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Courtesy: WMU

Bronco Baseball Evens Series at Evansville With 5-1 Win

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 03/17/2012
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EVANSVILLE, Ind.- Western Michigan bounced back from a 10-inning loss Friday with a 5-1 victory at Evansville Saturday, evening the three-game series at one game apiece. Sophomore Vinnie Booker and senior Ryan McMillin each extended their current hitting streaks to a team season-best 10 games.

"Our guys showed tremendous competitive character coming off a heartbreaking loss Friday night," commented WMU head coach Billy Gernon. "To perform at a high level in this game you must have a short memory and I am very proud of our resiliency."

Booker started the game with a double to left field and Zach Thoma followed with a single through the left side. Both would go onto score, putting WMU on top, 2-0.

Jordan Tillman was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the fifth and crossed the plate on an RBI single by McMillin. Evansville generated its lone run of the game in the bottom of the fifth off a single, groundout, wild pitch and sacrifice fly.

Freshman Caleb Caton hit his second career home run in the sixth, launching a solo home run to left field. WMU capped the scoring with a run in the top of the eighth. Patrick Duncan reached base after being plunked by a pitch and scored on a wild pitch.

Sophomore left-handed pitcher Steve Laudicina improved his record to 2-1 on the season in the winning effort. He hurled six innings, yielding just the one run and five hits, while walking one and striking out two. Laudicina took the mound in the seventh, but the game was delayed for an hour and 20 minutes due to rain and lightning.

After the storm cleared, sophomore Patrick Borlik came on in relief, inheriting a bases loaded situation with no outs. Borlik stranded all three runners and went the rest of the way, closing out the victory for his first career save. He held the Purple Aces to two hits.

"Laudicina was very good today giving up only one free pass in six innings of work," Gernon added. "Borlik was electric in a three-inning relief performance, getting us out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh."

Thoma accounted for three of WMU's 10 hits in the game, going 3-for-4 with a double. Booker went 2-for-5 at the plate and McMillin had a pair of RBIs.

Western Michigan (7-9) and Evansville (12-7) conclude the three-game series tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET.