YPSILANTI, Mich. —- Well two out of three not too bad!
Eastern Michigan University baseball team opened the 2011 home portion of the schedule hosting the Ron Oestrike Baseball Classic over the weekend of March 18-20, 2011 in the cozy confines of Oestrike Stadium.
The tournament gave a chance for the program at Eastern Michigan University and the community to pay homage to Ron Oestrike the legendary baseball coach. He coached the baseball program at Eastern Michigan University starting in the year of 1965 and retiring from the field in 1987 with a total of 657 wins including a NAIA Championship in 1970 and back to back appearance in the NCAA World Series in 1975 and 1976.
Eastern Michigan University played the night cap of the tournament and defeated Oakland University 4-3, Friday evening.
Eagle’s outfielder Wally Gerbus leadoff the ninth inning with a double to left center field and moving to third base on Ken Battiston groundball to short.
Oakland University baseball coach John Musachio came out of the dugout and decided to make a pitching change replacing Jeff Gorecki with left hander relief pitcher Brady Adamak.
Before Musachio could get comfortable in the corner of the dugout Adamak unleashed a fastball that found the dirt and scooted by everybody and coming home with the winning run Gerbus cross the plate ending the first day of the Classic.
Gorecki should have not got the decision but he was tagged with the lost sense he was responsible for Gerbus on third but Gorecki worked four and two-thirds giving up three hits and striking out five Eagles.
Eastern Michigan University starting pitcher Robert Wendeicki worked seven innings and gave up four hits, struck out five and gave up two base on balls but did not get the decision.
Eastern Michigan University baseball coach Jay Alexander felt confident in his bullpen and called upon Tim Combs and Joe Battistelli to close the door on the Golden Grizzlies.
Oakland University chased Combs in the top of the ninth by getting two runners into scoring position and Alexander went to Battistelli.
Oakland University batter D.J. Jarred work the count to three balls and two strikes when he turned into a Battistelli fastball and punched into right field tying the score and setting the stage for Gerbus.
Under a blue sky and sunshine Saturday afternoon the Eagles faced Alma College, a division three school from the state of Michigan with a solid baseball tradition. And for the second time in two days the Scots had push their bigger school opponents to extra innings before losing. The Eagles had to go 10 innings before they could end the Saturday festivities with a 7-6 win against Alma College.
Starting pitcher Saturday afternoon for the eagles Brian Valente worked his best outing of the season but his defense behind him committed five errors which led to Alma getting the tie and sending the game into extra innings.
Valente worked four and two-thirds innings giving up four hits but he struck out four the Scots did score two runs but they were unearned.
Coming off of the bench in the bottom of the 10th inning Friday’s starting pitcher Wendzicki provided the game winning single into right field scoring Tucker Rubino who had singled and got to third base on an error committed by Alma’s relief pitcher Jay Sackett could not handle a sacrifice attempt setting up Wendzicki game winning base hit.
Eastern Michigan University offense led by rightfielder Ken Battiston; he had five hits and scored three runs for the Eagles.
Getting the win for the Eagles Jordan Glover, he worked three and two thirds of an inning to record his second win of the season.
The overcast and blustery Sunday afternoon could not dampen the festivities or the baseball fans that arrived and found their seats in Oestrike Stadium for the grudge match that would close the inaugural baseball tournament.
Sunday’s game featured in-state rivals and only separated by seven miles Eastern Michigan University opened up the front door and welcomed the University of Michigan to the cozy corner and confines of Oestrike Stadium.
The game featured two good pitching performances by both teams, the Wolverines sent Kyle Clark to the mound and slated for the Eagles Corey Chaffins.
The University of Michigan scored three runs in the seventh inning and gain the lead and held on to beat the Eagles 5-2.
Chaffins worked seven innings gave up three earned runs, walked four but struck out seven Wolverines before getting into trouble and being replaced by Neil Butara who came in the eighth inning and closed the door on Michigan.
The damage had been done and the Eagles could not get a comeback together and Michigan’s starting pitcher Clark recorded his first victory of the season.
Clark pitched seven and one third of an inning before University of Michigan baseball coach Rich Maloney went to his bullpen and called upon Ben Ballantine to finish the game for the Wolverines.
Eastern Michigan University won twice over the weekend but the lost to the University of Michigan only serves notice to the county that the battle for baseball supremacy will take no prisoners.
Eastern Michigan University will travel to Morgantown, West Virginia Tuesday March 22, 2011 for a brief two game set against West Virginia University before returning home and opening up the Mid-American Conference with a three game weekend series against the University at Buffalo beginning Friday afternoon March 25, 2011.
The first pitch of the series is scheduled to cross the plate at 3 p.m. at Oestrike Stadium.
There is plenty of good feelings Sunday afternoon about the Ron Oestrike Baseball Classic because there was good baseball played and the weather held out until the final out Sunday before the rain arrived.
Alma College played well enough to make two teams sweat. The Scots made the mighty University of Michigan play 12 innings before losing 4-3 and Alma College looked to upset Eastern Michigan University but two extra inning games took the toll and the Scots were beat by Oakwood University 14-0 Sunday Afternoon.
Eastern Michigan University defense fell apart making nine errors over the weekend including five made against Alma College. The Eagles have played 18 games and have made 36 errors so far this season.
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.