Baseball clinches spot in Mid-American Conference Tournament

CMU shows their respect for Oakland after a 16-3 win at the Clash at Comerica game on April 25 in Comerica Park.

Ninety-feet was the only thing separating the Central Michigan baseball team from a bid to the Mid-American Conference Tournament. 

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Ty Rollin standing on third base in a tie game on May 17 for a chance to clinch a spot in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, the Chippewas delivered. 

Zach Heeke threw hit bat out and connected on a pitch from Ohio's Jake Roehen. Heeke hit the ball to the shortstop, but it was deep enough in the hole for him to beat the throw 

Simultaneously, Rollin crossed home for a walk-off 3-2 victory at Theunissen Stadium and a berth in the MAC Tournament in Avon, Ohio. 

“It was a great win for us and the guys,” said CMU coach Steve Jaksa. “We got five hits in the ninth and you know what? We needed every single one of them.

The Chippewas (24-28-1) were down 2-0 coming into the ninth inning. Jaksa's squad got three-straight singles with one out before pinch-hitter David Cole drove in a run. 

“How about David Cole? Pinch hit, fouling off two or three pitches, and he laces one to left field to get our first run," Jaksa said. "You talk about clutch coming off the bench and getting that hit in that situation."

Even though he grounded out, Jordan Patty was able to bring home the tying run, setting the table for Heeke, a left-handed hitter, against reliever Jake Roehn. 

"Zach Heeke’s been really good the last few weeks now," Jaksa said. "We’re very confident with where he’s at and the job he’s doing for us.”

On the hill, Jack Collins improved his record to 5-1 with a relief victory on May 17. He took over for right-handed starter Dazon Cole, who allowed two runs on six hits and two walks in 6.0 innings. He struck out seven hitters. 

“Dazon probably threw his best game,” Jaksa said. “He’s been in all kinds of roles for us and giving us that kind of an outing today was really what we needed. And Jack came in and was just – they weren’t going to score anymore is all I can say.”

The MAC Tournament starts and May 23 and goes through May 27, which would be the championship game. 

Last season, the Chippewas were knocked out of the MAC Tournament by Eastern Michigan.