Eastern Michigan baseball loses chance to clinch MAC title and more Friday results
The Mid-American Conference West Division title will be decided during Saturday’s regular season finale at Oestrike Stadium.
Central Michigan’s 14-2 win at Eastern Michigan on Friday put the Chippewas a half-game ahead in the standings heading into Saturday’s 1 p.m. winner-take-all matchup.
“It’s actually a shame. It’s a crying shame that we came out and played that way when we had so much at stake,” said Eastern coach Jay Alexander, whose team could have clinched its first division title since 2008 with a win.
“It’s absolutely embarrassing that these people came out to see us play today, to have a chance to win it, and for a lack of a better word we crapped the bed.”
Courtesy of Jonathan Knight Photography
The Eagles, who had 19 hits in an 11-10 win on Thursday that temporarily put them in first place, had half of their six hits in a two-run first inning on Friday.
Zach Cooper shut them down from there, picking up the win while striking out eight Eagles’ batters over eight innings. Four Eastern Michigan (34-18, 16-10) pitchers allowed 14 runs (12 earned) on 15 hits.
Eagles starter Joe Battistelli allowed six runs on eight hits through 5 2/3 innings. The Chippewas (28-25, 16-9) pulled away with a seven-run seventh inning against relievers Jordan Glover and Steve Weber that gave them a 13-2 lead.
Central Michigan designated hitter Nate Theunissen went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Leadoff hitter Tyler Hall was 3-for-6 with an RBI and three runs scored.
Senior Corey Chaffins gets the start for Eastern in Saturday’s Senior Day game that will determine the MAC West title and the No. 2 seed in the MAC Tournament, which will be played May 25-28, in Chillicothe, Ohio.
“If we want to put ourselves up where we should be, then these guys will come out swinging tomorrow,” Alexander said. “It’s going to be a tough fight. Central is a really good team and if we make the same mistakes, we’re not going to win.”
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