COLUMN: Baseball fans, don’t panic yet
Don’t sound the alarms, don’t shoot off the warning flares and don’t panic just yet.
The Central Michigan baseball team may be 7-8 in the Mid-American Conference and sitting in fourth place at the halfway point of a division it was picked to win, but there are three reasons why I think the team will be just fine.
No. 1: The Chippewas don’t play a single team ranked better than third in the MAC from here on out, whereas Toledo and Eastern Michigan still have to play each other.
Although CMU is 7-8, the team is two games behind both the Rockets and Eagles, who are tied for first in the MAC West. The Chippewas have Akron, Ball State, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan remaining on schedule.
Who better to play after dropping back-to-back series then the Zips, who (although are 9-6 in MAC play and third in the East) have not beat the Chippewas in a series since 2002 and are 1-11 against the Chippewas since 2006 (with the last win coming in 2007). Then they play a struggling Cardinals team on the road and the Huskies at home before finishing the season with the Broncos at home.
No. 2: The MAC overall has been pretty weak.
Yes, CMU has an overall record of 18-24, but in comparison to the rest of the conference, that isn’t terribly bad. The MAC overall is 220-264, with Kent State and Ohio being the only two teams with winning records.
If the Chippewas can take care of business and sweep a series or two, they’ll find themselves fighting for the top spot in the division.
No. 3: This is the most important. CMU has won back-to-back MAC West Championships and won the division in 2010, despite conference losses.
The Chippewas are loaded with seniors who have been here before and I’m willing to bet they aren’t worried either. Seniors William Arnold, Sam Russell, Nate Theunissen, Tyler Hall and Zach Cooper, not to mention head coach Steve Jaksa who has four MAC West Championships, to name a few that have won two straight MAC West Championships.
CMU needs to qualify for the MAC Tournament and once it’s there, anyone can win it.
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