Kent State To Play Central Michigan In Championship Game

Updated 5/29/2010

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CHILLICOTHE, Ohio ( - The Eastern Michigan University baseball team bowed out of the 2010 Mid-American Conference Tournament in heartbreaking fashion Saturday night, May 29, at V.A. Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio, as the No. 2 seeded Kent State University Golden Flashes got a walk-off walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning to down the Eagles, 9-8.

After coming back from five-runs down in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game, the Golden Flashes managed to load the bases after a hit, walk, and hit batsman for David Lyon. From there, Lyon managed to draw a walk-off walk on a 3-1 count to put an end to EMU's season and advance to the MAC Tournament championship to play the No. 1 Chippewas from Central Michigan University.

The Eagles finish the season with a 27-32 record, while KSU moves to 38-23 with the win.

Seniors Todd Graves (St. Marys, Ohio-St. Marys Memorial) and Andrew Marshall (Mason, Mich.-Mason) both did everything they could to attempt to move on to the title game. Graves finished the game 3-for-5 with one run scored and three RBI, all three coming on a three-run home run in the top of the fourth. Marshall tied a career-high in hits with a 4-for-5 performance at the plate, finishing with one run scored and a pair of RBI. Senior Aaron Crooks (Toledo, Ohio-Ottawa Hills) also had a solid performance at the plate in his final collegiate game, going 2-for-6 one run scored and one RBI.

True freshman right-handed pitcher Joe Battistelli (Allen Park, Mich.-Allen Park) had a sensational outing in relief, pitching a career-high seven and two-thirds innings, yielding four runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out two Golden Flashes.

Junior Zack Leonard (Canton, Ohio-McKinley) extended his MAC Tournament hitting streak to 12 games, as he finished 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI. In 12 career games at V.A. Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Leonard is 22-for-53 (.415) with six doubles, four home runs, and 20 RBI.

Following a one-run top of the first inning by the Eagles the Golden Flashes responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning without recording a hit off starting pitcher Collin Taylor (Cincinnati, Ohio-Lakota West) to take a 3-1 lead.

But the EMU offense came alive in the top half of the second inning, posting four runs on three hits, including a two-run double by Leonard, to claim a 5-3 advantage.

The Eagles responded with another crooked number in the top of the fourth, as Graves' three-run opposite field home run gave EMU even more momentum and an 8-3 lead.

But the Flashes chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of runs off Battistelli to limit the Eagles to an 8-6 lead.

Kent State completed the five-run comeback in the bottom of the ninth inning, posting three runs on four hits, including a game-tying two run single by David Lyon to make it an 8-8 game.

It was all KSU from there, as a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th inning proved to be the difference maker, as the Eagles were eliminated from the MAC Tournament. It marks the second year in-a-row EMU has finished with a 2-2 mark in the tournament.