MOUNT PLEASANT - Four different players recorded at least three hits for Central Michigan Saturday afternoon at Theunissen Stadium, as it clinched its series versus Ball State with a 15-4 victory.
The Chippewas (27-25, 14-9 MAC) finished a season-high 20 hits at the plate en route to winning their ninth-straight game and seventh straight in conference play.
While the offense was knocking around the Cardinals' (11-35, 6-17 MAC) pitching staff, junior Pat Kaminska was stifling the opponent from the mound, pitching six-straight scoreless innings after giving up a run in the first to improve to 5-2 on the season.
After Ball State took a quick lead in the top of the first, 1-0, on a single by Wes Winkle and RBI double by Billy Wellman, the Chippewas came right back in the bottom of the frame.
Senior Tyler Hall and junior Jordan Dean led off the inning with back-to-back singles through the left side before senior Nate Theunissen ripped a two-out RBI single through the right side to tie the game, 1-1. Junior Jordan Adams then doubled to left field, scoring Dean, to give CMU the lead, 2-1.
Redshirt freshman Tyler Huntey lined a two-RBI double to the gap in right center in the bottom of the third to extend the CMU lead to three, 4-1, before a RBI single in the fifth by senior Eric Wrozek made the lead 5-1.
A perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt by William Arnold plated Hall in the bottom of the sixth and Huntey hit his second home run of the season in the seventh to extend the Maroon and Gold's lead to 7-1.
Ball State was finally able to string hits together in the top of the eighth to chase Kaminska from the game, scoring three runs on four hits and a CMU error to pull within three, 7-4.
Redshirt freshman Dylan Rheault came on in relief of Kaminska and walked the only batter he faced before senior Ryan Longstreth came on and walked another batter to load the bases. The senior was able to induce a fly out to right field to leave the bases loaded however, preserving the Chippewas' lead.
CMU's offense went right back to work in the bottom of the eighth, sending 13 batters to the plate to score eight runs and push the lead to 15-4.
Theunissen recorded his fourth hit of the game in the inning - a two-RBI single - while Hall capped the scoring with a three-run bomb to right center.
Hall, Dean and Huntey each finished with three hits in the game, with Huntey tied his career high with four RBI. Theunissen went 4-for-5 in the contest with three RBI to pull within six hits of Jim Geldhof's CMU record of 252.
Kaminska gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks over 7.2 innings, fanning three in the process.
The Chippewas will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 with junior Dietrich Enns on the mound.