Baseball: Ternowchek gets ball for Central Michigan
Vicky Jacobsen | Wednesday, April 25, 2012
The Irish seek to keep the heat turned up as they take on Central Michigan on Wednesday in a mid-week matchup.
Although the Irish (22-16, 9-6 Big East) went through a rough patch in early April, they head into the contest on a hot streak after sweeping Georgetown (18-21, 5-10) on the road last weekend and taking two of three from Cincinnati the weekend before that.
“I think they’ll feel better about themselves, and they should,” Irish coach Mik Aoki said. “We made some mistakes here and there that we need to talk about, obviously, but overall I think our guys played pretty well. They did a good job.”
Freshman right-hander Matt Ternowchek will get the start for the second time this season. Ternowchek has a 3.15 ERA and a 3-1 record in 14 appearances this year.
Aoki said his managing decisions will not be limited by injuries. A Cincinnati pitcher plunked sophomore first baseman Trey Mancini on the wrist early in Notre Dame’s 10-9 win over the Bearcats (13-27, 2-13) on April 13, but Mancini returned to the lineup for the Georgetown series.
“With Trey it’ll be something that we’ll continue to manage and keep our eye on,” Aoki said. “It’s better, but it’s not perfectly better, so we’ll limit his reps in practice and whatnot. But he’ll be able to play.”
The wrist injury did not slow Mancini last weekend, when he went 6-for-12, scoring four runs, picking up four RBIs and earning Big East Player of the Week honors.
Central Michigan (17-24, 7-8 MAC) will start freshman right-hander Jordan Foley, who was drafted by the Yankees in the 26th round of the 2011 MLB Draft, but decided to forgo the minor leagues in order to join the Chippewas. Foley enters the game with a 3-0 record and a 7.52 ERA.
The Chippewas also have several hitters who could give Notre Dame trouble. Junior infielder Jordan Dean is hitting .377 with six home runs and 31 RBIs, while senior first baseman Nate Theunissen has 37 RBIs on the season and ranks in the top five in program history in six separate offensive categories.
Central Michigan is coming off two conference losses to Kent State, but Aoki said the Chippewas will challenge the Irish.
“It’s just a good regional game against a team that’s usually a really good team out of the Mid-American Conference,” Aoki said. “We just have to play well all around. We’ve won five of our last six, so it would be nice to make it six of our last seven and give us a little momentum heading into an important weekend.”
Ternowchek will throw the first pitch against Central Michigan at Frank Eck Stadium at 5:35 p.m. Wednesday.
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