Hernandez pitches complete game, leads baseball to win against Ohio

Jesse Hernandez got it done on the mound again today at Thuenissen Stadium.

The senior right-hander threw a complete game, allowing one earned run on six hits, to lead the Central Michigan baseball team to a 7-2 win against Ohio.

The win moves CMU to 12-10 overall and 3-1 in the Mid-American Conference, maintaining at least a share of first place in the West Division.

“That’s a great performance for him,” said coach Steve Jaksa. “He did everything down the stretch you wanted him to do. He threw strikes, he kept them off balance … that’s a really good job.”

CMU came up with three hits and capitalized off a pair of walks and wild pitches from Ohio starter Seth Streich to score four runs in the first inning. Senior catcher Dale Cornstubble highlighted the inning with a two-run double to open the scoring.

Streich (0-3, 7.48 ERA) settled down and threw six consecutive innings of shutout ball after the first, limiting CMU to just two hits until he exited the game following the seventh inning.

Meanwhile, Hernandez (4-1, 3.17 ERA) retired the first 15 of 17 batters he faced, including consecutive hitters in the second and third innings.

Trouble began to brew in the sixth inning as Ohio loaded the bases on a single by first baseman Jered Yakubik, but senior right fielder Tyler Kipke (two runs batted in) delivered a strike to home plate to throw the runner out and end the threat.

“I came in today with a lot of confidence in my team,” Hernandez said. “I tried to stay within myself, throw a lot of strikes, let the ball work and (allow) the hitters to get themselves out.”

Sophomore first baseman Nate Theunissen (2-for-4, three RBIs) reached base in the eighth inning on a throwing error by Bobcats second baseman Zach Keen that scored two runs. The Chippewas added another run to solidify the win.

Ohio (3-19, 1-3 MAC) used a throwing error by junior shortstop Robbie Harman and three of its six hits in the game to score two runs in the ninth inning.

“(Hernandez) really did an outstanding job — he had a shutout going into the last inning and really, no fault to his own, would have had a shutout,” Jaksa said. “Their kid did settle down a little bit and started to get some outs. We finally got into their bullpen and scored three more runs and (it) gave us a little distance going into the last inning.”

Junior designated hitter Brendan Emmett went 2-for-4 with two runs scored for the Chippewas.

The three-game series continues at 2 p.m. Saturday when CMU sends sophomore Rick Dodridge (2-1, 1.64 ERA) to the mound.