CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - Central Michigan's Nate Theunissen homered twice and drove in four runs, but Western Michigan held off the Chippewas, 9-7, in the opening round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Wednesday.
The No. 2 seed Chippewas drop to the consolation bracket and will face No. 6 seed Toledo in an elimination game Thursday at 9 a.m. Western Michigan, the No. 7 seed, advances to play No. 3 Miami in the quarterfinals Thursday night.
Theunissen hit a three-run homer as part of a four-run first inning for the Chippewas, but Western Michigan scored twice with two outs in both the first and second innings to keep the score knotted at 4-4.
The Broncos (26-29) took the lead for good with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fifth inning. Zach Thoma reached on an error, then scored on Ryan McMillin's two-out triple. McMillin then scored when Patrick Duncan singled on the next pitch.
CMU (29-26) cut the deficit to one run three times in the final five innings, but each time the Broncos answered with a run in the next half inning. Brendan Emmett singled and scored on William Arnold's double to lead off the fifth and cut the deficit to 6-5, but Arnold advanced no further than second base. Solo home runs by Tom Howard and Theunissen accounted for CMU's runs in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively.
Brian Stroud (8-4) earned the win for Western Michigan despite allowing six earned runs on six hits and walking five in 6-2/3 innings of work. Trent Howard (4-4) took the loss for CMU, allowing seven runs (four earned) on 10 hits over six innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Theunissen finished 3-for-3 with four runs batted in. McMillin and Jimmy Martinez both had three hits for the Broncos.
WMHW-FM 91.5 will carry each of CMU's MAC Tournament games. The broadcasts also will be streamed live for free through CMUChippewas.com.