William Arnold knocks four homers but baseball goes 1-2 on opening weekend
It’d be hard to find a reason to blame senior William Arnold for the two losses the Central Michigan baseball team had this weekend against Troy.
He hit four home runs, tallied eight RBIs and has a .500 batting average in three games.
Arnold hit home runs in each game, but CMU went 1-2, dropping the first two games of the opening three-game series in Troy, Ala.
CMU avoided a sweep Sunday, opening the final game of the series with a fast start. In the first game Sunday, CMU lost 12-10 in a game that resumed halfway through because of a rain delay Saturday.
Before a Troy hitter stepped into the batter’s box in the finale, CMU already posted a 6-0 lead.
Senior first baseman Nate Theunissen opened the scoring in the six-run first inning when he singled to left field, scoring Jordan Dean and Tom Lally.
After a senior Sam Russell ground out that scored Arnold and a wild pitch that scored Theunissen, Eric Wrozek put his own mark on the stat sheet when he doubled into left field, scoring Nick Regnier and Reid Rooney.
“I liked how this time instead of being behind, we were ahead,” head coach Steve Jaksa said. “It put us in a good position. I thought we came out and swung, and were very aggressive early. We swung very well.”
The six-run first sent the Chippewas on the right track to a weekend finale victory, beating the Trojans 14-7 on strong performances from Arnold and Theunissen.
The duo was accountable for nine of the team’s 14 RBIs, each going 3-for-5 at the plate.
Arnold bashed two of his four weekend home runs in the victory. He hit a solo home run in the second, extending the lead to 7-0 and had a three-run home run in the seventh inning, increasing a six-run lead to nine.
“It’s always good to get the first one out of the way,” Arnold said of yesterday’s win.
The season-opener didn’t go the way CMU wanted it to, despite Jordan Dean scoring off a ground out by Arnold in the first inning.
The sporadic scoring hurt the Chippewas as they lost 7-3, scoring one run apiece in the first, sixth and eighth innings.
Troy plated three in the second inning and poor command from starting pitcher Zach Cooper led to a downhill spiral for CMU.
Cooper pitched six innings, striking out seven, but couldn’t find the strike zone, walking six in the loss.
“It was the first game of the year,” Arnold said. “That usually happens. They both (Cooper and Dodridge) threw pretty well for the first time out.”
A rain-delayed game Saturday led to a postponed doubleheader. The first game scheduled for Saturday was pushed to Sunday and the second game was cancelled because of rain.
Prior to the delay, CMU found itself down 7-0, but rallied to tie it in the fifth with two runs in the fourth and five in the fifth. The rally was short-lived when the Trojans put together a five-run fifth of their own, beating the Chippewas 12-10 in a game that carried over two days.
“I thought we did a better job of taking advantage of things we do well,” Jaksa said about the seven-run rally. “We capitalized with some big home runs and some big hits in those situations.”
Pitcher Jon Weaver started for CMU, giving up 10 runs (three earned) in the loss.
CMU is off until it travels to DeLand, Fla., to face Stetson in a four-game series with a game Friday, a doubleheader Saturday and the finale Sunday.