TOLEDO, Ohio — The afternoon in the city that gives a home to the famous Original Pancake House and the University of Toledo, the blue sky and the sun shine cascaded around Scott Park made it a perfect afternoon for baseball.
Eastern Michigan University battling for a chance at the division title and jocking for position in the upcoming Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament being played at Pro-Am Stadium in Avon, Ohio.
The division title sailed right out of the window like the throws from third baseman Ben Magsig that missed the mark-the glove of first baseman Lee Longo in the bottom of the 12th inning Thursday afternoon and the University of Toledo defeated Eastern Michigan University 4-3 overshadowing the pitching effort of Eagles starting pitcher Neil Butara.
Butara pitched seven innings allowing three hits, striking out five walking two while just giving up one earned run before giving up the ball to Jordan Glover.
Glover threw a masterpiece eighth inning and the game looked like it could be in the bag for the Eagles but the ninth inning happen to Glover.
Without giving up a hit the Rockets tied the score to send the game into extra innings.
Glover walked two batters and then hit two batters and Eastern Michigan University baseball coach Jay Alexander began to pace inside the Eagles’ dugout.
The Rockets used timely hitting, great starting pitching and taking advantage of Eagle errors as they dashed the Eagles hopes of making a last minute dash to a divisional crown.
The Eagle scored one run to take the lead in the 12th inning and relief pitcher Ben Dartnell deserved a better result but the Eagles defense failed to deliver the victory.
Magsig could not manage two ground balls hit to him and with runners in scoring position Alexander went to the bullpen and brought in Paul Schaak to face Rocket’s right fielder Dan Zuchowski.
The pitch from Schaak came across the plate and like a slow motion playback the ball left Zuchowski’s bat and into right field scoring the winning run.
So the Eagles walked off the field Thursday evening looking forward to Friday afternoon and extract some Eagle-type revenge but with even a better day with pleasant springtime weather the Eagles could not figure out Toledo’s starting pitcher Matt Kuna.
Alexander worried that the Eagles would have a hard time bouncing back from the emotional game Friday.
Kuna work his pitches in the zone with plenty of movement, he worked seven innings giving up just two hits and striking out five earning his eighth win of the season and giving the Rocket’s there first West Division title.
The Eagles’ bats struggled all day and like Alexander said good pitching will beat good hitting and the Rockets defeated the Eagles a bright sunny Friday afternoon 5-2 winning the series.
Eastern Michigan University scored two runs in the ninth inning to avoid the shutout but only could manage four hits.
“We better play better find away right now!” Alexander said after the game. “Now that you hit that slide were it is hard to get up it is one of those things about what you play for so we have to figure it out.”
Eastern Michigan University and Toledo will finish the regular season Saturday afternoon May 19, 2012 at Scott Park starting at 1 p.m.
The game will feature a Senior Day celebration, eight seniors for the Rockets will say good by to Scott Park and the University of Toledo.
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.