YPSILANTI, Mich. — The disappointment of it all!
The prize of a Mid-American Conference West Division title, a second seed in the Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament being played in Chillicothe, Ohio and the surprise of it all in the grasp of the Eastern Michigan University baseball team but like a early sunny spring day in the state of Michigan you better look quick because like a stormy wind it was gone.
Eastern Michigan University dropped the finale two games of the regular season against Central Michigan University and dropped into a fifth seed and will play the fourth seed Northern Illinois University at the historical home of the Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament – V.A. Memorial Stadium located on the grounds of the Veteran Hospital located in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Thursday’s night game May 19, 2011 lasted 14 innings and Eastern Michigan University won the game 11-10 which set up the next two games of the series against the Chippewas, the Eagles fell the following day Friday afternoon 14-2 and made the series a one game winner take all – the division title and the second seed.
Saturday afternoon May 21, 2011 the Eagles title hope fell into the dust of memories like the graduating seniors will have of there baseball career when they take time to reflect because Central Michigan University out pitched the Eagles for a 5-2 title clinching game.
Eastern Michigan University baseball coach Jay Alexander reminded his team of there swagger and there ability to overcome adversity and play the game with maximum effort something that he believes that his squad shows every game.
The Eagles will becoming into the tournament leading the conference with respectable .300 batting average and also leading the conference with belting 120 doubles and V.A. Memorial Stadium is a hitters ballpark because the ball carries well up the allies and there is little room for catching foul balls giving the advantage to the hitters.
The pitching staff will have to be able to control the pitches and be able to work with there second and third pitch to keep the batters from setting and waiting for a fat fast balls.
The Eagles are seventh in the conference with a team ERA of 4.72 but is second with overall win with 34 victories.
Leading the pitchers for Eastern Michigan University will be Robert Wendzicki, his performances have improved with every outing and he is proven to be a good pitcher and not just a thrower.
He makes the necessary adjustment to the strike zone without showing up the umpire and is able to control his off speed pitches successfully.
Alexander said his team searched for a Friday night guy, a pitcher whiling to go out to the mound and battle to win and according to Alexander Wendzicki is that guy.
Eastern Michigan University defense is surprised coaches in the Mid-American Conference with the ability to make plays especially up the middle and shortstop Tucker Rubino and Zach Leonard are good as anybody in the past at Eastern Michigan University working together turning the double play.
Alexander said earlier in the season he is waiting for his catchers to step up and take control behind the plate both Kyle Peterson and Matt Hitt have played behind the plate and both have improved and now Alexander will have two on the field generals from behind the plate calling pitches and directing the defense.
Playing center field for the Eagles Brent Ohrman anchors the middle of the defense and he is also eighth in the league in hitting with an average of .341 and he is capable of hitting the ball into the friendly gaps.
Eastern Michigan University and Northern Illinois University finished the regular season tied for second place in the West Division and the Huskies received the higher seed because of taking the weekend series against the Eagles, taking two of three what was described by Alexander an offense out of character.
The weather in south central Ohio will be the biggest opponent for the rest of the week with the threat of rain and thunderstorms in the area that is predicated for the entire week.
The festivities of the 2011 edition of the Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament at the V.A. Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio begins May 25, 2011 Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. and will conclude Saturday May 28, 2011.
Coming back home to Ypsilanti after the festivities have concluded and with the Mid-American Conference championship trophy would be the medicine to wipe away all of the bitter disappointment.
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.