Weekend games should propel baseball team forward
Big crowds all weekend witnessed the CMU baseball team winning in ways that can hardly be scripted.
It completed a series sweep of Akron on Sunday after being down 8-4 in the ninth inning. The Chippewas have now won seven consecutive Mid-American Conference games to put them in first place.
All three games ended in comeback fashion, two of which had more drama than at any point this season.
The Chippewas seem to have chemistry throughout their lineup with players picking each other up at the plate, and consistency through the pitching rotation has given the team a chance to win regularly.
They have shown all year there is no quit in them and, no matter how many runs it is losing by, any deficit can be overcome.
That mentality was on full display last weekend.
After a four-hit game Saturday, junior outfielder Matt Faiman had his turn to be the hero Sunday.
The Chippewas scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to come back and win, 9-8. It was Faiman who got the RBI single to end the game.
Sunday’s comeback capped the series sweep and improved the Chippewas MAC record to 8-1.
Last season, the team was 4-5 through its first nine conference games. This year, CMU sits atop the West, tied with Toledo and Ball State at 7-1.
Most importantly, CMU is finding ways to win.
Saturday’s game mirrored the constantly changing weather — it was sunny to start before gusts of 30-mile-per-hour wind swept through as a storm neared.
After a come-from-behind victory Friday afternoon, Game 2 of the weekend series never seemed to be out of reach. The Chippewas found themselves down 7-4 heading to the bottom of the ninth inning.
From there, the entire complexion of the game would change.
Faiman already had three hits and three RBIs when he came up to bat in the ninth inning. He followed it with a towering fly ball that, when the wind caught it, continued until it hit the wall for a two-RBI double. It cut the lead to 7-6.
The crowd had new life, as did the team. Later in the inning, senior Ricky Clark drove in a run to send the game to extra innings.
“Every win means just that more when you look back at the end of the season and see those ones that could have, should have or may have,” said CMU coach Steve Jaksa.
The Chippewas were not going to let this game be one that should have, could have or may have -— like the other games in the series.
In the 10th inning, senior James Teas stepped to the plate with the bases loaded.
“I can’t ask for anything more than to be put in that situation,” he said. “It’s the stuff that you dream of.” Teas looked at a couple pitches before sending a screamer up the middle that easily scored Anderson giving the senior a walk-off hit and his team the victory.
Was Saturday the best game at Theunissen Stadium this season? At the time, it obviously was. But after Sunday’s comeback, it’s up for debate.
It’s the kind of series that can legitimise consistency through the rest of the MAC schedule and a long run in the MAC tournament.
Everything that can possibly go right for CMU has gone right. This weekend was a prime example.
CMU has six MAC series remaining as it battles atop the standings.
And if it can continue its success, the team may very well point to this series as the point where it turned on the extra gear.