ATHENS, Ohio (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University baseball team, plagued by home runs, fell to Ohio University in both games of its double header on April 10 at Bob Wren Stadium. Both games went in extra innings before the Eagles fell, 4-3 in nine innings in the first competition and 2-1 in 10 innings in the second.
While Eastern (8-16, 4-11 MAC) did its own home run, Ohio (14-11, 8-7 MAC) finished with four in the afternoon.
Both Eagle start pitchers, junior Justin Meis (Pittsburgh, Pa.-Bethel Park) and senior Luke McGuire (Shelby Twp., Mich.-Stevenson) raised the entire expected duration of the competition, with each recording at least 7.0 innings.
Game One: Ohio 4, Eastern Michigan 3 (9 innings)
Despite 7.1 strong innings from Meis, including nine high-time strikeouts, the Eagles fell 4-3 to the Bobcats in Saturday’s first game of doubles.
Eastern Michigan wasted no time and started a run in its first two bats. Captain Nick Jones (Battle Creek, Mich.-Lakeview) got a mistake by the shortstop to start things and junior Taylor Hopkins (Mason, Ohio Archbishop Moeller) singled to the right. Jones took advantage of a mistake made by the right outfield player and managed to score a goal. Hopkins moved into third place with a groundout and crossed the plate to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead after the first half.
The Bobcats also found their leadoff hitter on the base in the lower section of the first, as the first pitch resulted in Ohio’s first hit of the day. Two batters later, the Bobcats started a home run to left field to tie the game by two after one inning of play. Ohio would start a home run again in the third run and take the 3-2 lead after three innings.
Meis withdrew the next six Bobcat batters in a row and not only hurled 1-2-3 innings in a row in the fourth and fifth, but also achieved a feat that no Eastern pitcher has achieved all season in the fifth frame: the team to hit in the correct order. While there had previously been 48 1-2-3 innings by the Green and White pitching staff, this was the first time all three outs of strikeouts had been recorded. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native got the batter to check on the first punch and got the next two to swing and finish the inning.
The Eagles rode off Meis’ strong fifth place and started with two direct singles from Junior to the top of sixth place Gabe Denton (Clare, Mich.-Clare (Northern Iowa)) and senior Jeff Timko (Rochester Hills, Mich.-Brother Rice)which in turn were brought into the gate position by a sacrifice of senior Daniel Warkentin (Leamington, Ontario-Leamington District (Parkland)). Although he didn’t get to the base himself, he was older Drake Peggs (Knightstown, Ind.-Knightstown Community) recorded the RBI on a groundout to tie the game, 3-3.
Neither team managed to break through in the last scheduled inning of the game, sending the game to additional innings for the third time this season.
Junior makes his first pitching change in the game Zach Fruit (Dundee, Mich.-Dundee (Lansing)) came in to relieve Meis with one out of eight. A native of Dundee, Michigan, wasted no time, forcing a two-runner popout and strikeout to send the game to the ninth inning.
Although older Eli Gora (Cincinnati, Ohio-Anderson) was able to come on the first stroke of the ninth, Eastern was unable to score him in the top half of the frame. In the lower half Ohio was able to hit the game winner with a throwing error to win the first of two games 4-3.
Game Two: Ohio 2, Eastern Michigan 1 (10 innings)
Three home runs were the only goal both sides scored in the second game between the Eagles and Bobcats when EMU fell 2-1 to OU in the last game of the Doubleheader.
McGuire stood out on the mound for the Greens and Whites, throwing 8.0 innings, hitting five and allowing only three hits without running a batsman.
For Eastern, the offense came from Senior Christian Bault (Maineville, Ohio – Archbishop Moeller (Lincoln Trail)), who kicked off his third home run of the season to put the Eagles 1-0 to the top of the second with a leadoff home run to left field.
Eastern would hold the lead until the end of the third round when Ohio linked the game with a home run for the second time this afternoon and scored a 2-0 solo shot to level the game 1-1.
From then on, McGuire was a pitcher duel and continued to tick through the Bobcats lineup as he faced the minimum in the fourth, sixth and eighth innings while allowing only one hit each on the fifth and seventh to keep the Eagles in Game.
Taking over the hill in the ninth, senior Justin Reinkall (Superior, Wis.-Superior (Southeast)) was challenged with successive hits that put the runners in goal position for OU. However, the senior was able to get two popouts to finish the inning and send on the 10th.
Failing to put runners in tenth place, Ohio started its second home run of the game to seal the 2-1 win.
Eastern Michigan will face Ohio tomorrow, April 11th, from 1pm at Bob Wren Stadium in the final game of the series.
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