The regular season might be five months away, but baseball looked ready for action this weekend.
The Chippewas thumped the visiting Ontario Blue Jays 13-1 in an exhibition contest Friday at home.
The combination of an offensive explosion in the second inning and a stellar starting pitching performance had CMU up early and it never looked back.
Starting pitcher Jordan Foley finished the game with three strikeouts and no hits allowed through three impressive innings of work.
“Overall I felt good, and it was definitely awesome to go out there and face some hitters,” Foley said. “The first inning was a little sketchy with my location, but I was able to get my bearings and work in and out.”
Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Alex Borglin kicked off an eruption from the Chippewas with a one-out grand slam in the bottom of the second inning.
Back-to-back-to-back RBI singles by juniors Nick Reginer and Cody Leichman and sophomore Neal Jacobs had CMU up 12-0 at the end of the third.
“After we hit the grand slam, we had to start all over again with no one on base and no pressure and we were able to keep our foot on the gas,” said head coach Steve Jaksa. “We did a good job of not playing the scoreboard but instead just playing the game. Our offense looked really good.”
Foley, a junior recruited out of The Colony, Texas, was regarded as the Chippewas ace for the majority of the season last year and is expected to assume that role once again in 2014.
“You look at (Foley) and you have to expect that he should be able to handle that position,” Jaksa said. “I think he learned a lot from being our Friday guy last year and will continue to do that once the season officially gets underway.”
Jaksa said the importance of fall exhibition games cannot be overstated.
“It is so important that they get to know one another. Every team is so different and so unique,” Jaksa, who is in his 11th year as coach, said. “We have to find out what our younger guys can do, and how this team is going to fit together, and this allows us to do that more easily.”
Up next for the Chippewas is their annual seven-game intersquad Fall World Series in October.
“Things don’t always play out in the spring the way you want them to,” Jaksa said. “An injury here or there changes things. Being versatile helps us with that. You learn a lot about your guys and who they are with fall ball games.”