YPSILANTI, Mich. —- Okay so it was not as sunny and warm as it was supposed to be but the Eastern Michigan University baseball team did put together a solid effort on the first portion of the southern trip and now the Eagles will come home and wash out a few things, say hello to friends and family and then board the Eagle Express for the golden-rays of sunshine of the state of Kansas.
Eastern Michigan University came back home to Ypsilanti with a feel good 7-5 record and feeling pretty good about the improvement of the Eagles.
The Eagles finished the southern trip in the city that sits on the beautiful bank of the Cumberland River – Clarksville, Tennessee and is the home of Austin Peay State University and the Riverview Inn Classic.
Arriving Friday afternoon against Austin Peay State University for a scheduled double hitter to open the festivities of the Riverview Inn Classic Tournament and both games were filled with plenty of offense explosions that did not disappoint the fans that were able to watch the Eagles and the Governors.
In the first game the Eagles needed to score five runs in the top of the 10th inning to gain the lead and hold on because the Governors came back in the bottom of the inning but could only pushed across four runs and fell 16-15 to the Eagles.
The Eagles used a season high of 18 hits to score the season high run production, every starter in the lineup got at least one hit, led by center fielder Brent Ohrman and designated hitter Robert Wemdzicki both players had three hits for the Eagles.
Ohrman scored one run and ended the game with five RBI’s and Wendzicki also had three hits and scored one run and he had three RBI’s and started the game on the mound for Eastern Michigan University.
Wendzicki worked four strong innings for Eastern Michigan University baseball coach Jay Alexander but he got into trouble in the fifth inning and Alexander had to go to the bullpen and brought out Tim Combs and replaced Wendzicki on the hill at Raymond C. Hand Stadium.
Combs worked 2.2 innings before being replaced by Corey Chaffins who worked 3.1 innings and put out the fire in the bottom of the 10th to get his second win of the season.
The second game on Friday afternoon Austin Peay scored five runs in the sixth inning to break open the game and closed out the first day of the Riverview Inn Classic with a 10-5 victory against the Eagles.
The Eagles offense or defense did not help the starting pitcher Steve Weber by leaving 10 runners on base and committing four errors.
Saturday afternoon the rain clouds gathered and opened up and washed away the scheduled games including the contest between Eastern Michigan University and the University of Alabama A&M Bulldogs.
Sunday afternoon with cool temperature and the threat of more wet weather the Eagle made short work of the Bulldogs in seven innings finishing the Riverview Inn Classic with a 13-1 win over Alabama A&M.
Outfielders Ken Battiston led the Eagles offense with two hits and four RBIs and Ohrman collected three hits and two RBIs.
Alexander started Brian Valente for the Eagles and he worked six strong innings while only gave up one hit and one errand run and struck out five Bulldog hitters to earn his first victory of the season.
Eastern Michigan University will be leaving for the golden prairie of the state of Kansas with a three-game weekend series March 11-13, 2011 against the University of Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence but last year the Eagles open the season against the Jayhawks in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Metrodome because the weather back in Kansas was not baseball friendly.
Alexander and the Eagles will be paying closer attention to the Weather Channel this week and will be getting a rolling forecast on board the Eagle Express as the spring road trip continues this weekend.
Eastern Michigan University finished the tour of the state of South Carolina by visiting the campus of Presbyterian College located in Conway and by sweeping the Blue Hose, the Eagles left the South Carolina with a 3-2 record.
It is a nice place to visit but the Eagles were ready to leave the state of Tennessee and get back home to Ypsilanti Sunday afternoon March 6 ,2011. The Eagles did win two games of a three game series against the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech University which is located in Cookville before the trip back to South Carolina.
The offense finally arrived for the Eagles as they have improved the team’s batting average from an unimpressive .226 to much more respectable .280 but the Eagles have struck out 100 times after 11 games, there are six Eagles that have all ready double-digit strike outs.
Giving up 15 runs against Austin Peay State University did not improve the team’s ERA which is a eye brow lifting 6.28 and the opponents are hitting .303, Alexander knows his pitching staff needs to be more consistent 62 strikeouts in 102 innings is manageable but what has got to be putting gray in Alexander hair is the 61 walks
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.