The baseball team earned their second victory of the season on Feb. 27 on the road against Abilene Christian. The Eagles used 12 hits to help come away with a 6-5 win.
Eastern Michigan got on the board in the first inning with two runs. The first came from an RBI single by Cameron Cruz. Nate Jones came around and gave Eastern Michigan a 1-0 lead. The Eagles would tack on another run just moments later as Jeff Timko grounded out, but Cruz scored on the play. On the mound, Scott Granzotto started the game for EMU. Although he pitched just three innings, Granzotto gave up only one hit, while striking out three batters.
In the third inning, the Eagles helped out Granzotto and the pitching staff by adding onto their lead. With the bases loaded, Jared Kauffman singled to shortstop, which pushed John Rensel Jr. across the plate. The following inning, the Eagles continued to pour it on, as Cruz picked up his second RBI of the day with a single to center field, putting EMU up 4-0. Nick Porretto would replace Granzotto in the fourth. However, he wasn’t able to keep Abilene Christian scoreless.
Abilene Christian’s Derek Scott hit a two-run homer to right field to cut into the lead. Abilene Christian kept that momentum going into the fifth inning when Scott came up to the plate again. This time he flew out, but it was deep enough to get Ryne Randle to score. The Eagles were now holding onto a slim 4-3 lead at the end of the fifth inning. Eastern Michigan responded quickly, though, as Jones scored on a wild pitch. Cruz would also score in the sixth inning as Timko hit an RBI triple.
The scoring onslaught continued in the bottom half of the sixth inning as Abilene Christian’s Riley Donahue singled to center field, which scored Robert Salazar. Porretto would be pulled from the game at the start of the seventh inning, and his final stat line was 3.0 innings pitched, seven hits, four earned runs and two strikeouts on 58 pitches. Mitchell Sparks gave up just one hit in the seventh inning, keeping EMU up 6-4.
The score would remain the same until the bottom of the eighth inning when Dalton Dunn hit an RBI double off Tyler Koons. Abilene Christian couldn’t come all the way back and ended up falling 6-5 after Thomas House earned his first save of the season for the Eagles.
Cruz had a team-high three hits for the Eagles, while Timko and Rensel earned two hits each. Cruz and Jones combined for four runs. The team totaled four walks, six runs and 12 hits on 39 plate appearances. Abilene Christian scored five runs on 10 hits. Granzotto earned the win for EMU, his first of the season, while Drew Hanson took the loss.
The Eastern Michigan players and coaches weren’t available for comment following the victory.
The Eagles will stay in Texas for a three-game series against Texas A&M Corpus-Christi beginning on March 2.