Errors in Sunday’s game cost the Central Michigan baseball team the series against Western Kentucky.
The Chippewas dropped the third and final game in the series, falling to the Hilltoppers 4-2.
“We made a couple of mistakes, but I thought overall we played well defensively,” said head coach Steve Jaksa. “It was disappointing more than anything else. We just had little things go wrong, things that are correctable, and it didn’t work out for us.”
CMU was off to a promising start when, for the fourth game in a row, the team scored in the first inning.
The team tacked another run on in the third inning when an error by the Hilltoppers third baseman allowed junior Noel Santos to score.
But, the 2-0 lead wouldn’t last long.
A double by WKU’s Scott Wilcox was the momentum switch his team needed, and an error allowed a run to come in, also advancing Wilcox to third.
A sacrifice fly-out to left field brought Wilcox in and tied up the game.
In the seventh inning, errors set up the Hilltoppers to score and claim the lead, bringing in sophomore Sean Renzi to relieve senior starter Rick Dodridge.
Dodridge faced 28 batters Sunday with no strikeouts, two walks and eight hits allowed.
Jaksa said he was happy with Dodridge’s pitching.
“Rick took into the seventh,” Jaksa said. “He pitched well enough to win, but the error we made gave them the opportunity to win.”
Another error when Renzi entered the game advanced two runners. A walk right after the error loaded the bases for WKU to sacrifice again for a run to make the score 3-2.
A run from the Hilltoppers in the eighth and CMU’s inability to come back sealed the fate of the Chippewas.
“We didn’t have as many quality at-bats,” Jaksa said. “Their guy was throwing up the zone pretty good. We weren’t able to put them in play like we would’ve liked. We were ready to go and scored first in the first inning, but we only had a few opportunities.”
Fifteen hits from WKU in game two helped it win the second game of the series with a 12-6 victory.
CMU scored in the first inning but gave up two in the bottom of the inning, falling behind 2-1.
The Hilltoppers took a 5-4 lead in the fourth inning, forcing starter Pat Kaminska back to the dugout.
Kaminska gave up six earned runs and recorded one strikeout in three and one-third innings.
WKU scored three more runs in the fifth and two in the sixth to extend its lead to 11-5. In the eighth, a home run brought the score to 12-6.
Sophomore Jordan Foley started on the mound for the Chippewas in the 4-2 win in the first game of the series.
Sophomore Pat MacKenzie scored the first run for CMU in the first inning. MacKenzie was hit by a pitch, then advanced to second on a balk, stole third and scored on a passed ball.
Sophomore Nick Regnier scored the second run in the fourth inning, brought in by a RBI double from freshman Zack Fields.
In the sixth, Fields hit a sacrifice fly to center to earn another RBI and make it 3-0. Soon after, redshirt freshman Neal Jacobs hit his first home run of the season to extend the lead.
The Hilltoppers started a comeback in the ninth, but the Chippewas held them off and claimed the win.