Sunday, February 20, 2011

Errors mount in pair of losses against FGCU

By Anthony Fenech, Senior Reporter || February 20, 2011

The Central Michigan baseball team didn’t get off to a good start Saturday.

In the first game of an afternoon doubleheader against Florida Gulf Coast University, the defense committed two errors on the first two batters of the game.

“We spotted them a lot of runs,” said head coach Steve Jaksa.

Six of them, all unearned, which led to a 10-7 Eagles victory.

And the Chippewas couldn’t finish either.

In the second game, FGCU took advantage of another CMU error, which led to senior catcher Robert Greene scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning of a 4-3 FGCU victory.

“I thought we were in position to be able to capture both of those games,” Jaksa said about the sweep.

The Chippewas were able to recover from their error-filled first inning by scoring five runs in the seventh inning and taking the lead, but the Eagles responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning and never looked back.

”We needed to make a stop that inning,” Jaksa said. “But we made a couple of mistakes and weren’t able to come back.”

Starting pitcher Bryce Morrow survived the first inning and pitched five innings, striking out six and walking three. Senior Jake Sabol was tabbed with the loss.

Junior third baseman Tyler Hall and sophomore second baseman Jordan Dean collected three hits each in the loss.

In the second game, Eagles senior shortstop Stephen Wickens’ single to right field scored the winning run in the Chippewas second extra-inning game in as many days.

“It was a great game,” Jaksa said. “I think we’ll learn something from those games. I think we worried too much about the outcome instead of playing the game one play at a time.”

After allowing a run in the third inning, CMU scored three runs in the top of the fourth, in large part by taking two walks and advantage of two errors.

Ahead by two runs, FGCU finally chased Chippewas starter Zach Cooper in the seventh inning, after the junior allowed an RBI double to Eagles second baseman Mikel Alvarez.

“Zach gave us everything he had,” Jaksa said.

Cooper finished with six-plus innings pitched, striking out six and allowing three runs.

The Eagles bullpen kept CMU scoreless for seven innings after the fourth inning, highlighted by Jason Forjet’s five innings of two-hit baseball. He struck out eight and walked one.

“He was real tough on us,” Jaksa said.

The Chippewas (1-2) conclude their series with FCGU at 12:30 p.m. Sunday in Fort Myers, Fla.

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