ANN ARBOR, Mich. —- Winning ugly, winning gracefully or just dominating an opponent for Eastern Michigan University baseball coach Jay Alexander believes that he will take a hard fought victory over a good-looking lost any time.
For an extended time the win against the University of Michigan looked bleak but the Eagles loosen up their sleeves and reached into their magic hat and then rubbed all of the lucky charms vigorously and in front of 846 brave souls that with stood the time outside in the westerly breeze that blew across Fisher Stadium and witnessed Eastern Michigan University come back and defeat the University of Michigan 3-1.
University of Michigan baseball coach Rich Maloney described the game as a tough and an entertaining game.
“Our pitching did great we went eight innings scoreless,” Maloney said about his team’s pitching staff. “The cover was not torn off. If we would have made a couple of more plays then we would have been coming out smelling like a rose.”
Eastern Michigan University offense struggled throughout the game until the ninth inning when a couple of singles and a fielder’s choice produced three runs and Alexander turned and put the ball into the hand of Kristan Calibuso who shut the door on the Wolverines.
Maloney used four pitchers in the game and placed the outcome of the game on the arm of Alex Lakatos.
Eagle center fielder Brent Ohrman started the scoring rally when he punched a fast ball down and toward the hole at third base and he moved to second base when left fielder Daniel Russell placed a perfect bunt down for his second sacrifice of the season in front of home plate.
Eastern Michigan University third baseman Ben Magsig worked Lakatos for a base on balls and with runners on first and second baseman Zack Leonard hit a ground ball into the hole between first base and second base.
“Zack stepped up like a senior as he has been doing from time to time he knew that he had to make a quality at bat,” Alexander said about Leonard’s single that extended the inning. “He just wanted to hit the ball hard, he didn’t try to do anything extra he went with the pitch right where it was at and hit in the hole.”
Lakatos looking at trouble and feeling some pressure threw an off speed pitch to Eastern Michigan University first baseman Robert Wendzicki who took a mighty swing and lined the ball into right center field scoring Ohrman from third and tying the Wolverines.
With one out and the bases still loaded with Eagles Lakatos got Eastern Michigan University shortstop Tucker Rubino what appeared to be a perfect double play ground ball to Michigan’s shortstop Derek Dennis.
Dennis scooped up the ball with his glove and stepped on second base to force Wendzicki but as Dennis tried to make the throw across the diamond Wendzicki slide disrupted Dennis’s balance and the ball dipped into the dirt and Michigan first baseman Brett Winger could not cleanly come up with the ball.
Scoring on the play Leonard and rounding third and did not stop until he stepped onto the plate Magsig scored the third Eagle run.
“We play exciting baseball by playing hard when we play hard we are very exciting to watch like that little thing that Robert slid down there and it started by Ohrman busting out of the box on a routine ground ball to third base that he was safe on” Alexander said after the game on the field at Fisher Stadium. “The play of the game was on Matt Hitt’s block on that curve ball because the run scores it is a different ball game it would have been 2-0 and that would have been hard to come back from that.”
Alexander said there will not be any changes to the pitching rotation for this weekend series against Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and the win against his mentor Maloney was bitter sweet but the Eagles will need to get back to work in the Mid-American Conference this weekend against the Broncos.
The three game series will begin Friday April 22, 2011 at the historic jewel of college baseball venues Hyanes Field at Bobb Stadium beginning at 3 p.m. and on Saturday April 23, 2011 the first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. Easter Sunday’s game with Broncos is scheduled for 1 p.m.
The Eagles are hoping to resurrect some victories in Kalamazoo against the Broncos and remain in the thick of the exciting Mid-American Conference West Division title race which will make Alexander and Eagle baseball fans smile.
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.