Baseball wins both ends of doubleheader against Northern Illinois


Senior infielder Jason Sullivan slides against Northern Illinois following a bunt single from senior outfielder David Cole March 29 at Theunissen Stadium.

Following a 6-4 victory in the 1 p.m. game, the Central Michigan baseball team (18-7, 4-1 Mid-American Conference) won its second contest of the afternoon over Northern Illinois (7-19,3-2 MAC) in a 4:30 p.m. home game at Theunissen Field on March 29.

Senior Cam Brown and sophomore Jordan Patty were the only pitchers needed en route to victory.

“Game 2 was all about the pitching,” manager Jordan Bischel said. “We had two great pitching performances by Cam and Jordan.”

In the top of the first, NIU failed to get the ball out of the infield against CMU starter Brown. A sharp grounder first base and consecutive one-hoppers to junior first baseman Zach Heeke set the Huskies down in order.

The Chippewas didn’t fare any better in the bottom of the inning, where all three batters were retired.

Senior infielder Jason Sullivan reached on an error in the bottom of the second and Chase Rollin followed it up with a single. Sullivan and Rollin executed a double steal that put runners on third with two outs, but the threat ended with sophomore outfielder Goashua Williams looking at a called third strike.

The very next inning, CMU found itself in the exact same situation -- two outs, two runners in scoring position.

This time, the Chippewas delivered.

Lockwood-Powell slapped a single past first base to bring home junior outfielder Zach Gilles and sophomore infielder Zavier Warren for the game’s first runs.

NIU evened the score in the top of the fourth after a potential out at the plate was spoiled when Lockwood-Powell failed to secure the ball before applying a tag.

CMU responded strongly, adding two more runs in the fourth inning. Senior outfielder David Cole brought Sullivan around, and then Rollin scored on an error to give the Chippewas a 4-2 lead.

Neither team was able to get much going offensively until the bottom of the seventh, when Lockwood-Powell knocked Warren in to make it a 5-2 game and wrap up the scoring for both teams.

Patty relieved Brown on the mound to start the eighth inning and picked up right where Brown left out, striking out the side to the glee of the CMU dugout.

NIU threatened to score in the top of the ninth, putting runners on second and third with two outs, but second baseman Sullivan made a spectacular diving stop and converted the throw to first to end the game.  

Cam Brown got the win after allowing one earned run on only two hits in seven innings pitched, pushing his record to 5-0. Patty recorded his second save of the season.

Lockwood-Powell went 2-for-3 from the plate and drove home three runs. Rollin had two hits in four at-bats and stole two bases, and Warren added two more steals.

The Chippewas wrap up the series against NIU in a home game to be played at 3 p.m. on March 30, weather permitting.

“Today was beautiful, but whenever this third game is played, it’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna windy,” Bischel said. “The team that’s really excited to play is gonna have a big advantage in the third (game).”