Bronco Baseball Fall Ball Underway
"We have a lot of new faces both on our roster and coaching staff this fall," said head coach Billy Gernon. "The mission to win the Mid-American Conference remains the same. There is a sense of urgency with 13 new members to you team to make sure our players understand our demands, goals and expectations. There is tremendous depth at all positions and the competition for playing time is going to be fierce, just the way it should be."
The Broncos welcomed two new assistants to the coaching staff this past year, as Matt Rademacher and Tim Cross filled positions vacated by Brent Alwine and Bobby Walmsley. Rademacher most recently coached at Montevallo, a Division II program in Alabama, while Cross, a three-year letterwinner for the Broncos from 2009-11, returned to his alma mater after spending the last year playing and coaching in Austraila. Assistant Blaine McFerrin also made a move this offseason, being promoted to associate head coach.
WMU returns 21 players from last year's roster and has 13 newcomers on board. The Broncos graduated five seniors and a majority of its infield in first baseman Troy Forton, second baseman Zach Thoma and First Team All-MAC third baseman Ryan McMillin. Also gone is outfielder Jack Scanlon and left-handed starting pitcher Casey Webber. Fall ball will give current players a chance to emerge into those roles and will allow the coaching staff to give different players looks at different positions.
This year's senior class consists of four players, infielder/outfielder Patrick Duncan and a trio of pitchers, Chris Bossenbery (RHP), Casey Hall (RHP) and Mike Moyer (LHP). Also returning is junior outfielder Vinnie Booker and sophomore catcher/outfielder Jared Kujawa, who were key components of last year's success, as well as starting pitchers, junior left-hander Steve Laudicina and sophomore right-hander Will Nimke. Junior right-handed closer Monty Porter is also back after setting a school record with 29 appearances in 2012.
Western Michigan recorded 26 wins in each of head coach Billy Gernon's first two seasons and made consecutive trips to the MAC Tournament, posting a win over a higher seed both trips. The Broncos went 14-12 during the conference regular season in 2012, marking the team's first winning MAC record since 2006.
Game one of the annual fall Brown & Gold Series will be held Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 2:30 p.m. Game two will then be Friday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m., followed by game three Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. Game dates/times may change due to weather, in which updates will be posted on wmubroncos.com.