ONTO THE MIDWEST: It will be 44 days between airplane travel for the Seattle University baseball team, who last stepped on a plane to return home from San Jose State March 25. The Redhawks will take a red-eye flight overnight Monday, landing in Michigan Tuesday morning in preparation for a doubleheader at Central Michigan Wednesday. The team will then head to Columbus, Ohio, for a weekend series against the Buckeyes of Ohio State. One more victory will allow Seattle U to pass its win total from the 2011 season, continuing the improvement of the program since it was reestablished in 2008.
Wednesday, May 9 (Game 1): RHP Bryan Dalton (1-2, 3.59 ERA) vs. LHP Matt Trowbridge (3-3, 5.30 ERA)
Wednesday, May 9 (Game 2): TBA vs. LHP Rick Dodridge (1-5, 6.36 ERA)
Friday, May 11: RHP Seafth Howe (4-3, 2.92 ERA) vs. RHP Jaron Long (5-2, 1.90 ERA)
Saturday, May 12: RHP Brandon Kizer (3-4, 4.15 ERA) vs. LHP Brian King (4-3, 4.31 ERA)
Sunday, May 13: TBA vs. RHP John Kuchno (7-3, 4.91 ERA)
WHAT IS AT STAKE: With 12 games remaining on the schedule, a 6-6 record down the stretch will give the Seattle U baseball team its first winning season since 1978 (19-13). The Redhawks have already clinched back-to-back 20-win campaigns for the first time since the team won at least 20 games seven years in a row from 1967 through 1973. The school record for wins in a single season is 29 set in 1954, plus the program has also enjoyed a 27-win season in 1957 and 25-win campaigns in 1963 and 1968. If all 12 remaining games are played this season, the 2012 squad will set the school record for most games played in a single season, breaking the current record of 52 games played last year.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Because of rainouts and the addition of games during the season, Seattle U will be playing in its eighth doubleheader of the 2012 season Wednesday against Central Michigan. The Redhawks swept twinbills against Nebraska Omaha Feb. 29 and against Nevada May 5, but was swept by BYU April 12. Seattle U is 4-3 in the first game of a doubleheader and 4-3 in the second game of a twinbill. Central Michigan will be playing in its sixth doubleheader of the year, bringing a 5-5 doubleheader record (1-4 game one, 4-1 game two) into Wednesday.
NEXT SEASON: Seattle University joins the Western Athletic Conference and will compete for a league title against the following teams in 2013: CSU Bakersfield, Dallas Baptist, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, Sacramento State, San Jose State, Texas-Arlington, Texas-San Antonio, and Texas State. The 2013 WAC Tournament will be held in Grand Prairie, Texas, May 22-26.
SCOUTING CENTRAL MICHIGAN: The Chippewas enter Wednesday's doubleheader with a 23-25 overall record after sweeping a three-game series at Northern Illinois over the weekend. Central Michigan just completed a seven-game road trip, going 6-1 including a 9-4 victory at Notre Dame as well as winning two of three games over Akron. The Chippewas are now 12-9 in the Mid-American Conference, good enough for a tie for second place in the West Division, just one game behind Toledo. As a team, Central Michigan has combined to post a .275 batting average, a .953 fielding percentage, and a 4.37 earned run average. Jordan Dean is the team's leading hitter, batting .363 with 78 hits, 51 runs scored, 10 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 38 runs batted in, and nine stolen bases. William Arnold is batting .341 and leads the team with 31 walks, while Nate Theunissen paces the squad with 39 runs batted in. These will be the first meetings all-time between Seattle University and Central Michigan.
SCOUTING OHIO STATE: The Buckeyes are 27-20 overall heading into a two-game series at Oklahoma State Tuesday and Wednesday before the three-game set against the Redhawks. Ohio State just swept a three-game series from Northwestern, allowing only one run in each game of the series. The Buckeyes are now 11-10 in Big Ten play, currently sixth in the conference standings. As a team, Ohio State has combined for a .270 batting average, a .966 fielding percentage, and a 4.33 earned run average. At the plate, Josh Dezse is the team's leading hitter, batting .331 with 59 hits, including five home runs, plus he has been walked 28 times and hit by a pitch 13 times. Brad Hallberg leads the team with 12 doubles, while David Corna has five home runs and a team-high 33 runs batted in. The Buckeyes like to put the game in motion, led by Kirby Pellant with 25 stolen bases in 30 attempts and Joe Ciamacco who is a perfect 14-for-14 in stolen base attempts. Seattle University and Ohio State will be meeting for the first time ever on the diamond.
THE REST OF THE SEASON: Seattle U returns to the Pacific Northwest for its final road series of the 2012 season May 18-20 at the Oregon Ducks (34-14), currently ranked #6 by Collegiate Baseball and #9 by Baseball America. The final four games are in Bellevue for the Redhawks, starting with the rubber game of the season-long three-game series against Washington (26-18) May 22 before a three-game set against Portland (23-16) May 25-27.
WEATHER FORECAST: As of Monday, May 7, the forecast for Wednesday in Mount Pleasant, Mich., calls for a few showers with temperatures hovering around 60 degrees. There is a 30 percent chance of rain, and winds are expected to be north-northwest at 11 mph. For Columbus, Ohio, over the weekend, mostly sunny skies are expected with temperatures in the low 70s during the day falling into the 50s at night.
#21: Cam Christian had been selected as a captain for the 2012 season and had worked hard to change his pitching motion since the end of the 2011 season. However, returning from a friend's wedding on the night of October 16, 2011, Christian was involved in a single-car crash that took his life. His name will remain on the roster throughout the 2012 season, and his uniform will be with the team everywhere it plays this year.
SCHEDULE CHANGES: Due to the KingCo playoffs scheduled to be held at Bannerwood Park, the schedule for the final weekend series of the season against Portland has been adjusted. The game on Friday, May 25, will now begin at 1 p.m., not 6 p.m. as originally listed. The start times for the games on Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27, will remain the same, but those contests will now be played at Bellevue College's Courter Field. Because of the change in site for the final two games, Senior Day is now scheduled for the Friday contest at Bannerwood Park.