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Jimmy Martinez makes a play on a ball in left field.
Courtesy: WMU

Martinez and McMillin Homer in Bronco Win

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 03/03/2011
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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Jimmy Martinez belted a two-run home run in the sixth and Ryan McMillin hit a solo shot in the seventh as Western Michigan came from behind to beat Northeastern, 8-4, Thursday. Bronco starter Brian Stroud recorded his second win, striking out nine over seven innings.

Western Michigan trailed 4-1 after five but Martinez’s big blast in the sixth gave WMU the momentum it needed. Martinez took a first-pitch fastball and sent it rocketing 400 feet out over the center field fence. Jack Scanlon also scored after reaching on a double.

McMillin led off the seventh with a home run to left center to tie the game at four runs apiece. The Broncos added three more runs to take the lead. Vinnie Booker walked, stole second, moved to third on a single by Grant Simotes and scored on Troy Forton’s single to the shortstop. Patrick Duncan followed with an RBI single to left field, scoring Simotes. Duncan went on to score on a error by the second baseman. WMU had the chance to do more damage in the inning, but left three stranded. Theo Piccirilli added a final run for the Broncos in the eighth.

Seven of the Broncos’ 11 hits came in the last three at bats.

“Our team showed tremendous competitive character,” said WMU head coach Billy Gernon. “We saw Northeastern’s ace and they saw ours in Brian Stroud. Brian was outstanding and battled for seven solid innings. The two-run blast from Martinez was big as it was the spark that lit the fire.”

Stroud (2-1) allowed 12 hits, but kept Northeastern fairly contained, cutting rallies short with strikeouts. He was charged with all four runs. Forton picked up his first save of the season throwing two innings of hitless relief.

Booker went 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored, a stolen base and a walk. Scanlon (2B, 2 RBI) and Simotes also had two hits each. Martinez and McMillin’s home runs were the first for both this season and were just the Broncos’ second and third home runs of the year.

Western Michigan improved its record to 4-7 and the loss kept Northeastern winless at 0-7. The Broncos face St. Bonaventure tomorrow at 5 p.m. WMU downed the Bonnies Tueday to open play at the West Palm Beach Challenge, 12-9.