YPSILANTI, Mich. —- Eastern Michigan University baseball team will be playing a three game series this weekend at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium the home of last season’s Mid-American Conference baseball champion Kent State University.
Eagles baseball coach Jay Alexander is hoping that the series is a preview of the next Mid-American Baseball Tournament.
Kent State University drew first blood Friday afternoon by defeating the Eagles 4-2 in what was described as a pretty good pitching duel by both teams’ pitchers.
Starting for the Eagles right hander Robert Wendzicki, he pitched eight innings for Eastern Michigan giving up four earned runs and he struck out six and only walked one but did not get enough offense support.
Kent State University starting pitcher Andrew Chafins worked hard by shutting down the Eagles by getting 13 stick outs in eight and two-thirds of an inning before Golden Flashes baseball coach Scott Strickland went to the bull pen and called on Kyle McMillen to finish the game.
“I did not have my best stuff out there but I pushed through it and got the win,” Chafins said after the game about his performance on the mound. “It feels great to get the win.”
Kent State scored two runs in the bottom of the third inning, Derek Toadvine started the rally with a double down the left field line, then Joe Koch felt the plunk of a Wendzicki fast ball and the both runners advanced when Jimmy Rider lay down a perfect sacrifice bunt.
The runs scored when Travis Shaw saw a pitch from Wendzicki that found the middle of the plate and Shaw turned on the pitch and hit the ball into left field scoring Toadvine and Koch.
The Eagles scored one run in the top of the fourth inning and then scored their second run in the fifth inning and trailed the Golden Flashes by one run until the eighth when Kent State push another run across for the final score.
Easter Michigan University offense led by centerfielder Brent Ohrman getting three hits knocking in one run and scoring one run for the Eagles.
The Eagles comeback effort in the ninth fell short but it was just enough to make Strickland uncomfortable as the leadoff man Zack Leonard made a trip to first base after he was hit by a pitch from Chafins.
Chafins struck out pinch hitter Wally Gerbus and shortstop Tucker Rubino lifting the eyebrows of Strickland up at the sky above but as the ball came off of and fell into center field off of the bat of catcher Matt Hitt and Strikland made an appearance from the dugout and quickly walk out to the mound and removed his starting pitcher and brought in McMillen in to the game and close the door shut.
Eagle’s designator hitter Dae Bowden hit a ground ball off of McMillen into a fielder’s choice and ended the game.
“We pitched outstanding,” Strickland said about his pitchers.”Andrew (Chafins) was great out there again. It is amazing, he was not sharpest but he still had 13 strikeouts and no walks. When you win on Friday against a really good team, it is a good win for us.”
Eastern Michigan University will try again Saturday afternoon April 9, 2011 against Kent State University at Olga A Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium beginning at 1 p.m.
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.