Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baseball salvages weekend with series finale in at Missouri

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

The Central Michigan baseball team beat Missouri, 8-1, on Sunday afternoon in the final game of a four-game set in Columbia, Mo.

“I thought we played extremely well today,” said head coach Steve Jaksa. “I really liked where we were at with our attitudes and it showed.”

The Chippewas responded to dropping the first three games of the series to the Tigers with a big fourth inning, propelling them to victory in the second game of a doubleheader.

Junior catcher Will Arnold and junior outfielder Sam Russell delivered run-scoring singles, and the run production was enough for junior right-hander Zach Cooper.

Cooper pitched six innings, allowed one run on four hits and struck out three.

“Zach gave us a good game on the mound,” Jaksa said.

Arnold collected three hits on the game, driving in four runs and senior shortstop Robbie Harman had two hits.

After the Tigers scored a run in the bottom of the sixth to cut the CMU lead in half, the Chippewas responded with two runs in the eighth inning.

Junior outfielder Eric Wrozek led off the inning with a solo home run, and sophomore second baseman Jordan Dean scored on a RBI single off the bat of Arnold to put the game out of reach.

“We got some big hits out of our lineup,” Jaksa said. “Even in the first game, we put together some really good at bats.”

In the opening game, the Chippewas lost 8-6.

CMU fell behind early but hit its way back into the game late, scoring three runs in the eighth inning when senior infielder Tom Howard smacked a three-run homer.

Howard had two hits and drove in four runs.

“He put us in a position to come back,” Jaksa said.

Sunday’s doubleheader was forced by a Saturday rainout. On Saturday, the Chippewas fell 14-7.

Russell hit his third home run of the season and freshman catcher Matt Stevens drove in three runs.

In the series opener, junior left-hander Trent Howard was touched up for four runs in five innings as CMU lost on Friday, 7-6.

“I felt we did some good things this weekend,” said Jaksa. “Now we’re going to build on it.”

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