MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Central Michigan dropped a pair of games to in-state Michigan State for the final home contests of the 2013 season Tuesday afternoon, 5-4 and 10-0.
The Chippewas (23-29) will close the regular season with three games at rival Western Michigan looking to secure their 10th consecutive trip to the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The series will begin Thursday afternoon at Robert J. Bobb Stadium at 3 p.m.
CMU resumed its contests from at Comerica Park versus the Spartans (31-16) 28 days after it was suspended and quickly evened the contest, 1-1, on a perfectly executed hit and run by sophomore Tyler Huntey in which junior Noel Santos scored from second.
The Spartans quickly responded to reclaim the lead in the top of the sixth with three-straight singles, the last of which was hit through the right side by Ryan Krill to score Jimmy Pickens for a 3-2 advantage.
MSU extended its lead to 5-1 in the next frame on a bases-loaded double by Pickens.
The Chippewas began to mount a comeback in the bottom of the frame on a two-run home run by sophomore Cody Leichman and pulled within a run, 5-4, in the bottom of the eight on Leichman's third RBI of the day, but were unable to complete the come-from-behind rally.
Leichman led the way at the plate in game one, going 2-for-3, while sophomore Pat MacKenzie also finished with a multi-hit game going 2-for-5.
Game TwoCentral Michigan dropped game two against Michigan State, 10-0. The Chippewas were unable to recover after giving up five runs in the third inning.
Sophomore Alec Ornelas and sophomore Joe Houlihan accounted for Central Michigan’s (23-29, 10-14 MAC) only two hits. Freshman Adam Aldred started on the mound, pitching six innings and giving up nine runs. Junior Kenton San Miguel pitched one inning, striking out one batter and allowing no hits. Freshman Jason Gamble closed the game in the ninth, surrendering one hit and striking out one.
After being held scoreless through two, the Spartans exploded to a 5-0 lead in the third. Anthony Cheky led the inning off by beating out the throw to first on a bunt and then stole second. Justin Hovis scored Cheky with a double to left. Gibson added the second run, driving home Hovis with a single. The scoring for the inning concluded with a three-shot homer off the bat of Salter.
Michigan State added one more in the fifth after Ryan Krill tripled off the right field wall. Joel Fisher singled to left to score the run.
The sixth inning spelled more trouble for Central Michigan, giving up three more runs. Kevin Goergen led off with a single lined up the middle. Gibson singled down the right field line to move the runner to third. With one out and runners on the corners, Ryan Richardson hit a high, fly ball that allowed enough time for Goergen to tag up and score. In the Spartans’ next at bat, Pickens hit a home run off the scoreboard in right-center field to put the Spartans up 9-0.
The scoring concluded in the eighth with Michigan State’s 10th run. Junior Scott Mariner, just into the game for San Miguel, walked three straight batters with one out. After striking out the second out, he gave up a fourth walk to bring a run home.