May 26, 2012
AVON, Ohio -- A two-run home run by Jordan Adams in the top of the eighth lifted Central Michigan to an 11-10 victory of Miami early Saturday morning, forcing an extra game between the teams later today in the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
The game, which featured 21 runs, 28 hits and both teams batting around in the fourth, ended at 1:12 a.m. It was originally scheduled for 7:30, but didn't get underway until 9:37 after lightning delayed both the previous contest and the pre-game warmups.
The deciding hit came immediately after pinch hitter Reid Rooney reached first on a strikeout-wild pitch that would have been the first out.
Central Michigan (33-28) tallied a run in the first on a bases-loaded wild pitch after two hits and a walk. Cleanup hitter Nate Theunissen, who hit two home runs in the Chippewas' game earlier in the day, struck out on the play, before starter Charles Zubrod got a popout and flyout to limit the damage.
Miami (30-28) answered right back in its first at-bat. Brenner singled, then stole second and third around a flyout. Kevin Bower hit his first career triple to tie the game at 1-1, then gave the RedHawks the lead when he scored on a double by Redeker.
An unearned run in the second let the Chippewas tied the game at 2, but Miami used its speed to move back ahead. With two outs, Ryan Curl beat out an infield single, stole second and came home on a single by Brenner.
A pair of two-out walks set up Nate Bowles for an RBI single in the third, making the score 4-2. Redeker fouled off four pitches for a hard-earned eight-pitch walk before four straight balls put Max Andresen on. Bowles chopped a pitch over the third baseman's glove to bring Redeker home.
Central Michigan exploded for five runs in the fourth as the first five batters reached base. An error, walk and three straight hits plated four runs for a 6-4 lead, chasing Zubrod. Brooks Fiala got three straight groundouts, but that lead to another run for the Chippewas.
It took three batters for Miami to get back on the board. With one out, Curl singled and took third when Brenner turned a single into a double. Matt Honchel extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a double down the left field line for two runs batted in. A walk to Bower forced a CMU pitching change, but it didn't phase the RedHawks. Redeker greeted Dylan Rheault with an RBI single before a costly mistake led to two more runs. Bowles hit a slow grounder that should have been the final out, but second baseman Pat MacKenzie had the ball go right through his legs, turning a 7-7 tie into an 8-7 Miami lead. Five pitches later, Dan Walsh laced a double into the right field corner to make the score 10-7.
But Central Michigan clawed back in. Two doubles around a walk led to two runs in the sixth, trimming the margin to one at 10-9. Meanwhile, Rheault settled in, scattering four hits over the next 3.2 innings, to improve to 2-2 on the season. John Weaver closed the door in the ninth, retiring all three batters he faced for his seventh save.
Senior Joe Neff, the fourth of five Miami pitchers, took the loss to fall to 3-1.
With Central Michigan's win, both teams now have a loss and must play again Saturday at 1 p.m. to decide the bracket winner. The survivor faces Kent State, an 8-3 winner over Buffalo earlier Friday, in the winner-take-all championship.