Baseball plays Oakland today, tweaks rotation
The CMU baseball team stays out of conference at 3 p.m. today as it plays Oakland University on the road in Rochester.
Sophomore left-hander Rick Dodridge gets the start for the Chippewas.
“We have got a game against Oakland and we are going to focus on that,” said sophomore Nate Theunissen, who went 4-for-4 with a home run and five runs batted in during Tuesday’s game against Wayne State. “And then we will focus on the weekend (vs. Northern Illinois) to make sure we are prepared for that.”
Theunissen leads the way with a .380 batting average, and he hit his sixth home run of the season in the 14-9 win against Wayne State on Tuesday.
Oakland is 9-24 this season, but is 6-5 at home.
Junior Tommy Jablonski leads Oakland with a .367 batting average and 15 runs batted in this season. In comparison, Theunissen leads CMU with 36 RBIs.
Junior Bryce Morrow has been CMU’s starter of choice during most Wednesday games. But he had to come in long relief for junior Matt Faiman on Tuesday.
Junior Matt Faiman usually plays outfield and has provided some consistency with his bat throughout the lineup this season. But Faiman also is a pitcher, and he was CMU’s starter against Wayne State on Tuesday.
Faiman got his third start of the season, but it was not his best outing.
He pitched 1 and 2/3 innings before being relieved by Morrow. He allowed four hits and five runs before being pulled. Only one of his runs were earned and he recorded four strikeouts along the way, including strikeouts against the first two batters he faced.
“We were going on a pitch count with both Matt and Bryce,” said coach Steve Jaksa. “We changed Bryce’s role a little bit to have him come out of the bullpen for this weekend — each of his last four outings have been very good, and that is good for him going into the weekend.”
Morrow relieved Faiman in the second inning and pitched 4 and 1/3 innings while only allowing two hits and no runs. He also had three strikeouts, his first coming against the first batter he faced, to get the Chippewas out of a five-run second inning for Wayne State.
CMU came back in the bottom of the second inning and scored 14 unanswered runs through the sixth inning. Morrow (2-2) got his second win of the season and has had a strong comeback since having surgery on his arm last year.
The bullpen has been a consistent positive for the Chippewas with sophomore Trent Howard moving into the closer role and freshman Dietrich Enns sporting a 1.14 earned runs average.
Enns is 4-0 and has provided long relief innings when a starter has gotten into trouble. Enns will replace Dodridge as Saturday’s starter this weekend, as Dodridge starts tomorrow.
“Deitrich has put himself in a good position,” Jaksa said. “We really liked the role he was in, but we wanted to change it up just to change the pace a little bit. Rick (Dodridge) knows what we are doing and he understands and he is happy.”