Broncos Storm Past Wolverines in Late Innings For 7-3 Victory
ANN ARBOR, Mich.- The Western Michigan baseball team scored all seven of its runs after the sixth inning to rally past Michigan, 7-3, Wednesday in Ann Arbor.
It is the second year in a row the Broncos (8-15) have upended its in-state Big Ten rival, also defeating U-M, 13-6 last year in Kalamazoo. Prior to WMU's recent two-game streak, the Wolverines (10-12) had taken the last 10 meetings in the all-time series.
The Broncos recorded 14 hits in the game to Michigan's nine. Five different Broncos, Theo Piccirilli, Andrew Sohn, Steve Buglione, Patrick Duncan and Hunter Prince each had two knocks. Brooks Beilke had a two-RBI single in the eighth.
Sophomore RHP Will Nimke lasted 5.1 innings in the start, before being relieved by freshman southpaw Derek Schneider, who recorded his first collegiate win. Schneider surrendered just two hits in 2.1 innings, allowing one run. Freshman RHP Gabe Berman notched his team-leading third save, allowing just one hit over the final 1.2 innings.
"Today was a quality win and to close the game with two freshmen from the bullpen in Schneider and Berman is big," said WMU head coach Billy Gernon. "It was a total team effort today and I am proud of our club."
Michigan put a run on the board in both the second and third innings to pull ahead before WMU shot back with four runs in the seventh, and two runs in the top of the eighth, taking a lead it would not relinquish.
The Broncos pounded out five hits in the seventh, started off by back-to-back singles by Duncan and Prince. WMU also made use of a Wolverine throwing error and a pair of wild pitches. Piccirilli and Vinnie Booker each roped one-out RBI singles. Sohn extended his current hitting streak to 12 games with a base hit in the inning as well.
WMU added two runs off of two hits and another U-M error in the eighth. Buglione smacked a leadoff single and Duncan was hit by a pitch to give WMU runners on first and second. The error moved both up a bag and Beilke stepped to the plate for a two-run single to right field.
Michigan responded with a run in the bottom of the eighth to cut the deficit to 6-3, but the Broncos tacked on a last run in the top of the ninth for a 7-3 final. Sohn hit a leadoff single and later scored on a one-out single by Prince.
The Broncos take a five-game win streak into its Mid-American Conference home-opener this weekend against Buffalo. Game One from Robert J. Bobb Stadium at Hyames Field Friday begins at 3 p.m., followed by 1 p.m. contests Saturday and Sunday.