Chippewas to play RedHawks in first round of 2016 MAC Tournament

After the Chippewas defeated rival Western Michigan on Saturday and Eastern Michigan lost to Toledo, the Central Michigan baseball team claimed the sixth seed in the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament.

As the No. 6 seed, CMU (21-35, 12-12 MAC) will take on No. 3 Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (26-27, 14-10 MAC) in the first round of the tournament at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

If the Chippewas beat the RedHawks, they will play the winner of the Ball State and WMU game at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. If the Chippewas lose, they will play the loser of that same game at 9:30 a.m.

The Chippewas took two-of-three games against the RedHawks on May 13-15 at home. CMU lost game one of the series, but senior starting pitcher Sean Renzi was able to throw all nine innings in the 7-4 loss.

The game was tied 3-3 heading into the ninth inning. Renzi gave up four runs, including a three-run home run to RedHawks DH Gary Russo, with two outs in the inning. CMU went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth and dropped game one.

Renzi (5-6, 4.36 ERA) will be given the ball once more against Miami on Wednesday.

The RedHawks are led by sophomore first baseman Ross Haffey, who is third in the MAC in batting average (.368), second in doubles (19), and third in total bases (124). Haffey went 3-for-10 in the series at Theunissen Stadium a few weeks ago, scoring twice and walking three times. He also had an RBI.

Miami starting pitcher Gus Graham will more than likely get the start on Wednesday against Renzi. Graham went up against Renzi a few weeks ago and went three innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks. Graham carries an ERA of 4.20 and a record of 4-4.

CMU counters with sophomores Zach McKinstry and Daniel Jipping. McKinstry ranks eighth in the MAC in batting average (.342) and started in all 56 games during the regular season. Jipping leads the Chippewas in home runs (6), doubles (15) and RBI's (39). He also has a slugging percentage of .502.

If CMU's pitching rotation goes unchanged, junior pitcher Nick Deeg will start the second game of the tournament. He gave up six runs against Ball State a month ago — all unearned due to five CMU errors. Last Friday, he gave up just five hits and one earned run to the Broncos. He pitched 5 2/3 innings in both outings.

Miami vs. Central Michigan Stat Comparison

  • Team batting

Miami: 5th (.263)

CMU: 7th (.256)

  • Team pitching

Miami: 4th (4.79 ERA)

CMU: 5th (4.80 ERA)

  • Team fielding

Miami: 8th (.963, 74 errors)

CMU: 9th (.960, 85 errors)