YPSILANTI — Happy Easter to all of my nieces and nephews and your old Uncle Mel hopes that all of your Easter Basket came filled with lot of goodies.
Uncle Mel’s basket could not have been anymore full with sweetness including the Eastern Michigan University baseball team travelling to Kalamazoo, Michigan for three game series against the Broncos of Western Michigan University at the historical home of the Broncos- Hyames Field.
If you would nieces and nephews take a quick glance at the Mid-American Conference West Division you will find the Eagles sitting on top of the world, well at least in first place.
The Eagles out gunned, out run and just had more determination not to give into the Broncos.
The first game of the series, Friday April 6, 2012 turned into a nail-biter, an edge of the seat kind of game that left both coaches speechless and heading for something to sooth and settle the nerves.
Eastern Michigan University scored four runs in the ninth inning and it was just enough to defeat the Broncos 15-14 and for the first time in conference play Western Michigan University knew the feeling of losing.
The Broncos felt pretty good about themselves in the first four innings leading the Eagles 5-0 but in the fifth inning the Eagles woke up the bats and scored two runs to cut into the lead and set the stage for the rest of the game.
In the sixth inning, the Eagles scored five more runs and suddenly the Eagles took a 7-5 lead but the starting pitching for the Eagles could not contain the Broncos and in the bottom of the sixth Western Michigan University scored five runs took back the lead.
Starting pitcher for the Eagles, Neil Butara allowed 13 hits and six earned runs while working just 5.1 innings for Eastern Michigan University baseball coach Jay Alexander.
Alexander describes Butara as a tough pitcher and he just needs to gain more experience.
Earning his first victory as an Eagle, relief pitcher Ben Dartell and Joe Battistelli recorded his second save of the season for the Eagles.
Both teams combined for 29 runs and 39 hits including nine doubles and six errors.
The top of the batting order showed a lot of determination and set the mood for the Eagles offense.
Scoring three runs and getting three hits Eagle first baseman Ben Magsig batting in the lead-off spot in the lineup. Batting second and extending his 14-game hitting streak and playing third base for the Eagles Brent Ohrman batted five times and collected four hits.
Stepping up in the number three hole in the lineup for Alexander right fielder Sam Ott batted 3 for 6 for the day and in the ninth inning Ott drove in two runs.
The trips to the medicine cabinet for Alexander limited his rest Friday night but the Eagles rested well and came out Saturday afternoon at Hyames Field and defeated the Broncos 13-9 setting the stage for an Easter Sunday showdown.
Ohrman provided a 4 of 5 against Bronco pitching for the Eagles at the plate, scoring five runs and extending his hitting streak to 15 games.
Steve Webber started for the Eagles and worked five innings before giving way for the bull pen staff to shut down the Broncos.
Dartell came into the game and could not retain the magic of Friday and he faced one batter gave up one hit and one run, Alexander made another trip to the mound and summoned Jordan Glover to save the Eagles.
Glover finished the last four innings giving up just three hits, one earned run but he struck out three earning his first save of the season.
The sun rays beaming and flooding the Kalamazoo River valley, the pageantry of Easter hats on display only added more beauty to pastel colors of Easter dresses and with the victory over Western Michigan University completed the day’s festivities.
Eastern Michigan University defeated Western Michigan University Easter Sunday afternoon 9-5 which erased the 1 ½ game deficit and vaulted the Eagles in first place in the West Division.
The Eagles scored 37 runs and batted .339 in the three game series against the Broncos.
Working in the sunshine on the mound for Alexander and the Eagles, Ryan Lavoie worked seven impressive innings striking out 11, giving up seven hits and four earned runs recording his third win of the season.
Ohrman and Magsig lead the offense for the Eagles.
Magsig hit a three-run home run in the ninth and finished the day with four hits. Ohrman extended his hitting streak to 16 games and finished the three games against the Broncos batting 10 of 15 and scoring eight runs.
Eastern Michigan University will play Michigan State University, April 11, 2012 Tuesday afternoon in East Lansing starting at 3:05 p.m.
The Eagles will get back to the Mid-American Conference with a three game series against Central Michigan University beginning Friday night April 13, 2012 at 6 p.m.
Enjoying Easter dinner, finding a Easter basket and watching Eastern Michigan University baseball winning and soaring into first place in the West Division – now that is a great Easter Sunday for old Uncle Mel.
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.