Baseball defeats Cornerstone, currently sits in third place of MAC standings


Junior outfielder Zach Gilles of the Central Michigan Men's Baseball Team gets a hit against Ball State April 7 at Theunissen Stadium.

Central Michigan baseball defeated NAIA Cornerstone University, 10-5, on April 16 in Grand Rapids. 

The Chippewas improved to 26-10 overall and still remain at 8-4 in Mid-American Conference play. Cornerstone slips to 14-21 on the campaign while keeping a 7-7 record in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.

Freshman pitcher Garret Navarra started on the mound for CMU. Navarra did not have his best stuff and was taken after 2 1/3 innings allowing five runs on eight hits.  

Cornerstone led CMU 5-1 after two innings. After six innings, CMU still trailed 5-2.  

Then, something clicked for the Chippewas.

After a two-run seventh inning CMU was only behind by one run. The Chippewas added another run to tie the game at 5-5 heading into the ninth inning. 

Once Navarra was pulled off the mound, CMU head coach Jordan Bischel used him as the designated hitter.  

"(Navarra) has prepared and improved as a hitter all year and I felt he deserved an opportunity with some guys out today," Bischel said. "He did a great job taking advantage of his opportunity and trusting his preparation.” 

Navarra delivered going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Those two RBIs came on a ninth-inning double that gave CMU a 7-5 lead. 

The Chippewas scored five runs in the ninth to take a 10-5 lead and Cornerstone was unable to score in the final frame.  

"I was very pleased with how we played today," Bischel said. "Cornerstone's pitching did a great job of commanding the bottom of the strike zone most of the game. I was happy to see we continued to compete for all nine innings." 

The Chippewas next contest is a three-game series against Toledo from April 19-21 in Ohio. The Rockets are currently last in the Mid-American Conference. 

Taking a look at the MAC standings, CMU (8-4 MAC) currently sits third behind Miami (10-2) and Ball State (7-3).  

Northern Illinois (7-5) and Kent State (5-5) sit fourth and fifth behind CMU. Bowling Green (5-7) and Ohio (5-7) are in the middle of the pack.  

Western Michigan (4-6), Eastern Michigan (3-9) and Toledo (2-9) round out the bottom of the MAC standings. 

The Chippewas still have games against Toledo, WMU, BGSU, EMU, and Miami on the schedule.  

The Chippewas will get to play Miami May 16-18 in Mount Pleasant, potentially setting up a scenario to decide conference seeding heading into the postseason.