BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Sophomore Jordan Foley continued his strong start to the season by striking out a career-high eight batters over six innings to lead Central Michigan to a series-opening win at Western Kentucky Friday afternoon, 4-2.
Foley lowered his team-best earned run average to 0.69 by limiting the Hilltoppers (1-3) to just two hits over his six innings of work, earning his first win of the season. WKU failed to record a hit off the righty until the fifth inning and despite putting runners in scoring position twice, Foley was able to pitch out of jams each time.
"Jordan gave us another very nice performance today," head coach Steve Jaksa said. "He put us in a position where our offense could chip away and get some runs. He went out there and did his job by not giving up any runs and put us in a nice position to win the game."
While Foley was working his way through the Western Kentucky lineup with ease, the Chippewas' (2-3) bats was providing all the run support it needed behind a pair of freshmen.
After sophomore Pat MacKenzie produced a run with his legs in the first to put the Chippewas in front, true freshman Zack Field extended the lead to 2-0 in the top of the fourth with his second RBI double of the season.
Junior Jordan Adams led off the sixth with a double to right center and stole third before Fields again got behind one and drove a ball deep enough to center field to push Adams across on a sacrifice fly. Rdshirt freshman Neal Jacobs then extended the lead to 4-0 with one swing of the bat, driving a 3-1 pitch to over the fence in left center for his first career home run.
Sophomore Dylan Rheault came on in relief and kept the Hilltoppers off the board in the seventh and eighth, but was unable to stay out of trouble and finish the game. After a hit batter and back-to-back singles gave WKU its first run of the night, Jaksa again went to his bullpen in lefty sophomore Matt Trowbridge.
Trowbridge came on and an error allowed another Hilltopper to score and loading the bases. The sophomore was able to get two big strikeouts to leave the bases loaded however, earning his first career save.
The Chippewas and Hilltoppers will continued their series tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. Senior Pat Kaminska will take the mound for CMU.