PHOTO: Nick Mullens/WOUB

Ohio Baseball: Central Michigan routs ‘Cats in MAC Tournament second round

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AVON,Ohio – Entering Thursday, Ohio has won every MAC Tournament game under Rob Smith, while Central Michigan, the top team in the MAC, entered the game with a 15-game winning streak.  The two teams met in the second round of the tournament Thursday, so one of the streaks had to come to an end.

Central Michigan (44-12) scored 18 runs on 17 hits to cruise to a lopsided 18-9 victory over Ohio (19-33) to extend its winning streak to 16 games.  The Chippewas now have a .304 team batting average with 486 runs scored this season.

The Chippewas got to work against Ohio starter Edward Kutt IV (3-5) early and often.

Zavier Warren, the second hitter in the lineup, hit a solo home run to center field in the first inning.  Later in the inning, Jacob Crum singled home two runs.  Crum later scored on a wild pitch.  The Chippewas led 4-0 after one inning.

Central Michigan added a run in the second inning, the final inning of work for Kutt IV.  In two innings, Kutt IV allowed five runs on five hits while walking two batters.

The Chippewas took as large as an 11-0 lead before Michael Richardson scored Treyben Funderburg with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.  The Bobcats added two more runs in the inning with a Tanner Piechnick home run, which was his second of the tournament.

In the sixth, Aaron Levy singled home Ryan Sargent to make it an 11-4 ballgame, but that was as close as the Bobcats got.

Central Michigan responded in the bottom of the inning with four runs, highlighted by run-scoring singles by Griffin Lockwood-Powell, Jason Sullivan and Aaron Esparza.

After Piechnick scored on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh, the Chippewas added three more runs in the bottom of the seventh to extend the lead to 18-5.

The Bobcats added two runs in the eighth and ninth innings.

Michael Richardson was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI for the Bobcats.  Piechnick also had two hits and two RBI.  In total, the Bobcats had 11 hits.

Ohio’s pitching staff walked 11 batters, hit five batters and threw a combined 225 pitches.

The Bobcats will play Miami (OH) at 10 a.m. on Friday in an elimination game.  The Bobcats and RedHawks split two games at Bob Wren Stadium in the regular season.