Baseball sweeps EMU, back in first place heading into final series
Sweeping a rival made its latest weekend series a successful one for Central Michigan baseball.
Jumping back into first place made it all the more sweeter.
The Chippewas (36-15, 28-6) took all four games from Eastern Michigan. Their win Sunday vaulted them back into first place, as Ball State (34-17, 28-7) dropped its series finale with Ohio 15-10.
Four runs in the top of the ninth inning turned a two-run advantage into an insurmountable six score lead for CMU as it beat EMU 7-1 in the series opener.
Leading 3-1 after eight, Jakob Marsee kicked off the late scoring surge with a bases-loaded walk. Danny Wuestenfeld drove in a run on a fielder's choice, with Zach Lechnir and Aidan Shepardson adding RBIs later in the inning.
CMU starting pitcher Jordan Patty (W, 6-3) scattered eight hits and one run across eight innings. The Eagles scored their only run in the fifth inning thanks to a solo home run from Logan Hugo.
Ryan Insco recorded the final three outs for the Chippewas.
Both teams were scoreless through four, with Robby Morgan IV scoring on a passed ball in the top of the fifth inning to open the scoring. Marsee, who finished with three RBIs, drove in two with a base hit later in the inning.
The first game of Saturday's doubleheader lasted six hours, with a four-hour lightning delay putting the two teams on pause midway through the contest.
Both teams scored two runs in the first two innings before CMU opened a hefty advantage in the middle innings. After scoring twice in the third, a home run from Mario Camilletti started a four-run fourth frame.
Camilletti's fourth dinger of the season was a two-run shot. Justin Simpson followed the act with a single. He would score on a triple from Marsee, who crossed home plate himself on the play thanks to a throwing error from EMU's right fielder.
Andrew Taylor (W, 8-3) struck out across 4 1/3 innings. He allowed four runs, the most he's allowed in a start all season. Ryan Palmblad and Ben Vitas combined for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless ball in relief.
Camilletti finished with four hits and was one of four players with two RBIs. Wuestenfeld, Drew Lechnir and Shepardson each drove in two themselves.
Thanks to the lightning delay, the nightcap of the doubleheader didn't reach first pitch until 7:40 p.m. There was no sluggish start from CMU, however, as it handled game three with a 7-2 victory.
The offense was clicking early, scoring one in the first and five in the third. Wuestenfeld hit his seventh home run of the season in the third, with Drew Stengren also driving in two in the frame.
Stengren, making the start at catcher, also cut down a base runner trying to take second base. Logan Buczkowski went three innings as the starter before giving way to Insco (W, 2-1). Adam Mrakitsch earned his first career save with four scoreless innings to close the game.
Marsee led the way with three hits, while three others had two.
CMU completed the sweep with an 8-3 win Sunday.
Three Chippewas went yard in the finale. Camilletti, Adam Proctor and Wuestenfeld each hit a pitch out, with Camilletti's breaking a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning.
It was a three-run blast for the Oakland transfer that put CMU in front for good. Proctor's dinger came one inning later, while Wuestenfeld joined the club in the eighth.
Garrett Navarra (W, 6-0) struck out 10 batters in seven strong innings. Camilletti led the offense with three hits and three RBI.
CMU will play its final regular season series of the season at home, hosting Toledo Thursday-Saturday.