Win Gives CMU Share Of MAC West Title

Map An offensive explosion. Another solid start by Dazon Cole. A shutout, the first of the season. A series win. A share of a division title.The Central Michigan baseball team collected 13 hits and took advantage of 10 walks and four hit batsmen on Sunday in defeating Toledo, 15-0, in the third and final game of a three-game Mid-American Conference series at the Rockets' Scott Park.

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Performance Development Center

Map Theunissen Stadium is in the process of receiving a new addition that will enhance our program's championship culture-The Performance Development Center. Located on the northeast corner of Theunissen Stadium, the PDC will allow CMU student-athletes the opportunity to hone their offensive and defensive skills year-round in a climate controlled environment.

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Steve Jaksa

 

Head Coach

Steve Jaksa has continued the tradition of Chippewa baseball competing at a championship level since he returned to his alma mater and took over as head coach in 2003.

CMU, the winningest Division I baseball program in the Midwest since 1972, has won three Mid-American Conference regular-season championships (2004, ’10, ’15) and six MAC West Division titles (’04, ’06, ’10, ’11, ’15, ’17) during Jaksa’s 15 years in charge of the program.

Jaksa has amassed a 477-389-1 record (.550 win percentage) at CMU and has led the Chippewas to 11 winning seasons including 10 in which they posted at least 30 wins. In 2005, the Jaksa-led Chippewas finished with 42 victories, the fourth-highest total in program history and the most since a 47-win campaign in 1988.

On March 18, 2017, the Chippewas defeated Northwestern, 5-1, giving Jaksa his 454th career victory at CMU and moving him into second place in program history. He trails only the legendary Dean Kreiner, who led CMU to 516 wins from 1985-98. Jaksa passed another legend, Dave Keilitz, on the career victory list. Keilitz led CMU to 453 victories from 1971-84.

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Jeff Opalewski

 

Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator

Central Michigan has consistently fielded one of the Mid-American Conference’s top pitching staffs during Jeff Opalewski’s seven seasons as the program’s pitching coach.

His outstanding work was rewarded in November 2014 with a promotion to associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.

The Chippewas’ pitching staff finished the 2015 season, during which CMU won the MAC regular-season title, with a 3.64 cumulative earned run average, which ranked second in the Mid-American Conference and 67th nationally.

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Doug Sanders

 

Assistant Coach

Doug Sanders joined the Central Michigan baseball coaching staff in July 2013.

The 2015 CMU team ranked #1 in defense and #1 in offense in the MAC conference. They finished the season with the best overall record in the conference. Pat McKenzie (Second Base) was drafted in 28th round by the Detroit Tigers, while Zach McKinstry and Daniel Jipping were named Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.

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.

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Jonathan Newman

 

Volunteer Assistant Coach

Jonathan Newman joined coach Steve Jaksa’s Central Michigan baseball program as a volunteer assistant coach in July, 2017.

Among Newman’s duties with the Chippewas are to coordinate camps and work with the catchers and corner infielders.

Newman played four years at Spring Arbor University, earning All-Crossroads Conference honorable mention as a catcher in 2016. He was also a member of back-to-back league championship squads in 2014-15.

A native of South Lyon, Newman has served as a student-assistant coach at Spring Arbor and coached in the Canton-based Elite Baseball Club, and as an assistant at Homer High School. In 2017, Newman helped lead Homer to a 36-6 finish and to district and regional championships.

Newman earned his bachelor’s degree from Spring Arbor.

Aaron McLatcher

 

Assistant Director of Strength & Conditioning

Aaron McLatcher serves as the Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning and directly oversees the day to day strength and conditioning programs of the Chippewa baseball, gymnastics, volleyball and women’s golf programs.

McLatcher travels to all games with the Chippewa baseball program, working with the student-athletes on flexibility, mobility, stretching, physical restoration and recovery time. He serves as the bullpen coach and assists in meal planning during road trips.

McLatcher earned his Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science from CMU in 2011 and his Masters of Science in Physical Education and Sport in 2014. He is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). During the offseason, McLatcher trains several former Chippewa baseball players who have moved onto the professional ranks.

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