Broncos Down Bowling Green 1-0, Complete Series Sweep
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan posted a 1-0 win over Bowling Green Sunday to take all three games of the Mid-American Conference opening series. The Broncos also defeated BGSU twice on Saturday, 4-3, 10-3.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Will Nimke (1-0) earned his first collegiate win on the mound, in his fourth start, throwing 6.1 innings and allowing only four hits. He struck out four and walked two.
Western Michigan scored the only run in the game in the bottom of the second. Patrick Duncan reached base on a fielder's choice and scooted over to third on a single by Troy Forton. Caleb Caton scored Duncan with a sacrifice fly to shallow right.
It was the second shutout of the season for Western Michigan, which evened its record to 10-10 overall, 3-0 MAC. Bowling Green fell to 8-15 on the season and 0-3 in the MAC.
Bowling Green threatened to score in the seventh, but the relief effort of Porter got WMU out of a sticky situation. Nimke faced the first two batters of the inning, recording a fly out and then issuing a walk.
The Falcons then loaded the bases with a single and hit batsman off of Chris Bossenbery, who was first out of the Bronco bullpen. Porter got Jake Thomas to line out to Duncan at shortstop. Diving to his left to make the catch, Duncan flipped the ball to Zach Thoma at second base to double up the runner on an inning-ending double play.
Porter also got the Falcons to ground into an inning-ending double play in the top of the eighth.
Borlik took over for Porter with two on and one out in the ninth. Borlik sat down pinch hitter Logan Walker with a swinging strikeout and was able to get Brian Bien to ground out to third for the win.
Bowling Green's pitching staff was almost equally impressive. Falcon starter Andrew Lacinak also went 6.1 innings and limited WMU to four hits, striking out three, in the loss. The run against Lacinak in the second was unearned.
The Broncos had just five hits in the game, Forton recording two of those, going 2-for-3 at the plate. Ryan McMillin doubled in the fourth, Vinnie Booker bunted for a hit in the fifth and Andrew Sohn had a pinch-hit single in the eighth.
Western Michigan returns to Robert J. Bobb Stadium at Hyames Field Wednesday, March 28, hosting non-conference opponent Oakland at 3 p.m.
GAME NOTES: McMillin (14 games) and Forton (11 games) extended their current hitting streaks ... McMillin has reached base safely in every game this season but the first ... Booker extended his on-base streak to 17 games ... WMU has swept its MAC opening series in back-to-back seasons under head coach Billy Gernon.