Walk off homer clinches series for Eastern Eagles
The Central Michigan baseball team was on the wrong side of an unusual game Sunday afternoon against Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti.
A rain delay pushed back a 1:05 p.m. start time, but that was far from the usual events that took place.
EMU senior Brent Ohrman blasted the winning two-out, two-run home run off junior closer Dietrich Enns for an 8-7 victory as the Eagles took two-of-three from CMU.
The game was delayed because of rain, but had all intentions of being a series-clinching victory for the Chippewas. They had an early and late lead, but Ohrman ruined the party with the Eagles last chance.
“Anytime you have a walk-off situation, for or against, it’s going to be a real emotional win,” head coach Steve Jaksa said. “Our emotion was a draining emotion more than anything else.”
The Chippewas jumped out to a 4-0 lead, in large part to senior Nate Theunissen’s home run in the third, but the bats went flat after.
Instead, the spark came from the Eagles bats. They scored all eight runs after Theunissen’s home run – and they didn’t waste time, scoring two runs in the bottom half of the third inning.
EMU regained the lead in the sixth inning with a three-run outburst, but the Chippewas bats woke up.
They responded with a three-run inning of their own to regain a 7-6 advantage. CMU was one out away from winning the series before the two-run ninth.
“It’s real tough,” Theunissen said of the loss. “Every win counts, especially in MAC play and we need every win to make it to the end goal.”
Senior Jon Weaver and freshman Sean Renzi held serve for two and 1/3 innings of relief pitching for the Chippewas, but Enns allowed the two-out, two-run home run in his only 2/3 inning of work.
If you are associated with the CMU baseball program, then that thank you is in order to junior Jordan Dean who smashed a three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning to help win the middle game of the three-game series against EMU Saturday.
The Chippewas were in a 6-5 hole entering the eighth inning, but Dean’s home run flipped the switch in the game, giving them an 8-6 victory.
“It was a 3-2 count, I knew what I was getting and he left it up,” Dean said. “Most of my at-bats I swung early in the count, I was being aggressive, but I felt good with all my at-bats today.”
The Eagles roughed up junior starting pitcher Patrick Kaminska, scoring six runs (five earned), with eight hits. The combination of freshman Dylan Rheault and Enns kept CMU from losing its second-straight game to its in-state rival.
Rheault went four innings without allowing a run before handing the ball off to Enns to close the game.
Enns gave up a hit and a walk, but earned the save for CMU.
CMU, a team averaging more than six runs a game, surely didn’t show up in the opening game of the three-game series.
The Chippewas were blanked by the Eagles 4-0, mostly in part to the dominant combined pitching performance from EMU.
Eagles junior pitcher Neil Butara went six and 2/3 innings without giving up a run before giving way to a bullpen that didn’t give up a hit.
Senior pitcher Zach Cooper went seven and 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) and three hits, but didn’t have the run support.
CMU struck out 10 times and couldn’t figure out the four pitchers the Eagles put out on the mound.
The Chippewas have a pair of midweek games against familiar foes before facing Kent State over the weekend.
They play at 3:05 p.m. Tuesday against Oakland and 3:05 p.m. Wednesday against Michigan State to begin a five-game home stand at Theunissen Stadium.
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