Baseball team opens MAC play vs. Miami (OH)
The CMU baseball team returns to Ohio to start the Mid-American Conference schedule against Miami (OH) at 6 p.m. today in Oxford.
The Chippewas (8-8) were in Ohio earlier in the week, beating Bowling Green 12-7 on Wednesday.
The RedHawks (9-10) scored in double digits as well Wednesday, beating Eastern Kentucky 11-3. Junior outfielder Adam Eaton leads Miami with 21 runs batted in and a .342 batting average.
CMU coach Steve Jaksa will combat Eaton and the RedHawks with senior right-handed pitcher Jesse Hernandez.
“I feel good about some of the things we did (against BGSU), and we are going with Jesse in our first game Friday,” Jaksa said. “He’s our guy we are running out their first, and we need him to do the things we want him to do to keep us in the game.”
Hernandez sports a 5.79 earned-run average and is looking for his third win of the season. Going into the weekend, senior outfielder Billy Anderson leads the Chippewas with a .358 batting average and senior catcher Dale Cornstubble leads the team with 12 RBIs. Junior left-hander Tyler Melling (9.11 earned run average) is the likely starter for Miami. He has pitched the first game of most series this season.
Junior right-hander Jake Sabol will likely start Saturday
Sophomore left-hander Rick Dodridge was CMU’s starting pitcher Wednesday in CMU’s 12-7 win against BGSU. However, he was pulled after 3 and 2/3 innings because of a monitored pitch count.
He allowed seven hits and one earned run, while striking out four batters.
Jaksa said he was pleased with the way Dodridge pitched.
“We were really happy with how Rick threw,” he said. “He accomplished some things we wanted to do, and it was a good day for him.”
Cornstubble stayed consistent at the plate, collecting two hits and scoring two runs with an RBI.
Sophomore first baseman Nate Theunissen and senior second baseman Ricky Clark combined for four RBIs in the victory.
“I think the most important thing is that, not only did we pitch well, we also played good defense, and I thought we did some good things offensively,” Jaksa said. “They made some errors, which helped us but, at the same time, I thought a number of our guys had quality at-bats.”
Junior right-hander Bryce Morrow came in relief of Dodridge and pitched 2 and 1/3 innings and allowed four earned runs while striking out two.
Junior Mike Nixon and sophomore Zach Cooper followed in relief and allowed one run the rest of the game.