CENTRAL MICHIGAN (28-24, 15-6 MAC) vs. BALL STATE (28-25, 12-9)
Thursday-Saturday, May 18-20 • Mount Pleasant, Mich. • Theunissen Stadium • Radio: WMHW 91.5-FM • Live Stats: cmuchippewas.com
• Central Michigan will entertain Ball State in a three-game Mid-American Conference series beginning on Thursday. It is the final regular-season series of the season. The MAC Tournament begins on Wednesday, May 24, in Avon, Ohio.
• Game times: Thursday, 3:05 p.m.; Friday, 3:05 p.m.; Saturday, 2:05 p.m.
• Pitching matchups (CMU listed first): Thursday, Pat Leatherman (6-4, 4.17) vs. Colin Brockhouse (3-2, 3.77); Friday, left-hander Tyler Hankins (5-1, 3.74) vs. John Baker (5-2, 3.36); Saturday, Dazon Cole (3-5, 5.20) vs. let-hander Evan Korson (1-1 5.40).
• The Chippewas have clinched a share of the MAC West title and can capture the outright crown with one win in the series.
• The Chippewas are two games behind East-leading Kent State in the race for the overall regular-season MAC championship. The Golden Flashes are 17-4 in league play. They open a three-game series at Ohio on Thursday.
• If the MAC Tournament were to begin today, the Chippewas would be the No. 2 seed.
• Ball State enters the series tied for second in the West with Eastern Michigan, three games behind CMU. The Cardinals started MAC play 0-6 after sweeps at the hands of Kent State and Ohio. They have since won 12 of 15 league games.
• The Chippewas rank third in the MAC with a .283 team batting average, and are sixth with a 5.28 team ERA. Ball State is fifth in hitting (.276) and second in pitching (4.33).
• CMU’s Daniel Robinson ranks 14th in the MAC in hitting at .312, and the Chippewas’ Daniel Jipping is 15th (.310). Ball State’s Matt Eppers is fifth in the conference at .342, while teammate Sean Kenndy is seventh (.335).
• Kennedy is third in the conference with 70 hits and is tied for the league lead with 12 home runs.
• Robinson (47) and Borglin (46) rank second and third, respectively, in the league in runs.
• Jipping is tied for third in the conference with 10 home runs and ranks second with 54 RBI.
• Robinson leads the MAC with 21 stolen bases (in 27 attempts). CMU’s Zach Gilles is second with 17 (in 22 tries).