Baseball finds offense in road series win over Toledo
An offensive eruption in the series-ending doubleheader was enough for the Central Michigan baseball team to secure a series win over Toledo.
Having outscored their Mid-American Conference foe 28-8 in the three games, the Chippewas (28-11, 10-5 MAC) further solidified themselves in second place in the conference standings. They did so by over-powering the Rockets (14-24, 3-11) at the plate.
Toledo was able to take the opening game on April 19 at Mercy and put itself in position for a much-needed series win over CMU.
Game 1: CMU 3 Toledo 4
Sophomore shortstop Zavier Warren opened the scoring in the third inning where he was able to score two runners with a double to right field.
Fellow sophomore, catcher Griffin Lockwood-Powell, scored Warren with a single that completed the three-run inning.
that would be the last time CMU scored in the first game.
Toledo scored its runs by playing small ball in the fourth and sixth innings. It finally took the lead on a Ryan Thompson sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
Senior right-hander Pat Leatherman was strong by striking out seven Rockets and allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits in his 6 1/3 innings of action.
In relief, sophomore right-hander Jordan Patty (loss, 0-2) allowed Toledo's final two runs (unearned) and striking out two batters.
For Toledo, Doug Smith gave up three runs on six hits and only struck out two Chippewas over seven innings. Nate Haugh (win, 2-2) only gave up two hits in his two innings and recorded three strikeouts.
Game 2: CMU 7 Toledo 1
Weather delayed the second game of the series, so the Chippewas and Rockets were slated to play a doubleheader to end the series- and the visitors found their stride offensively.
Senior right fielder Jacob Crum was able to push Warren across the plate with a fielder's choice to open the scoring in the third inning.
Next, senior second baseman Jason Sullivan was able to drive in another run to finish off the two-run third inning.
After a home run for Toledo's Chris Meyers, CMU went to work.
Junior center fielder Zach Gilles walked in a run in the sixth inning. Warren followed suit in the seventh as the Chippewas loaded the bases in consecutive innings. Junior infielder Zach Heeke next scored on a wild pitch before Lockwood-Powell capped off the inning with a one-run single.
Another strong performance from the starting pitcher, combined with the offensive firepower, helped the Chippewas take the front end of the doubleheader.
Junior Cameron Brown (win, 7-0) allowed four hits, but only one run (earned) while striking out seven in his six innings. Junior right-handed reliever Grant Frazier (save,1) allowed just one hit and administered one strikeout in his three innings.
Layne Schintz-Paxton (loss, 2-4) continued his struggle as he allowed three runs on as many hits (one earned) adding six base on balls compared to three strikeouts in six innings of work.
Game Three: CMU 18, Toledo 3
Both teams utilized much of their pitching staff in the nightcap of the doubleheader. Sophomore right-hander Jordan Patty was tabbed with the start and was strong in his five innings in the rubber match.
Patty (win, 1-1) allowed one run on three hits (earned) while striking out eight batters. CMU totaled 13 stikeouts in the final game of the weekend.
Michael Jacob (loss) for Toledo, on the other hand, was not successful in this one. He dropped his record to 2-6 on the year after allowing nine runs (all earned) on eight hits and dispatching eight base on balls. He was unable to record a strikeout.
In all, the Chippewas finished with 15 hits off of Rocket pitching in the tail end of the doubleheader.
Crum was among the leaders of the offense as he plated five different runners to cap off a six RBI weekend. Sullivan was able to push four across as he scored five teammates over the weekend.
The senior Crum facilitated the first run of the game in the first inning as he scored Warren with a base hit to left field. He then tallied a two-run home run to left field that scored Lockwood-Powell. Crum added another round-tripper in the eighth inning with another blast to right field.
With the doubleheader sweep to secure the series, CMU is now only two games behind league-leaders Miami (OH). The teams will play the final series May 16-18 in Mount Pleasant.
The Chippewas' schedule moves out of the MAC for a doubleheader against Davenport. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. on April 23 at Theunissen Stadium.