ASSEMBLY PLEASE, Mich. – Griffin Lockwood-Powell drove in three races and Cameron Brown survived a rocky first half on Sunday as the Central Michigan baseball team defeated Eastern Michigan, 8-4, and completed a sweep of a four-game Mid-American Conference series at Keilitz Field at Theunissen Stadium.
Chippewas improved to 36-16 overall, 27-9 in the MAC, and remains in first place in the league with a series to play, next weekend in Toledo. CMU’s lead is in two games over Ball State, which fell 9-7 in Ohio on Sunday.
“We’re going to be excited to play and we’ll have fun,” said the CMU coach Jordan bischel, whose team is trying to defend its MAC title in 2019. “We want to embrace and enjoy it.
“It is very difficult to get to this point. Most teams do not. It is the championship. Only one team from each league wins one. Can not guarantee that we will win next week, but we can guarantee that we will embrace it and enjoy it. “
Chippewas enjoyed Senior Day on Sunday and the series, as they surpassed the Eagles with a combination of 27-6 and got solid to outstanding efforts from all four of their starters and the bullpen.
Brown, one of the many seniors who played for the last time in Chippewa’s home park, gave up two races on three hits in the first half. He settled in after that, allowing four runs on nine hits and knocking out two over six innings to improve to 7-2.
“I’ve had better (excursions) for sure,” Brown said. “But it’s baseball. Sometimes the ball is turned around a bit. You just stick with your mental process and stick to what we know we’re doing well here and fight you through it.”
Chippewas tied the game at the bottom of the first on Lockwood-Powell’s two-run single, and then went for good with three runs in the second on Justin simpsons RBI triple, and Mario camilletti run-scoring single, and a Lockwood-Powell sacrificial fly.
“I knew they were going to do it,” Brown said of Chippewa’s offense. “They always do. I’m never worried about giving up a pair in the first place.
“It means everything to me to look up the last time we play here, and the last chance I ever have. I’m just so grateful, so grateful to have a season and not only that, but this place, Theunissen means. “Everything for me. CMU means everything to me. Mount Pleasant means everything to me. Having this chance means the world to me. So grateful.”
Grant Frazer, another senior, finished it with three pointless rounds for his fourth save.
Camilletti, CMU’s junior second baseman, had two hits and ended the series with eight hits, four of them doubled, in 14 strokes. He also scored six races and drew a turn, his 58th of the season, and need one to tie together Zavier Warren program record of 59 set in 2019.
Camilletti, in his first season as Chippewa after moving from Oakland, increased his base percentage to a .508 sterling with his big weekend. He ranks among the top 25 nationally in that category.
“If there’s a better deviation hitter in the country, you have to work hard to find him,” Bischel said. “He’s just tough out every time. He will go for walks if you are going to give them to him, but as we saw this weekend, if you are going to hit up for him, he is going to hit and he is going to run the ball.”
Sunday’s victory was especially gratifying for Bischel in that it came on Senior Day for a group of players who have produced more than 150 victories during their time in Mount Pleasant, and many played important roles in the magical season 2019, when CMU won both MAC regular season and tournament and went to the NCAA tournament.
Another league crown and NCAA berth could come in seven days.
“They get a lot of credit,” Bischel said. They have invested in themselves and in this program and our coaching staff. They put a lot into this, and last year it was tough with COVID and all that sort of thing, and they just kept going, kept working.
“I do not think people understand how tough it is to have a great fifth year. They expected to finish last year, and they had to recharge and go back to work. You do not just play naturally. You have to go out and work and prepare. . “