Baseball defeats Oakland in 'Clash at Comerica'


daniel robinson
Junior outfielder Daniel Robinson runs home after hitting it out of the park during Clash at Comerica on April 25 at Comerica Park.

Under the lights of Comerica Park, the Central Michigan baseball team picked up the season sweep of Oakland in dominant fashion — defeating the Golden Grizzlies 16-3.

It marked the third win for CMU at the annual Clash at Comerica, which was first played in Detroit in 2011. CMU holds a 3-5 record at the event, playing Michigan State in the first six games, Notre Dame last season and Oakland this season.

"Pretty good day all around," said head coach Steve Jaksa. "How we played was really good, the team concept of how we played today was an extension of what we did yesterday, and hopefully it continues to be important to the guys."

The Chippewa offensive barrage started early, as CMU jumped out to a 3-1 lead by the end of the second inning with freshman Zavier Warren and junior Evan Kratt each scoring for CMU.

Oakland quickly responded with one run in the following inning, scoring one off an RBI single by Oakland senior Ben Hart. 

In the third, CMU started to run away with the game, scoring eight runs in total. Freshman Griffin Lockwood-Powell picked up three RBIs in the inning off a deep double to left field.

Junior Daniel Robinson drilled his second home run of the season to right field, just left of the famous Belle Tire home run net to close out the explosive inning leading Oakland 11-2.

"He was on time, he's capable of doing that," Jaksa said. "You don't have to do anything special, you just have to put a good swing on it and that's what he did.

Kratt finished with a team-high three hits on the evening in his five at bats, scoring one run and driving in one RBI. Junior Blake Cleveland 

Dazon Cole (1-5) picked up his first win of the year and first win in Comerica Park. Cole was the starting pitcher in 2016 when CMU played Norte Dame at the annual event that resulted in a 7-3 loss.

"It's been a while since I've been on the mound but it felt good," Cole said.

Cole, a native of Pontiac, said after the game how pleased he was to be able to pitch at a Major League ballpark that's so close to home, allowing his family to attend.

"It means everything for my family to be here," Cole said. "We play two hours away (Mount Pleasant) and my family aren't really around to come and watch games so its always good to be back home."

CMU improves to 16-23-1 with the out-of-conference win, its second straight victory. The Chippewas head back to Mount Pleasant, returning to Mid-American Conference play against Bowling Green. Game one of the three game weekend series is set to begin at 3:05 p.m on Friday at Keilitz field. 

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