Baseball takes two of three in MAC season opening series


Pitcher Tyler Hankins delivers a pitch against Missouri State on Mar. 24 at Theunissen Stadium.

The Central Michigan baseball team won its opening Mid-American Conference series of the season. 

CMU (15-7) traveled to Athens, Ohio to take on Ohio (5-15). The Chippewas won the series opener, before losing game two and then earning another victory in the rubber match on March 24. 

Game one 

Pat Leatherman (4-0) started the game for the Chippewas. The senior right-hander has been pitching well so far this season, boasting an undefeated record and a 2.45 earned run average. The Bobcats started right-hander Kenny Ogg (1-4).   

Things did not start well for CMU. 

Ohio homered in the second and fourth innings to take a 2-0 lead. Things began to turn around in the fifth when CMU sophomore catcher Griffin Lockwood-Powell hit a single to left field driving in two runs to tie things up. The Chippewas scored one more in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead. 

Lockwood-Powell went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and a home run, leading CMU to the 5-3 victory. Leatherman was given the win and Ogg was handed the loss. Sophomore right-hander Cameron Miller earned his third save of the year for CMU. 

Game two 

The contest on March 23 was tight, but Ohio snuck away with the 12-11 win on a walk-off grand slam by pinch-hitter Tanner Piechnick. 

CMU got off to a hot start and had a 6-0 lead after four innings, but the Bobcats kept fighting and chipped away at the Chippewas lead. 

CMU's junior right-hander Cameron Brown (4-0) pitched five innings allowing four hits and four runs. Cameron Miller (0-2) was given the loss for the Chippewas. The Bobcats went to their bullpen early, starting pitcher Joe  Rock (1-3) pitched only three innings allowing four run on five hits. Braxton Kelly (1-1) was given the win for Ohio. 

Game three 

For game three the Chippewas had junior left-handed pitcher Tyler Hankins (4-0) on the mound going up against Jack Liberatore (2-3).  

CMU won the game 6-2 after a solid performance from Hankins who pitched nearly seven innings, allowing only two runs and earning the win. Liberatore was handed the loss. 

Central Michigan’s bats were hot. Left  fielder Chase Rollin was all over the stat sheet. Rollin was 1-for-3, with  two runs scored, one RBI and earned a walk. Senior Jacob Crum had a seventh inning homer his third of the season.  

Sophomore right-hander Jordan Patty was brought in for the Chippewas to close the game and earned his first save of the season.

Up next the Chippewas have their home-opener as they take on Grand Valley State University on March 26. After that, Northern Illinois will visit Mount Pleasant for a three-game series March 29-31.