Courtesy: Tim Fitzgerald/CMU Athletics
Sophomore catcher Alec Ornelas went 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored Tuesday in the Chippewas' 7-3 loss to Notre Dame at Theunissen Stadium.
Early Deficit Too Much to Overcome in 7-3 Loss to Notre Dame

MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan was unable to come up with key hits in key situations Tuesday afternoon, stranding 12 men on base in a 7-3 loss to Notre Dame at Theunissen Stadium.

The Fighting Irish (27-16) were able to build a deficit to large for the Chippewas (19-23) to overcome by scoring six runs - four earned - on seven hits over 2.2 innings pitched by freshman starter Jimmy McNamara.

Fortunately for the Maroon and Gold, junior Kenton San Miguel and freshman Jason Gamble provided strong outings out of the bullpen to keep the game within reach.

The Chippewas got on the board in the bottom of the third when sophomore Alec Ornelas singled with one out and later scored on a bases-loaded single by senior Jordan Adams through the left side. Notre Dame was able to limit the damage by the Chippewas however, getting sophomore Cody Leichman to ground out with the bases still loaded to keep its lead at 6-1.

A RBI groundout by sophomore NIck Regnier scored Ornelas for the second time in the bottom of the fifth and the Chippewas had runners on second and third, but once again the Irish got out of the jam by getting Leichman to strike out swinging.

Sophomore Tyler Huntey came up with a key pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to score senior Tom Lally from second to cut the deficit to 6-3. Again the Chippewas looked to keep a two-out rally going as Huntey advanced to third on a stolen base and balk and Logan Regnier was hit by a pitch, but sophomore Pat MacKenzie grounded out to end the frame.

The Chippewas were unable to come any closer as they stranded a pair apiece in both the seventh and eighth innings before Notre Dame added a key insurance run in the top of the ninth on a RBI single by Charlie Markson for the final 7-3 tally.

Adams, Huntey and Ornelas each finished the day with a pair of hits to lead the Chippewas at the plate, while Trey Mancini led the Fighting Irish with a 3-for-4 performance.

CMU will be back action this weekend for a key three-game series at defending Mid-American Conference champion Kent State. The Chippewas are currently 8-10 in the MAC with three series remaining before the MAC Tournament in Avon, Ohio May 22-25.