MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan picked up a key Mid-American Conference win in its series opener versus Northern Illinois Friday afternoon, 6-3.
Sophomore Jordan Foley struck out a career-high 12 batters in just 6.2 innings to improve to 5-1 on the season and senior Jordan Adams went 2-for-2 with a solo home run, RBI double and a pair of walks as the Chippewas (12-16, 3-4 MAC) moved within a game of .500 in conference play.
Foley continued to impress on the mound, taking a shutout into the seventh inning and was nearly through seven scoreless had it not been for an error on junior Noel Santos. The error allowed the inning to extend and the Huskies (9-18, 4-3 MAC) to cut into the CMU lead with three unearned runs.
Fortunately, the Chippewas' offense had come alive in the bottom of the second thanks in part to brothers Nick and Logan Regnier.
With one out and runners on first and second, sophomore Nick Regnier gave the Chippewas a 1-0 lead with a RBI single through the left side that plated sophomore Alec Ornelas. Freshman Logan Regnier came to the plate later in the inning with the bases loaded and promptly hit a 3-2 pitch past the NIU first baseman, allowing his brother and sophomore Joe Houlihan to score to push the lead to 3-0.
Redshirt freshman Neal Jacobs reached on an infield single to the shortstop to lead off the bottom of the third and came around to score on Adams' RBI double. Adams then stole third and scored on a throwing error by the Huskies' catcher, making it a 5-0 game.
The run support was all that Foley would need as he worked through the NIU lineup with ease, allowing just two hits and matching his career high in strikeouts through just five innings. After allowing a walk and a single with one out in the sixth, Foley recorded strikeout 11 for a new career high and induced an inning-ending popout to keep the shutout in tact.
The sophomore gave up a leadoff double in the seventh before punching out his 12th batter of the game and looked to have the shutout in his pocket before the error extended the inning.
Adams quickly thwarted any comeback thoughts by the Huskies when he hit a no-doubt shot over the left field wall with one out to push CMU's lead back to three, 6-3.
Sophomore Matt Trowbridge came on in the top of the eighth in an attempt to record a six-out save and did so successfully, marking his sixth save of the season.
CMU and NIU will continue the series tomorrow afternoon at 2:05 p.m. Sophomore Dylan Rheault will toe the rubber for the Chippewas.