Offense Backs Webber in 11-4 Bronco Win Over Penn
WINTER HAVEN, Fla.- Senior LHP Casey Webber threw his second career complete game, leading Western Michigan (5-7) to an 11-4 win over Penn Thursday.
Webber (2-1) scattered seven hits, struck out six and did not allow a walk in the nine-inning effort. All four runs against were unearned.
"Webber demonstrated today why he is our ace," said WMU head coach Billy Gernon. "A complete game with no earned runs, six strikeouts and no walks is impressive, to say the least. He showed great competitive character and willed us to victory.
"Jared Kujawa was outstanding behind the plate as well. It was great to see our guys battle back from being down 4-0."
WMU had to overcome a 4-0 deficit after the Quakers (2-4) used a two-out throwing error to plate four unearned runs in the bottom of the third.
Western Michigan began its rally with a run in the fifth and took the lead with four runs in the sixth. Webber kept Penn on its heels and the Broncos went on to score five more runs in the seventh and tacked on another in the ninth.
Kujawa scored WMU's first run in the fifth after hitting a leadoff double and went 2-for-4 in the game with two RBIs, hitting a two-run single in the seventh.
Vinnie Booker started off the Bronco sixth with a double down the left field line. Dan Shutes followed with a single to left. Jack Scanlon scored Booker with a double off the right field wall, cutting the Bronco deficit to 4-2. Ryan McMillin stepped into the batter's box and took the second pitch he saw up the middle for a two-run single to tie the game. McMillin then stole third and scored when freshman Nick Bradley hit a single to shallow center field, putting WMU on top, 5-4. Bradley's eventual game-winning RBI single was his first career hit.
Booker led off Western Michigan's five-run seventh with another double, hitting his second two-bagger over the left fielder's head. After Scanlon walked and McMillin was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Kujawa hit a two-run single to left field. Patrick Duncan scored both McMillin and Kujawa with a base hit to center field. Freshman Jordan Tillman chopped a ball over the third baseman's head to plate the Broncos' fifth run in the inning.
Duncan showed great hustle in the ninth and was able to advance to third when Penn's second baseman misplayed a routine pop out. Freshman Andrew Sohn scored Duncan with a sacrifice fly for WMU's final run.
Booker (two doubles), Kujawa and Scanlon all finished with two hits apiece. Kujawa, McMillin and Duncan each totaled two RBIs.
Penn right-handed starter Connor Cuff fell to 0-1 with the loss, allowing five runs and six hits over five innings.
WMU takes on North Dakota State tomorrow at 6 p.m. and closes out its stay in Florida with two games Saturday, facing Bradley and Illinois State.