YPSILANTI, Mich. — He made it!
Eastern Michigan University senior second baseman Zack Leonard became the all time hits leader in Eastern Michigan University baseball Saturday afternoon April 23, 2011 in Kalamazoo, Michigan at Robert J Bobb Field the historical stadium of the Western Michigan University Broncos.
Leonard finish the series with 277 hits and there is still plenty of baseball left in the season.
Eastern Michigan University baseball coach Jay Alexander recently said Leonard is an important part of the Eagles and he provides leadership and that his effort on the field is an example of his ability to be a great leader on the diamond and in the clubhouse.
“Zack steps up time after time,” Alexander said about his history making second baseman.
Leonard and his team mates shook off an extra day off because if a rain postponed game against the Broncos Friday afternoon and showed up at Bobb Field, Saturday afternoon and swept the double hitter against Western Michigan University, winning the first game 4-2 and closing the door and ending the day Saturday by taking the second game 6-3.
Senior left-hander Robert Wendzicki started the first game against the Broncos with his first career complete game, giving up just the two runs, allowing four hits, striking out six while only walking two setting the tone for the nightcap for Eagles pitcher Cory Chaffins.
Chaffins earned his career best fifth victory with seven innings worked giving way for the Eagles’ relief pitching to come in the game and close the door on the Bronco’s batters.
Chaffins finished the day with two strike outs but he only gave up one earned run and only walked one batter. He face 29 batters and got the Broncos to ground out 10 times.
Alexander relieved Chaffins with Tim Combs who faced just three batters, he was not comfortable on the mound and Combs struggled with his command of his pitches forcing Alexander to make another change bringing in Collin Taylor.
Taylor had no luck either with his command, Taylor did strike out one but he also walked one causing Alexander to seat up on the edge of his seat in the dugout, knowing the path to the mound from the bench Alexander made another call to the bullpen and gave the ball to Kristian Calibuso.
Calibuso worked one and two-thirds of an inning and preserved the game while recording his third save of the season.
Easter Sunday Eastern Michigan University looked for more than hidden Easter Eggs, they were looking to sweep the weekend series against the Broncos at Robert J. Bobb Field.
Eastern Michigan University scored early in the game and despite giving up a four run fourth inning the Eagles pounded out 16 hits and scored 13 runs to defeat the Broncos 13-4 and get right back into the thick of the Mid-American Conference West Division title race.
Eastern Michigan had six players Sunday that had multi-hits and leading the charge for the Eagles catcher Matt Hitt who went 3 of 6 and drove in four runs in the game.
Starting for the Eagles Easter Sunday Steve Weber before being replaced with one out in the fourth inning by Joe Battistelli.
Weber ran into some trouble when he allowed two singles and a batter to reach first base on a walk, loading the bases for the Broncos and stepping into the batter’s box for Western Michigan first base man Troy Forton.
Forton reached out for a fastball and hit a ground ball to Eagle’s shortstop Tucker Rubino who made the toss to Leonard at second base but the relay did not get to first base in time for the double play scoring the run was Jack Scanton.
Weber could not find the strike zone and walked Grant Simotes reloading the bases and brought Alexander out of the dugout and put the fate and the game in the hand’s of Battistelli.
Battistelli worked five and two-thirds of an inning of shutout baseball and earned his fourth win of the season.
The sweep of the Broncos was the second of the Mid-American Conference scheduled for the Eagles and the overall record of 24-15 is a new mark for the Eagles.
It will be a busy week for the Eagles with two games home and home series against Michigan State University, the series starts Tuesday afternoon April 26. 2011 in East Lansing beginning at 3:05 p.m.
The Eagles will be home Wednesday, April 27, 2011 evening hosting the Spartans the first pitch is schedule to cross the plate at 6:30 p.m.
Eastern Michigan University will get back into the Mid-American Conference the weekend of April 29 – May 1, 2011 at the friendly and cozy corner Oestrike Stadium hosting Ball State University starting Friday evening with the first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.
Alexander is hoping for more history to be made against the Cardinals.
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.