Broncos Score First But Unable to Avoid Sweep at No. 15/17 Arizona State
Ryan McMillin scored WMU's first run of the season in the top of the second after reaching on a single to right. The senior third baseman stole second, moved to third on an error and crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Patrick Duncan.
ASU didn't allow the Broncos to enjoy their lead for long, knotting the score in the bottom of the second. The count remained tied at 1-1 after three innings and the Sun Devils broke open the game with five runs in the fourth and the fifth. ASU would go on to score in each of its final five at bats.
Right-handed starter Troy Forton took the loss on the mound, surrendering five runs and four hits in three innings. He walked five and struck out one. Freshman Will Nimke was one of four Broncos to appear out of the bullpen, making his first collegiate appearance.
A number of Broncos made their first career appearances in different positions Sunday. A mainstay at shortstop, Duncan started behind the plate, and is slated to be the Broncos' backup catcher this season, due to injuries to Brooks Beilke and Kory Bauswell. Freshman Jared Kujawa caught Friday and Saturday's games. Dan Shutes made his second career start at short, and with Forton on the mound, Scanlon came in from the outfield to make his first career start at first base. Freshman Jordan Tillman made his first career start in center field.
Shutes had two Western Michigan's six hits, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and a stolen base.
Arizona State totaled 17 hits. Max Rossiter went 4-for-4 with four runs scored. James McDonald (3-for-4) and Nathaniel Causey (1-for-2) each drove in four runs. Last year's PAC-10 runners-up, the Sun Devils roster 13 major-league draft picks.
ASU's Trevor Williams earned the win, yielding one run and two hits in four innings.
Western Michigan (0-3) makes its annual Spring trip to Florida, Feb. 24 through March 10, playing 13 games in the Sunshine State. The Broncos begin with a three-game series against St. Bonaventure, Feb. 24-26, in Winter Haven. The team will also make stops in Port Charlotte and Lakeland, where WMU will play the Detroit Tigers spring training mini-camp team at Joker Marchant Stadium, March 6.