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Broncos Beat Ball State in Extra Innings to Sweep Cardinals

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 05/08/2011
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MUNCIE, Ind.— Western Michigan made use of three Ball State errors, recording a 5-4, 12-inning victory to take a series sweep over the Cardinals Sunday. Troy Forton was one of five Bronco pitchers to see the mound and picked up the win, tossing 5.0 innings of relief.

With the win, WMU improved to 22-25 on the season and 10-11 in Mid-American Conference play, keeping its MAC Tournament hopes alive.

Western Michigan trailed 4-1 after five innings, but pulled even with two runs in the seventh and another in the eighth. Jimmy Martinez reached on a walk with one out in the 12th, moved to second on a single by Zach Thoma and booked it home for the winning run on an RBI single up the middle by Ryan McMillin.

WMU’s fourth pitcher of the day, Forton entered in the seventh and shut down the Cardinals for the next five innings to give WMU its chance at a comeback. He allowed just two hits, walked two and fanned seven batters. Eric Heckaman gave up a single and a walk in the 12th, but hung on for his seventh save of the season and second in as many days.

“Forton was remarkable in relief and McMillin’s RBI in the 12th is hard to put into words,” said WMU head coach Billy Gernon. “We never backed off and showed tremendous grit and desire all weekend.”

Martinez, McMillin and Jack Scanlon (RBI) each had two hits for the Broncos. Four of WMU’s five runs were scored unearned. It was Western Michigan’s 20th game of the season that had been decided by two runs or less and the fourth win in a row for the Brown & Gold.

With eight games left in the regular season, WMU approaches a four-game homestand, hosting Michigan State Tuesday, May 10, and Central Michigan next weekend, May 13-15. Western Michigan will officially dedicate Robert J. Bobb Stadium at Hyames Field against CMU, May 14.