Sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan Foley showed lots of potential during his freshman season with the Central Michigan baseball team.
If his first two starts of 2013 are any indication, that potential will be realized this season. The 6-foot-4 native of The Colony, Texas took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and struck out eight batters in the Chippewas 4-2 win against Western Kentucky Friday afternoon.
Foley allowed just two hits over six scoreless innings in the opener of a three-game weekend series at Nick Denes Field in Bowling Green, Ky.
“His change-up was better than last week,” said head coach Steve Jaksa. “Overall, we got another very nice performance from Jordan. Any time you can go out there to not give up any runs and only give up two hits and put us in a position to win is huge. He went out there and did his job today.”
The team got off to a quick start, scoring in the first inning for the second-straight game. Sophomore Pat MacKenzie was hit by a pitch, he advanced to second on a balk by WKU starter Tim Bado, stole third and scored on a passed ball to make it 1-0.
The second run came in the fourth inning. Sophomore center fielder Nick Regnier led off the inning with a walk. Two batters later freshman Zack Fields continued his hot start with a double, scoring Regnier.
Fields picked up his team-leading fifth RBI in the sixth when he hit a sacrifice fly to center field scoring senior Jordan Adams, who led off the inning with a double. Redshirt freshman Neal Jacobs hit his first home run of the season over the left-center field wall moments later, making it 4-0.
The Hilltoppers, who couldn’t get much going offensively for the majority of the afternoon, threatened to win the game in the ninth. After sophomore reliever Dylan Rheault hit a batter and back-to-back singles made it 4-1. Rheault then walked another batter to load the bases. After a throwing error by MacKenzie made the score 4-2, sophomore Matt Trowbridge got two huge strikeouts to secure the second-straight win.
“That’s how baseball is,” Jaksa said. “I’ve been in a lot of games like this over the years, you can lose a lot of games in the ninth if you don’t put it away. There’s no clock, you have to get outs. I was really pleased with the growth of our team tonight , last week , we were in the same position and we didn’t close it out and tonight we made some quality pitches to get out of it.”
The Chippewas and Hilltoppers will play the middle game of their series Saturday with senior right-hander Pat Kaminska getting the start. Kaminska gave up five earned runs and struck out five over seven innings in a loss to Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 16.
First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.