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February 27, 2011

Eastern Michigan needs extras to edge Tech, 9-8 in the series finale

Tech worked EMU starting pitcher Neil Butara for four runs on four hits in the bottom of the first inning to jump out to an early 4-0 lead. The top of the order for the Golden Eagles went to work in the bottom of the inning as Chad Oberacker, stepping into the DH spot to lead off, rocked a single into right field and advanced to third on Casanova Donaldson's double.

Ben Burgess followed up with a double to score both runners and set freshman slugger Zach Stephens up for his second career home run, which gave Tech the 4-0 lead.

Eastern Michigan responded in the top of the second on a two-shot homer from Robert Wendzicki to cut the lead to two, 4-2, but Tech stretched it out again in the bottom of the third. Stephens launched a long double into center field and scored on Chad Hayes' base hit to grab the 5-2 lead

The Eagles got Butara off the hook in the fourth though as they knotted the game at five all, keeping him from getting the loss. Oberacker took the hill in relief of Price, and the Eagles worked him for three runs on four hits.

Daniel Russell ripped a quick double and Ben Magsig singled to left field to start off the hitting. Oberacker induced a fly-out by Zach Leonard and Wendzicki hit an RBI ground-out to second for out no. 2, but the play pushed Magsig to second for an RBI single by Lee Longo, who was brought home on a double by Matt Hitt.

EMU held the Golden Eagles scoreless through five, notching two more runs in the top of the seventh on hits by Longo and Brent Ohrman to put them ahead 7-5, but the Golden Eagles put the rally caps on in the bottom of the ninth.

Casanova Donaldson launched a one-out double into center field to set himself up as the tying run on second, and Stephens stepped in with a clutch double to score Oberacker on third and Donaldson from second.

Stephens went 3-for-6 on the day with four RBI's and two runs scored, while Donaldson's 3-for-6 effort logged one RBI. Oberacker went 2-for-5 and Burgess went 2-for-6 and logged two RBI's.

Both teams added a run each in the tenth inning, Ohrman and Russell notched hits off of freshman righty Garrett Baugh, while Zach Flynn was hit by a pitch and put on base to score the tying run for Tech on a fielding error by the Eagles.

The 8-8 game headed into the top of the 11th, where Battiston came through for EMU with a double and Ohrman notched an RBI single, which would prove to be the eventual game-winner as Tech could not respond in the bottom half of the inning.

Ohrman led Eastern Michigan with a 3-for-5, three RBI performance, while Wendzicki also notched three runs batted in on one hit in four at-bats.

In 1.2 innings of work, Joe Battistelli got the win, striking out two, while Cullen Park took the loss for Tech in the same amount of time, also fanning two and allowing two hits and one earned run.

With a record of 1-6, the Golden Eagles will head to Belmont on Tuesday to take on the Bruins in a 4 p.m. afternoon contest.