Game 2 Box Score
AKRON, Ohio - Much of the Central Michigan University baseball team’s success this season has been credited to its pitching staff. On Saturday, the CMU offense took its turn in the spotlight.
After dropping the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Akron, 7-6, CMU exploded for 28 runs on 25 hits in a 28-12 victory in game two. Both totals are tied for the fourth-most in a game in school history.
The 28 runs are the most since CMU defeated Grand Valley State, 28-5, in 1999, while the 25 hits are the most since the Chippewas tallied 26 hits in an 11-0 win over Northwood in 2000. The 16-run margin of victory is the largest for CMU over a Division I opponent since a 19-1 win over Eastern Kentucky in 2000.
Tyler Stovall matched a school record with four doubles in a 5-for-6 performance that bumped his season average to a Mid-American Conference-leading .437. He scored a school-record six runs in the win. Ben Humphrey was 4-for-7 with five runs (tied for the second-most in school history) and five RBI, while Dale Cornstubble was a career-best 5-for-6 with two runs and six RBI.
CMU (21-13 overall, 10-2 MAC) broke the game open with an 11-run fourth inning. The Chippewas sent 15 batters to the plate, tallied nine hits and took advantage of two Akron errors in the frame. Jeff Helps, Eric Cannon and Cornstubble all had two-run doubles in the inning, while Humphrey added a two-run single. Four of CMU’s 11 runs in the inning were unearned.
Trailing 18-7, Akron (15-11 overall, 3-6 MAC) scored five times in the bottom of the seventh inning to attempt to climb back into the game. The Chippewas responded with seven runs in the top of the eighth. A two-out, three-run double by Cornstubble, who was thrown out attempting to stretch the hit to a triple, did most of the damage.
Kurt Lauscher lasted five innings to win his fourth straight start. He surrendered five earned runs on 12 hits, struck out four and walked two. He is now 4-1 on the year after being 0-1 through his first four starts of the season.
In the opener, Akron scored twice in the bottom of the eighth to cap a comeback from an early 6-0 deficit.
Hoorelbeke’s two-run double in the first inning gave CMU an early lead, and Helps scored on a Cody Allen sacrifice bunt in the second inning to stretch the lead to 3-0. Hoorelbeke and Lankford posted back-to-back run-scoring singles in the fifth to make it 5-0, and Helps scored on a Bryan Mitzel sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to give the Chippewas a 6-0 lead.
CMU starter Dan Taylor shut out the Zips on three hits through the first five innings before getting into trouble in the sixth. After a single and walk to open the inning, Kurt Davidson connected for a three-run homer that cut the CMU lead in half, 6-3. Taylor allowed two more batters to reach before giving way to Bryce Morrow, who allowed a run-scoring double and sacrifice fly to the first two batters he faced.
Akron reliever Zach Yike retired the Chippewas in order in the seventh and eighth, and the Zips pulled ahead when Charlie Lenhard and Doug McNulty scored on separate wild pitches in the bottom of the eighth.
The Chippewas put runners on first and second with two outs in the ninth, but could not push across the tying run.
Morrow took the loss on the mound, falling to 1-2, while Yike improved to 1-1 for Akron. Ryne Romick retired two of the three batters he faced to earn his second save.
Humphrey, Hoorelbeke and Helps all had two hits for the Chippewas. Humphrey and Helps scored twice, while Hoorelbeke drove in three runs.
CMU, winner of 13 of its last 16 games overall, has five games slated for next week. The Chippewas visit Oakland on Tuesday to make up last week’s postponement, then host Michigan State on Wednesday and Northern Illinois for a three-game conference series next weekend.