YPSILANTI, Mich. —- Just in the nick of time!
Eastern Michigan University baseball team rode into the home of the University of Kansas Jayhawks, Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence, Kansas and headed back east with a weekend series victory just in front of some of that state of Kansas liquid sunshine.
The Eagles dropped the opener of the series to the University of Kansas 8-2 in front of 1,077 Jayhawks baseball fans soaking up the warm sunshine inside Hoglund Ballpark, March 11, 2011.
Eastern Michigan University arrived at Hoglund Ballpark Friday afternoon under a perfect Kansas blue sky and added to the 20 mile per hour wind by fanning 10 times against Jayhawks starting pitcher T.J. Walz.
University of Kansas baseball coach Ritch Price said after the game Walz did a good job and it was best performance of the year but would like to see Walz go deeper in a game.
“We would like to see T.J. go deeper in a game, he gave up that home run but he battled back,” Price said. “We would like to see him get pass the seventh inning and bridge the game to Colton Murray and to do that he has to get better command of his fastball.”
Walz threw 118 pitches for 76 strikes and only gave up six hits and two earned runs in 6.2 innings of work to even his record and record his second win of the season.
The Kansas batters used a season high of 14 hits to score eight runs and hand Eagle starting Rob Wendziciki his second defeat of the season.
Wendzicki lasted six innings and gave up 12 hits but only gave up two earned runs, he threw 89 pitches 58 were strikes, he did not walk any Jayhawks batters and recorded three strike outs.
Eastern Michigan University baseball coach Jay Alexander went to the bullpen looking for some help from the relief staff but Tim Combs and Taylor Dimmerling worked hard but struggled with there command of their pitches.
The Eagles woke up Saturday and went to Hoglund Ballpark under partly cloudy sky but with cooler temperature but it more to there liking because they started the game by scoring three runs in the first inning and defeated the University of Kansas 8-1, March 12, 2011.
The Jayhawks starter from the state of Hawaii left hander Wally Marciel was greeted by some anxious Eastern Michigan University hitters.
The Eagles were led offensively by centerfielder Brent Ohrman with three hits and by designator hitter Lee Longo who went 2 of 3 and knocked in two runs for the Eagles.
Eagles starting pitcher Steve Weber worked his best outing of the season by going seven innings for the Eagles and only giving up three hits and no runs, Webber threw 118 pitches 66 for strikes, he recorded just two strikeouts in route to his second win of the season.
Alexander went to his bullpen and his relief pitchers did a good job in working two innings and closing the door on the Jayhawks.
Sunday afternoon with the weather becoming an issue in the state of Kansas and the midsection of the country, the Eagles waited until the second inning before scoring four runs to push the Eagles into putting away the game and getting away with a series victory.
The Eagles used 14 hits and defeating the University of Kansas 10-4 and winning the weekend series at Hoglund Ballpark, March 13, 2011.
Eagles right fielder Ken Battiston and left fielder Daniel Russell led the offensive charge as they combined for seven hits.
Russell went 4 of 5 and knocked in four runs and Battiston had three hits including his second home run of the season.
Corey Chaffins started for the Eagles and recorded his third win of the season by going eight innings giving up just two runs and striking out seven before being removed by Alexander in the ninth for closer Joe Battistelli who gave up two runs but he was able to gain command of his fastball and stop the Jayhawks.
Eastern Michigan University closed out the weekend series in front of 886 at Hoglund Ballpark and by taking the series with two wins puts Alexander and the Eagles on a good course to sail through the stormy baseball season.
Eastern Michigan University will open the home portion of the baseball schedule at the cozy confines of Oestrike Stadium, Friday March 18, 2011 against Alma College in the opening game of the inaugural Ron Oestrike Baseball Tournament.
Eastern Michigan invited Oakland University to join the Eagles and Alma College in the festivities. The first pitch against Alma College is to be delivered Friday afternoon at 2 p.m.
Eastern Michigan University will play the night cap Friday evening against the Golden Grizzlies which will begin 30 minutes after the completion of the game against Alma College.
The Eagles forced the University of Kansas into committing seven errors during the three game series March 11-13, 2011.
Saturday March 12, 2011 the Eastern Michigan University Eagles did something that they have not done before-they scored runs in the first inning. The Eagles scored three runs against Kansas starter Wally Marciel and defeated the Jayhawks 8-1.
The batting average for the team is improving the Eagles will be going into the weekend March18-20 batting at .283 but the struck out total of 126 in 15 games might be an area that Alexander an his team will be looking to improve.
The opposition is hitting a sharp .306 against the Eagles and in 15 starts the Eagles pitching has given up 157 hits and only have struck out 76 opposition hitters.
Eastern Michigan University will open the 2011 home season with a special weekend of baseball dedicated to legendary Eagle baseball coach Ron Oestrike.
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.