CMU baseball collapse in final innings in series loss at EMU


CMU baseball stands for the National Anthem on Tuesday before their game against Oakland University at Theunissen Stadium.

After picking up its first Mid-American Conference series victory a week ago, Central Michigan baseball traveled to instate rival Eastern Michigan in hopes of making it two straight.

The Chippewas wound up losing the series after dropping two games each by one run. CMU now goes to 8-20 overall on the season and 4-8 in MAC play.

Game 1

In the first game of the series, it was all the Chippewas early on, as CMU was able to take a 1-0 lead after back-to-back doubles by seniors Jake Brill and Danny Wuestenfeld. 

Three batters later and it was Wuestenfeld touching home plate via sacrifice fly by freshman Mikey Murphy giving CMU a 2-0 lead through one.

CMU added two more runs in the second inning when senior third basemen Ely Staurt hit a two-run homer making the score 4-0 Chippewas through two.

The Chippewas offense was held in check for the rest of the game, but it didn’t matter as junior left-handed pitcher Adam Mrakitsch was stellar on the mound. In seven innings of work, he allowed no runs while striking out 11 and allowing six hits.

Mrakitsch was relieved in the eighth inning by graduate right-hand pitcher Bryce Hellgath who got his first batter to ground into a double play. But with two outs an error by freshman shortstop Bryson Webb proved costly as EMU was able to continue the inning cutting CMU’s lead to one.

In the ninth inning, the Eagles continued to hit as with one out, were able to get three straight hits leading to two runs and a walkoff win, with a final score of 5-4.

Game 2

Game two was a little different as it was CMU who was down early in the matchup as EMU was able to score the first run in the second inning making the score 1-0.

The next two innings were extremely quiet as only one base runner reached base via walk. Things changed in the fifth when Wuestenfeld stepped up to the plate with two runners on and he smashed a ball over the left field wall giving CMU a 3-1 lead.

The Eagles got one of their own in the fifth but after a scoreless sixth CMU would respond in the seventh. 

Sophomore Cole Prout pinched hit for Spencer Verburg with two runners on and he doubled into the right center gap scoring both players.

Murphy would follow up with a triple in the next at-bat opening up a 7-2 CMU lead. EMU would cut into the score in its half of the seventh with a pair of runs making the game 7-4.

Both teams added a run in the ninth, but it would be CMU coming out on top with an 8-5 win. The win gave senior RHP Keegan Batka his second win on the season after allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out nine in 6 1/3 innings.

Game 3

Similar to game one CMU was able to open up a big lead in the game as the Chippewas were able to score in three-straight frames in the middle of the game to open up a 5-1 lead.

The Chippewas were in control thanks to a dominant pitching performance by senior RHP Ben Vitas, who went seven innings, allowing only four hits and no runs, while striking out two.

Things got ugly for CMU in the ninth when EMU started out the inning with two-straight base runners. Senior infielder Cory Taylor then doubled to the left-center field gap scoring both runners and making the score 5-3.

The next two batters reached base via hit-by-pitch and walk. With the bases loaded junior outfielder Logan Hugo singled scoring two runs to tie the game at five. The next batter would fly out to right field, but it was deep enough to score the runner from third giving EMU its second walk-off win of the series.

Central Michigan will head back home and will host Grace Christian for a single game on Monday at 3 p.m. at Thenuissen Stadium.