BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Senior Zach Cooper threw a complete-game shutout Friday as Central Michigan took game one of its Mid-American Conference series versus Bowling Green, 4-0.
Cooper continued his dominant start to MAC play, striking out eight Falcons (8-17, 0-4 MAC), and now has struck out 18 batters over his first two MAC outings after striking out 10 last Friday versus Buffalo.
The Chippewas (12-14, 3-1 MAC) took advantage of five Bowling Green errors in the game, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the fourth and adding two more insurance runs in the top of the ninth.
Senior Tyler Hall walked to lead off the fourth and scored from second when senior Nate Theunissen singled to right field and advanced all the way to third on an error by Jesse Rait. The Falcons made their second error of the inning one batter later, allowing Theunissen to score for a 2-0 lead.
Junior Reid Rooney started a two-out rally in the top of the ninth with a single that hit Bowling Green starter Cody Apthorpe, chasing the righty from the game after 8.2 innings.
Junior Tom Lally then struck out, but the ball got away from Falcons' catcher TJ Losby who then threw the ball away, allowing pinch runner Kyle Henris to advance to third and Lally to second. Senior Eric Wrozek then hit a groundball though the legs of Jeremy Shay, allowing Henris and Lally to score for a 4-0 lead.
After allowing his second hit of the game in the bottom of the second, Cooper retired 11-straight batters and didn't allow a hit again until the eighth when Rait singled.
Cooper came back out in the bottom of the ninth and battled to get the shutout after allowing back-to-back runners to reach with one out on a single and a walk, getting two strikeouts to end the game and secure the win.
The Chippewas were held to just six hits in the game, getting a 2-for-5 performance from redshirt freshman Nick Regnier and RBI from Theunissen and senior Sam Russell.
The series will continue tomorrow afternoon at Warren E. Steller Field with junior Rick Dodridge taking the mound for the Chippewas. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.