Mistakes continued to haunt the Stetson Hatters on Friday night in their opening game at the Bright House Networks Invitational Tournament at Melching Field.
The Hatters were charged with four early errors in their matchup with Central Michigan, allowing the Chippewas to take a 6-5 victory. The game capped a day that opened with Connecticut taking a 5-2 victory over Ohio State.
The tournament will continue on Saturday when Central Michigan takes on Connecticut at 1 p.m. The Hatters and Buckeyes will then square off in the late game, which is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.
The loss dropped the Hatters to 2-5 on the year while CMU improved to 3-5.
The Chippewas scored a single run in the first inning and two more in the second off Stetson starter Kurt Schluter (0-2). Jordan Adams singled in the first run to capitalize on the first Hatters error of the night. Logan Regnier then drove in two in the second with a two-out single.
The Hatters got one run back in the bottom of that inning when Garrett Russini blasted a solo homer off Central Michigan starter Jordan Foley (2-0). The Chippewas got that run back in the fourth when Neal Jacobs, who opened the inning with a double, scored on a squeeze bunt by Alec Ornelas.
CMU added a run in the fifth when Pat MacKenzie scored from third on a throwing error by Russini after Cody Leichman struck out.
Stetson got a pair of runs back in the sixth inning when Patrick Mazeika doubled and scored on a Mitchel Brennan fly ball to left that was misplayed by Tom Lally, who then compounded the mistake with a throwing error. Carlos Garmendia followed with a single to right to score Brennan.
Schluter’s night ended in the seventh inning after allowing a walk and a one-out double. He tied his career high with 10 strikeouts, but allowed four earned runs on seven hits over 6.1 innings. Joe Dye came on in relief of Schluter, and got a high bouncing ball to second for the second out of the inning, but MacKenzie scored from third on the play.
The Hatters got a pair of runs back in the seventh inning, but missed out on a chance to score much more. Stetson loaded the bases twice in the inning, getting a run on a fielder’s choice ground out and a single by Brennan, but left the bases loaded when relief pitcher Dylan Rheault came in and struck out Konner Lutz to end the inning.
The Hatters threatened again in the eighth inning, but left two more runners on base when Mazeika lifted a long drive into right-center that was run down by Nick Regnier on the warning track.
The Hatters will try to snap their three-game losing skid on Saturday night against Ohio State when sophomore right-hander Josh Powers (0-1, 2.92) takes the mound against the Buckeyes’ senior right-hander Brad Goldberg (2-0, 0.00).