CMU beats Miami, forces second game with RedHawks Saturday
He sounded worn out and tired, but Central Michigan head coach Steve Jaksa had to be delighted on the inside as his team beat Miami University 11-10 Friday.
CMU got the win at 1:15 a.m. in a game that was scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. but was delayed nearly two hours because of rain in Avon, Oho. The Chippewas force a second game against the RedHawks Saturday, per the Mid-American Conference tournament format.
“We’re in a good place, a little bit tired, but we’ll be energized for tomorrow,” Jaksa said. “The credit goes to the guys, they just didn’t quit.”
The Chippewas and RedHawks combined for 21 runs off 28 hits, but only one of those hits resulted in a home run.
Luckily for CMU, it was from junior first baseman Jordan Adams who hit a two-run home run in the eighth to take an 11-10 lead, one it would hold onto for the win.
“I’ve had a little bit of a change in my approach working with coach (Brett) Herrig and (Derek) Simmons,” Adams said. “That’s really helped me this week.”
Holding onto a lead was difficult for both teams Saturday night.
CMU took what looked to be a strong lead in the fourth, scoring five runs to take a 7-4, but MU answered with six runs of its own to take a 10-7 lead.
“Everyone battled really hard and that’s all we can ask for,” Adams said.
Freshman starter Jordan Foley gave the ball up to the bullpen after going just three and 1/3 innings, allowing nine hits and eight runs (seven earned).
Freshman Dylan Rheault was the first out of the bullpen as he went four and 1/3 innings, allowing two runs (none earned) and striking out three as he kept the RedHawks off the scoreboard after the fourth inning.
Senior Ryan Longstreth was next as he came in to get just one out and setup the save for senior Jon Weaver in the ninth.
Weaver continued to pitch strong as he struck out his sixth batter of the tournament and he pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn the save.
“I was really pleased with all of those guys,” Jaksa said. “What a strikeout by Rheault with a guy on third, then Longstreth gets his guy and we turn it over to Weaver and we live to play again.”
Five CMU batters had multi-hit games, including four three-hit games from seniors center fielder Tyler Hall and catcher William Arnold as well as juniors shortstop Jordan Dean and Adams.
“I think we got a little energy from that first game,” Jaksa said. “We swung the bat really well today and what a big win for our guys.”
With the win the Chippewas force an elimination game with the RedHawks Saturday at 1 p.m. where the winner will have to beat the No. 1 seed Kent State to win the MAC Championship.
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