LAKE CHARLES, La. - Central Michigan dropped game three of the McNeese State Round Robin Saturday evening, falling to host McNeese State, 3-2, at Cowboy Diamond.
With the score tied, 2-2, the Cowboys (3-7) took the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning off senior Jon Weaver, ultimately giving the right hander his third loss of the season after he came on in relief of junior Rick Dodridge. Nick Eubanks was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and later came around to score on a double by Connor Floyd for the game-winning run.
The Chippewas (3-7) loaded the bases with three straight singles by junior Jordan Dean, senior Nate Theunissen and junior Jordan Adams to start the top of the ninth, but Dean was forced out at home and Blake Ware got Reid Rooney to ground into a game-ending 1-2-3 double play to secure the win for the Cowboys (3-7).
"We did some good things today and we just need to move on to tomorrow," head coach Steve Jaksa said. "We were one swing away from winning today and just were not able to get the hit we needed. We have to understand this is a long season and stay mentally tough."
CMU took the lead in the top of the third, 2-0, when redshirt freshman Pat MacKenzie and senior Eric Wrozek walked in back-to-back at bats to lead off the frame. Junior Tom Lally moved the runners ahead on a sacrifice bunt and Dean pushed the first run of the game across with a RBI single up the middle. Theunissen then came to the plate and hit a sac fly to left field, plating Wrozek.
Dodridge held the Cowboys at bay through the first five innings, striking out four in the process, before they tied the game in the sixth. After Dodridge's fifth and final strikeout of the game, Seth Granger tripled down the right field line and scored when Kevin Santana reached on an error by Wrozek. Eubanks scored the tying run on a single by Michael Sullivan later in the inning.
Ware, who came into the game for the Cowboys' starter Jacob Williams after he was struck in the ankle with a line drive in the second inning, sat down six straight over the seventh and eighth innings to keep the score tied, prior to the dramatic finish in the ninth inning. The righty tossed eight innings in relief to earn the win, giving up six hits and struck out five.
Weaver (0-3) took the loss in relief for the Chippewas, giving up two hits and hitting three batters in the contest. Dodridge got a no decision, going six innings and giving up two runs on four hits and four walks.
Theunissen went 3-for-3 in the contest after being held hitless for the first time this season earlier in the day versus Southeastern Louisiana, and Dean went 2-for-4.
The Chippewas conclude their weekend Sunday afternoon versus the Cowboys in Lake Charles when freshman Matt Trowbridge will make his first collegiate start on the mound. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. EST.