WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Corey Furman extended his hitting streak to eight games and Bucknell posted double-figure hits for the fourth straight contest, but the Bison baseball team lost to Central Michigan by a 10-4 score Tuesday at Chain of Lakes Stadium. Bucknell is now 1-2 on its seven-game trip to Florida and 5-7 overall this year. The Chippewas won for the fourth time in their last five outings to improve to 7-9.
Bison freshman leadoff hitter Brett Smith saw his hitting streak extend to five games with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate, while sophomore DH Spencer Stokes registered his first career multi-hit outing with a 3-for-4 showing in the No. 7 spot in the lineup. Junior Rob Krentzman added two singles and scored Bucknell’s final run in the eighth inning. The Bison finished with 11 hits, while Central Michigan totaled 12.
As it did in Monday’s loss to Yale, Bucknell took an early lead over the Chippewas, scoring twice in the first inning. Smith led off with a single and scored on Furman’s fifth triple of the year. Joe Ogren drove home Furman with a single for a swift 2-0 Bison lead.
Central Michigan evened the score in the bottom half of the inning on a two-out, two-run triple by Tyler Huntey, who was 3-for-4 with four RBIs in the contest.
Bucknell again got the leadoff hitter on in the second on a Stokes single. He moved to second on a one-out single by Mark Powell and then scored on a Smith single to give the Bison the lead again.
Thanks to a 1-2-3 bottom of the second by Bucknell starter Xavier Hammond (0-1), the Bison held the one-run advantage until the bottom of the third when the Chippewas tied the score once again on a sac fly by Cody Leichman.
Central Michigan then plated three runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and three in the seventh to open up a 10-3 lead.
Bucknell, which had the leadoff hitter reach in of the three innings it scored as well as the third inning, got one run back in the top of the eighth when Krentzman reached on an error to lead off the frame. He later scored on a throwing error by the right fielder after a single by Stokes.
Hammond pitched the first six innings for the Bison and allowed 10 hits and seven runs – only four of which were earned – and struck out two. Jonathan Lucas began the seventh inning, but hit two batters and issued a walk before Tom Hrabchak closed out the game. He yielded two hits and one strikeout and while all three inherited runners scored, he was not charged with a run, stretching his scoreless streak to begin the season to 7.2 innings.
With just one walk Tuesday, Bucknell’s pitching staff has issued just 25 bases on balls over the last 10 games after 20 walks in its first two games of the season at South Carolina. This marked the third time this year the Bison have posted one walk or less.
Adam Aldred started on the mound for Central Michigan and evened his season record at 2-2. He scattered 10 Bison hits over 5.0 innings and allowed three runs. Relievers Jimmy McNamara (3.0 IP) and Matt Trowbridge (1.0 IP) allowed just one hit and struck out five over the final four innings.
Bucknell will play its fourth game in Florida Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at Chain of Lakes Stadium when it takes on LIU Brooklyn. The Blackbirds are 4-7 this year and are coming off a win over Yale on Sunday.