YPSILANTI —- Your old Uncle Mel sat in the press box at Oestrike Stadium in a sense of bewilderment!
Your old Uncle did not expect to see what unfolded Saturday afternoon under the bright golden sunshine and the clear blue afternoon sky at the home of the Eastern Michigan University baseball team and as you all know- is the most friendliest in the Mid-American Conference.
Uncle Mel joined Eastern Michigan University baseball coach Jay Alexander in disbelief after watching the Eagles dropped the last game of the regular season 6-5, to the University of Toledo and losing another three game series at home.
The lost is hard to take, because after 53 games, the Eagles season came down to winning just one game, which would allowed the Eagles a chance to make an appearance in the 2013 Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament being played in Avon, Ohio beginning Wednesday morning.
Instead, many of the Eagles’ baseball players will be sleeping in late that morning and then waking up in the city the sits majestically on the shoreline of the Huron River.
Alexander and Uncle Mel would have rather took in the sights of nearby Cleveland, get in a round of golf or just lounge next to the hotel pool after breakfast before the Eagles would have boarded the team bus for the short trip to the ball park.
Look, let Uncle Mel just ask a question.
Does your old Uncle think that Eastern Michigan University could have won the tournament?
Stranger things have happen and when it comes to Mid-American Conference baseball it is anything goes-just ask Buffalo.
The Bulls were ready to claim the regular season title but were beat out of the title by Kent State University. The Golden Flashes won the title but also were awarded the first seed in the tournament but they came on strong at the end of the season and caught the Bulls.
In the West Division of the Mid-American Conference, it is not that they play bad baseball but all of the teams are so close that losing a series especially at home can cost dearly-just inquire the Eagles.
Making a triumph home coming back to Ball State University and Muncie, Indiana. Leaving behind the University of Michigan and the hot spot light, the former Wolverine baseball coach Rich Maloney returned to the nest in Ball State University.
Ball State University caught Northern Illinois University on the last day of the regular season but lost the West Division pennant by one game.
The Cardinals got themselves into that position because of couple of things, one of those things is that the Cardinals accomplished is that they took out the broom and swept away the Eagles. The other thing, Maloney said is that the Cardinals just started putting thing in order and started to understand what it takes to win in the Mid-American Conference.
“They got hot at the right time,” Maloney explained about his team’s success.
During that week end series against the Cardinals and again during the last weekend series against the Rockets, Alexander said, his team just did not do anything right and if you can’t win at home you are just not going to have any success.
“We didn’t do anything to deserve to win any way,” Alexander said about his team’s play against Ball State University. “The only thing that we did is show up on the field. We didn’t show up at the plate, none of the guys hit.”
For the first time in his coaching career, Alexander did not have a wining record at home.
“ If you can’t win at home you are not going to win and that is the bottom line,” Alexander said about the importance of winning conference games at home. “At home is supposed to be your saving grace you are supposed to do well and we didn’t. I think right now our record is losing at home and that is the first time in my career-ever!”
Instead of making some noise at the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament in Avon, Ohio at All Pro Freight Stadium starting Wednesday morning May 22, 2013m at 9 a.m. the Eagles will be doing something that they have not done in five years-staying home.
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.