Broncos Fight Past Michigan State in the Ninth
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Tim Cross drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to give Western Michigan an 11-10 victory over Michigan State Wednesday. Chris Lewis had four hits in the game, including two solo home runs.
Kyle Galbraith stood on first with one out in the bottom of the ninth and Cross turned on a 3-2 pitch, lining a shot that rolled up the hill in left field. Galbraith beat the throw home and WMU celebrated its second win in as many days. The Broncos defeated Illinois-Chicago on the road Tuesday night, 11-6.
Offense dominated the game early, as a total of 16 runs were scored between the two sides in the first three innings. Western Michigan plated six runs in its opening at bat, cracking five hits and using a walk. Jack Scanlon and Zach Thoma each hit RBI singles, while Lewis and Patrick Duncan both doubled. Lewis’ two-bagger brought in one run and Duncan’s scored two. Half of the six runs were scored with two outs.
Michigan State tallied two runs in the first and tied the score at 6-6 with four more in the top of the second. Three of those runs were unearned, as WMU committed two errors rushing throws in attempts to turn double plays.
Lewis hit his first home run in the bottom of the second to put WMU back on top, 7-6, but Michigan State answered with three runs in the top of the third to regain the lead, 9-7.
Lewis homered for the second time in the fourth, placing both of his shots out over the fence in right field. A sacrifice fly by Thoma and an RBI single by Jimmy Martinez in the fifth gave WMU back the lead, 10-9.
Michigan State scored the tying run in the sixth and threatened to take more, but RHP Casey Hall came in with one out and bases loaded and shut the Spartans down. He got the first batter to hit into a fielder’s choice and Lewis gunned down the runner at home. Hall fanned the next batter, looking, and WMU slipped out of the inning.
Troy Forton (1-3) took over for Hall on the bump in the top of the seventh and went the rest of the way, earning the victory. He allowed just one hit and struck out two in the final three innings.
WMU was retired at the plate in order in the seventh and couldn’t get anything going in the eighth. Lewis led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and was put out at second as Galbraith reached on a fielder’s choice. Cross then came through with the game-winning hit, which was ruled a double.
Trey Popp (2-1) took the loss for Michigan State, just the Spartans’ seventh (22-7) of the season. Western Michigan improved to 7-24 and will host Miami in a three-game Mid-American Conference series over the weekend. Friday’s game one begins at 3 p.m.
GAME NOTES: With four hits, Chris Lewis sits just six hits shy of breaking WMU’s career hits record (239) ... Lewis had just one home run on the season entering today’s game, he now has 19 in his career ... freshman LHP Michael Klett started on the mound for WMU, his first career appearance ... the attendance of 723 was a season-high to date.