CMU steamrolls Oakland in 21-8 win
Central Michigan continued its roll through its competition Tuesday, with its win over Oakland serving as the latest reflection.
The Chippewas (19-10, 13-1) took it to the Golden Grizzlies in a 21-8 victory — their highest scoring contest of the season.
Coming off of a four-game series that wrapped Sunday, CMU employed bullpen arms throughout the game rather than turning to one of its regular starters. Freshman lefty Adam Mrakitsch was the first to take the mound, throwing 2 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and one earned run while striking out one.
Five other pitchers saw work in the game, with sophomore RHP Clayton Brock (1-0) earning the win. Brock gave up just one earned run on two hits.
CMU’s offense produced 15 hits while drawing 14 walks. Additionally, it was only held scoreless in two frames - the sixth and the ninth.
Chippewa batters produced three home runs on the day, including a third inning grand slam from sophomore outfielder Jakob Marsee. Sophomore infielder Danny Wuestenfeld also chipped in a third-inning home run, his a 2-run shot. Sophomore Zach Lechnir, who entered in the for Wuestenfeld as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, sent one over the left-center wall for a solo homer.
Designated hitter Garrett Navarra initiated CMU’s offensive output with a 2-RBI double in the first inning. Navarra finished the day with three runs scored, two hits, three RBI’s and three drawn walks.
CMU’s offense featured 15 different players drawing at-bats, with 11 recording hits and 10 recording RBI’s.
While the Chippewas’ run production was mostly consistent throughout the game, 15 of its 21 runs came in the third and eighth innings, with eight in the third and seventh in the eighth. The story of the third inning was told by the home runs, but the eighth featured RBI knocks from sophomore Drew Lechnir, Navarra, sophomore Colton Coca, and senior Kurt Paldino.
It was the first career RBI for Paldino, a senior from Overland Park, Kansas.
Oakland’s defensive struggles taped over what was a very solid offensive day for the Golden Grizzlies, headlined by 4-run eighth inning. With no outs after a pair of singles to start the inning, infielder Brad Goulet sent a pitch from junior reliever Garrett Willis over the left field wall for a 3-run shot. The other run was courtesy of outfielder John Lauinger, who sent a sacrifice fly into left field.
Oakland actually outhit Central Michigan 16 to 15. However, Oakland’s offense only managed to draw four walks - 10 less than Central’s.
Six pitchers took the hill in total for CMU, with sophomores Ben Vitas and Drew Alsobrooks logging scoreless appearances.
CMU will look to extend its winning streak to double digits this weekend as it heads to Bowling Green for a four-game slate beginning on Friday at 3 p.m.