Western Michigan Extends Winning Streak to Five with 6-4 Win
Western Michigan opened the season 1-5 after tough three-games series at Memphis and No. 7 ranked Louisville, but has gone on to post a 6-2 record at the Snowbird and has won seven of its last nine.
“For us to win 6 of 8 games in Port Charlotte, including five in a row made this a special spring trip for our club,” said WMU head coach Billy Gernon. “Our coaching staff got to evaluate a lot over the last eight days and I felt I was watching our confidence grow with each game.
“Sitting at 7-7 is really big for us heading into a three game series at Butler next weekend.”
Bronco freshman LHP Keegan Akin earned his second win of the season, making another solid start, going 5.1 innings, allowing just three runs on six hits, walking two and striking out four.
Sophomore RHP Gabe Berman tallied his second save, coming out of the bullpen with the bases loaded and striking out the Hoyas’ Christian Venditti for the final out.
WMU junior shortstop Andrew Sohn had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI double and a run scored in the fifth. Sophomore second baseman Kurt Hoekstra hit an RBI single in the fifth and went 1-for-3 for the day to extend his current hitting streak to 10 games.
Georgetown (3-7) jumped out of the gate in the first inning, scoring two runs after packing the bases loaded with just one out.
The Broncos scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull in front, 4-2. Freshman Beau Filkins smashed an RBI single over the shortstop’s head to score Caleb Caton from second for the Broncos’ first tally. The throw to the plate sailed over the head of the Hoyas catcher, allowing Steve Buglione to scamper home on the same play. Sohn’s RBI double and Hoekstra’s RBI single widened the gap to 4-2.
Georgetown scored a run in the top of the sixth and WMU fired back with two runs on two hits in the bottom of the seventh to give WMU a comfortable, 6-3 lead. Jared Kujawa recorded an RBI with a sac fly and Caton smoked an RBI single.
The Hoyas used a pair of base hits and an error to score an unearned run off of Bronco RHP Pat Haynes in the top of the ninth. Haynes handed the ball off to Berman for the save with the bases loaded and two away.
Haynes did a bulk of the relief work, throwing 3.1 innings. He struck out two and held Georgetown to three hits. Nick Bradley also appeared on the mound.
“Steve Partington and I go way back from when I played and he was a Big Ten umpire, and I want to thank him in running a great Snowbird tournament,” Gernon added.
Western Michigan travels to Indianapolis next weekend, March 14-16, for a three-game series against Butler.