In each of the first two innings of the final, an Eastern Michigan base runner was picked off first. In the third, Arizona's Ron Hassey singled past Shortstop Glenn Gulliver, who fell down, and a run scored. Then came the fourth inning and four more runs for Arizona. Pete Van Home, who got 13 hits in the series to break Sal Bando's 11-year-old record, singled, and Powers homered. Two more runs scored on a Stegman double before Owchinko, in for starting Pitcher Bob Welch, got the side out.
Powers later singled in another run and Stegman tripled home a seventh. Eastern Michigan batsmen were baffled by Pitcher Bob Chaulk, who recorded his third tournament win. Chaulk said his coach, Jerry Kindall, told him one thing before the game: "You're startin'." EMU's only run was Gulliver's homer in the ninth, a bittersweet reminder of one he hit in the victory over ASU earlier in the week.
It is probably true that Arizona State was really this year's best team and Arizona really next best. But Eastern Michigan messed all that up, partly because it felt it fit in there somewhere and partly because its team members abide by Oestrike's dictum: "You do it my way or hit the highway." EMU got into the World Series in 1975 for the first time, but seemed slightly awed by the company it was keeping; 1976 found it unawed. So while Arizona savors its first national championship and ASU awaits another try (the Devils won their last title in 1969), both would do well to keep a wary eye on the Ypsilanti crowd.
What is Oestrike planning for his next money-raising project? "What I hope to do," he says, "is turn our fieldhouse into a Las Vegas-style casino for one night." You can bet your shirt, or underwear, that he'll clean up.