Baseball team loses weekend finale against Illinois State
The CMU baseball team dropped its last game of the weekend series with Illinois State on Sunday, losing 10-6.
Junior right-hander Jake Sabol was hit for four earned runs in the third inning in what turned out to be an eight-run inning for the Redbirds, giving them a 9-1 lead.
Two CMU throwing errors kept the inning alive for the Redbirds, and an Anthony Ruffolo grand slam opened up the game.
“We are going to be fine — I thought we swung the bat well,” said coach Steve Jaksa. “We had that one inning and we just couldn’t get out of it.”
The Chippewas (7-8) came back in the fourth inning with four runs, cutting the deficit to 9-5. But it was not enough.
Senior outfielder Tyler Kipke scored two runs and had a hit for CMU. Seniors Billy Anderson and Dale Cornstubble also had hits, putting their batting averages at .355 and .333, respectively.
Sabol was pulled after three innings and freshman Dietrich Enns finished the game. Enns pitched five innings and allowed one earned run on one hit, while striking out six.
“They (Illinois State) only scored one more run on us the rest of the game,” Jaksa said. “Our pitching put us in a good position to come back, and it was a good thing for Dietrich. I think that he can continue to get better.”
The Chippewas’ game on Saturday against Illinois State was canceled because of frigid temperatures and rain. The team split its doubleheader Friday, winning the first game 2-1 and losing the second 6-2.
Senior Jesse Hernandez started the first game and pitched 6 and 2/3 innings while striking out six batters. Sophomore first baseman Nate Theunissen had a hit, an RBI and a run scored in the 2-1 victory.
Sophomore Trent Howard pitched 6 and 1/3 innings in the second game Friday and allowed four earned runs on seven hits, while striking out 10 Redbird batters.
Jaksa said he thought Howard pitched well and playing in close games will help the team later in the year.
“When you can win a close game, it is always going to be good for the future of the team,” Jaksa said.
The Chippewas are off until Wednesday, when they open Mid-American Conference play with Bowling Green in Bowling Green, Ohio.
The team begins another road series next weekend, when it faces Miami (OH).