Western Michigan Baseball Downs Valpo, 5-4
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Right-handed redshirt senior Casey Hall earned his second career win and junior second baseman Theo Piccirilli had a 4-for-4 day at the plate as Western Michigan defeated defending Horizon League champion Valparaiso, 5-4, Tuesday at Robert J. Bobb Stadium.
Piccirilli's performance was his second four-hit outing of the season. He also drove in a run in the fourth and scored twice, including the game-winner.
Hall (1-0) came out of the bullpen with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the sixth and did not allow a hit in 3.1 innings of scoreless relief. He got out of the sixth coming off the mound to field a slow grounder to his right and fired over to first base.
Western Michigan (12-23) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a two-run single through the right side by Jared Kujawa. Kujawa finished his afternoon 2-for-3 at the plate with the two RBIs, as well as a stolen base.
Valpo (13-21) scored two unearned runs off of WMU starter Will Nimke in the top of the second and added a third run on a solo home run down the right field line by John Loeffler in the third.
Right-handed senior Chris Bossenbery took over for Nimke in the fourth and gave up one run and two hits over 2.2 innings.
After falling behind 3-2, WMU went back on top with two runs in the fourth, only to have Valpo tie the score for a second time in the top of the sixth. Vinnie Booker and Piccirilli both hit two-out RBI singles to right center for the Broncos in the fourth.
Piccirilli led off the home at bat in the seventh with a single deep in the hole to short. Andrew Sohn reached with a base hit to center field, and the two moved to second and third on a sac bunt by Kujawa. Hunter Prince's attempt at a squeeze bunt popped up in the air and Valpo pitcher Ryan Kennedy couldn't make a diving play on it. The ball fell for a hit and Piccirilli crossed the dish safely.
Western Michigan rode Hall to victory with the one-run advantage, as he retired the side in order in the eighth and ninth. He had two strikeouts in the game, both looking.
The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Broncos, who face Northwestern on the road tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET. WMU returns to Mid-American Conference play this weekend with a three-game series at Eastern Michigan.