MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan was unable to come from behind on Sunday, falling to Kent State at Theunissen Stadium, 6-4.
The Chippewas fall to 7-8 in the Mid-American Conference and 17-24 overall with the loss, while the East leading Golden Flashes improved to 12-3 in conference play and 23-16 overall.
CMU jumped out in front, 2-0, in the first inning Sunday after senior Tyler Hall walked and advanced to second on a failed picked off attempt. Junior Jordan Dean then hit a single to left field, extending his hitting streak to 15 games, and Alex Miklos had the ball get away, allowing Dean advance to second and Hall to score the first run of the game.
Senior William Arnold made it a 2-0 CMU lead with a RBI single up the middle one batter later and seniors Nate Theunissen and Sam Russell loaded the bases with a single and walk setting up what appeared to be a big inning.
However, Kent State's Tyler Skulina was able to get redshirt freshman Tyler Huntey and freshman Joe Houlihan to strike out looking to end the threat and strand the bases loaded.
A single run in the top of the second cut the CMU lead in half, 2-1, before high winds at Theunissen Stadium helped KSU claim the lead in the top of the fourth. George Roberts led off with a walk, and Sawyer Polen hit a ball high in the air in right field that the wind carried over the right field fence for a 3-2 lead.
An error by the Chippewas to start the fifth and a walk to Jimmy Rider put runners on first and third, and back-to-back singles by David Lyon and Roberts extended the lead to three, 5-2, and a double by Tommy Monnott made the score 6-3.
The Chippewas got a run back in the bottom of the fifth when senior Eric Wrozek led off with a pinch-hit double down the right field line and scored on a single by Dean. CMU added another run in the seventh on error by Kent State to pull within two, 6-4.
Senior Jon Weaver and junior Dietrich Enns came in and pitched the final 4.2 innings and held Kent State scoreless, but the road team was able to retire the last six Chippewas to secure the series.
Dean finished 2-for-5 on the day for his 24th multi-hit game of the season, while Arnold and Theunissen each went 2-for-4. Junior Rick Dodridge suffered the loss, giving up six runs - five earned - on seven hits and two walks over 4.1 innings.
Skulina earned the win for Kent State, lasting six innings and striking out 10 after getting out of the first-inning bases loaded jam.
The Chippewas return to action Wednesday night at Notre Dame. First pitch is set for 5:30.