YPSILANTI, Mich. —- When it comes to a good spring cleaning there is nothing like a good sweeping to getting everything in order and a feeling of freshness.
Under mostly a blue sky this weekend at the cozy confines also known as Oestrike Stadium the Eastern Michigan University baseball team took care business by sweeping away the University at Buffalo.
Eastern Michigan University baseball team began the 2011 Mid-American Conference season by defeating the University at Buffalo 11-2, Friday March 25, 2011 at the snug confines of Oestrike Stadium.
The Eagles exploded for six runs in the eighth inning and answered any question about the outcome of the ball game.
Eastern Michigan University baseball coach Jay Alexander started senior left hander Robert Wendzicki against the Bulls.Wendzicki worked seven innings for the Eagles and gave up seven hits and struck out eight while only walking two, Wendzicki controlled his fastball and the strike zone.
Working his best start of the season Wendizick also received plenty of offense the Eagles hit a season high 18 hits led by right fielder Ken Battiston with three hits including a triple in the fifth inning and left fielder Daniel Russell had two hits and knocked in three runs.
Peterson led the explosion in the eighth by leading off the inning with a single into left field and scoring when Russell hit a double into the gap in left center field and coming home on single hit by designated hitter Wally Gerbus.
The Eagles finished the scoring in the eighth with two run single hit by first baseman Kyle Klien scoring shortstop Tucker Rubino and second baseman Zack Leonard. Klein finished the day with three hits.
Alexander went to the bullpen in the eighth inning and placed the ball in the good hands of Tim Combs, he went two innings and striking out two and preserving the win for Wendzicki and the Eagles.
Saturday afternoon Alexander place the baseball in the capable right hand of Corey Chaffins and he responded to the challenge by throwing five and two-thirds strong innings against the Bulls and securing his fourth win of the season beating the Bulls 5-1.
Chaffins controlled his fast ball in and out of the zone keeping the Bulls guessing at the plate, he struck out six and walking two and while just giving up one run and three hits
Eastern Michigan University forced Buffalo into committing five errors and making the five hits count, led by shortstop Rubino two hits for the contest and one run knocked in when Rubino hit his third double of the season a line drive that found the corner in left field scoring Leonard.
Sunday afternoon March 27, 2011 the Eagles made a furious comeback and it took extra innings but the Eagles defeated the Bulls 6-5 and preserving the weekend sweep of the series.
The Eagles trailed in the ball game in the eighth inning 5-2 and then scored three runs to catch the Bulls and sent the game into an extra inning affair.
With one out recorded by Buffalo relief pitcher Jeff Thompson who took over the mound in the eighth inning, Eagle right fielder Battiston began the rally with a sharp single into center field but Battiston was erased in a fielder’s choice ground ball hit by center fielder Brent Ohrman,
Now with two outs recorded by the Bulls defense, University at Buffalo baseball coach Ron Torgalski feeling better and sitting back into the dugout keeping warm and comfortable with Thompson out on the mound.
Eagle designator hitter Wendzicki reached a fastball by Thompson and delivered it into center field advancing Ohrman to third base. Leonard did not rush his at bat and worked Thompson for a base on balls loading up the bases with Eagles.
Rubino saw a pitch delivered by Thompson that he could hit and he did not miss the offering and by turning into the pitch he hit a two run single and the rally comeback continues when third baseman Ben Magsig tied the ball game with a single into center field and scoring Leonard and bringing out Torgalski to the mound and replacing Thompson with Kevin Hughes.
The Eagles scored the winning run in the 10th inning with runners on third and first with two out. Battiston took a Hughes change up and placed into left field getting Rubino across the plate with the winning run.
Eagle relief pitcher Joe Battistelli recorded his first victory of the season and Alexander found a reliable set up man with Combs who worked two and two-thirds of an inning taking over for Collin Taylor who only worked just two-thirds of an inning before Alexander put the ball into the glove of Combs.
Eastern Michigan University will play two games this week before hitting the road and continuing the Mid-American Conference schedule with a three-game weekend series at Bowling Green State University beginning Friday afternoon April 1, 2011. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Cleveland State University will be at Oestrike Stadium Tuesday March 29, 2011 and the following day March 30, 2011 the battle for county bragging rights continue with a afternoon contest against the University of Michigan also at Oestrike Stadium both games are scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.
Eastern Michigan University is off to their best start in over two decades, the last time the Eagles started this well is when they were the Hurons in 1988. They finished that season with a record of 35-22-1.
Tuesday afternoon’s game March 29, 2011 against Cleveland State University will be the first of a home and home series against the Vikings. Eastern Michigan University holds a 12-5 lead in the series. The trip to Cleveland is scheduled for April 12, 2011 and that is a twilight game and is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.
Wednesday afternoon the battle of baseball supremacy of Washtenaw County will continue against the University of Michigan. The Wolverines have had plenty of success at the Eagles expense they have beat Eastern Michigan University 112 times and only have felt the sting of defeat just 56 times.
The Eagles pitching staff continues to improvement gaining control of the strike zone, so far after 23 games the Eagles’ staff has recorded 135 strike outs but 95 walks and that is too many for Alexander to feel comfortable.
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.