For the First Time
Central Michigan will be playing both Southeastern Louisiana and McNeese State for the first time in program history this weekend. The Chippewas start a stretch in which 11 of their next 12 games on the schedule will be played against opponents they have never faced, including a four-game series at Hawaii and a three-game series at Tennessee Tech from March 16-18.
Collmenter's Record Within Reach
Senior ace Zach Cooper has a chance to become Central Michigan's all-time leader in strikeouts, passing 2007 MAC Pitcher of the Year and current Arizona Diamondbacks starter Josh Collmenter's record of 288. Cooper tied a career high with 11 strikeouts last Friday at No. 23 Stetson and now has 190 in his career, just 23 shy of moving into CMU's career top 10 list. Collmenter's record of 288 could be eclipsed if Cooper averaged seven strikeouts over his projected 14 remaining regular-season starts.
The Road Traveled
CMU is in the midst of a 16-game road trip to begin the season in which it will travel approximately 14,020 miles. The Chippewas have already visited the states of Alabama and Florida with trips to Louisiana this weekend Hawaii next week still on the docket. The Chippewas will open their home schedule on March 13 versus Madonna.
Climbing the Record Books
Senior first baseman Nate Theunissen continued to climb his way up the record books last weekend and now ranks fifth in school history in doubles (43), seventh in runs batted in (140) and seventh in extra-base hits (67).
Theunissen also cracked the top 10 for career total bases last weekend, ranking No. 10 with 309 and is just 35 at bats, 17 hits, and four home runs shy of moving into the top 10 of each respective category.
Former Coach Waldo Sauter Remembered
The Chippewas will wear a patch with the initials "WS" the remainder of the season in commemoration of former CMU baseball head coach Waldo Sauter, who passed away on February 22. Sauter was the first coach in CMU history to earn 200 wins in any sport and left as the program's all-time leader in wins with 210 in 1970. He was inducted into the CMU Athletics Marcy Weston Hall of Fame in 1994 and selected the Maroon and Gold's "Fan of the Year" in 2010.
One of the Nation's All-Time Winningest Programs
According to the NCAA's annual baseball record book, the Central Michigan baseball program ranks 26th on the list of all-time winningest programs with a minimum of 25 years in Division I. The Chippewas entered the season 1,956-1,175-17 for a clip of .624, ranking above programs such as the back-to-back National Champs South Carolina and the current top team in the country, No. 1 Florida.
Longstreth Lifts CMU
Senior left-handed pitcher Ryan Longstreth got his first start of the season in game two of the Chippewas' doubleheader at No. 23 Stetson last Saturday and came up in a big way. Longstreth pitched seven solid innings, limiting the high-powered Hatters' offense to just one run on six hits and a walk while striking out three. The win was the first of his season, second of his career and first against a ranked opponent.
On a Hot Streak
Senior Nate Theunissen is on quite the hot streak dating back to April 24, 2011. Theunissen currently has an 11-game hitting streak dating back to last season and has recorded a hit in 22 of 25 contests. During the 25 game stretch, the senior has recorded 12 multi-hit games and is hitting at a .382 clip (39-for-102).
After right-hander Zach Cooper makes the start Friday night, the Chippewas will roll out three straight southpaws on the mound, including Longstreth, junior Rick Dodridge and freshman Matt Trowbridge, who will be making his first collegiate start.