CMU baseball goes 3-1 in road trip through Virginia


Sophomore designated hitter Griffin Lockwood-Powell of Central Michigan's Baseball Team hits against Oakland May 7 at Theunissen Stadium.

After a season opening sweep at the hands of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Central Michigan looked to get back on track with its trip through Virginia. The Chippewas played four games in three days throughout the state, including a doubleheader Saturday at William & Mary. 

The result was a stark contrast from the season opening trip. The Chippewa bats came to life and their pitching held strong, resulting in three consecutive wins to end the trip. 

Game 1: at VCU

To open its road trip, CMU tacked on four runs in the opening frame against VCU. Redshirt freshman Jakob Marsee tripled to score leadoff man Garrett Navarra and junior catcher Griffin Lockwood-Powell followed later with a three-run home run. 

Junior right-hander Jordan Patty got the start for CMU but struggled to hold the lead. VCU rallied with a run in the first and another in the third. The Chippewas added another score on Marsee's sacrifice fly, but the Rams chased Patty with one out in the fourth after scoring three runs to tie the game. 

VCU took the lead against Chippewa left-hander Ryan Palmblad with a run in the bottom of the sixth, but CMU answered right back with three runs, with RBI's coming from Marsee, Lockwood-Powell and senior outfielder Zach Gilles. Heading into the bottom of the sixth, CMU lead 8-6.

The Rams continued their offensive onslaught in the bottom half, however. Facing Palmblad and later right-hander Grant Frazer, the Rams hammered home six runs in the inning. The Chippewas were able to rally to within a run and loaded the bases in the ninth but were unable to convert, falling 12-11.

Marsee and Lockwood-Powell had four RBI apiece while Gilles, junior Mario Camilletti and redshirt freshman Kade Preston each had one. Patty allowed five runs in 3.1 innings pitched while Palmblad (L, 0-1) allowed four runs in 2.1 innings pitched. Junior Logan Buczkowski pitched a scoreless eighth. 

Michael Dailey started the game for the Rams, allowing five runs in four innings pitched. Tyler Davis (W, 2-1) was the pitcher of record and allowed three unearned runs in two innings pitched. Tyler Locklear and Michael Haydak each homered for VCU. 

Game two: at William & Mary

Redshirt freshman right-hander Andrew Taylor pitched a gem and the Chippewa bats backed him up as CMU picked up its first win of the season, beating William & Mary 12-1 in the first game of the two team's Saturday double header. 

Lockwood-Powell tripled in the first inning to score Navarra to take a 1-0 lead. The Chippewas broke the game open in the third inning, scoring five unearned runs on three errors. Senior Zach Heeke singled in two runs in the inning, while Marsee and Lockwood-Powell each drove in runs as well. 

Camilletti drove in a run in the fourth with a groundout, while Marsee scored later in the inning on a passed ball. Redshirt freshman Drew Lechnir doubled in two runs in the sixth, while junior Aidan Shepardson drove in another run with a single in the ninth.

Taylor (W, 1-1) pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out seven while allowing five hits. True freshman Ben Vitas pitched a scoreless eighth while junior Aaron Husson allowed a run in the ninth. 

Lockwood-Powell, Lechnir and Heeke each drove in two runs to lead CMU while Marsee, Camilletti and Aidan Shepardson each produced one. Six different Chippewas had two hits apiece. 

Game three: at William & Mary

Senior right-hander Cam Brown picked up the torch from Taylor, pitching seven solid innings. The Chippewa bats once again showed up, and CMU won the nightcap of its double header 7-3. 

William & Mary got on the board first, scoring on a wild pitch in the first inning. CMU answered with two runs apiece in the fourth and fifth innings. Redshirt freshman Zach Lechnir and true freshman Nick Dardas each drove in runs in the fourth, while Gilles drove in a run in the fifth before Marsee stole home on a throw down to second during a double steal. 

William & Mary was able to cut the lead down to just one with two runs in the fifth inning, however Dardas provided an answer with an RBI single in the top of the sixth. CMU scored two more runs in the top of the ninth, one on a fielder's choice from Justin Simpson and another coming when Chase Rollin scored on an error from the first baseman. 

Brown (W, 1-0) struck out one and allowed six hits in seven innings. Sophomore Ian Leatherman pitched the final two innings for the save. 

Three Chippewas, Camilletti, Lockwood-Powell and Zach Lechnir, each had two hits. Marsee, Gilles, Rollin, Dardas, Shepardson and freshman Danny Wustenfeld each had one. Dardas led the team with two RBI while Zach Lechnir, Gilles and Simpson each had one. 

Game four: at Richmond

CMU got another strong start and blew the game open with a big fourth inning to win its third game in a row in Monday's matinee matchup with Richmond. The Chippewas beat the Spiders 10-2. 

Camilletti kicked things off with a sacrifice fly to score Navarra in the top of the first. Simpson walked to score a run in the fourth, and the Chippewas scored four runs in the fifth to take a 6-0 lead. Gilles scored two with his double down the line, Heeke walked in a run and another scored on Zach Lechnir's double play. 

Richmond got on the board in the bottom of the fifth with two runs, chasing Chippewa starter J.T Rogoszewski. Navarra came in to finish the inning, limiting the damage. The Chippewas got three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, with three different players walking in runs. 

Sophomore left-hander Ryan Culley struck out two in a scoreless 1.1 innings pitched before Frazer pitched a scoreless ninth to seal the deal. Navarra (W, 1-0) went 2.2 innings in relief while striking out six and allowing one run. Rogoszewski went four innings as the starter, allowing five hits and one run while striking out three. 

Marsee led the Chippewas with two hits while freshman Colton Coca, Lockwood-Powell, Gilles, Drew Lechnir and Navarra each had one. Gilles and Heeke led with two RBI while five others had one. Four different Chippewas were hit by pitches in this game. 

Up next

The Chippewas (3-4) will travel to West Virginia for a three-game series with the nationally-ranked Mountaineers. WVU is currently ranked 23rd according to after a 4-3 start to the season. The series will start at 3 p.m. Thursday.