Stapf Day carries EMU to MAC
By Phil Stanton
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – He was close to coming out in
the third, but came within one out of a complete game.
Freshman right-hander Jake Stapf threw nearly 150
pitches in leading second-seeded Eastern Michigan to a 9-6
victory over No. 6 Ohio to advance to the Championship Game of
the 2008 Mid-American Conference Tournament at VA Memorial
The Eagles (24-32) will face either top-seeded
Kent State or No. 4 Northern Illinois in Saturday’s title
contest. NIU must beat the Golden Flashes twice to reach the
Stapf (3-4) allowed six hits in 8.2 innings with
five earned runs, five walks and six strikeouts. He surrendered
three walks and five runs in the third, including a grand slam,
but put that behind him to stick around until the ninth.
Kyle Rhoad hit the first pitch of the game into
the trees beyond the left field fence and Zach Leonard had a
two-run single in the top of the third as KSU took an early 3-0
The Bobcats (29-30) battled back in the bottom of
the third. Zach Hartle had a leadoff single and Zach Keen
reached on an error. Stapf then walked the next two men to force
in OU’s first run. Marc Krauss belted a grand slam to center to
give Ohio a 5-3 advantage. Stapf walked Brandon Besl and still
had yet to retire a batter in the inning. But Stapf helped his
own cause by starting a 1-6-3 double play and got a flyout to
end the nightmare.
EMU responded with a four-spot in the top of the
fourth to take the lead for good. Michael Boyd went deep with
one out to pull the Eagles to within one. Steve Bradshaw’s RBI
single tied it, and a sacrifice fly by Jeff Davis put EMU back
on top. Josh Ivan’s run-scoring single gave the Eagles a 7-5
lead. EMU added a two-run single by Bradshaw in the sixth for a
9-5 advantage. Mark Stiffler homered in the seventh for OU for
the final run of the contest.
Following the third inning, Stapf allowed four
hits, three singles and a home run, walked one and struck out
Bradshaw finished with three hits, two runs and
three RBI for EMU. Rhoad had three hits and scored three. Hartle
had three hits for Ohio.