YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University baseball team delivered a masterful performance, opening its three-game weekend series against Bowling Green State University with a win, 3-1, Friday, April 5, at Oestrike Stadium.
A defensive battle from beginning to end, Eastern (6-23-1) rode outstanding pitching and provided timely offense, outperforming the Falcons for the entirety of the game to earn its first Mid-American Conference win of 2019.
Defensively, the spotlight shined on starting pitcher Scott Granzotto (Father Gabriel Richard), who turned-in a complete game performance, earning his third victory of the season. In his team-high nine inning performance, Granzotto compiled the best final line of any Eagle this season.
In all, the six-foot sophomore tossed 116 pitches, giving up just six hits, one walk, and one earned run, while striking-out eight, in his complete-game win. Overall, it was the Eagles’ first complete game since the 2017 season when Davis Feldman went this distance in a 9-1 victory over Central Michigan University in the MAC Tournament in Avon, Ohio, May 27.
Dialed in from the start, the lefty pitched a 1-2-3 first inning, setting a dominant tone. Granzotto followed his first inning performance with a second-consecutive 1-2-3 inning in the second.
Facing adversity in the fourth after giving up a lead-off double and a single to give BGSU runners on first and third with no outs, Granzotto showed veteran resolve, forcing a double-play and a strikeout to end the inning with only one run relinquished.
The fourth inning proved to be the only challenge for Granzotto, who held the Falcons scoreless in their final five frames, and eight of their nine frames in the game. Granzotto struck-out the final BGSU batter of the game in the ninth, closing the series opening contest in poetic fashion.
Offensively, the Eagles overcame strong starting pitching from BGSU, eventually winning the contest, 3-1. BGSU’s Andrew Abrahamowicz also hurled a complete game. The right-hander scattered seven hits, walked two, and posted six punch outs.
Leading the way with a pair of hits was redshirt sophomore Jeff Timko (Rochester Hills, Mich.-Brother Rice), who led-off the game with a first inning single, and advanced to third on a BGSU error, giving Eastern’s offense its initial spark. Capitalizing on the opportunity, junior Zachary Owings (Saline, Mich.-Saline) knocked an RBI sacrifice fly in the next at-bat, giving EMU a 1-0 lead after one.
Held scoreless through the next three frames, Eastern would fight to score the eventual winning run in the fifth.
After Shane Easter (Kalamazoo, Mich.-Comstock) began the inning with a bunt-single, and advanced to third on a BGSU throwing error, senior Cameron Cruz (Chandler, Ariz.- Hamilton (Mesa C.C) provided an RBI sac-fly, giving Eastern its second run of game, and a 2-1 lead.
While Granzotto continued to cruise, Eastern added an insurance run in the seventh when Easter crossed the plate following a BGSU wild pitch. Altogether, the EMU offense notched seven hits in the winning effort.
The Eagles are set to square-off with Bowling Green for game two of the three-game weekend set, tomorrow, April 6, at 3 p.m. inside Oestrike Stadium. The series concludes with a single game, slated to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 7.