CMU picks up series sweep against Ohio
The bats got rolling Saturday and didn’t lose any momentum Sunday in CMU’s second double-header sweep in as many days.
CMU (14-10, 9-1) extended its Mid-American Conference play winning streak to eight with wins over Ohio on Sunday. Meanwhile, both Ohio’s overall record (11-12) and MAC record (5-7) dipped below .500 with the two losses.
CMU took the first contest of the day, a 5-2 win, and kept the pressure on the Bobcats in the second game, where it did not surrender its lead at any point en route to a 12-6 victory and a series sweep. The first game was played in seven innings, while the second was played in nine.
The Chippewas’ pitching staff took advantage of early run support from the offense in both games to maintain momentum.
“Everything loosens up a little bit if you can get out to an early lead and we did a great job of that. I thought the guys came out ready to play and the bullpen just did a tremendous job once we did give them a lead to work with,” said head coach Jordan Bischel.
Game 1 (CMU 5, Ohio 2)
Junior RHP Andrew Taylor got the start, and despite one rough inning, did what was needed to put the Chippewas in a good position to win. Taylor tossed 6 innings, surrendering two earned runs off of four hits and recording 5 strikeouts. The Chippewas helped him out, determining their fate in the batter's box.
CMU got off to a quick start thanks to a leadoff single from senior infielder Mario Camilletti, followed by another quick one from sophomore outfielder Jakob Marsee, scoring Camilletti for the first CMU run of the day. Camilletti had six total hits on the day.
Three hits and a walk in the top of the third produced Ohio's only runs of the game, but catcher Adam Proctor nipped the rally by throwing out a base stealer at third.
Perhaps the most memorable at-bat came in the bottom of the fourth, when sophomore first-basemen Danny Wuestenfeld cranked a 2-run shot 400-plus feet over the right-center field wall. Before the monstrous homerun, however, CMU took advantage of multiple errors by the Bobcats, and scored one run as a result of an error and another on a sacrifice fly from Marsee.
After 108 pitches through six full innings, Taylor was pulled and in came sophomore right-hander Ryan Insco, who cleaned up with two strikeouts and a lineout to shut the door on the first game.
Part of CMU's success can be attributed to the energy provided by its dugout. Whether it's the chants or props utilized by the players, there is a discernible sense of momentum generated by all of it.
"It's a huge staple of what we do. If you've ever been to a game out here, you know that we are going to enjoy playing baseball," Bischel said. "This is not a job, this a privilege, and 100% the guys out there feed off of it."
Game 2 (CMU 12, Ohio 6)
After about a 40-minute intermission, the Chippewas changed into their all-gold uniforms as they prepared to run it back for a second game against Ohio.
CMU made a statement in its first offensive opportunity of game two, notching four runs in the bottom of the first. The barrage of run-scoring was initiated by singles from leadoff Camilletti and two-hole hitter Marsee; the same way game one began. A quick RBI groundout from shortstop Justin Simpson and a steal of home on a passed ball by Marsee put CMU up by two quickly.
The rest of the inning saw walks from Wuestenfeld, designated hitter Colton Coca, and outfielder Jacob Donahue. Additionally, Wuestenfeld managed to steal home on another passed ball, and outfielder Robby Morgan scored a base runner on another sacrifice fly.
Right-hander Logan Buczkowski got the start in game two. The senior struggled with control, striking out three while giving up four earned runs on three hits and four walks in 2 innings. Senior RHP Jake Jones came in for Buczkowski in the top of the third following a 3-RBI double from the Bobcats.
After enduring a three-run third for the defense, CMU’s offense came through once again with an impressive three-run frame in the bottom of the third. Robby Morgan led off the inning with a long double that bounced off the top of the centerfield wall, which would have gone out in any other area of the outfield. A grounder from Justin Simpson resulted in a fielder’s choice which scored Morgan, and a 2-RBI single from Wuestenfeld capped off the offensive output in the inning.
The only other time the Bobcats managed to get into the scoring column after the third inning was from a 3-run homerun from senior infielder Colin Kasperbauer in the top of the ninth. Despite deploying six pitchers in total in game two, CMU managed to keep Ohio at bay for a majority of the contest.
Adam Proctor also got in on the bash fest, as he hit a 2-run shot of his own to right field in the bottom of the sixth to give Central its 10th run of the day. The final two runs were both scored on a 2-RBI single from Marsee.
Next weekend, CMU will return to Theunissen Stadium for a three-game series against MAC opponent Northern Illinois. The games are slated for a Friday game at 3 p.m., a Saturday game at noon, and a Sunday game at 1 p.m.