, but Roof is already preparing for a rough start to help galvanize and improve the team over the course of the season.
“We understand the first couple of games we’re not going to be at our best,” Roof said on the Eastern Insider Podcast. “As long as we continue to grow in practice and continue to grow in games that can help us for spring break the following week, that can help us for conference play a month later, and it can help us for the postseason later on.”