YPSILANTI, Mich. - Central Michigan completed the defense of its Mid-American Conference West Division title on Saturday, defeating Eastern Michigan, 5-2, in the regular season finale to claim the outright division crown.
The Chippewas (29-25 overall, 17-9 MAC) will be the No. 2 seed in next week's MAC Tournament. First-round pairings and game times will be announced later Saturday night.
Senior right-hander Jake Sabol keyed Saturday's victory. He went the distance, striking out seven and walking none while allowing just one earned run on six hits. Sabol was one strike away from his third complete-game shutout of the season. In the sixth, he gave up a run-scoring single on a 1-2 pitch to Tucker Rubino with two outs; the Eagles added an unearned run when second baseman Jordan Dean's throwing error extended the inning.
Sabol was untouchable after the sixth, retiring the Eagles (34-20, 16-11 MAC) in order in each of the final three innings. In all, he sat EMU down in order in six different innings.
CMU took control of the contest with a four-run third inning. Tyler Hall singled home Matt Faiman and later scored from third on a wild pitch, Robbie Harman scored from third on William Arnold's double-play groundout and Tom Howard scored on Jordan Dean's two-out double.
The Chippewas added another unearned run in the fourth. Faiman doubled with one out, then scored when Harman reached on an error to stretch the Chippewas' lead to 5-0.
Hall finished 3-for-4 at the plate with the double, while four other Chippewas had two hits apiece. Sabol improved to 5-3 with the win.
EMU starter Corey Chaffins was tagged with the loss. He gave up all five CMU runs (three earned) on 11 hits over 6-2/3 innings.
The division title is CMU's sixth in 14 seasons of divisional play in the MAC.