YPSILANTI, Mich. —- Uncle Mel is a proud American but he is even more proud of the men and women of the armed forces that just do their job everyday but Uncle Mel is feeling a extra sense of pride to the members of the United States Navy and those brave soul that risk there lives in the SEALS just doing their job.
On a smaller scale, Eastern Michigan University baseball team took out their trustworthy broom and swept away Ball State University at the coziest corner in the Mid-American Conference Oestrike Stadium April 29-May1, 2011.
The sweep started Friday night April 29, 2011 at Oestrike Stadium when Eagles baseball coach Jay Alexander put the baseball in the hand and sent Robert Wendziciki to the mound.
The condition and the atmosphere of the night game suited Wendzicki, he threw eight strong innings allowing just one run and five hits as the Eagles defeated the Cardinals 13-1 and getting his fourth victory of the season.
Alexander said after the game that Wendziciki threw a good game and he stuck with the plan.
“First pitch strikes, he got a low umpire and he adjusted to the umpire right away and that helped him a lot,” Alexander said about Wendzicki’s pitching performance. “He was consistent the umpire for both teams and Robert was able to take advantage of it.”
The offense Friday night is just like the coffee that Uncle Mel like’s in the morning in his favorite memento of his undergrad days at Eastern Michigan University mug- it has perked up strong!
Leading the way is senior second baseman Zack Leonard, he is now the all-time hit leader at Eastern Michigan University and he also leading his team’s defense by making the outstanding plays seem just routine and the simple ground ball into uncomplicated play.
“His ability to hit the ball, his ability to play defense this guy has turned it up a notch,” Alexander said about his second baseman. “He has been out standing the last seven or eight games. He is phenomenal!”
Leonard is also this week’s Mid-American Conference West Division Baseball Player, he ended the week with a batting average of .667 which increased his batting average for the season to a respectable .351. His hits for the week included four doubles and one home run and knocking in 12 runs.
Leonard led the Eagles to a great comeback over Michigan State University 17-15, he batted 5 of 5 in the win and he led the defense by making 14 assist in the field April 26, 2011 at Mclean Stadium the home of the Spartans.
Under a gray an overcast day Saturday afternoon, Uncle Mel met with some old friends of the Eastern Michigan University baseball program some former players and former coaches who came back to Oestrike Stadium and watched the Eagles come back after trailing by four runs and defeated the Cardinals 5-4 sending the alumni home a happy group.
Eastern Michigan University offense scored four times in the eighth inning which included the game winning run scored by Wally Gerbus when designated hitter Sam Ott placed down a perfect bunt and the Eagles pulled off a successful suicide squeeze bunt.
Alexander paced inside the Eagle’s dugout as he watched his starting pitcher Cory Chaffins struggle with his command and after chewing and spitting enough sunflower seeds, Alexander could not take the punishment any longer and went out to the mound and summoned Steve Weber out of the bullpen.
Chaffins sat down in the dugout after working one and a third of an inning gave up three runs and five hits but Weber closed the door on Ball State University in six and two thirds of an inning allowing one run and five hits but he got the Cardinals to strikeout seven times in route to his fifth win of the season.
Picking up his fourth save of the season Saturday afternoon, Kristian Calibuso made his appearance interesting by walking three but he worked out of the jam to preserve the victory.
Sunday afternoon’s game the Eagles offense put this game out of reach in the fourth inning by scoring six runs and when the rain filled clouds finally appeared the Eagles defeated Ball State University 18-5 damping the Cardinal ride back home.
The Eagles pounded out 18 hits led by Eastern Michigan University right fielder Ken Battiston with his first career multi-home run game as he drove in seven runs.
Leonard also joined the home run display by the Eagles with his second home run of the season and hitting his first career home run left fielder Daniel Russell a two run shot that cleared the center field fence in the third inning.
Eagles started Joe Battistelli on the mound Sunday afternoon and he worked six inning allowing eight hits and two run and striking out six and recording his fifth victory of the season.
Battistelli last season came out of the bull pen and Alexander described his pitcher as a fighter.
Ball State University baseball coach Alex Marconi used nine pitchers Sunday afternoon and would have used more if he could have gotten any volunteers but the Cardinals had enough of the Eagles pitching and offense and pleading with any of the baseball Gods to end this game as quickly as possible and get aboard the bus for the long ride back home to Muncie, Indiana.
The mid-week series for the Eagles will be a brief two game series in the land of mint juleps and bluegrass, where the might Ohio River flows easy and creases the shoreline of the city of Louisville, Kentucky, the home of the University of Louisville.
The first game is schedule for Tuesday May 3 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Jim Patterson Baseball Stadium the home of the Cardinals.
The second game of the series is scheduled for Wednesday May 4, 2011 and the first pitch is schedule to cross the home plate at Patterson Stadium at noon.
Uncle Mel would like to say again to the all the men and women who serve this country in the armed services a great big thank you and Uncle Mel remembers the sacrifice you make and it allows all of us here – to stand with pride! – American Style!
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.