MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan scored all 11 of its runs with two outs Thursday afternoon, taking game one of its series versus rival Western Michigan, 11-2.
The Chippewas (29-26, 16-9 MAC) remain one game back of MAC West Division leader Toledo, who defeated Eastern Michigan, 4-3, in 12 innings.
Senior Nate Theunissen continued to move up the record books and put the Chippewas in front in the first inning, hitting a two-run blast to right that scored junior Jordan Dean. The home run was Theunissen's 26th career bomb, moving him into a tie for 10th most in program history. He singled later in the game, moving into sole possession of second place with 258 career hits.
The Broncos cut the deficit in half, 2-1, as Ryan McMillin drew a lead off walk, advanced to second on a failed pick off attempt by senior Zach Cooper, took third on a passed ball and scored on a ground out. Another RBI groundout one inning later tied the game, 2-2.
Back-to-back singles by Dean and senior William Arnold started a two-out rally in the bottom of the third for the Chippewas, before a walk to Theunissen loaded the bases. Senior Sam Russell promptly drove a 2-2 pitch to left field for a two-RBI single and junior Jordan Adams followed with a single to right to give CMU a 5-2 lead.
Cooper worked around back-to-back singles by the Broncos in the top of the fourth before retiring 11-straight batters to protect the lead, while Adams hit a ball off the wall in center in the fifth to score Arnold and push the CMU lead to five, 6-1.
Senior Eric Wrozek hit a home run in his second consecutive game in the seventh, drilling a two-run shot to right to make the score 8-2.
The Chippewas were able to put the nail in the coffin in the eighth thanks to three WMU miscues as Adams was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, Arnold scored on a Western error and Theunissen scored on a wild pitch.
Cooper earned his seventh win of league play by giving up just two runs - one earned - on five hits and a walk.
Adams finished 2-for-4 with three RBI, while Arnold went 2-for-4 with four runs scored. Theunissen and Dean also went 2-for-4.
The Maroon and Gold will look for their 10th consecutive win in league play tomorrow at 3:05. Nine student-athletes will be recognized as a part of senior day, which will begin at approximately 15 minutes prior to first pitch.