DeKALB, Ill. - Junior Reid Rooney hit his first career home run and Central Michigan extended its longest winning streak of the season to four as it clinched the series at Northern Illinois Saturday afternoon, 3-1.
The Chippewas improved to 22-25 overall on the season, including an 11-9 record in Mid-American Conference play, while the Huskies fall to 14-32 and 7-13 in league action.
After senior Tyler Hall and junior Jordan Dean hit back-to-back singles to start the game at Ralph McKinzie Field, senior Sam Russell hit a one-out double to right center to plate both runners and give CMU the lead, 2-0.
The offense proved to be all the Maroon and Gold would need as junior Pat Kaminska sat the Huskies down in order in the first, worked around a single in the second, left two stranded in the third and once again worked around a base hit by the home team to keep the scoreboard clean through the first four innings.
The Huskies were able to cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the fifth, 2-1, on a RBI-single by Jordan Huffman, but Rooney's home run to lead off the top of the sixth pushed the lead back to two, 3-1.
Rooney, who entered the game with just one extra-base hit in his career, sent a 2-1 pitch from Jake Hermsen over the fence in right field to give the Chippewas a little breathing room.
Kaminska continued to keep the Huskies at bay over the next 2.2 innings, striking out two more batters before CMU went to the bullpen. The junior improved to 4-2 on the season by giving up just the one run on eight hits and fanning four.
Senior Ryan Longstreth came on in relief in the eighth inning for Kaminska and got the final four outs of the game to earn his second save of the season.
Hermsen (3-6) suffered the loss for the Huskies despite striking out 11 Chippewas in complete-game fashion. He gave up six hits and four walks as all three of the Chippewas' runs were earned.
Pat MacKenzie recorded his fifth straight multi-hit contest by going 2-for-3 with a triple, while Russell reached base safely in three of his four plate appearances by going 1-for-2 with two walks.
The Chippewas will go for the sweep over NIU tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 p.m.