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Season Review: Chippewas' Strong Finish Builds for Future

In a season full of high expectations and goals, the Central Michigan baseball program turned around its season over the last 20 games and finished just one win away from winning a Mid-American Conference Tournament title.

Continued.....

Three Chippewas Selected in Final Day of MLB Draft

The Central Michigan baseball program saw three student-athletes taken in the final day of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft, bringing its total to five for the most players taken in program history.

Junior Dietrich Enns was the first Chippewa taken Wednesday by the New York Yankees in the 19th round, senior Jon Weaver followed in the 21st round by the Tampa Bay Rays and senior Ryan Longstreth closed the day when he was taken in the 40th and final round by the Detroit Tigers.

Continued.....

Steve Jaksa

 

Head Coach

The Central Michigan baseball program has competed at a championship level during Steve Jaksa's 11 seasons as head coach.

The Chippewas have won two Mid-American Conference championships (2004, 2010) and four MAC West Division titles (2004, 2006, 2010, 2011) during his tenure. Jaksa has led the Chippewas to seven 30-win campaigns a pair of 20-win MAC seasons.

Jaksa led the Chippewas to their third MAC Tournament championship appearance in 2012, as the Maroon and Gold won four-straight games after dropping the tournament opener before falling in the title game.

He owns 353 wins as a Chippewa, the third-most in CMU history, and a .552 winning percentage (353-286-1) in the Maroon and Gold.

Continued.....

Jeff Opalewski

 

Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator

Central Michigan has fielded one of the Mid-American Conference's top pitching staffs during Jeff Opalewski's six seasons as the Chippewas' pitching coach.

The Chippewas once again led the Mid-American Conference in ERA (3.39), which was good for 66th nationally. This group was led by 1st Team All-MAC Selections Pat Kaminska, who was also an All-Mideast Region Selection, and Tim Black, who's nine saves tied teammate Matt Trowbridge's 2013 total which is the second highest number in Chippewa history. This now makes five first team All-MAC picks and six second team All-MAC selections during in his tenure.

For the 6th straight year the CMU pitching staff has had a player drafted or signed to a major league contract as a free agent under Opalewski's tutelage. Jordan Foley (5th round, NY Yankees) was the program's highest draft pick since 2003. Matt Trowbridge was also a 13th round selection of the Baltimore Orioles and Pat Kaminska signed a free agent contract with the Texas Rangers. That now makes eleven CMU hurlers that have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft under his watch, along with four others that have signed contracts as undrafted free agents.

Continued.....

Doug Sanders

 

Assistant Coach

Doug Sanders joined the Central Michigan baseball coaching staff in July 2013. Sanders spent three seasons at his alma mater, Kent State, as volunteer assistant coach on the staff of Coach Scott Stricklin. He was part of Kent State's incredible run through the NCAA Regional and Super Regional, as it earned a berth to the College World Series in Omaha in 2012.

Sanders was responsible for defensive instruction, which contributed to the 29th-ranked defense in the country in 2010 and the No. 8 defense in 2011. In 2013, he was a full-time assistant coach at Malone University in Canton, Ohio. Sanders was a standout infielder at Kent State and led the team in hitting as a senior in 2008, earning a spot on the All-MAC Tournament Team. Prior to Kent State, Sanders was a Junior College All-American selection from Elgin (Ill.) Community College where he set all-time records for hits in a season and triples in a career. Sanders was an all-state selection (Illinois) in both baseball and football as a senior. Sanders played five years of Independent League Professional Baseball in the Golden League and the Frontier League.

As a second baseman, he had a .978 career fielding percentage and was a Frontier League all-star selection in 2010. Sanders has played and/or coached on several championship teams at Junior College, Division 1 and professional baseball levels. At CMU, in addition to other duties, Sanders is responsible for hitting instruction, infield defense, and base running, on the field, while assisting in recruiting, travel planning and scouting reports, off the field.

William Arnold

 

Assistant Coach

Former Central Michigan standout Will Arnold joined the staff as an undergraduate student assistant during the 2013 season and upon graduation was named the volunteer assistant.

A Mount Pleasant native, Arnold started 102 games over his final two seasons and earned a spot on the All-MAC team in 2012 after leading the Chippewas in RBI, walks, putouts and fielding percentage. Arnold was a mainstay behind the plate, leading a pitching staff that has had seven players drafted in the last two seasons, as he will work primarly with CMU catches as a part of its' coaching staff.

Arnold was named Co-Mr. Baseball by the Michigan High School Coaches Association in 2008 following a star senior season for Mount Pleasant High School.

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