Eastern Michigan baseball gave up an early lead to lose 14-8 against Oakland on April 3 in Oestrike Stadium in Ypsilanti. The Eagles held an 8-2 lead heading into the top of the eighth inning, but a nine-run inning by Oakland gave them a 11-8 lead and eventually the victory.
“We left a ball up and it goes for a home run, and then catch a pop-up later in the inning and it's just contagious,” coach Eric Roof said. “That was the main thing, you still had the lead after the three-run home run, but just need to make the routine plays afterwards.”
As both teams continue to struggle at the halfway point of the season, this win gives Oakland a 5-19 record, while the Eagles remain in the basement of the MAC with a record of 5-23-1. EMU is now 2-1 at Oestrike Stadium. Before the top of the eighth inning happened and everything fell apart for the Eagles, the team seemed to be in good shape.
After a three-run first inning, punctuated by Cameron Cruz hitting an RBI single to score two runs, the Eagles took a 3-1 lead to end the first inning. The Eagles would add runs in the bottom of the second, third, fifth, and a two-run seventh inning after an RBI double by Jeff Timko, and a groundout by Nate Jones that allowed Alex Wolanski to score from third.
“Our goal is to score early and to keep tacking on,” Roof said. “That gives you some momentum.”
Everything seemed to be going the Eagles way, players were dancing in the dug out in-between innings, and they were up 8-2 heading into the top of the eighth inning. Then everything changed. Drew Demumbrum started the rally for Oakland with a three-run homerun to cut the lead to 8-5.
Ronnie Krsolovic hit a two-run RBI single to cut the deficit to one. The go ahead run came from Mario Camilletti who hit a two-run RBI single to take a 9-8 lead. Oakland would add on two more runs before the inning was done. After the top of the eighth, Oakland would add on three more runs in the top of the ninth inning and hold Eastern scoreless to close out the comeback.
Losing a lead is nothing new for the Eagles this season. However, this was the first time this year that they blew a six-run lead. This is the largest lead they’ve blown since the 2012 season when they led 8-0 to eventually lose 9-8 against Duke on Feb. 28.
The Eagles faced off against Bowling Green the weekend of April 5, winning two out of three games.
“It’s a conference game at home which will be nice, so we are going to come out ready to go,” Roof said. “Hopefully have a little bit more of those innings that we had earlier on today.”