Mario Camilletti, Chippewas crush Falcons to sweep doubleheader, win series
Central Michigan baseball coach Jordan Bischel noticed Mario Camilletti when the Chippewas played at Oakland in 2019.
Bischel said Camilletti's stats were impressive, but his attitude was even more impressive.
"You could see the energy he plays with and how much he (loves) to play," said CMU coach Jordan Bischel. "He took a bit of a chance on us coming here."
When Camilletti -- a junior from Sterling Heights -- transferred to CMU, there was doubt as to whether or not he would be able to play due to the NCAA transfer rules.
Bischel said he found out late in the fall that Camilletti was able to get a waiver to immediately play for CMU -- and he has made the most of that opportunity.
"It showed how much he wanted to be here," Bischel said. "He was willing to sit out a year if he had to."
In 25 games, Camilletti has scored 27 times and knocked around 26 hits. He has driven in 21 RBI and leads the team with 23 walks.
On Sunday, he finally ripped his first home run as Chippewa.
Camilletti lifted an offering from Nathan Lohmeier to right field, it carried over the wall for a two-run home run, giving CMU a 4-0 lead in the first game of a doubleheader against Bowling Green.
Behind Camiletti's six RBI and three runs scored, the Chippewas swept the doubleheader from the Falcons 5-1 and 13-4 to claim the Mid-American Conference series at Theunissen Stadium on Sunday.
GAME ONE KEY MOMENTS
CMU opened the scoring in the first inning for the third time in as many games when junior right fielder Chase Rollin doubled to deep left, scoring Camilletti from first.
Rollin late scored on a sacrifice fly from sophomore designated hitter Garrett Navarra, giving CMU a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
In the second, Camilletti ripped his two-run home run to right, giving CMU a 4-0 lead after two innings.
Both teams were quiet offensively until the fifth, when senior first baseman Zach Heeke scored on a sacrifice fly from junior infielder Aidan Shephardson.
For the third game in a row, a CMU pitcher threw a complete game as senior right-hander Cam Brown went the distance for CMU.
"The big key (to Sunday) was the start from Cam Brown," Bischel said. "He threw the ball extremely well today. When you pitch like that to start a day, it gives your offense the opportunity to settle in."
GAME ONE KEY STATS
Brown (W, 4-0) struck out seven Falcons and allowed one run on two hits in the seven-inning effort in the opener.
Nathan Lohmeier (L, 2-3) lasted allowed four runs on five hits and issuing four walks. in 1+ innings. Lohmeier was hit in the face with a ground ball in the second inning.
GAME TWO KEY MOMENTS
After both teams went quietly in the first, Bowling Green grabbed a lead in the second as Jared Johnson flied to center and scored Nathan Rose from third.
In the second inning, Navarra doubled to right center and later scored on a single from Heeke.
Redshirt freshman catcher Nick Dardas ripped a single to right center and advanced to second on an error from the centerfielder. Heeke scored on the error. Redshirt freshman infielder Zach Lechnir scored on a wild pitch.
Camilletti drove in Dardas with a single up the middle, giving CMU a 4-1 lead after two.
In the third, the Falcons scored three runs, including a solo home run from Ryan Gurney, which tied the game at 4-4 through 2 1/2 innings.
In the bottom of the third, BG pitcher Jeremy Spezia hit Rollin and walked Heeke before exiting the game. David Stopp, in relief, walked Zach Lechnir to load the bases.
Then, the wheels fell off for the Falcons.
Stopp hit Dardas then walked Simpson -- driving in two runs -- before Camilletti doubled to left center. Marsee and Gilles then both hit RBI singles to drive in Simpson and Camilletti, respectively. An error on the second baseman scored Marsee then an error on the catcher scored Gilles.
In all, CMU scored eight runs on three hits, two errors, two hit batsmen and two walks in the third inning.
Camilletti then drove in Zach Lechnir in the fourth to round out the scoring, giving the Chippewas the 13-4 lead.
GAME TWO KEY STATS
Navarra (W, 4-0) allowed four runs on five hits, striking out two and walking two in 2 2/3 innings. Junior right-hander Grant Frazier allowed four hits and struck out one in 2 1/3 innings of work.
Junior right-hander Logan Buczkowski, sophomore Ian Leatherman, sophomore left-hander Ryan Palmblad and freshman right-hander Ben Vitas all pitched one inning.
Bischel said he was happy with the way his guys were able to maintain discipline at the plate, drawing 15 hit batters or base on balls. CMU ranks in the top 20 nationally in both HBP and BB and led the nation in walks per game.
"That's not a luck thing," Bischel said. "We practice hitting approach and plate discipline a lot. It's not that we're up there to take pitches, but we make sure you put the ball in the strike zone before we turn the bat.
"We take a lot of pride in pressuring the other team's pitching staff."
CMU travels to South Bend, Indiana for the front end of a home-and-home against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish own a 22-12-1 all-time record dating back to 1957. CMU and ND square off at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Frank Eck Stadium.