WATCH: Game Highlights
AVON, Ohio - Central Michigan dropped its first-round game of the Mid-American Conference Tournament at All Pro Freight Stadium Wednesday afternoon to Eastern Michigan, 4-3.
Trailing by one in the bottom of the ninth, the Chippewas (30-28) got a one-out single to right center from junior Jordan Adams and drew a walk to junior pinch hitter Reid Rooney. With the potential tying and game-winning runs on base, head coach Steve Jaksa elected to put senior Kyle Henris and junior Tom Lally on as pinch runners, but the move never played into effect as senior Eric Wrozek and redshirt freshman Pat MacKenzie both struck out to end the game.
The loss sends the Maroon and Gold into the elimination portion of the bracket where they will play either No. 2 seed Toledo or No. 7 seed Miami Thursday at 9 a.m.
The Eagles (25-29) took the lead in the top of the third when Jamie Simpson and John Rubino both singled and came around to score on a two-RBI single to center field by Brent Ohrman.
EMU's Neil Butara held the Chippewas without a hit through the first four innings of the contest, allowing the Eagles to extend their lead to 3-0 in the top of the fifth with a sacrifice fly by Tucker Rubino.
CMU finally got on the board in the bottom of the frame when Adams led the inning off with a walk and came around to score on a single by redshirt freshman Nick Regnier, the Chippewas' first hit of the game.
EMU added the all-important insurance run in the seventh on Rubino's second sacrifice fly of the game before CMU attempted its comeback.
Senior Sam Russell singled with one out and Adams followed with a single of his own before the Chippewas loaded the bases with a walk to Regnier. Wrozek then lifted an 0-2 pitch deep enough to center field to score Russell from third and MacKenzie reached on an infield single to drive in Adams from second one batter later to pull CMU within one, 4-3.
Senior and first-team All-MAC selection Zach Cooper pitched a complete game for the Chippewas, suffering the loss, despite striking out six Eagles to move into sole possession of third place all-time in CMU history with 270 career punch outs.
Butara (5-5) earned the win for the Eagles, striking out seven over 6.1 innings of work, allowing just three hits and three runs.
Adams led the way at the plate going 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Russell, Regnier and MacKenzie each recorded a hit.