Chippewas pair explosive offense with strong pitching to split four-game series with Ohio
Central Michigan used explosive bats and strong pitching to win the last two games of a four-game series with Ohio.
The teams split the series, the first for the Chippewas (10-8, 2-2) in Mid-American Conference play. CMU lost the first game of the series, 5-1, on Friday.
The Chippewas came into the series with just one home run as a team but got two in the series, including a grand slam from redshirt freshman Jakob Marsee in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader. Beal City junior Chase Rollin hit a 3-run shot in Sunday's win as part of a six-RBI performance.
Saturday doubleheader, Game one
Redshirt freshman Andrew Taylor took the mound for the first of two seven inning games Saturday. Taylor (L, 3-2), who ranks second in the MAC in strikeouts with 43, went the distance and struck out 11. Yet, the Bobcats got a 3-run shot from leadoff man Isaiah Peterson and scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the fourth inning to win the game, 4-3.
Chippewa freshman infielder Colton Coca opened the scoring with a 2-run single in the top of the second, scoring senior Zach Gilles and sophomore Justin Simpson. Taylor was cruising early, but an error kept the third inning alive for the Bobcats, who capitalized with Peterson's home run.
Simpson scored the tying run in the top of the fourth when junior Mario Camilletti took a bases loaded walk. Ohio answered when Trevor Hafner singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, took third on a groundout and scored on another Taylor wild pitch.
Edward Kutt IV (W, 3-0) got the win for the Bobcats in relief and Brett Manis pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning to earn the save and close out the win.
Senior right-hander Cam Brown (W, 3-0) pitched a complete game, allowing two runs while striking out seven to earn his third win of the season. The Chippewas won, 12-2, to claim their first conference victory of the season.
Gilles, who is tied for the conference lead in batting average, drove in a run in the first inning with a sacrifice fly. Redshirt freshman Zach Lechnir made it 2-0 Chippewas when he contributed a sac fly of his own to score Aidan Shepardson.
Brown allowed his only runs in the fourth, allowing two to score on a single from Mason Minzey. The Chippewas rebounded with six in the top of the fifth, with Heeke and Shepardson each driving in a run before Marsee cleared the bases with his second career grand slam.
CMU would tack on four more in the top of the seventh. Simpson singled in a run, freshman Nick Dardas followed with an RBI double and Camilletti scored two with a two-bagger of his own.
Logan Jones (L, 0-2) went 5 1/3 innings for the Bobcats and allowed four runs. Collin Sells surrendered the grand slam.
The Chippewa offense picked up right where it left off on Saturday night, pounding 18 hits and scoring 14 runs to rout the Bobcats, 14-3. Starter J.T. Rogoszewski (W, 1-1) earned his first win of the season after tossing six innings, allowing four hits and three runs while striking out five.
CMU scored two runs in the first inning, including an RBI groundout from Rollin. Ohio tied the game with a pair of RBI singles in the second inning, but Rollin answered with a three-run no-doubter over the wall in right center to make the score 5-2.
Coca continued his strong weekend with an RBI double in the fifth to score Rollin, who would drive in two more with a double in the sixth. Coca followed that with a two-run double of his own, pushing the Chippewa lead to 10-2.
Ohio scored a run in the bottom of the sixth against Rogoszewski, but the Chippewas answered with Simpson's two-run single in the eighth. Gilles and Heeke each drove in runs in the ninth while junior Grant Frazer and sophomore Ian Leatherman combined to pitch three hitless innings to close the win.
The Chippewas stay on the road, traveling to Northern Illinois for another four-game series.
Here is the schedule for the Chippewas' upcoming series:
Friday, April 2: 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 3 (Game one): 1 p.m.
Saturday, April 3 (Game two): 4 p.m.
Sunday, April 4: 1 p.m.