|Hatters Split Twin-Bill With Chippewas|
After cruising to an easy 11-3 victory over Central Michigan early on Saturday at Melching Field, the Stetson Hatters never got back on track in the nightcap and lost for the first time this season, falling to the Chippewas 7-2.
The teams will close out their four-game weekend series on Sunday with the first pitch slated for 1 p.m.
Stetson coach Pete Dunn said he does not like playing double headers precisely because of what happened on Saturday.
“I think the statistics show that 70 percent of double headers are split,” Dunn said. “I really don’t think we came out for the second game as mentally prepared to play. This club has to learn that whether you are on a roll or whatever, you still have to go out and earn everything. We lived by that last year and started off that way this year. We did not earn anything tonight, they did.”
The Hatters (5-1) were on a roll after the first game on Saturday, having won their first five games of the year. Stetson scored in seven innings in the opener to take an easy win despite committing three errors in the game.
Central Michigan (2-4) was its own worst enemy in the opener in virtually every facet of the game. The Chippewas committed five errors, their pitchers walked nine and were charged with eight wild pitches, and there was a passed ball thrown in for good measure.
Stetson had 10 hits in the game in support of starter Lindsey Caughel (2-0), who scattered six hits over six innings, allowing just one earned run and one walk with six strikeouts. Tucker Donahue worked a perfect seventh and Chad Rood finished off the last two frames for the win.
The Hatters got three hits in the opener from senior Robert Crews and two hits, to go with three RBI, from senior Spencer Theisen.
CMU starter Jon Weaver (0-2) took the loss. He was unable to get out of the fourth innings and allowed eight runs, but just two were earned.
The second game was a completely different story. Central Michigan got a run in the first as a result of two Stetson errors, got two more in the fourth on an error, two walks by starting pitcher Austin Perez (0-1) and a two-out, two-run single by Randon Henika.
That was all the support the Chippewas pitchers needed. Left-handers Ryan Longstreth (1-0) and Dietrich Enns, combined to hold Stetson to just two runs on seven hits.
“It was a bad combination for us on a night when their pitchers were throwing well, we were chasing hits and runs and then we kicked the ball all over the place,” Dunn said. “The whole game started on a very down note and we never could dig ourselves out of the hole. You have to give them credit because their left-handers threw extremely well.”
Despite the poor performance, the Hatters had a chance in the middle innings to erase the early mistakes. Trey Blackman delivered a two-out pinch-hit double in the fifth to give the Hatters runners and second and third in what was a 3-0 game. Mark Jones came to the plate and blasted a long drive toward the leftfield corner, but the ball died on the warning track, ending the threat.
Central Michigan went on to add another unearned un in the seventh off freshman reliever Drew Jackson before plating two more runs off Jackson in the eighth. The Chippewas put the game away with another run in the ninth off Jake Boyd.
Stetson broke up the shutout in the seventh inning when Theisen scored on a sacrifice fly by Blackman, and then scored the final run in the ninth on a solo homer by Theisen, who had four hits and drove in three runs on the day.
The Hatters will try to get back on track on Sunday, but Dunn said it will take better mental preparation than he saw Saturday night.
“We have a chance to beat a team three out of four and, in college baseball, you have to say that is not a bad weekend. I think Will Dorsey will come out and have a good game. He is obviously motivated after that first start last weekend and I think he will do well.
“If we come out and play the way that we can and Dorsey throws well, then we will get three out of four and I will be very satisfied. If we don’t come out ready to play, we will split four games and lose two straight. That club can certainly do that to us if we don’t play up to our capabilities.”