Eastern Michigan University’s baseball team was able to beat rival Central Michigan University in the Mid-American Conference Tournament 4-3 in the first round, but lost in extra innings to Miami of Ohio 2-1. The team will move into the consolation bracket and play an elimination rematch game against CMU on Friday.
The team stumbled into the tournament finishing the season 25-29, ranking them fourth in the Western Division of the MAC, which earned them a No. 6 seed in the tournament. But after clinching its spot in the tournament by taking a series against Buffalo, they proceded to lose the next four games against Kent State and Toledo.
In the opening round, redshirt junior right fielder Jamie Simpson went three-for-four at bat scoring three runs that provided the team with the offense to take the win. Senior center fielder Brett Ohrman and senior shortstop Tucker Rubino both had two RBIs. Junior starting pitcher Neil Butara went 6.1 innings, giving up only three hits and three runs. Junior Joe Battistelli came in for relief to pick up the save.
The team was not able to win in the next round against No. 7 seed Miami of Ohio. Despite picking up the loss, junior pitcher Steve Weber (7-4) pitched 10 full innings. Weber only gave up two runs and nine hits, giving the team’s bullpen some needed rest.
Senior third basemen Ben Magsig was the only player to get a run in the 2-1 loss with redshirt sophomore Sam Ott driving the run in. The team was held to only two hits in the game as Miami’s Mac Thoreson pitched nine innings of lights out baseball.
Coach Jay Alexander hopes to keep the team alive in his fourth season as head coach; he has an overall record of 275-266. Alexander has been very successful in his three previous MAC tournaments with an 8-6 overall record in his tournament games.
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