Baseball swept in doubleheader by Ball State

(Matthew Stephens/Senior Photographer)

Several CMU baseball players sat silent in the dugout Saturday afternoon, gazing onto the field of Theunissen Stadium.

After winning the first game of the series against Ball State Friday on a complete game by pitcher Jesse Hernandez, the CMU baseball team headed into Saturday’s doubleheader needing one win to avoid losing its first Mid-American Conference series of the season.

But errors, inefficient starting pitching and lack of timely hitting plagued the Chippewas Saturday, when they lost both games of a doubleheader, 3-2 and 5-2.

With the losses, its first two of the season at home, CMU (22-15, 11-4 MAC) is now tied with the Cardinals for first place in the MAC West.

“We were ready to go, but things just didn’t work out for us, whether it was an error or just not getting the guy in,” said senior Billy Anderson, who went a combined 3-for-8 in the doubleheader.

Ball State (19-21, 11-4 MAC) struck early in the second game of the doubleheader.

Following a leadoff double in the second inning, junior shortstop Robbie Harman sent a routine ground ball over the head of first baseman Nate Theunissen and out of play. The throwing error allowed the Cardinals to score their first run and move a runner into scoring position.

After a ground out that moved the BSU runner to third, a wild pitch by starter Jake Sabol allowed the Cardinals to take a 2-0 lead.

Ball State tacked on two more in the third and another in the fourth to extend its lead to 5-0.

Theunissen hit a two-run homer—his fifth of the season—in the fourth to put the Chippewas on the board. But that was as close as they would get.

“We got behind in both games early and weren’t able to come all the way back,” said coach Steve Jaksa. “Close, but not close enough. In essence, that’s what it was.”

Like the first game of the doubleheader, double plays proved costly for CMU. Anderson singled to open the fifth inning, but junior Brendan Emmett lined into a double play. A batter later, senior Dale Cornstubble doubled down the left field line that would have scored a run.

“We have got to be able to score runs early in games,” Anderson said. “That’s been our problem the past two games, so hopefully we can kick that in gear sometime soon.”

Ball State used scrappy means to get on the board early in Game 1. A leadoff walk, single and stolen base produced the Cardinals’ first run. A pair of singles through both sides of the infield scored two more and BSU took an early 3-0 lead in Game 1.

CMU hit into three double plays and left seven runners on base for the game.

The Chippewas made a late-game rally, but scored just two runs.

CMU won the first game of the series on Friday 4-3 following a complete game by senior Jesse Hernandez, who allowed three earned runs on seven hits.