The Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-13) men’s baseball team had their season come to an end due to the coronavirus outbreak. The NCAA has cancelled the remainder of winter and spring sports but they announced that all seniors competing in spring sports will have the option to return next season for another year of eligibility.
To recap the Eagles campaign, they won their season opener against Austin Peay on Feb. 15, in Clarksville, Tenn. The Eagles jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning and poured in 14 more runs in the fifth inning and beyond. Taylor Hopkins, Nick Jones, Jared Kaufman, and Drake Peggs combined for 12 hits and 10 runs.
The Eagles lost the next two games against Austin Peay to finish the series, though, as they fell 7-6 in the second game of the Feb. 22, doubleheader and then 13-6 on Feb. 23, afternoon. EMU was swept the next weekend versus Pittsburgh, but Jeff Timko played well in a 10-4 loss as he came up with three hits and two runs in four plate appearances.
Eastern Michigan’s next outing came on Feb. 25 against Florida Gulf Coast in Fort Myers, Fla. EMU took a 2-1 lead into the eighth inning but were unable to hold on, falling 3-2. Christian Bault was the only EMU player with multiple hits as he finished with two hits and two RBI. Justin Reinkall fell to 0-2 on the season with a loss.
The next four games were against three different opponents as EMU went down to North Dakota State and Villanova before losing both matchups to Northeastern. In those four outings, the Eagles were outscored 39-16. The final series of the year was versus Cincinnati, as the Bearcats swept three games against Eastern Michigan.
In the 14-game season, the Eagles were led by Jones, who hit an impressive .321 batting average. He started every single game and earned 17 hits, 11 runs, and five RBI in 53 plate appearances. Daniel Warkentin was second on the team with an average of .264. He added 14 hits and four runs. Timko finished with a .232 batting average.
Hopkins and Peggs were fourth and fifth in batting average with a .226 and .220, respectively. The two combined for 21 hits, 12 runs, and 12 RBI in 94 at bats. Three other EMU players had a .200+ batting average as Nate Jones (.217), Kauffman (.206), and Shane Easter (.200) all did so. Easter was the only one of the three to hit a home run.
As for pitching, the Eagles had two pitchers give up zero runs. Easter finished with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.48 WHIP in 2.1 innings pitched. John Holt threw three innings in total, also finishing with a 0.00 ERA. Justin Meis and Thomas House were the two best pitchers on the staff, though, as they had the most strikeouts with 29 and 16, respectively.
The Eagles were scheduled to play Kansas State on Friday, March 13, before the season was cancelled. EMU’s home opener was set for Tuesday, March 17, against Findlay at Oestrike Stadium. The seniors on the team are Davis Feldman, Devin Hager, Caleb Hester, Holt, Nick Jones, Mike Monahan, Peggs, Nick Porretto, Timko, and Brett Stenger.