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Solid Pitching, Clutch Hitting Leads WMU to 7-1 Victory at Michigan State

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 05/04/2011
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EAST LANSING, Mich.— Freshman RHP Monty Porter struck out seven in 5.2 innings of relief and Western Michigan got timely hitting, snapping an eight game losing streak with a 7-1 victory at Michigan State Wednesday. Porter scattered five hits, walked two and allowed one earned run for his first career victory. The seven strikeouts was a new career high, passing his previous total of five.

WMU got on the scoreboard first with two runs in the top of the second. Tim Cross singled, Dan Shutes walked and both moved up on a sac bunt by Dustin Ditsworth. Jimmy Martinez scored Cross with a poke deep in the hole at second and Shutes was able to score on the same play, as the throw at first was behind the bag. Cross and Shutes again scored in the fourth to push the Bronco lead to 4-0. Ditsworth (groundout) and Martinez (sac fly) each had RBIs.

Western Michigan added to its total in the seventh with a Patrick Duncan RBI double and tacked on two more runs in the ninth. Troy Forton scored the speedy Vinnie Booker with a squeeze bunt and Cross drove in the Broncos’ final run with a double to left.

Cross doubled twice and led WMU going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Martinez (2 RBIs) and Shutes (2 runs) each went 2-for-4.

Sophomore LHP Mike Moyer started the game and tossed two innings, on a pre-arranged schedule. He sat down the Spartans in order in the first and worked out of a bases loaded situation in the second. Forton replaced Porter in the eighth and recorded the final four outs.

Ryan Jones smacked an RBI double in the fifth to give MSU (27-14) its only run. The Spartans had seven hits, while WMU tallied nine. Chase Rihtarchik took the loss on the mound, allowing four runs and six hits in 4.0 innings.

It was the first meeting for Bronco head coach Billy Gernon against his former team. Gernon took the helm at Western Michigan in June after serving as an assistant coach at Michigan State the past two years. Prior to MSU, Gernon was the head coach at IPFW for nine seasons.

Western Michigan (19-25) looks to build on the win this weekend, heading to Ball State for a pivotal three-game Mid-American Conference series.