Chippewas cement MAC title, NCAA berth with finale sweep of Toledo

Sterling Heights junior Mario Camilletti fields a grounder against Ball State, Sunday, May 9.

The Chippewas are champions once again. 

With a 5-4 victory in game one of a season-ending doubleheader against Toledo, Central Michigan secured its 15th Mid-American Conference title in school history. The win also gave the Chippewas their 15th NCAA Tournament berth. 

They weren't finished, however, as strong pitching and timely hitting gave CMU a 10-1 win in game two, giving the Chippewas 40 wins for the second straight full season and 30 conference wins for the first time in program history. 

Game one

Chippewa starter Jordan Patty struggled after being spotted a four-run lead early. Patty lasted just four innings, allowing four runs on five hits and a season-high five walks. In a 4-4 tie, Grant Frazer entered the game and got three outs on five pitches to send CMU and Toledo into the sixth inning tied. 

In the sixth, redshirt freshman Jakob Marsee drove a double into the gap to score Mario Camilletti and break the tie. Toledo would put a runner at second with one out in the bottom half of the inning, but Frazer (W, 3-4) retired the next two batters in order. 

A 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh sealed the MAC title and NCAA Tournament berth for the Chippewas, as a dog pile followed the game-ending groundout by Toledo's Chris Meyers. 

Game two

The Chippewas scored early against Toledo starter Wyatt Jefferson. Camilletti broke the Chippewas' single season walks record with two walks in the first two innings, giving him 60 on the season. The first time through the order, CMU drew four walks and scored two runs. 

CMU starter Cam Brown was electric in 3 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit while striking out two. He was replaced by Logan Buczkowski, who made his first appearance since May 15 at Western Michigan. 

Several Chippewa starters got rest as Bischel elected to start true freshman Danny Wuestenfeld at first base and Nick Dardas at catcher among other lineup changes. True freshman Jacob Donahue pinch-ran for Zach Gilles in the fourth and Kade Preston pinch-hit for Griffin Lockwood-Powell in the third. 

True freshman Colton Coca, who replaced Camilletti defensively at third base in the bottom of the sixth, crushed a three-run jack off the roof behind the left field wall in the top of the eighth inning. Coca added a two-run single one inning later to finish with a career-high five RBI.  

Wuestenfeld finished with two hits and was one of two players to drive in runs with a walk in the first inning. Gilles drove in two before exiting the game, one with a sacrifice fly and another with a fielder's choice. 

Bischel also used the finale to work many pitchers. After Brown, Buczkowski, Ryan Palmblad, Ben Vitas, Clayton Brock and Ian Leatherman each pitched to at least two batters. 

On the other side, Toledo got eight innings of relief from Nate Haugh, a senior who threw 133 pitches across the game's final eight innings. Haugh struck out 10 while allowing seven runs, six of which were earned. 

Up next

CMU will await its first round opponent, which will be announced during the selection show scheduled to air at noon Monday on ESPN2.