Baseball avoids sweep vs. CMU


Freshman infielder Carl Russell hustles down the first-base line against Central Michigan Sunday at Ralph McKinzie Field. The Huskies defeated the Chippewas, 3-1, as senior pitcher Alex Klonowski went all nine innings.

By Brian Earle

Baseball avoided being swept by Central Michigan over the weekend by winning game three on Sunday behind another complete game from pitcher Alex Klonowski.

The Huskies (10-28-1, 6-9 MAC) lost games one and two to the Chippewas (25-15, 12-3 MAC), 3-2 Friday and 5-3 Saturday, before earning a 3-1 victory Sunday at Ralph McKinzie Field.

In Sunday’s victory, Klonowski stole the show, throwing his second complete game of the season. He gave up one earned run on seven hits and two walks while striking out four batters. The Chippewas got to Klonowski for their lone run in the top of the fourth inning.

“He was on again today,” said coach Ed Mathey. “Earlier on he was struggling a little bit with his command, wasn’t locating his pitches, and they dinged him a little bit, but probably from about the sixth inning on he really hit his stride, really started to throw the ball well, and he finished up really strong in the ninth inning. His velocity jumped up, so I think he sensed the finish and the opportunity to close it out and he went for it. I was proud of him.”

The Huskies struck first when outfielder Landon Tenhagen hit a leadoff home run over the left-field wall. After the Chippewas tied the game in the fourth, the Huskies retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth.

Infielder Justin Fletcher led off the inning with a single up the middle. Fletcher then stole two bases and found his way to third base with infielder Brian Sisler up. Sisler singled up the middle and drove Fletcher in from third to put the Huskies up 2-1.

“I talked to our team about that and that was huge,” Mathey said. “If you go back to the end of the top half of that inning, it was Justin Fletcher and Brian Sisler [who] were involved in a double play … . So that momentum carried into the dugout and Justin was big on the bases and Brian Sisler with the big hit to drive him in was really nice to see. You see that a lot in baseball. You get the good play on the defensive side and they come up on the offensive side and do something.”

The Huskies added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when infielder Chris Divarco singled to center field, driving in outfielder Tommy Hook from second base.

“I think it was a big win for us,” Mathey said. “[Our] backs were against the wall. You’re facing the top team on your side, and regardless of who your facing sweeps are no good.”

In game one Friday, the Huskies fell in a pitcher’s duel as Central Michigan’s Jordan Foley outlasted Anthony Andres.

Foley tossed a complete game, giving up two runs, none earned, while scattering seven hits and striking out five batters. Andres lasted seven innings and gave up three runs, one of which was earned. Andres ended up being done in by his own fielding error in the top of the first inning.

“Anthony was solid. The only trouble he got into, and it’s unfortunate, was the first inning,” Mathey said. “There was a pitch off the end of the bat that was squibbing, and if he fields that clean like he does 99 out of 100 times and throws that guy out, they don’t get a run in that first inning. But it happens, and beyond that he settled down and kept us in the ball game.”

The Chippewas won game two as they scored two runs in the top of the ninth to take a 5-3 lead. The Huskies had a chance to rally in the bottom half of the frame as they loaded the bases, but Fletcher lined out to right field on a hard hit ball, ending the Huskies’ threat.