The Central Michigan baseball team avoided being swept in its season-opening, four-game series at Louisiana–Lafayette with a 10-2 win Sunday afternoon.
The Chippewas (1-3) used a five-run first inning and got six strong innings from senior lefthander Rick Dodridge to salvage the final game of the series.
“It’s always nice to get ahead,” said head coach Steve Jaksa. “At the same time, it put us in a position to be able to go out there and execute defensively. I think we played another solid defensive game today.”
Dodridge gave up six hits, struck out four, walked three and allowed one run to earn his first win of the season.
Sophomore outfielder Nick Regnier led off the game with a double and later scored on a throwing error. After a run-scoring single by senior first baseman Jordan Adams, it was senior outfielder Randon Henika, who delivered the biggest blow of the game.
He hit a three-run home run over the left field wall to cap off the five-run first inning.
Adams made it 6-0 in the third when he hit a solo home run to left. CMU added one run in the eighth and two in the ninth, while freshman reliever Taylor Lehnert pitched two and a third solid innings in relief to secure the first win of the season.
“I’m really pleased with the way we came back and played today after a tough loss last night,” Jaksa said. “The guys were really ready to play.”
The Chippewas lost both games of a doubleheader on Saturday, with Ragin’ Cajuns topping them 5-4 in the evening game and 5-3 in the afternoon.
Senior Patrick Kaminska pitched seven innings for CMU in the first game, giving up eight hits and five runs, striking out five batters and walking one.
ULL got to Kaminska early, scoring two runs in the first inning and tacking on another in the second to extend its lead to 3-0.
“I thought after Pat gave up those three runs early he settled down and pitched very well,” Jaksa said.
The Chippewas responded in the fourth. With the bases loaded, freshman Zach Fields hit a sacrifice fly to left and sophomore catcher Tyler Huntey followed with a RBI groundout to make the score 3-2.
The Rajin’ Cajuns extended their lead in the bottom of the sixth, scoring two more runs.
A double from Fields in the eighth inning brought CMU within two, but that’s as close as it would get.
In the evening game, it was Fields who again produced the CMU run when he singled to center field in the third inning, scoring Adams.
That lead held up until the seventh inning thanks to some stellar pitching by sophomore right-hander Jordan Foley, who gave up one earned run over seven innings and struck out seven.
ULL finally got to Foley in the seventh, tying the game at one. The game remained tied until the ninth inning where five runs were scored. CMU regained the lead on a two-run triple from freshman outfielder Logan Regnier. Adams followed that up with an RBI single to make the score 4-1.
But ULL took advantage of the Chippewas mistakes in their half of the ninth. After an RBI single brought it within three, sophomore Sean Renzi walked a batter to load the bases. A single to left field brought in two runs and gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a walk-off win.
Nick Regnier hit two home runs and had five RBI in the opener of the series, but ULL recorded 14 hits against CMU pitching and cruised to a 12-6 win.
Sophomore Matt Trowbridge took the loss in the opener. He went four innings, allowed seven hits, four earned runs and struck out six.
“We got some quality pitching throughout the weekend,” Jaksa said. “I think if we can continue to get those consistent performances on the mound, good things will happen for us.”
The Chippewas will be back in action on Thursday when they play one game at Murray State before opening up a three-game series at Western Kentucky.