Baseball rallies to defeat Oakland in non-conference showdown

Junior infielder Justin Simpson throws the ball to first on Saturday, May 7, at Theunissen Stadium.

It wasn't as emphatic as the first meeting between these two teams, but Central Michigan still came through in the clutch. 

The Chippewas (32-15, 24-6) scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to claim a 4-3 win over Oakland in the second showdown between the two teams. 

Justin Simpson was the star at the plate, singling in runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. He was responsible for the game-winning run in the eighth, driving a single to left that would score pinch-runner Adam Mrakitsch. 

CMU trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth but scored twice to reclaim the advantage. Senior Adam Proctor drove an RBI double to left, scoring Aidan Shepardson and tying the game. Mrakitsch entered as a runner for Proctor, crossing the plate thanks to a throwing error on Simpson's single. 

With the lead, coach Jordan Bischel turned to reliever Jake Jones (S, 6) to close out Oakland. A one-out walk was harmless, as Jones struck out Luke Malmanger to end the game. Ryan Insco earned the win (1-1) despite surrendering the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth. 

Oakland struck first with two runs in the first inning. Brenton Phillips kicked off the scoring with an RBI triple to right field and Cam Post followed with a single. Michael Conte received his first career start and allowed two runs across three innings. 

CMU bounced back to tie the game with runs in the third and seventh. Jakob Marsee drove in a run with a single in the third, and Simpson tied the game with a base knock of his own in the seventh. 

Ben Vitas tossed three scoreless innings and Aaron Husson contributed a scoreless frame for CMU. Simpson led the offense with two hits while leadoff man Mario Camilletti reached base three times, two via base on balls.