Andy Sneddon, CMUChippwas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – It’s the kickoff to the 2018 baseball season, and it’s a homecoming for a favorite son.
Former Central Michigan pitcher Doug Noch is the keynote speaker on Saturday as coach Steve Jaksa unveils the 2018 edition of his squad at the annual Meet the Chippewas at 11:45 a.m. at Hunter’s Ale House.
Fans and program supporters are welcome to meet and greet the CMU players and coaching staff. Players will be available for autographs from 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The lunch and program is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m
Cost is $10, and the first 40 fans will receive a free packet of CMU baseball cards. There will also be a door-prize drawing. Please RSVP to Jon Newman, (989) 774-1484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chippewas return several front-line pitchers and position players from a squad that finished 31-28 last spring and finished atop the Mid-American Conference West Division. They open the season with an eight-game trip to Texas and New Mexico. They are slated to play Stephan F. Austin and Texas Rio Grande Valley on Feb. 16.
Noch, a graduate of Mount Pleasant High School, earned four letters at CMU from 1984-87. He was a part of four Mid-American Conference championship teams and was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in ’87.
“it’s always nice to come back and be involved and be a part of CMU baseball,” said Noch, whose daughter, Kayla, is a sophomore on the CMU softball team. “Being involved with CMU baseball, it gives man an opportunity to share with the players some perspective of what they can take away from the experience of it, what’s important as they go through their careers as CMU baseball players.”
Noch remains among the top 10 in several career categories in program history, including wins (23). He is a math teacher at Eisenhower High School in suburban Detroit’s Shelby Township, and he has served for more than 15 years as a high school baseball and softball coach.
His daughter, Kayla, is a member of the CMU softball team – one of three of Noch’s children and stepchildren who are or have graduated from CMU – and his father, George, earned three letters in baseball at CMU from 1952-54, playing for the ledgendary Bill Theunissen.
“The things that I remember and take away from when I was at CMU are the accomplishments we had as a team, and the things that they (current student-athletes) can and will do together,” he said. “When I was there, to win (the MAC) all four years and to put together that kind of a string, it took lots of different classes and lot of different groups with the same mentality, the same goals, and the same team-oriented outlook.