LAKE CHARLES, La. - Central Michigan earned a weekend split at the McNeese State round robin Sunday afternoon, defeating the host Cowboys, 7-4.
The Chippewas (4-7) went 2-2 over the weekend, winning a game apiece versus Southeastern Louisiana and the Cowboys (3-8).
Freshman Matt Trowbridge made his first start in the Maroon and Gold and earned the win Sunday, striking out five batters over five innings and limiting McNeese State to just two runs - one earned - on three hits.
"Matt pitched really well," head coach Steve Jaksa said. "We are very, very pleased with how he progressed today and how he turned the corner in a couple ways. We hadn't extended him that far before, but there was a lot of energy and intensity out of him on the mound today."
The Chippewas led from the third inning on, taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the frame and never looking back. Redshirt-freshman Nick Regnier drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on a walk, to third on a single by freshman Joey Houlihan and came around to score on a passed ball. Senior Eric Wrozek then roped single through the right side to plate Houlihan and later scored on a RBI single to right center by junior Jordan Dean.
The Cowboys were able to scatter just one hit in the first, second and fifth innings against Trowbridge, as the crafty lefty got two strikeouts in the first and fourth innings before allowing two runs in the fifth to end his outing.
Junior Patrick Kaminska then came in relief of Trowbridge and continued the stellar day on the mound for the Chippewas, striking out five batters of his own over three innings of work, allowing CMU to pad its lead.
The Maroon and Gold scored single runs in each of the last four innings, getting two RBI from Sam Russell, one from redshirt-freshman Pat MacKenzie on a perfectly laid suicide squeeze bunt in the seventh, and another from senior Nate Theunissen on a groundout in the ninth.
Junior closer Dietrich Enns came into the game in the bottom of the ninth to close out the Cowboys, but not before having to work a little first. Enns gave up a solo home run to Nick Eubanks to lead off the inning and MSU plated another run on a RBI single by Connor Lloyd to cut the deficit to three, 7-4.
A walk to Michael Sullivan loaded the bases with two outs and put Renny Weber at the plate as the potential game-winning run for the Cowboys, but Enns was able to induce a pop out secured by Houlihan that ended the game.
"I'm just really pleased with how we played from start to finish today," Jaksa said. "We had a very solid game defensively and Joey Houlihan was great at third. We had a workman like attitude today and it really showed out there on the field."
CMU will now travel to Hawaii for a four-game series in Monoa versus the Warriors starting Wednesday evening. The first three games of the series will be played at 11:35 p.m. EST with the series finale set for 6:35 p.m. EST Saturday night. A complete preview of the series will be available on CMUChippewas.com Tuesday afternoon.