The Eastern Michigan University baseball team (13-15, 5-10 MAC) hosted the Miami University RedHawks (9-24, 6-9 MAC) in Ypsilanti, Michigan, inside Oestrike Stadium on Friday, April 7, through Sunday, April 9, where the Eagles fell short in the series over the weekend, 1-2, as senior Luke Russo (Howell, MI) threw nine strikeouts to give EMU an Easter Sunday win.
After Sunday’s matchup, it was the 134th meeting between the two as the all-time series between the Eagles and the RedHawks now sits very close, with Miami leading, 66-64.
In Friday’s matchup, Miami would jump out to an early 3-0 lead in the third inning before the Eagles would score three runs highlighted by a two-RBI double from junior Cory Taylor (Shelbyville, IN) to tie the ballgame at three all.
The score would remain tied, 3-3, until the next inning when sophomore Logan Hugo (Essexville, MI) would score the lone run for the Eagles to extend their lead, 4-3.
EMU would strongly hold onto their lead all the way up until the seventh inning when Miami would score three runs throughout the remainder of the game as well as hold the Eagles scoreless as they went on to take game one, 6-4.
The Eagles were led by Taylor who went 2-for-4 at the plate on the day with a double, a triple, and two RBIs. Sophomore Josh Kross (Brunswick, Ohio) would contribute well as he went 3-for-5 on the day, and senior Taylor Hopkins (Mason, Ohio) finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Saturday’s matchup was all Miami as they jumped out to a crucial 17-0 lead by the fifth inning until junior Darren Kraft (Mount Pleasant, SC) would crush a solo home run to put the Eagles on the board.
The RedHawks would expand their lead over the Eagles, 21-1, before freshman Cooper Vance (New Waterford, Ohio) would score the lone run in the ninth inning for EMU to put the score, 21-2, but it wasn’t enough as Miami would improve to 2-0 on the weekend series.
Kraft would lead the Eagles offensively as he went 1-for-3 at the plate with a home run, a walk, and an RBI. Senior Nick Chittum (Grosse Ile, MI) took the mound in his fourth start of the season (1-3) but unfortunately took the loss.
Sunday’s matchup for the Eagles found them down early, 1-0, until the second inning when they first put their first points on the board as Kraft would get an RBI single that scored Kyle Schroedle (Redding, CA) to tie the game at 1-1.
It was a defensive battle from both teams until the fourth inning when EMU’s offense found its rhythm and erupted for six runs highlighted by a three-run single from Kraft followed by a two-run single from Kross to put the Eagles up big, 7-1.
The Eagles would add another run the following inning resulting from senior Glenn Miller’s leadoff home run to extend EMU’s lead, to 8-1. The Eagles would hold the RedHawks scoreless to rest of the way as they soared to an Easter Sunday win.
Miller led the Eagles’ offense on Sunday as he went 3-for-5 at the plate with a double, a home run, and an RBI. Kraft would add a 2-for-3 performance with a walk and RBI, as Kross added two RBIs.
To add to Russo’s nine-strikeout performance on Sunday, the senior threw for seven innings while only giving up one run on two hits and one walk. Junior Jagger Jefferis (Barnesville, Ohio) would close out the game for the Eagles as he threw two shutout innings with one walk and four strikeouts, only allowing three hits.
Next, the Eagles will travel to Kalamazoo, MI, to take on intra-state rival Western Michigan University on Tuesday, April 11, for the first two-game series. That game is scheduled to start at 3:05 p.m.
For more information on the Eastern Michigan University baseball team, listen to The Block E podcast weekly for updates on all EMU athletics.