CHILLICOTHE, Ohio. —- It was just what Eastern Michigan University baseball coach Jay Alexander needed from his baseball team-somebody to step up and be a star player.
Stepping into the spotlight for the Eagles a 6-6 sophomore, a hard throwing right hander and one time starter for Alexander, Steve Weber reintroduced him to the Eagle’s rotation by defeating Kent State University 4-2 Friday afternoon at the Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament being played in Chillicothe, Ohio at VA Memorial Stadium.
The win keeps the Eagles conference title drive alive and putting Eastern Michigan University into the semi-finals of the tournament.
Alexander said after the game Weber’s performance made the game special to watch for everybody, it looked like in the seventh inning Weber was getting tired his command started to drift outside the strike zone but Weber told Alexander that he felt strong and wanted to continue but Alexander option for and went to the bullpen.
“We got great pitching from Weber, he was a starter before. He did not make mistakes and that is why we had a chance to beat a top rank team,” Alexander said after the ballgame before getting on the bus. “He dominated the strike zone.”
“I wanted to beat Kent State for awhile and my defense picked me up,” Weber said after the game in front of his dugout. “It was a great game from everyone.”
Alexander said Weber showed signs of not being able to locate his pitches so he knew that he would need to go the bullpen for relief help, Alexander called on left hander Collin Taylor to come in a dominate the situation, hold on to the lead and record the save for his team.
“I walked a lot more guys than I wanted to0 but I battled all game,” Weber said. “My change up was on and it was a battle and a grind.”
Weber worked seven innings threw 109 pitches and gave up seven hits and walked six but only gave up two runs.
“Outstanding!” Alexander said about Taylor’s work on the mound. “We needed that in the worst way it was good for his confidence. He is a great pitcher he has got some big league stuff.”
Taylor was tuned into the game and he provided some needed help for the Eagles, he threw two innings allowing one hit and walking two Kent State University batters.
“They could not get solid contact,” Taylor said. “Even the one hit they got was a blooper.”
Alexander said before the tournament that a strong defense from his squad would be required if the Eagles were going to make an appearance at the tournament.
Eagle’s left fielder Dan Russell and catcher Matt Hitt combined for an outstanding play at the plate that denied the Golden Flashes a run in the eighth inning and kept the momentum from changing benches.
Hitt also made a block of a pitch from Taylor that scooted into the dirt but after the block from Hitt the ball just sat harmlessly at the feet of Hitt.
“He is the better defensive catcher,” Alexander said. “That is why we made the change.”
The third best defense in the conference rose up to the challenge against the Golden Flashes and frustrated them as Kent State University left 12 runners on base.
“We played a very well game and we got great pitching It is always fun if you are still here,” Alexander said.
The fun continues tomorrow at VA Memorial Stadium at Noon Saturday May 28, 2011 when the Eagles face Kent State University, the loser of the game will be finish and have to go home, while the winner continues to have fun.
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.