Chippewas compete, drop two of three in series with Iowa
Competitive as it was, Central Michigan's baseball team is taking just one win from its three-game series at Iowa.
The Chippewas' 10-1 victory over the Hawkeyes was sandwiched between close losses Friday (7-4) and Sunday (4-2).
CMU (10-10, 4-0) will now return home for its first series at Thenuissen Stadium of the 2022 season, hosting Ohio April 1-3.
Game one (Iowa 7, CMU 4)
A late rally wasn't enough for the Chippewas, as a brief lead was erased in the late innings. Iowa scored three runs from the seventh inning on to break a 4-4 tie and claim a win in the first game of the series.
Sophomore right-hander Ryan Insco (L, 0-1) surrendered a two-out single to Iowa's Michael Seegers in the seventh, which began the Hawkeyes' game-winning attack. Insco was replaced by freshman Adam Mrakitsch, who walked Peyton Williams before Keaton Anthony singled to make it 5-4 Iowa.
The Chippewas had been playing from behind for most of the afternoon, as Iowa's Sam Petersen smacked a three-run homer off starter Jordan Patty to break the scoreless start in the second inning.
CMU rallied to take a 4-3 lead, starting with a bases-loaded walk from second baseman Mario Camilletti in the fifth. Robby Morgan doubled in the sixth to cut the lead to 3-2, then scored the go-ahead run when pinch-hitter Chris Monroe drove in two with a double to right center.
After holding Iowa scoreless for three straight innings, Patty allowed a single and walked a batter in the sixth and was pulled in favor of Insco, who gave up a game-tying single to Kyle Huckstorf. He escaped the inning without further damage, but the Hawkeyes would reclaim the lead in their next at-bat.
Iowa added two insurance runs in the eighth thanks to RBI singles from Seegers and Brayden Frazier.
Game two (CMU 10, Iowa 1)
Andrew Taylor was dominant in three innings of work, and the Chippewa bats got rolling in a rout Saturday.
Taylor pitched three hitless innings, striking out seven while allowing just two batters to reach base before being replaced by Clayton Brock. It was Garrett Navarra who earned the win (3-2), as he struck out six and allowed just three hits in 3 2/3 innings of work.
CMU opened the scoring with four runs in the third inning. Jakob Marsee drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly, with Navarra and Danny Wuestenfeld adding RBI singles. Morgan continued his hot start to the series by hitting his second round-tripper of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth.
The Chippewas would add to their lead in the fifth thanks to a pair of miscues. First, a passed ball allowed catcher Adam Proctor to score. Later in the inning, Morgan scored thanks to an error on a pickoff attempt.
Seegers drove in Iowa's only run of the afternoon with a single in the fifth.
Game three (Iowa 4, CMU 2)
Sam Petersen drove in two with an eighth-inning single, breaking a 2-2 tie and giving Iowa all it would need for its series victory Sunday afternoon.
Petersen finished 2-for-3 and drove in three of his team's runs, but none bigger than his two-run knock off CMU's Jake Jones (L, 1-1).
The two teams traded runs in the second inning, with the Chippewas taking a 1-0 lead in the top half on Nick Dardas' RBI double. The Hawkeyes answered right back, as Petersen drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk against Logan Buczkowski.
In 3 2/3 innings, Buczkowski struck out nine and allowed just one hit while walking four. The one hit was a solo home run, as Williams cleared the right field wall in the third to give Iowa a 2-1 lead.
CMU tied the score on a bases-loaded walk from Camilletti in the top of the eighth, but Iowa's efforts in the bottom half would be the deciding margin. Wuestenfeld walked to lead off the top of the ninth, but a fly out and back-to-back strikeouts ended the Chippewas' comeback efforts.
CMU begins its series with Ohio at 3 p.m. Friday before hosting a doubleheader beginning at noon Saturday. The four-game set will conclude with a 1 p.m. showdown Sunday.