Baseball's season ends in MAC Tournament semifinals

The Central Michigan baseball team prepares for its game at Comerica Park against Oakland University.

In its fifth Mid-American Conference Tournament game in four days, the Central Michigan baseball team fell short, just one game away from the finals. 

The Chippewas (29-30-1) ended their season with a 9-8 loss to Miami (Ohio) in an elimination game on May 26. 

“I just really liked this group, how they handled the entire season from start to finish, how we fought all the way through,” said CMU head coach Steve Jaksa. “This tournament was just an indication of all those things that you ask somebody to do as they grow and they fight. 

"We kept losing personnel here and there and yet the next guy in just picked it up. We just fell a little short today. I’m just really proud of what they did and how they represented the university and themselves."

Since the RedHawks (35-19) earned the victory, the team will play in the championship game on May 27 against Kent State. 

Zach Heeke's triple to start the game allowed Zavier Warren to drive him in on a groundout for the first run of the contest, putting CMU ahead to start. 

In a 1-1 tie, the Chippewas added another run in the top of the third inning after Heeke drew a walk and scored his second run on an RBI fly out from Daniel Robinson. 

Taking a 2-1 lead, Miami posted six runs in the bottom of the fourth for a 7-2 lead. Cameron Miller started for CMU and allowed the seven runs, of which just one was an earned run. The Chippewas made three errors in Miami's game-changing inning. 

Miller went 3.2 innings on the mound, allowing seven runs on four hits and one walk. He struck out two hitters. 

Even though the Chippewas were down by five runs, they kept fighting. 

CMU answered the call with six runs in the top of the fifth for an 8-7 lead. Griffin Lockwood-Powell drove in a run after being hit by a pitch to start the scoring in the fifth. 

Reliever Jack Collins took the loss to lower his record to 5-2 after allowing Miami to score twice in the bottom of the fifth. The game-winning run was a bases-loaded walk. 

The RedHawks bullpen, led by Jack Corbell and Gus Graham, shut down CMU over the final 4.0 innings. Corbell earned the win. 

After the loss to Miami, CMU's season is over. 

“Every team holds a special place in my heart," Jaksa said. "This one will be a little different because I know where they were and I know what they became.The one thing I always tell a group of young men is nobody can ever take your heart away, nobody can ever do that unless you allow it. And we played with tremendous heart and that will always make them special.”