The No. 6 seed Central Michigan defeated No. 3 seed Miami, 5-3, on Friday afternoon at All Pro Freight Stadium. Central Michigan starting pitcher Patrick Leatherman had a strong performance to pace the Chippewas. With the win Central Michigan advances and will face No. 7 seed Western Michigan on Saturday, May 28 at 9:30 am ET. With the loss Miami’s season comes to an end.
Central Michigan’s Leatherman earned the victory with a strong performance and the Chippewas were efficient on office with five runs on seven hits as they scored runs in the first, fifth, sixth and seventh innings to advance with the 5-1 victory. Leatherman went six and one-thirds innings pitched with one earned run, three hits, one walk and four strikeouts.
Central Michigan opened the scoring in the top of the first inning. Alex Borglin lead off and singled up the middle, then Ryan Heeke was hit by a pitch by Zach Spears. Heeke was hit in the face and was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. David Cole pinch ran for Heeke. Zach McKinstry infield grounder advanced both runners and Daniel Jipping’s sacrifice fly to center field scored Borglin for the early 1-0 lead.
The Chippewas struck again in the top of the fifth inning with two runs after starting the inning with two outs. Both Morgan Oliver and Robert Greenman walked and Borglin blooped a double down the left field line that scored Oliver. Cole was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A wild pitch by Spears allowed Greenman to score for the 3-0 lead as the runners advanced. The trouble continued for Spears as he walked McKinstry to load the bases and was relieved by right-hander Shane Smith. The threat ended as Smith was able to get Jipping out on a called third strike.
Miami responded with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Tyler Harris singled to right field and Adam Yacek doubled deep to right center and Harris scored to cut the deficit, 3-1.
Central Michigan regained the three run advantage in the top of the sixth inning. Dazon Cole singled up the middle and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Daniel Robinson singled to center to score Cole to open a 4-1 lead.
The Chippewas made it 5-1 in the top of the seventh inning as Jason Sullivan’s sacrifice fly scored Jipping, who singled earlier in the inning.
Miami added two runs in the ninth as Ross Haffey opened the inning with a double to left center field. Gary Russo followed with a two-run blast over the wall in left field to cut the deficit to 5-3.
Miami starting pitcher Zach Spears went four and two-thirds innings, with three earned runs, two hits, two walks and four strikeouts.