Mount Pleasant, Mich.- Central Michigan split Saturday's doubleheader against Bowling Green, dropping its home opening series.
Freshman Zack Fields hit a home run in each of the day’s two games.
In game one of the day, the Falcons (6-16, 2-4 MAC) took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning and never looked back. Brian Bien hit a single with one out, and was advanced to third on a Matt Pitzulo double to right field. T.J. Losby brought Bien home with a single to left, advancing Pitzulo to third. Still with one out, Andrew Kubuski hit into a fielder’s choice to score Bowling Green’s second run of the inning.
The Falcons extended their lead in the second, scoring another two runs. Sophomore Dylan Rheault came in to pitch for senor Patrick Kaminska, and walked two of the first three batters he faced. With runners in scoring position and one out, Patrick Lancaster hit an RBI grounder to short to put Bowling Green up 3-0. Brandon Howard came in from third to score on a Rheault wild pitch.
The Chippewas (11-14, 2-4 MAC) cut into the Falcons’ lead in the bottom of the second with lead off home run by Fields over the left field wall, making it a 4-1 ball game.
Bowling Green answered right back in the third with a Jake Thomas RBI single to score Kubuski, who reached base by a fielder’s choice and advanced on a wild pitch.
Sophomore Nick Regnier came out in the bottom of the third inning and started off with a single for Central Michigan. He advanced to second on a walk to Pat MacKenzie, and to third on a double play ball. Regnier came in to score from third with two outs on a fielding error by the first baseman, Lancaster, making the score 5-2 after three innings.
After a scoreless fourth inning for both sides, the Falcons put up three more runs in the fifth. Kubuski hit a single to leftfield to advance Losby over to second and back-to-back walks by Rheault scored one run and kept the bases loaded with one out. Howard brought home a runner with a fielder’s choice RBI, and Rait came in to score off of a Nick Glanzman single, putting Bowling Green up 8-2.
The Chippewas kept scratching at the Falcons’ lead, getting a run back in the bottom of the fifth. MacKenzie took a look at ball four to reach first, and advanced to second after freshman Logan Regnier was hit by a pitch. He made it to third on a Field’s double play ball, and came home on a wild pitch, bringing the score to 8-3.
Despite the Chippewas’ efforts, Bowling Green kept shutting the door on any signs of a rally. In the sixth inning, Losby singled to left to bring home Bien, who reached on a single and advanced on a sac-bunt by Pitzulo.
Down 9-3, Central Michigan would close out the game’s scoring in the bottom of the sixth. Junior Noel Santos and sophomore Tyler Huntey hit consecutive singles with one out and a walk to sophomore Joe Houlihan loaded the bases. Nick Regnier scored Santos and Huntey with a single up the middle, cutting the score to 9-5.
Nick Regnier finished 2-for-5 at the plate with two RBIs. Huntey led the Chippewas with three hits and scored one run. Fields was 1-for-4 with a solo homerun. Pat Kaminska was given the loss, pitching 1.0 inning and giving up two earned runs. Jimmy McNamara closed out the final 4.1 innings for the Chippewas, giving up one run and striking out two batters.
Losby finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Bien went 2-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs. Six different Falcons finished the game with an RBI. Mike Frank moved to 1-4 on the season with the win, pitching 5.1 innings and striking out six batters.
Heading into the eighth inning tied at 3-3, Central Michigan put up two runs to clinch the victory in game two. Nick Regnier opened the inning with a walk and was advanced to second on a sac-bunt laid down by Santos. Logan Regnier reached with one out after being walked by Ben Singer. With a new pitcher in, Fields reached on an error by Glanzman, scoring Nick Regnier and moving Logan Regnier to third. Huntey reached after laying down a bunt that allowed Logan Regnier to score, putting the Chippewas up 5-3.
Sophomore Matt Trowbridge closed out the game, pitching the final 3.2 innings and forcing three groundouts in the ninth. .
After falling in a hole early in game one, Central Michigan came out all cylinders firing in game two, posting three runs in the first inning. Nick Regnier opened the game with a single to left center field and advanced to second on a ground out by Santos. Logan Regnier brought his brother home, hitting a single to left. After stealing second, Logan Regnier was brought home by Fields’ second homer of the day over the left field wall.
Bowling Green would answer in the third inning with an RBI double to left from Jeremy Shay to score Matt Smith.
Down 3-1, the Falcons evened the game up in the fourth inning. A single by Bien allowed Aaron Loconsole to come home from third. After reaching on an error by Santos, Glanzman scored to knot the game up at 3-3.
Fields finished game two 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. Logan Regnier went 1-for-3 with two runs and a RBI. Senior Rick Dodridge earned a no decision, pitching 5.1 innings and striking out six batters. Trowbridge was given his first win of the season and finished with six strikeouts.
Shay led Bowling Green with a RBI and two hits. Rait went 2-for-4 in game two. Trevor Blaylock pitched 4.2 innings and gave up three runs. In 2.2 innings of work, Singer surrendered two runs and struck out two batters.
Central Michigan will be back in action on Tuesday, April 2, at Michigan State. First-pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m.