YPSILANTI —- Back home at the cozy corner and without the fear of the wired things that can happen on Friday 13 and for Eastern Michigan University baseball coach Jay Alexander he is hoping that his team can create some kind of hex on Central Michigan University.
Starting the weekend series Friday night against the Chippewas, Alexander gave the ball to Neil Butara and he worked and spun a dark cloud around the plate that the Chippewas batters were guessing to find the ball.
Eastern Michigan University defeated Central Michigan University 4-0 Friday April 13, 2012 at Oestrike Stadium.
“Neil is the cockiest s-o-b ever seen, he is great and it is a good cockiness not a-hole type of kid,” Alexander said about Butara. “He expects to win and he looks at you right in the eye and tells you that I am coming right at you.”
Eastern Michigan University drew the first blood of the contest by scoring two runs in the magical third inning.
Butara came out in the fourth and faced a Chippewas uprising but a questionable coaching move by Central Michigan University Jake Jaksa created a base running mistake at the plate.
With a runner on third and first base, Central Michigan University center fielder Tom Lally squared around and attempted to lay down a squeeze play but the Lally made contact and the ball was fielded by Eastern Michigan University catcher Matt Hitt.
Jaksa sent Nate Theunissen down the line only to be tagged out by Butara covering the plate.
Alexander said the Eagles starting pitchers have been told to go back to the basic of pitching and have pride out on the mound.
“I am very impressed with us today for everything hitting, pitching and defense getting timely hits. Pinch hit (Lee) Longo and he comes in and he knows he got to get on that is indicative of a first place team,” Alexander said.
The Eagles could only managed four hits against Central Michigan University ace Zach Cooper who worked 7.1 innings and striking out six before being replaced by Kenton San Miguel.
“He was lights out.” Alexander said about Cooper after the game. “He was absolute brilliant, he was very tough and got tougher at the end of the game; he only had six strikeouts because we were discipline.”
San Miguel only saw one batter giving up a hit and Jaksa came out of the dugout and brought Sean Renzi to finish the game.
Central Michigan University touched up Butara for seven hits but the Eagles pitcher settled down and left 14 Chippewas runners on the bases.
Butara worked 6.2 innings and striking out four and walking four, Alexander said Butara did not want to give up the mound but did not make a stink about the coaching decision.
Alexander went to the bull pen and brought in Ben Dartnell who faced four batters, he struck out one batter did not give up a hit but he hit two Chippewas hitters before getting replaced on the mound by Jordan Glover.
It was not the Glover outing that Alexander or his coaching staff is use to seeing from Glover, he only faced one batter and could not get them out.
Alexander made the call to his closer Joe Battistelli with the results that the Eagles needed to get the victory.
“I think we are doing a very good job, we made a lot of changes, always working on the mental aspect of the game and the physical part of it,” Alexander said about his pitching staff. “What concerns me or what I look for is what did they do lately and a lot of those guys that were in today they have been doing very good lately.”
Battistelli faced four batters and finished the game with four strike outs and earning his third save of the season.
The Eagles will continue the weekend series against the Chippewas at Oestrike Stadium Saturday afternoon April 14, 2012 with the first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.
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.