Baseball sweeps weekend series vs Miami (Ohio)
As the pitching begins to settle in, the momentum of results swings in Central Michigan's favor.
Everything came together for the Chippewas in their second Mid-American Conference series as they swept four games against the Miami RedHawks.
On Saturday the Chippewas won 2-0, Sunday’s first doubleheader was a 5-4 victory, the second game was an 8-2 win and Monday resulted in a 13-1 blowout victory.
For the first time this season CMU (9-8, 5-1) has gotten above the .500 bump, while Miami (7-11, 4-4) dropped their eleventh straight game to the Chippewas since 2019.
CMU has yet to lose to Miami since head coach Jordan Bischel took over the helm in June 2018.
“It’s an odd thing, Miami is a good program, they’ve had really competitive teams, but we’ve just played really good baseball in those series,” said Bischel.
This weekend CMU’s starting pitching rotation hit their stride. In four games the starters only gave up three earned runs in 23 innings pitched. The Chippewas needed to call in six total arms from the bullpen in the series and in nine innings pitched they only gave up three earned runs.
In comparison the RedHawks pitching gave up 28 total runs, 23 of them earned runs, in 32 total innings.
The series opener was a pitching duel between both sides with an exciting ending for the Chippewas.
CMU right hander Jordan Patty (1-2) started the game and shutout the RedHawks for eight straight innings with eight strike outs, and only one walk on 113 pitches. Miami righty Jonathan Brand also pitched a shutout in 7.1 innings with 10 strike outs, one walk on 113 pitches as well.
“(Patty) had such a good career for us and obviously he was off to a slow start this year, but you never stop trusting who he was and his preparation and his process,” said Bischel.
Patty was relived in the bottom of the ninth by righty Ryan Insco who closed the game with two punchouts on 12 pitches. But before Insco sealed the deal, center fielder Robby Morgan hit a two-run bomb in the top of the ninth for the only scores of the game. Morgan finished with two hits in four at-bats.
“They were excited, that was a tremendous pitcher duel and you kind of knew that the first big swing had a good chance to win it,” said Bischel.
In the first of two games in Sunday’s doubleheader CMU had a huge fifth inning on offense that decided the game.
The entirety of the Chippewas lineup had an at-bat in the top of the fifth. It consisted of three singles, three walks and a hit-by-pitch. Two CMU scores came from walks and three came from hits. This would be the only inning they scored but five runs proved to be too much for the RedHawks to overcome.
CMU right hander Andrew Taylor (2-2) got his second win of the year in 4 1/3 innings with one earned run, five hits and five strikeouts on 71 pitches. He left after dealing with arm soreness, which was seen as a precautionary measure.
The final score came from right fielder Jakob Marsee with a two RBI single, he finished with one hit on three at-bats with zero strike outs.
The second Sunday matchup was not as tight as the first with a four run eighth inning and solid pitching.
Southpaw Garrett Navarra (2-2) evened out his year in seven innings with two runs (one earned) five hits, two walks, seven strikeouts on 84 pitches.
In the eighth with three runners on base, first baseman Danny Wuestenfeld doubled to center field which brought in three runs and put the Chippewas up 8-2. Wuestenfeld ended the game with two hits on four at-bats and four RBI’s.
In the final outing of the series CMU blew out Miami by 12 runs off electric offense and solid pitching contributions.
CMU shortstop Justin Simpson went a perfect 4-4 with two runs scored and Wuestenfeld had two hits, one run, three RBI’s and one walk on four at-bats.
In the seventh Marsee hit a grand slam for his third home run of the year. In three at-bats he had one hit, three runs, five RBI and one walk
Pitching was split between three arms for CMU, but left-hander Ryan Palmblad (2-0) got the win in 2 1/3 innings with five punchouts, zero walks and two hits on 36 pitches.
“Taking a six hour bus ride home is a little more enjoyable coming off a good weekend, but by the time we get to Fridays game it really doesn’t make any difference,” said Bischel.
The Chippewas are on the move to the Big 10 to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in a three game series at 5 p.m. on Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday in Iowa City, Iowa.