YPSILANTI, Mich. —- Uncle Mel is singing one of his favorite song with a couple added word in the lyric and Uncle Mel is hoping that Hank Williams Jr. is not too upset because Uncle Mel is ready for some baseball!
This weekend series the Eastern Michigan University baseball team will travel to the city of glass, Jeep City – Toledo, Ohio for an important three game series against the University of Toledo beginning this Friday afternoon May 13, 2011 beginning at 3 p.m. at the busiest corner in the Mid-American Conference and the home of the Rockets – Scott Park.
The Eagles are going into this weekend series after losing a three game set just winning one game out of three against Northern Illinois University at the coziest corner in the league Oestrike Stadium, May 6-8, 2011.
Eagle baseball coach Jay Alexander seemed concern with his offense especially the middle of the line up because of the lack of hit and run production.
The Eagles would find themselves in some great scoring positions against Northern Illinois University but the lack of concentration produced no run support for the Eagle pitching staff.
“ Way too many!” Alexander said about the lack of a big hit and leaving runners on base. “We did not get hits like we normally do and that is how we lost. When you get a zero out of your five and six guys and your five guy used to be your three hole hitter and I mean not even a good swing between the two of them you do not stand a chance to win.”
After 48 games completed the Eagles offense is batting as a team, a respected .298 which is ranked No. 1 in the conference. The Eagles have 23 home runs but lead the league with 102 doubles and scoring 311 runs.
“We knew coming in here Eastern Michigan is a good club,” Northern Illinois University baseball coach Ed Mathey said. “They play though they always have played though at least with us and against the rest of the league.”
Eastern Michigan University against Toledo is a rival game and the fact that it could have determine the Mid-American Conference West Division title adds more spice to the series.
The Eagles offense has had a full week off in preparation for the week against the Rockets which included some rest and relaxation and get those nagging injuries some time to heal.
Important to the hitters getting rest, so is the pitching staff getting a chance to relax, against the Huskies the staff work hard and rose to the challenge against the Huskies.
Alexander’s pitching staff is ranked eight in the league with an ERA of 4.72 and 32 overall victories is second behind Kent State University.
The Eagles pitching staff well represents the area of Southeast Michigan and the city of Ypsilanti, they are a blue-collar and hard-working group and they have a personality, a staff of characters but when it is time to take the mound this staff becomes serious and it means business.
Alexander likes to describe his team as a group of guys with some swagger especially his pitching staff.
“We brought a couple of new pieces into the puzzle and we got the experience players are back and they know what I expect and they play hard,” Alexander said describing his team. “Swagger, they have experience.”
The Eagles will have to reach into the depth of there fortitude and play what Alexander describes nothing less than 100 percent against the Rockets.
The offense will need to take advantage of scoring opportunities because the staff of Toledo’s coach Cory Mee is third in the conference with a team ERA of 3.57 and after 46 games the Rockets have only allowed 160 earned runs.
Alexander is looking for his pitching staff to continue to work like they have been all season, a consistent group and not just as individuals. Tthe bullpen and the starting staff will have there work because Toledo is a solid hitting team ranked fourth in the conference with a team batting average of .278 with 18 home runs for the season.
There are just six games left in the regular season and Eastern Michigan University is setting in second place tied with Toledo just one game behind Central Michigan University.
This is the ingredients and the right recipes for an exciting climax of the Mid-American Conference West Division rival games that mean possible seeding implications at the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament scheduled to start May 25 in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Alexander and the rest of the baseball fans at Eastern Michigan University is hoping that the Eagles are ready to get rowdy with there friends coming over tonight.
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.