YPSILANTI, Mich. - Junior Jordan Dean hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning Saturday to give Central Michigan a win in game two of its series at Eastern Michigan, 8-6.
The Chippewas (15-20, 6-5 MAC) trailed the Eagles (14-19, 7-4 MAC), 6-5, entering the eighth frame before redshirt freshman Nick Regnier hit a double with one out and senior William Arnold walked to put two on.
The walk to Arnold prompted EMU to make a pitching change and bring in Brian Valente and Dean sent a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left center for his sixth home run of the season and an 8-6 Chippewas' lead.
Redshirt freshman Dylan Rheault, who struck out a season-high seven batters in four innings of work out of the bullpen en route to his first collegiate win, kept the Eagles at bay in the bottom of the frame and junior Dietrich Enns came in and recorded two strikeouts in the ninth for his second save of the season.
The Eagles jumped out in front, 1-0, Saturday on back-to-back hits from Brent Ohrman and Sam Ott and extended the lead to two in the third inning with another RBI single from Ott.
The Maroon and Gold tied the game, 2-2, in the top of the fourth on a RBI single from senior Sam Russell that plated senior Tyler Hall and a RBI groundout by freshman Joey Houlihan that plated senior Nate Theunnisen.
EMU went right back to work against CMU junior Pat Kaminska in the bottom of the frame, hitting a pair of two-run bombs to reclaim the lead, 6-2.
Theunissen hit his second double of the game in the top of the fifth to drive in Dean, while also moving into sole possession of second place all-time in CMU history with 47 career doubles.
Rheault entered for Kaminska and promptly struck out a pair in the fifth and sixth innings before the Chippewas pulled within one, 6-5, in the top of the seventh.
Theunissen reached on a fielder's choice with the bases loaded that allowed a run to score and Russell singled through the left side for his second RBI of the game setting up Dean's heroics in the eighth.
Dean finished the day with his third four-hit performance of the year, going 4-for-5 with two runs scored, three RBI and a stolen base. Theunissen and Russell each went 2-for-5 at the plate, while Hall and Arnold each scored two runs.
The win by the Chippewas pulls them within just one game of the Eagles for the lead in the MAC West with a chance to move into a tie for first place tomorrow afternoon in the series finale. Junior left hander Rick Dodridge will take the mound for CMU with the first pitch set for 1 p.m.