Jason Sullivan, Zavier Warren anchor baseball's middle infield with strong relationship


Zavier Warren (left) and Jason Sullivan (right) stand together at Theunissen Stadium after practice on April 24, 2019 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

Jason Sullivan has played with a lot of short stops on the flip side of his second base position in his baseball career.

Sophomore Zavier Warren, however, is an individual he clicks with better than most.

It’s to the point where the senior is confident he wouldn’t need to communicate with Warren to know where he is at on a play.

“If we played blindfolded, we would know where the other is at,” Sullivan said. “We just have that chemistry and friendship.”

That bond Sullivan mentioned is essential to the Central Michigan baseball team’s success, and this season it’s been near perfect.

Both players have been staples through the Chippewas batting order, staring all 40 games. Warren leads the team offensively with a .393 batting average, six home runs and 52 RBIs. Sullivan is fourth on the team with a .314 batting average, adding 31 RBIs and a home run. 

On the base pads, both players are a perfect 10-for-10 on stolen bases. Both have kept their fielding percentage over .930. 

Coach Jordan Bischel expected both to be good in the field and at the plate. However, he wasn’t quite sure he could expect what Warren has done offensively.

“Jason’s started all four years so we knew he could probably hold that spot down and he’s even heated up recently with some big performances,” Bischel said. “Zavier had an okay year as a freshman but I’ve been following him since I was at Northwood and always believed in his ability.

“I knew he had a breakout year in him, I don’t think I could’ve predicted these numbers.”

Warren a season ago played in 52 games and put together a .277 batting average with no home runs and 22 RBIs.

With 15 games left in the regular season, Warren has already knocked in 30 more runs and has his batting average over 100 points better than a season ago.

The Southfield native said this past summer, he worked everyday to get stronger. Now, it’s paying off.

“My hitting approach is definitely a thing that’s making me better,” Warren said. “Really, I’m just more comfortable this year now that I have a full year of college baseball under my belt.”

In his first season in Mount Pleasant, Sullivan could sense some of the nerves Warren had. From the moment the two met, Sullivan wanted to do anything he could to make him feel welcome.

Sullivan described Warren as a player who isn’t talkative on the field like he is. This works to their advantage according to the second baseman. Whether one of them needs to be more vocal or settle down, the combination’s personalities keep them balanced.

Senior second baseman Jason Sullivan tags out a Davenport baserunner caught in a run-down April 24 at Theunissen Stadium.

It’s now to the point where they just feel like best friends playing rather than teammates. Sullivan says he hasn’t played with many people more humble than Warren.

“He’s way better than I’ll ever be and I’ll gladly admit that,” Sullivan said with a smile. “Just to see his maturity on and off the field this season has been amazing.”

Warren said he has always looked up to Sullivan and has learned how to be a better player because of him. 

“I was just a freshman and I had this upperclassman to play up the middle with,” Warren said. “Now we know each other very well and we have built a great friendship from there.”

Sullivan has been known as one of the team’s leaders in Mount Pleasant for the last couple years on this team. As a four-year starter, he’s excited about his final go around.

He likes where the team currently sits and believes CMU can still play its best baseball down the stretch. When it does come to an end, he knows his other half of the duo can take the torch.

“(Warren's) a great level-headed player that doesn’t get too up or too down no matter what the situation is in the game,” Sullivan said. “Baseball is a game of failure and that’s an important trait to have.

“The future is bright for him and our program with him helping lead it, there’s no doubt in my mind.”