Rochester, N.Y.- Central Michigan split a doubleheader at Buffalo to lose its Mid-American Conference opening series, 2-1. Redshirt Freshman Neal Jacobs led the Chippewas over the weekend with three RBIs and three hits.
In Sunday's first game, Central Michigan (10-12, 1-2) defeated Buffalo (12-10, 2-1), 4-3. Trailing 3-2 heading into the top of the eighth inning, sophomore Pat MacKenzie knocked a double down the left field line. With two outs and a runner on third, freshman Zack Fields tripled to right. He was brought in for the second run of the inning on a single from Jacobs.
Sophomore Matt Trowbridge earned his fifth save of the year with a 1-2-3 ninth inning that included two strikeouts.
The Chippewas jumped on the scoreboard in the first inning. After two straight batters walked, Jacobs hit a single up the middle to bring in freshman Logan Regnier and MacKenzie to put Central Michigan up 2-0.
The Bulls answered back in the third inning though with two runs. Jimmy Topps hit a single to left, and then stole second. With two out and a runner in scoring position, Jason Kanzler hit a home run to left, tying the game at 2-2.
Buffalo took a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning on a sac-fly by Topps to score Thomas Richards from third.
Jacobs finished the game 2-4 at the plate with 3 RBIs. Fields went 1-4 with an RBI and one run. Senior Pat Kaminska earned the win, pitching 7.2 innings and striking out eight batters. Trowbridge struck out two batters and gave up zero hits in 1.1 innings of work.
Kanzler led the Bulls with two RBIs and three hits. Topps finished the game 1-2 at the plate with an RBI and a run. Anthony Magovney pitched 7.0 innings and struck out 10 batters for Buffalo. River McWilliams came in for 2.0 innings of relief, giving up two earned runs.
Game two day ended 7-0 in favor of the Bulls. After three scoreless innings, Buffalo scored two runs in the fourth. One run scored on an error at third base by senior Jordan Adams, putting Jon Mestas on first with two outs. Ryan Tulloch brought Mestas home with a single to left.
Buffalo took control of the game in the fifth, extending their lead to 7-0 with an additional five runs. Kanzler continued his hot streak at the plate, hitting his third extra base hit of the weekend. Alex Baldock brought Kanzler home from second base with a single up the middle. Three straight wild pitches by sophomore Dylan Rheault scored another run for the Bulls, making it a 4-0 ballgame. Freshman Jason Gamble came into the game after Rheault gave up two consecutive walks. With one out and runners on first and second, Mestas singled to score one run. Tulloch hit a triple to right-center field to score two runs, putting the Chippewas down 7-0.
Mike Burke pitched a complete game for Buffalo, striking out 10 batters and giving up three hits.
Tulloch led the Bulls with three RBIs and two hits. Baldock and Mestas each finished with an RBI.
Central Michigan will take the field again on Wednesday, March 27, at Michigan State. This will be the first of three games against the Spartans this season. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m.