Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Notre Dame jumped on Central Michigan starter Michael Brettell early on Tuesday as the Irish handed the Chippewas an 8-3 loss in the annual Clash at Comerica.
The Chippewas (19-17) return to Mid-American Conference play this weekend with a three-game series at Bowling Green.
The only blemish for Brettell (5-2) through two innings was a walk. That changed quickly in the third, as the Irish collected six singles (two of them bunts), a bases-loaded walk, and a sacrifice fly in seizing a 5-0 lead.
That ended the night for Brettell, a sophomore right-hander. It was Brettell’s first loss since March 5, a stretch of 10 appearances. It also marked the first time in six appearances that Brettell has surrendered an earned run.
“All of a sudden he didn’t have his command and his ball got up,” CMU coach Steve Jaksa said. “His first two innings were pretty good, then all of a sudden he had trouble finding the zone. He became a one-pitch guy there for a little while. Then his pitch count zoomed up.”
Notre Dame (16-20) tacked on three runs in the fourth, highlighted by a Jake Johnson two-run double off Jack Collins.
The Chippewas managed just six hits off three Notre Dame pitchers. Charlie Vorsheck (2-0) started and earned the win. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out six over 5 2/3 innings.
CMU fluttered to life in the ninth inning, loading the bases and getting a warning-track sacrifice fly from Dazon Cole and a run-scoring grounder. Other than that, the Chippewas were quiet for most of the night against Vorsheck, Patrick McDonald and Jack Sheehan.
“We’re going to be OK,” Jaksa said. “We fought the whole game and that’s something that we talked about, that we’re going to fight hard the whole game, and we did.”