MOUNT PLEASANT - Senior Nate Theunissen hit a walk-off single to cap a four-run ninth inning Sunday to give Central Michigan a come-from-behind win over Buffalo, 14-13.
Theunissen drove a 3-2 pitch to left center off the Bulls' (7-11, 1-2 MAC) Michael Burke to score senior William Arnold from second to give the Chippewas (11-13, 2-1 MAC) the win and the series.
Redshirt freshman Nick Regnier got the rally going with CMU down, 13-10, in the bottom of the ninth with a one-out single before junior Jordan Dean reached on a error, advancing Regnier to second. Senior Tyler Hall then drove in Regnier from second and senior Sam Russell hit a single through the left side to plate Dean and Hall to tie the game, 13-13, prior to Theunissen's walk-off hit.
"We got into a hole, but our bullpen did a great job and we were able to put on our rally shoes," head coach Steve Jaksa said. "Give them a lot of credit, they swung the bat really well and scored a lot of runs. Thankfully we were able to do the same and come from behind. It's a testimony to our guys and they showed great character. We got some big hits and I'm really, really proud of my guys."
After jumping out to an early 2-0 lead on Dean's fourth home run of the season in the bottom of the first, the Chippewas found themselves down, 12-4, through four and a half innings.
The Bulls scored six runs on seven hits in the third and added three runs apiece in the fourth and fifth innings to build the lead before the Chippewas started their comeback.
Redshirt freshman Tyler Huntey reached on an error and scored on a Joey Houlihan RBI single in the bottom of the fifth prior to junior Jordan Adams scoring on a passed ball after hitting a double earlier in the frame. After a walk to Dean put runners on first and third, Hall hit the first pitch he saw over the fence in right field to pull CMU within three, 12-9.
CMU tacked on an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth when Theunissen reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch to pull within two, 12-10.
Redshirt freshman Dylan Rhault and junior Dietrich Enns quieted the Bulls' offense through the final four innings, as Rheault struck out five over three innings of work and gave up just one run in the top of the seventh and Enns worked a perfect ninth to set up the comeback and earn his first victory of the year.
The Maroon and Gold's one through six hitters each recorded two hits on the day as they racked up 17 as a team and were led by Dean's 2-for-4, four run performance. Russell drove in three for Central while Hall finished the day with four RBI in just his fourth game of the season.
The two teams combined to record 36 hits in the game as Buffalo finished with 19 as the contest took three hours and 37 minutes.
The Chippewas are back in action Wednesday afternoon when they travel to East Lansing to take on in-state foe Michigan State. First pitch is set for 3:05 p.m.