Baseball drops series finale to Kent State 6-4

Sterling Heights junior Mario Camilletti slings the ball across the diamond for an out, April 17.

The brooms were forced to stay in the closet. 

CMU baseball dropped the final game of a four-game Mid-American Conference series to Kent State 6-4 Sunday at Theunissen Stadium.

CMU (20-11, 12-4 MAC) wins the series over the Golden Flashes (14-17, 7-9) 3-1 and sits atop of the conference with Ball State. 

“Kent State is a really good team, if you give them some opportunities you fully expect them to take advantage,” said head coach Jordan Bischel. “We left a few outs outs on the field, and when you give them those free base runners and have a few walks you’re going to put yourself in a little bit of trouble.”

Key Moments

With runners on the corners and one out in the first inning, pitcher Garrett Navarra blasted a hit that bounced in and out of the glove of Kent State third baseman Kyle Jackson to load the bases. Senior left fielder Chase Rollin drove in one run off a sacrifice fly and Zach Heeke’s single down the left field line scored Zach Gilles from second to give the Chippewas a 2-0 lead.

The Golden Flashes used doubles from Ben Carew and Michael McNamara and a groundout from Kevin Dobos to tie the game 2-2 in the top of the fourth inning. Kent State loaded the bases with one out in the fifth and added one run when Carew beat out a double play by multiple steps at first base and a run off a bloop single to left field from Carew to take a 4-2 lead. 

Zach Lechnir started the bottom of the seventh with a single to left center and was followed by back-to-back walks by Justin Simpsona and Mario Camilletti to load the bases with no outs. The 1-2 pitch from Golden Flashes pitcher Jack Zimmerman went wild, allowing Lechnir to score and advance Simpson and Camilletti to each advance a base. Senior Zach Gilles grounded out to third and allowed Simpson to score to tie the game at 4.

Kent State managed to put runners on the corners to start the top of the eighth and later load the bases. Sophomore righty Ian Leatherman issued two bases-loaded walks to give the Golden Flashes a 6-4 advantage. 

Simpson drew his third walk of the game with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but both Camilletti and Marsee struck out to give the Golden Flashes their first and only win of the four-game series. 

Key Performances

Navarra hurled three hitless innings, issuing two walks and striking out six. Logan Buczkowski, Grant Frazer and Ian Leatherman combined to allow six runs (five earned) off seven hits, four walks and five strikeouts in six innings of relief. 

Heeke finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and Marsee finished with two base hits. Simpson and Camilletti combined for all five of CMU’s walks. 

Carew, McNamara and Cam Touchette combined for six of Kent State’s seven hits. 

Key Stats

CMU starters allowed two earned runs off 17 hits and 6 walks while earning 29 strikeouts over 23 innings. 

Five of seven Golden Flashes base hits came in the fourth, fifth and eighth innings, where they scored all six of their runs. 

What’s Next

CMU travels to Akron, Ohio for a four-game MAC series against the Zips starting at 3 p.m. on Friday.