By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
In a week’s span, Jordan Foley dominated the Mountain State’s two biggest universities.
Foley pitched six innings of four-hit ball and struck out eight as Central Michigan defeated Marshall 7-3 in the first game of a doubleheader Friday at Linda K. Epling Stadium in Beckley.
The Chippewas completed the sweep with a 9-7 win in the second game.
A 6-foot-3 sophomore right-hander, Foley (4-0) continued what has been a masterful season to date. His earned run average actually went up to 1.33 after limiting the Thundering Herd to two runs, one of them unearned.
Foley did nearly double his walk total for the season. He had given up five on the year before walking four Marshall batters.
“It started out kind of rough. I couldn’t really find (a groove),” said Foley, who beat West Virginia 4-0 last Friday. “The ball was going everywhere. But after the third inning I settled down a little bit and got into a rhythm.”
Central Michigan coach Steve Jaksa has been more than pleased with Foley’s start to the season.
“He’s been a good one for us, and even if he’s not on a little bit here and there — which I’m not saying he was today, because he did pretty good — he’s still good enough to get us through a game and not give up many runs,” Jaksa said. “If we make a mistake behind him, it doesn’t seem to bother him. He just does his deal, and it’s been good enough.”
Marshall (7-9) took a 2-1 lead on Foley in the third inning before he settled down.
Foley, who was a 26th-round draft choice of the New York Yankees out of The Colony (Texas) High, got help from his offense. Left fielder Neal Jacobs had a two-run homer and drove in four runs in the first game.
Marshall freshman Chase Boster (1-2) took the loss. He allowed four hits and four earned runs over five innings. He struck out six and walked two.
In the second game, the Herd led 4-2 after four, but the Chippewas (8-9) made a five-run fifth hold up. Jacobs added his second home run of the day, a three-run shot to right, to highlight the outburst.
“Not good,” Marshall coach Jeff Waggoner said of his team’s showing. “We just didn’t play well. It’s been up and down. At times we have played really good this year and at times we have played bad. It’s the inconsistency that is frustrating.”
Marshall had won four straight going in, but the program has now lost 10 straight to the Chippewas. CMU leads the all-time series 13-1.
The Herd had chances in the seventh and ninth innings to tie or take the lead.
In the seventh, Marshall loaded the bases with one out, and Travis Myers’ single up the middle scored Sergio Leon to make it 8-5. Isaac Ballou later scored on a fielder’s choice to get the Herd within 8-6, but runners were stranded at second and third.
The Chippewas got a run back in the top of the eighth.
Ballou and Dundon walked to lead off the ninth. After Johnathan Beary popped out to the foul side of first base, Adam Bolen reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases.
Ballou scored when Bolen was forced at second on a ground ball by Alfredo Brito.
Mardu Smith grounded out to end it.
Waggoner said the Herd put itself in the situation of needing to rally with poor play early. Starting pitcher Alex Thackston walked five of the 12 batters he faced in 2 2-3 innings.
“You walk that many guys and make some costly mistakes and you’re not swinging like you should,” Waggoner said. “We’ve got to forget this and come back ready to go (today).”
Zack Fields drove in four runs for Central Michigan.
Dylan Rheault (1-0), a 6-9 right-hander, scattered six hits over six innings. He was tagged with four runs, but only one was earned. He struck out three and walked two.
The teams will meet again at noon today, with Marshall senior Wayland Moore (2-1, 3.86) going up against Central Michigan’s Pat Kaminska (1-3, 6.43).
— E-mail: gfauber@
Central Michigan 7, Marshall 3
CMU: 001 022 020 — 7 9 2
MU: 002 000 010 — 3 7 0
CMU: Jordan Foley, Jimmy McNamara (7), Jason Gamble (9) and Alec Ornelas, MU: Chase Boster, Kolin Stanley (6), Matt Hummel (7), Kyle Kessler (8), Sam Hunter (9) and Matt Kirkwood, David Diaz-Fernandez (9). WP — Foley. LP — Boster. Hitting — CMU: Noel Santos 1-4 (2b), Nick Regnier 1-3, Jordan Adams 1-3, Zack Fields 1-4 (rbi), Cody Leichman 2-3 (2 runs, rbi), Neal Jacobs 2-4 (hr, 4 rbi), Ornelas 1-4 (hr, rbi), MU: Andrew Dundon 1-4 (rbi), Nathan Gomez 3-4 (2b), Gray Stafford 1-4 (3b), Eric Escobedo 1-4 (2b, rbi), Sergio Leon 1-4.
Central Michigan 9, Marshall 7
CMU: 002 051 010 — 9 8 2
MU: 103 000 201 — 7 9 2
CMU: Dylan Rheault, Taylor Lehnert (7) Matt Trowbridge (7) and Dylan Goodwin, MU: Alex Thackston, Brandyn Sittinger (3), Ryan Hopkins (6), Matt Hummel (7), Zachary Shockley (8), Josh King (8), Terrence Moore (9) and Matt Kirkwood. WP — Rheault. LP — Sittinger. Hitting — CMU: Logan Regnier 1-4 (2b, 2 runs), Pat MacKenzie (2 runs), Nick Regnier 2-4 (2 runs, 2 rbi), Zack Fields 2-4 (2b, 4 rbi), Cody Leichman 1-3, Neal Jacobs 1-4 (hr, 3 rbi), Goodwin 1-5, MU: Isaac Ballou 2-3 (4 runs), Andrew Dundon 1-2, Nathan Gomez 1-2, Travis Myers 1-1 (rbi), Adam Bolen 1-2 (rbi), Alfredo Brito 1-4 (2 rbi), Sergio Leon 2-4 (2b).
Records: CMU: 8-9; MU: 7-9.