NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Central Michigan University scored six times in the first inning on its way to an 8-4 nonconference baseball win at Notre Dame on Tuesday.
The win extends CMU’s winning streak to five. It is the Chippewas’ third win in the last four years at Notre Dame.
CMU (12-10 overall) sent 11 batters to the plate and knocked out eight hits in a six-run first inning against the Fighting Irish. Tyler Stovall’s infield single with one out ignited a succession of eight consecutive at-bats that resulted in either a hit or a run driven in. Scott Szpyrka doubled in Stovall, Ben Humphrey singled in Szpyrka and Noah Lankford doubled to put runners on the corners with one out and two runs in.
Humphrey scored on Billy Anderson’s groundout to make it 3-0 with two outs, and James Teas doubled home Lankford to make it 4-0. Jeff Helps’ bunt single moved Teas to third, and Dale Cornstubble and Allen followed with back-to-back run-scoring singles to cap the six-run inning.
Mike Dury’s two-run home run with one out in the bottom of the first pulled Notre Dame within 6-2.
Notre Dame starter Jess Stewart retired the Chippewas in order in the second inning. After a Billy Anderson single to lead off the third, the Notre Dame bullpen sat down the next 15 CMU batters in order.
CMU’s offense came back to life in the eighth, however, manufacturing two insurance runs on just one hit. Humphrey and Teas, who drew a walk and intentional walk, respectively, executed a double steal with two outs, Helps came through with a single to left field that scored both.
While the CMU offense was dormant, however, the Fighting Irish failed to capitalize on two potential scoring opportunities. In the sixth, Notre Dame put together a trio of singles to load the bases with one out against CMU starter Kurt Lauscher. Lauscher, however, forced Ryan Connolly into a third-to-first double play to get out of the inning.
Lauscher surrendered back-to-back singles to open the seventh before giving way to reliever Jeff Richard, who issued two walks and uncorked two wild pitches along with allowing one run to score on a sacrifice fly. Chris Kupillas came on with the bases loaded and two outs, but allowed one run to score on a wild pitch and walked the only batter he faced. James Ricchio came in to face pinch-hitter Ryan Smith, who grounded out to end the inning with the bases still loaded.
Despite two hits, three walks and three wild pitches in the seventh, Notre Dame managed to push across just two runs and still trailed 6-4 entering the eighth. CMU added its two runs in the top of the eighth, and Ricchio held Notre Dame to one hit over the final two innings to post his first save of the season.
Lauscher improved to 1-1 for CMU. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits in six innings, struck out four and walked four. Ricchio allowed one hit and struck out two in 2-1/3 innings to earn the save.
All nine starters in the CMU lineup had at least one hit. Helps was 2-for-4, scored once and drove in two runs. Both Humphrey and Teas scored two runs for the Chippewas.
CMU is back in action Wednesday, hosting Northwood at 3 p.m.