CMU baseball sweeps its way to 13th straight win

Senior pitcher, Logan Buczkowski, pitching during the start of the second game at Theunissen Stadium.

A fourth-straight Mid-American Conference series sweep vaulted Central Michigan into the College Baseball Newspaper Division I poll over the weekend. The poll, released Monday, has the Chippewas ranked No. 25. 

The ranking is justified by CMU's recent performance, which includes 17 straight conference wins and 13 straight wins overall. The team last lost to Iowa on March 27. 

Most recently, the Chippewas took four from conference foe Bowling Green. The showing kept CMU (23-10, 17-1) atop the MAC standings ahead of Ball State. 

Game one

Offense was undoubtedly the story of the series opener, as the two teams combined for 29 runs in a nearly four-hour showdown. In the end, the Chippewas prevailed 18-11. 

CMU appeared to blow the game wide open in the third and fourth innings, scoring nine unanswered runs to take a 10-1 lead. Mario Camilletti and Adam Proctor each homered in the third, and Justin Simpson's three-run double in the fourth appeared to be the icing on the cake. 

The momentum carried into the middle innings, as Garrett Navarra and Nick Dardas each homered in the sixth inning to put the Chippewas up 14-5. However, the Falcons finally got to starter Jordan Patty in the bottom of the inning with three runs, closing the deficit to six. 

Patty (W, 4-2) allowed eight earned runs in 5 1/3 innings before turning the ball over to the bullpen. Ryan Insco allowed three runs in 1 2/3 innings and Jake Jones closed the game with two scoreless frames. 

Simpson and Danny Wuestenfeld each had three RBI, while seven other Chippewas had at least one. 

Game two

Andrew Taylor continued his dominant stretch and the Chippewas raked at the plate in a convincing 9-1 win in the first game of Saturday's twin bill. 

Taylor (W, 5-2) won his third consecutive start on the strength of 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball in which he struck out 12. 

CMU had baserunners in every inning but had just three runs to show through the first innings. Anxious to get more run support for Taylor heading into Bowling Green's final call, the Chippewas came alive. 

Zach Lechnir and Proctor provided back-to-back home runs to push the lead to 7-0 and consecutive RBI singles from Jakob Marsee and Simpson made it 9-0. 

Taylor returned to the mound looking to complete his shutout. He allowed a solo shot to Jared Johnson to open the inning but recovered to strike out Mason Montgomery. That would be his final batter of the afternoon, as Clayton Brock would enter and record the final two outs. 

Game three

An early tie in game three was broken and never to be spoken of again as CMU recorded a 9-4 victory. 

After playing to a 2-2 stalemate through the first inning, Marsee and Aidan Shepardson each smacked two-run singles to boost the Chippewa advantage to four. Bowling Green would threaten, getting as close as two, but was quickly silenced. 

Navarra (W, 5-2) went five innings before being replaced by lefty Ryan Palmblad (S, 2), who continued his phenomenal start to the season. With four more scoreless frames, Palmblad has now recorded 19 1/3 scoreless innings to start the season. 

While Palmblad was busy striking out six across four innings, the Chippewas added three runs on the strength of two sacrifice flies and a bases-loaded walk. 

Shepardson paced all hitters with five RBI's, while Marsee followed with two. 

Game four

For the third straight game, the Chippewas put up nine runs. This effort was good enough to sweep the series, as CMU paired solid hitting with dominant pitching in a 9-0 win. 

Early on, it was a pitchers duel between CMU's Logan Buczkowski (W, 2-1) and Bowling Green's Andrew Abrahamowicz. Both hurled four scoreless frames to open the matchup before the Chippewas exploded for six in the fifth. 

Wuestenfeld played the starring role, launching a grand slam to give the Chippewas a 6-0 advantage. That gave Buczkowski all the support he'd need, as he finished with six shutout innings. 

Jones (S, 4) finished the job with three scoreless, giving him a total of five on the weekend. 

Up next

CMU returns home for five straight, beginning with a Tuesday non-conference showdown with Madonna. Following that, the Chippewas will welcome Akron (11-24, 9-15) for a four-game set beginning Friday.