Baseball splits doubleheader with Illinois State

The CMU baseball team split a doubleheader with Illinois State on Friday at Duffy Baas Field in Normal, Ill.

CMU (7-7) won the first game 2-1 on a second-inning solo home run by junior first baseman Nate Theunissen (1-for-2). An RBI single from senior third baseman James Teas (1-for-3) in the first inning gave the Chippewas an early 1-0 lead.

Illinois State threatened late, loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning — the last inning played in the first game of a doubleheader — but junior Mike Nixon came in and got ISU’s Anthony Ruffolo to fly out to left field to end the game.

“Mike’s been throwing really well for us,” said coach Steve Jaksa. “It’s very pleasing that he came in and made the quality pitches he did in that situation. Look for him to be in the game in the future.”

Senior Jesse Hernandez (2-1) got the win, allowing one earned run on five hits and striking out six in 6 and 2/3 innings.

“We really thought we did some good things against them overall,” Jaksa said. “I thought we got a really great pitching performance from Jesse Hernandez. (He) just did a really nice job for us.”

CMU allowed two Illinois State solo home runs in the sixth inning en route to a 6-2 loss in Game 2.

The Chippewas took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning after back-to-back hits by senior left fielder Tyler Kipkee and junior shortstop Robbie Harman.

Illinois State (7-9) added a run in the seventh inning and two more in the eighth.

Sophomore Trent Howard (1-2) took the loss, pitching 6 and 1/3 innings and giving up four earned runs on seven hits while striking out 10. Senior catcher Dale Cornstubble went 2-for-4 and scored a run.

“I thought we pitched and played really good defense in both games,” Jaksa said.

CMU continues its series against Illinois State at 2 p.m. Saturday.