Chippewas clinch outright MAC championship with 5-4 victory over Toledo
Central Michigan is NCAA Tournament bound.
The Chippewas (39-16, 30-9) clinched their second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth Sunday afternoon with a 5-4 victory over Toledo (23-32, 21-18) in the first game of a doubleheader. The victory also gives CMU and coach Jordan Bischel a second consecutive Mid-American Conference regular season title.
With no postseason conference tournament, CMU claims the MAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as the regular season champions. The MAC title and NCAA Tournament bid are each the program's 15th.
The Chippewas claimed the clinching victory over the Rockets in the third game of a four game set. Grant Frazer (W, 3-4) was the winning pitcher, tossing three scoreless innings in relief.
CMU scored three runs in the second and one in the third to take a four-run lead. However, Toledo rallied against Chippewa starter Jordan Patty and tied the game heading into the fifth. Redshirt freshman Jakob Marsee gave the Chippewas the lead with a double, scoring Mario Camilletti to make it 5-4 in the top of the sixth.
The Rockets put the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth, but Zach Heeke took away a base hit with a lunging snag on a line drive and Frazer got the next batter, Marcus Strother, to fly out to left fielder Chase Rollin.
Facing the top of the order in the bottom of the seventh, Frazer induced a fly out, struck out John Servello and got Chris Meyers to ground out to end the game.
Marsee, Gilles and Rollin led the Chippewas with three hits while Camilletti had two.
The Chippewas will play the season finale against Toledo Sunday afternoon. They will learn of their NCAA Tournament first round destination during the selection show, which is scheduled for Monday at noon.