'I think I've played every position here': Jason Sullivan breaks program record for career games played
On May 25, 2017, Alex Borglin appeared in his 224th game for the Central Michigan baseball team.
The shortstop scored three runs in a 16-5 win over Western Michigan in the Mid-American Conference Tournament to set the all-time games played record. When he led off and played the shortstop two contests later in a May 27 loss to Eastern Michigan, he capped it off with 226.
His teammate, Jason Sullivan, a sophomore at the time, played next to Borglin at second base.
A little less than two years later, on May 14, 2019, in a game against Michigan State at Theunissen Stadium, Sullivan snapped Borglin's record.
"I always looked up to Alex," Sullivan said. "He was a utility player and I think I've played every position here which is crazy. That's a connection that we'll always have and one thing that we can always talk about, which is pretty cool to have."
Taking the field in a Chippewa uniform for a now program-best 227th time, Sullivan was all business at the plate.
A sacrifice fly in the fourth inning put CMU ahead by a run, his first RBI of the game. His next plate appearance in the sixth inning ended when a pitch hit him in the shoulder. He appeared agitated and sprinted to first base.
The free pass to first loaded the bases where the Chippewas ended the inning plating five runners – Sullivan included.
In the seventh, Sullivan, who bears the nickname "Sully," drove in two runs with a triple to the gap in left center field. The Spartans were able to work the ball and attempt a tag on Sullivan but he slid in safely for a triple and added two more RBIs on the season.
That hit served as his first triple this season and ended the day with his 41st RBI. He also scored for the second time in the game, the 44th time he has crossed the plate this season.
Sullivan said that his approach has changed throughout the season, and most of it has been listening to first-year coach Jordan Bischel.
"It was continuing that process that coach was teaching us," Sullivan said. "I was trying to do too much, so I tried to simplify everything today, really keying in on those pitches that I can do damage with."
Bischel has been impressed with Sullivan and the senior class as a whole for setting records and riding out the storm.
In his first season at the helm of the Chippewa program, Bischel has helped guide the team to its first 40-win season since 2005. He credited Sullivan for much of the consistency that the lineup has required.
"When you set a record (in this program), you've done something right," Bischel said. "That's a major credit to Jason, and it was nice to see him have a big day."
As the regular season hits the home stretch, Sullivan will play his final home series against Miami (Ohio), as CMU has already guaranteed itself at least one game in the MAC Tournament in Avon, Ohio.
The baseball team is currently 40-12 overall and riding a 12-game winning streak.
When all is said and done, Sullivan could reach 231 games played, at the very least.