Baseball comes out swinging, tops Ontario 14-3 in fall ball opener

Andrew Kuhn/Staff Photographer Sophomore pitcher Dylan Rheault attempts to pick off a member of the Ontario Blue Jays at first base Friday afternoon at Theunissen Stadium in Mount Pleasant. The Chipppewas defeated the Blue Jays 14-3.

The baseball team dominated the scoreboard and stat sheet Friday as it knocked off the Ontario Blue Jays (U18) 14-3 in Central Michigan's fall ball opener.

CMU had a total of 19 hits, while Ontario recorded 10, along with four errors. The Chippewa offense belted three home runs, while its pitchers recorded 16 strikeouts.

Head coach Steve Jaksa, who is heading into his tenth season, knows the importance of fall baseball and how it benefits his team.

“I wish we could have played more guys, (but) we saw some things we wanted to see," he said. "The routine of game day really helps this team, and fall baseball allows us to test out batting orders, find where we want guys to play and see if the guys can handle different situations.”

Jumping out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, senior Pat Kaminska took the mound for CMU. He gave up one run through two innings.

Ontario came back with a run in the top of the second, but the Chippewas extended their lead to 3-1 on a   solo home run off the bat of redshirt freshman Neal Jacobs.

Sophomore Dylan Rheault took over the pitching duties for Kaminska in the third inning and threw two innings of no-hit baseball.

CMU tacked on six runs in the bottom of the third to increase the lead to 9-1 with contributions from sophomore Pat MacKenzie, who singled to start the inning, and sophomore Tyler Huntey, whose triple scored MacKenzie.

Jordan Adams got into the mix after his pop-fly to shallow center was dropped, scoring Huntey. Freshman Morgan Oliver added a two-run homer and senior Randon Henika homered to left field, giving CMU a 9-1 lead.

Rheault exited the game in the 5th inning and was replaced by sophomore Jordan Foley, who pitched four innings, giving up two runs while striking out six Blue Jays. Sophomore Sean Renzi pitched the final three innings for CMU, striking out six.

Sophomore outfielder Nick Regnier said he likes what he saw in today’s game.

“We came out strong, and all-around, I’m happy with the game we played today,” he said. "It all starts now, and it will all pay off in the end."

Adams stands by his teammate on the importance of fall ball.

“I thought we played well today," he said. "Seeing all the new guys stepping in was huge."

Adams said developing good chemistry in preparation for the season in February is important with 16 new guys on the team.

The first of seven intrasquad games known as the Fall World Series will take place Oct. 5 at Theunissen Stadium.


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