Eagles Take All Three in Series Against WMU
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan fell 9-5 in Sunday's game three, as Eastern Michigan completed a series sweep of the Broncos. WMU falls to 14-14 on the year and 5-3 in the Mid-American Conference.
The Eagles (13-18, 6-3 MAC) used four hits and an error in the top of the first to score three runs off of Bronco right-handed freshman Will Nimke. Nimke gave up a walk and a single in the top of the second and then would be replaced by freshman RHP Nick Bradley. One of the two runners went on to score, and EMU held a 4-0 lead after one and a half innings.
Western Michigan pushed three runs across in the bottom of the second to trail one, 4-3. Ryan McMillin and Patrick Duncan hit back-to-back singles and each moved up a bag on a wild pitch. McMillin also scored on a wild pitch, as Dan Shutes reached base after EMU's catcher wasn't able to hold onto a swinging third strike in the dirt. Both Duncan and Shutes scored when Andrew Sohn singled to the outfield and EMU's right fielder bobbled the ball. Sohn was credited with one RBI.
EMU went on to score in the top of the third and the fifth, opening a 6-3 lead. Bradley walked a pair in the third and then gave up an RBI single. Daniel Russell hit a solo home run for the Eagles in the fifth.
Sohn singled for the second time in the seventh and scored on a base hit by Zach Thoma, as WMU crept within two, 6-4.
Eastern Michigan's Ben Masig took the wind out of the Broncos' sails in the top of the ninth, blasting a three-run homer off of LHP Mike Moyer, stretching the Eagles' lead to 9-4.
Western Michigan scored a final run in the bottom of the ninth, to make for a 9-5 final. Caleb Caton hit the second of his two doubles in the game, advanced to third on a balk and scored on a wild pitch.
Western Michigan used six different pitchers in the contest, Nimke (1-1) taking the loss. Eastern Michigan right-handed starter Ryan Lavoie (3-1) earned the win, tossing seven innings and striking out 11.
EMU's Masig batted 4-for-6 with four RBIs. Caton, Duncan, Sohn and Jordan Tillman each had two hits apiece for WMU. Eastern Michigan had 10 hits and the Broncos had 11.
Western Michigan is on the road for its next six-straight, playing at Valparaiso this Tuesday and Notre Dame Wednesday. The Broncos travel to Toledo for a three-game conference series next weekend, April 13-15, and then head to Michigan State for a meeting with the Spartans on April 17. The Broncos return to Kalamazoo to host Akron, April 20-22.
GAME NOTES: Western Michigan batted .411 for the series, and the two teams combined for 65 runs in the three games ... senior 3B Ryan McMillin (1-for-4) extended his current hitting streak to 22 games, three shy of the school record ... McMillin has reached base safely in every game but the season opener ... Andrew Sohn made his first career start at first base.