Enns battles rainy conditions in first collegiate start

(Matthew Stephens/Senior Photographer)

Dietrich Enns had some difficulties gripping the ball Tuesday at Theunissen Stadium, but he did not let the rainy conditions rattle him.

In his first start of the season, the freshman pitched five innings, allowing just one hit and striking out six in the CMU baseball team’s 4-1 win against Illinois-Chicago.

“As the game went on, it got a little tough to grip the ball,” Enns said. “You’ve just got to work through it and compete.”

Although Enns did not receive the win, he kept UIC off the scoreboard and was nearly unhittable while on the mound.

“I felt good, I just wanted to work fast and attack these guys,” he said. “The conditions were not so great, but I felt good out there.”

The Chippewas (15-10) scored four runs on four consecutive hits in the sixth inning to break the scoreless tie.

Sophomore Zach Cooper came in relief in the sixth inning and picked up the win, his first of the season.

“Enns and Cooper, you can’t ask for much better out of those guys, and we played good defense,” said coach Steve Jaksa. “It was just a matter of us hopefully scoring some runs, which we were able to do.”

Enns, usually a relief pitcher, has a 2-0 record and made his eighth appearance of the season yesterday. He has a team-leading 1.59 earned run average, allowing just four earned runs all year.

In 22.2 innings pitched, Enns has struck out 24 batters -— third on the team — and has walked 18. Whether it is coming out of the bullpen or starting a game on the mound, Enns said he will do whatever it takes to get the team a victory.

“I’ll do whatever the coaches tell me to do,” he said. “I’ll come out of the pen or I’ll start here or there. I’ll just do whatever to get a win for the team.”

Enns has been given a variety of roles so far this season, and starting pitcher is the newest. He also has been called upon for matchup situations and long relief.

Cooper finished the game, improving the Chippewas’ win streak to four games.