Eastern Michigan Win Sets Up Saturday Showdown

Updated 5/27/2011

MAC Tournament Central

MAC Tournament Bracket

Eastern Michigan 4, Kent State 2
MAC Tournament - Game Eleven
WP - Weber (6-3)
LP - Mace (5-2)
S - Taylor (1)

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - Unfazed by their lack of success this season against Kent State, Eastern Michigan carried its momentum from a stirring comeback victory over Northern Illinois earlier in the day to defeat the Golden Flashes for the first time in five attempts, setting up a third and deciding game between the two squads tomorrow with the winner moving into the MAC Championship game.

For the second day in a row against the Golden Flashes, the top of Eastern Michigan's order pressured the defense early and benefitted when two-hole hitter Brent Ohrman singled between short and third and stole second to put himself in scoring position in the top of the first. One batter later, Zack Leonard singled sharply back up the middle to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Clean-up man Ben Magsig lived up to his label, knocking in Leonard with a double deep into right-center, giving starting pitcher Steve Weber a 2-0 cushion after one inning.

Neither team threatened again until the bottom of the fourth when Sam Ott drew a two-out walk, presenting an opportunity to one of the Eagles' hottest hitters, Daniel Russell. Despite falling into a two-strike count, Russell ripped a triple to the gap in right, bringing Ott all the way around and extending EMU's lead to 3-0.

Kent State scratched the scoring column in the top half of the fifth as three of its first four hitters managed base hits to leave them loaded with one away. Lead-off hitter Evan Campbell then skied a sacrifice flyball to left field to bring in T.J. Sutton, drawing closer at 3-1.

Eastern Michigan responded with a sac fly of its own in the bottom of the fifth. Ken Battiston doubled to left field and advanced to third when KSU third baseman Travis Shaw dropped a throw from pitcher Ryan Mace after a comebacker to the mound. Zack Leonard got enough on a Mace offering in his at-bat to drive Battiston home.

Kent State had something cooking in the top of the seventh when the 8-9 hitters reached base and advanced to second and third on a passed ball. Campbell again hit a sacrifice fly, his second of the game, to send Joe Koch home before Weber escaped any further damage.

EMU head coach Jay Armstrong brought reliever Collin Taylor in for the eighth after Weber allowed two Kent State baserunners. After a groundball forceout at third, Taylor gave up a bloop single into shallow left field but pinch-runner Troy Summers was tagged out trying to make it a one-run ballgame. Taylor then earned the save in the ninth by getting Kent State catcher David Lyon to end the game on a grounder to second with two runners in scoring position.

Eastern Michigan improves to 37-21 with the win while Kent State drops to 41-15. The time of tomorrow's first pitch will be determined by the result of tonight's Miami/Central Michigan game. Updates will be available on the Tournament Central page as soon as they are available.

Scoring Summary:
Bottom of the 1st
Zack Leonard singled up the middle, Brent Ohrman scored from second
1-0  Eastern Michigan

Ben Magsig doubled to right center, Leonard scored from first
2-0  Eastern Michigan

Bottom of the 4th
Daniel Russell tripled to right center, Sam Ott scored from first
3-0  Eastern Michigan

Top of the 5th
Evan Campbell sacrificed to left field, T. J. Sutton scored from third
3-1 Eastern Michigan

Bottom of the 5th
Leonard flied out to center field, Ken Battiston scored from third
4-1 Eastern Michigan

Top of the 7th
Campbell sacrified to left field, Joe Koch scored from third
4-2 Eastern Michigan