Chippewas ready for MAC title run
It’s been 17 years since the last time Central Michigan won the Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship and qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
The No. 3 seeded Chippewas (30-27, 17-10 MAC) will be looking to change that starting Wednesday when they play the No. 6 seed Eastern Michigan. First pitch at Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio, is set for 12:30 p.m.
“We thought we were in a good position last year,” said head coach Steve Jaksa. “It’s all about how we play, not who we play.”
CMU has to like its chances going into the tournament.
After going 7-9 to start MAC play, the Chippewas went 11-1 to end the regular-season and won four-straight series.
“I think our team is in a good place and our guys feel good about themselves,” Jaksa said. “We’re in a good position; as good as it can be.”
Much of that has to do with the solid pitching CMU has displayed in the final half of the season.
In the last four weeks a Chippewa has been named the MAC West Pitcher of the Week, with senior Zach Cooper, junior Dietrich Enns and freshman Sean Renzi all receiving honors.
They have solidified a solid rotation of Cooper, Enns and junior Patrick Kaminska and bullpen behind senior closer Jon Weaver, senior Ryan Longstreth and reigning MAC Pitcher of the Week Renzi.
“Part of the reason we’ve been able to solidify that (starting rotation) is the emergence of some of the guys who’ve been closing very well,” Jaksa said. “Weaver, Renzi and Longstreth have done a great job.”
1995 was the last time CMU won the MAC Tournament and made the trip to the NCAA Tournament. CMU has come close in years past, but hasn’t been able to finish the job.
“You’ve been real close, and you can let that wear on you, or you can go out and just play your game,” Jaksa said. “I think our guys are ready to play their game.”
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