Baseball remains unbeaten at home, opens series vs. Ball State

Home-field advantage has certainly been kind to the CMU baseball team this season.

The Chippewas bring a perfect 10-0 record at Theunissen Stadium into a three-game home series against Ball State beginning at 3:05 p.m. Friday.

CMU (21-13, 10-2 Mid-American Conference) maintains a one-game lead ahead of BSU in the MAC West, giving the series more importance in terms of conference standings.

“The most important thing is just to go out there and play like we have been and continue to do the things we’ve been doing,” said coach Steve Jaksa. “Most of that has been, as a team, everyone doing their part — it’s just one thing after another. When you do that, somebody else doesn’t feel like they have to do the whole thing — everyone does their own little part to make us a better ball club.”

Senior right-hander Jesse Hernandez (5-1, 4.26 ERA) gets the call Friday, likely against Ball State’s Perci Garner, who holds a 5-0 overall record and 1.57 earned run average in MAC-play.

Ball State (17-20, 9-3 MAC), predicted to finish first in the West in the preseason, comes in having lost two of its last three games, including a 10-5 loss against Butler on Wednesday.

The Cardinals lead the MAC in hitting during conference play with a .338 average and rank fourth in pitching with a 4.29 ERA.

“At this point, when you’re halfway through the season, where you were predicted to be and how you’re to be is not as important as you really are,” Jaksa said. “Everyone will look to take care of their own situation and Ball State looks at this as an opportunity for them to come in here, do a good job against us and be at the top. We’re looking to do the opposite — we’re looking to take advantage of our situation.”

CMU’s success in conference play correlates with its successful hitting. Seniors James Teas and Ricky Clark have lead by example as of late. Teas leads the team with a .369 average, while Clark has increased his average to .329 after combining to go 4-for-6 over the past two games.

“Hitting is contagious,” Teas said. “If we struggle during a game, after seeing a pitcher one or two times, we make our adjustments and do what it takes to get on base.”


CMU evened its season series against Michigan State with a 6-3 win Wednesday at Dow Diamond in Midland.

After four scoreless innings, MSU scored three runs in the fifth inning off starter Bryce Morrow to take a 3-0 lead. The Chippewas responded with four hits in the bottom half of the inning and capitalized off two MSU errors to post a five-spot of their own.

Freshman reliever Dietrich Enns earned the win (4-0), giving up two hits in 3 and 1/3 innings pitched.