“We want to win them all.”
Head coach Steve Jaksa’s words echoed in the locker room after Central Michigan beat Madonna University for the team’s seventh straight victory Tuesday at Theunissen stadium.
Central Michigan battled back after being down 6-1 in the second inning of the windy afternoon game.
Tied 6-6 in the fifth, junior designated hitter Cody Leichman used a gust to turn the tide in CMU’s favor. Leichman crushed a ball over the left field wall and let the wind carry it to give CMU a 7-6 lead.
That play started a five-run marathon that changed the game for CMU.
Leichman led the Chippewas at the plate, batting 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs. Overall, CMU achieved 12 hits for their 13 runs.
Starting pitcher Blake Hibbitts made his first collegiate start, pitching 1 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and five runs. None of the runs were earned.
The Chippewas ended the game with four errors.
Hibbitts was pulled after attaining his pitch count for the game, but Jaksa was disappointed that his defense couldn’t give Hibbitts a good first start.
“We just didn’t execute early,” Jaksa said. “That’s disappointing because we thought we could pitch Hibbitts three innings. We probably didn’t help him either one of those innings.”
CMU fell behind early but Jaksa was quick to defend his team.
“The elements were nasty,” he said. “I did think our guys showed up to play but there were a few miscues. There were a couple (of) balls in the first two innings that we didn’t play well. We made another mistake late in the game trying to throw a guy out at first base.”
Tuesday wasn’t the first time CMU has trailed early in a game this season and came back to win.
“We took advantage of a couple (of) mistakes to get back into the game,” Jaksa said. “We finally got the bats going, our guys felt like they were going to come back. They felt like they were capable of doing that and that’s a good feeling.”
CMU will take its seven-game win streak to Ann Arbor at 6 p.m. on Wednesday to play Michigan.
The late start is due to President Obama being in town that day and, while Jaksa jokingly hoped that the President would be able to throw out the first pitch, he does not expect it to happen.