TROY, Ala. - Central Michigan scored six runs in the first inning and senior Nate Theunissen drove in five as the Maroon and Gold defeated Troy, 14-7, for its first win of the season Sunday at Riddle-Pace Field.
Theunissen finished the final game of the shortened series 3-for-5 with a solo home run, five RBI and two runs scored and senior William Arnold hit his third and fourth home runs of the weekend to provide the Chippewas with all the offense they would need.
"I liked how we were able to get out in front today," head coach Steve Jaksa said. "We were aggressive early and made a lot of good swings and were able to capitalize on a couple mistakes by their starter. The way the wind was blowing to left center today we knew we were going to have to score and we were able to do that."
Juniors Jordan Dean and Tom Lally hit back-to-back singles to start the game and eventually came around to score on a Theunissen single to left field. Arnold, who reached on a fielding error, came around to score on a Sam Russell ground out and Theunissen crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Senior Eric Wrozek later doubled to left field, driving in two more runs for the early 6-0 lead.
Arnold hit his third home run of the series in the top of the second, equaling his total from last season to push the Chippewas lead to 7-0, giving starter junior Rick Dodridge more breathing room on the mound.
Dodridge (1-0), who was making his first start since April 28, 2010, gave up just three runs over 5.2 innings of work, striking out six to keep the Trojans at bay.
"Rick pitched a heck of a game today for us," Jaksa said. "That is his first win in almost two years so for him to go into the sixth inning and keep a team with that much offensive prowess at bay gives him a little confidence."
Theunissen hit his first home run of the season in the top of the sixth, a solo shot to right center, to give the Chippewas an 8-3 lead and Arnold blasted a three-run shot to left field in the top of the seventh to extend the lead yet again, 11-3.
Troy was able to push a run across in the bottom of the eighth, but Theunissen responded with a two-RBI double in the top of the ninth.
The Chippewas finished the game with 18 hits, doubling up the Trojans after previously struggling with contact by striking out 26 times over the first two games.
Arnold finished the series batting .500 (6-for-12) with four home runs and eight RBI, eight runs scored and a slugging percentage of 1.500.
Game One Recap
After a 22 hour and 10 minute rain delay, play in game two of the series resumed with Central Michigan subsequently falling, 12-10.
When played resumed Sunday with Troy leading 8-7 and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, the Trojans pushed four more runs across as Ryan Longstreth walked in a run and Josh McDorman tripled to right field to clear the bases for a 12-7 lead.
The Chippewas attempted their second comeback of the game in the top of the seventh as Arnold hit a home run to left field and Wrozek drove in Theunissen on a bunt single to get the offense rolling. Pat MacKenzie singled up the middle to drive in Sam Russell and the Chippewas had runners on first and second, but Dean grounded out to the shortstop to end the threat and secure the game for Troy.
The Trojans jumped out in front of the Chippewas Saturday afternoon, scoring seven unearned runs in the third before the Maroon and Gold made a valiant comeback.
CMU pulled within five, 7-2, with two unearned runs of their own in the top of the fourth and then scored five in the top of the fifth. Freshman Joey Houlihan hit a double to lead off the inning and Dean drove him across in the next at bat with a double of his own. Dean later came around to score on a perfectly laid suicide-squeeze bunt by Arnold to pull CMU within three, 7-4.
After a wild pitch allowed Lally and Arnold to move up to second and third, Russell hit his first home run of the season over the 30-foot wall in right field of Riddle-Pace Field to even the score, 7-7.
The Trojans responded with a solo home run by Boone Shear to lead off the bottom of the frame and they loaded the bases before the rain began to fall heavily, prompting the postponement.
Jon Weaver (0-1) suffered the loss, giving up 10 runs - three earned - over four innings of work. Fellow senior Ryan Longstreth threw the final 3.2 innings following the delay, striking out three and giving up four hits.