Eastern Michigan Leads Off Tournament With Hard-Fought Victory

Updated 5/25/2011

MAC Tournament Central

MAC Tournament Bracket

Eastern Michigan 4, Northern Illinois 2
MAC Tournament - Game One
WP - Wendzicki (6-5)
LP - Oates (4-7)
S - Calibuso (2)

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - In a rematch of a pitcher's duel from earlier this season, Rob Wendzicki and Eastern Michigan gained some revenge against Zach Oates and the Northern Illinois Huskies with a 4-2 win in the first game of the 2011 MAC Baseball Tournament at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio. Eastern Michigan improves to 35-20 on the season while Northern Illinois falls to 29-26 with the loss.

After two scoreless innings in which both pitchers were nearly untouchable, EMU was able to land the first blow in the top of the third thanks to some aggressive baserunning from centerfielder Brent Ohrman. Ohrman motored in from first on a gapper to right-centerfield from Zack Leonard. Leonard advanced to second on the throw after a play at the plate then added the Eagles' second run of the frame when Ben Magsig brought him in with a single to rightfield.

Northern Illinois rallied beginning in the bottom of the fifth as Jamison Wells took a Wendzicki offering straight back up the middle to score Jeff Zimmerman. An inning later, NIU knotted the score at 2-2 with a single off the bat of Troy White to score Alex Jones from third.

Things wouldn't stay tied for long as lead-off man Ken Battiston, given second life after a dropped foul ball, was able to find room in right-center, scoring Daniel Russell from second to give Eastern Michigan the lead for a second time at 3-2.

The Eagles defense stiffened from there, never allowing a Northern Illinois baserunner past first base. Russell added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning with a solo shot to rightfield, his second of the season.

The No. 5 seed Eagles now await the winner of tonight's last contest between No. 1 Kent State and No. 8 Bowling Green. Gametime for tomorrow is scheduled for 4 p.m. Northern Illinois faces the KSU/BGSU loser in an elimination contest slated for 12:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Scoring Summary:
Top of the 3
Zack Leonard singled to right center, advanced to second on the throw, Brent Ohrman scored from first
1-0 Eastern Michigan

Ben Magsig singled to right field, Leonard scored from second
2-0 Eastern Michigan

Bottom of the 5th
Jamison Wells singled up the middle, Brett Frantini to second, Jeff Zimmerman scored from second
2-1 Eastern Michigan

Bottom of the 6th
Troy White singled to right field, Alex Jones scored from third
Tied 2-2

Top of the 7th
Ken Battiston singled to right center, advanced to second on the throw, Daniel Russell scored from second
3-2 Eastern Michigan

Top of the 9th
Daniel Russell homers to right field
4-2 Eastern Michigan