Broncos Fall in the Ninth to NIU, 9-8
DEKALB, Ill.- Western Michigan baseball was edged out 9-8 in the series finale at Northern Illinois Sunday. The Huskies scored the game-winning run in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth.
Western Michigan fell to 11-23 and 5-7 in the Mid-American Conference with the loss. The Huskies improved to 14-19, 9-3 MAC and completed the weekend sweep.
WMU took a 1-0 lead in the second when Brett Sunde drove in Hunter Prince with a double down the left line. The Broncos opened their margin to 5-0 in the third, batting through the order and scoring four runs. Andrew Sohn ripped a two-run double in the inning.
Northern Illinois cut the deficit to 5-2 in the bottom of the third with a bases loaded single up the middle by Alex Klonowski. Landon Tenhagen then went deep to left for a solo shot in the fourth.
Sohn reached on a leadoff single in the top of the fifth and later scored on a sac fly by Brandon Cable to put the count at 6-3, Western Michigan.
NIU took its first lead of the game in the fifth, making use of four hits and three Bronco errors to score four runs and pull ahead 7-6.
A solo home run by Jared Kujawa tied the game for Western Michigan in the seventh, but NIU managed to get the run back in the home at bat of the inning.
Prince drove in Theo Piccirilli with a two-out single in the top of the ninth to once again tie the game.
NIU’s Nate Ruzich drove in Landon Tenhagen with a two-out hit in the bottom of the ninth to give Northern Illinois the win.
Western Michigan went through five pitchers in the game and freshman Gabe Berman (1-1) took the loss.
WMU had 16 hits on the afternoon and the two teams combined for 26 total. Vinnie Booker went 3-for-4 at the plate with a pair of doubles. Sohn was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Cable also drove in a pair of runs.
The Broncos host Valparaiso Tuesday and travel to Northwestern Wednesday in non-conference action. WMU travels to Eastern Michigan for a three-game MAC series over the weekend.