MOUNT PLEASANT - A seven-run second inning propelled Central Michigan to a 13-1 win over Northern Illinois and completed a three-game weekend sweep for the Chippewas on Sunday.
The Chippewas improve to 24-20 overall, 12-6 in the Mid-American Conference with the victory, their sixth in the last seven games. CMU closes the weekend tied atop the MAC West Division standings with Toledo and Eastern Michigan; Toledo visits Theunissen Stadium for a three-game series beginning Friday.
"We're ecstatic about the weekend," said CMU head coach Steve Jaksa. "Any time you can a sweep either home or away is big. We're very pleased with how the guys closed out the weekend today."
After winning the series' first two games by a combined three runs, CMU put Sunday's finale away early behind its seven-run second frame. Twelve Chippewas batted in the inning, with each of the first seven reaching base. CMU scored runs on a bases-loaded walk by Robbie Harman, a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch with Brendan Emmett at the plate, three singles that drove in runs and a wild pitch that scored William Arnold from third base. NIU extended the inning with a pair of errors; six of the inning's seven runs were unearned.
The Chippewas tacked on three runs in the fourth inning and two in the seventh. Nate Theunissen, Tyler Hall and Emmett each had RBI singles in the fourth, while Jordan Dean and Jordan Adams drove in runs with base hits in the seventh.
CMU's lineup rolled up 15 hits and drew seven walks aganist five different NIU pitchers. Starter Jeremy Gonzales was tagged with the loss, surrendering seven runs (but just two earned) on three hits in 1-1/3 innings. He walked three Chippewas and struck out none.
Meanwhile, CMU starter Jake Sabol was nearly untouchable after the first inning. After the first three Huskies reached base in the top of the first inning, Sabol retired 16 of the next 17 hitters he faced until NIU's Alex Jones singled with one out in the sixth inning. Sabol finished the seventh inning to improve to 4-3 on the year. He allowed just one unearned run on three hits while striking out seven and walking two. Harvey Martin worked two scoreless innings in relief.
Theunissen led the Chippewas with a season-high three hits. He doubled, singled twice, drove in two runs and scored twice. Dean was 2-for-4 with three runs batted in and scored twice, while Emmett contributed three RBIs.
First pitch of Friday's series opener with Toledo is set for 3:05 p.m. Eastern Michigan hosts Northern Illinois for a three-game series beginning Friday as well. All three games of the CMU-Toledo series can be watched online through the CMU Sports Zone on CMUChippewas.com or heard on WMHW-FM 91.5.