Broncos Battle From Behind to Defeat Central Michigan, 5-3
Right-handed sophomore Monty Porter was lights out in relief, holding Central Michigan without a hit in the final 2.1 innings. Toeing the rubber for the 27th time this season and earning his second save, Porter broke the school record for appearances in a season, previously set by Zach Straayer (26) in 2003.
Left-handed starter Steve Laudicina went 6.2 innings to earn the win, his seventh of the year and fifth during MAC play. Laudicina fanned four batters and issued just one walk. Two of the three runs against were unearned.
Thoma drove in two runs, while Vinnie Booker and Scanlon pushed one run across.
A fielding error and back-to-back singles led to an unearned run for Central Michigan in the first. Western Michigan evened the score in the top of the second when Thoma ripped a two-out single to right field. CMU used four base hits to take a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second.
Laudicina settled in and did not allow another hit until the fifth and would only give up one more in the seventh. He retired the side in order in the third and sixth.
Sohn led off the top of the fourth with a single and scored as Booker reached on a fielding error by the third baseman.
Western Michigan plated two runs in the sixth to pull in front, 4-3, and added an insurance run in the eighth. Sohn started the sixth with a double down the left field line and moved to third on a wild pitch. Shutes drew a walk and Booker recorded an RBI on a sac squeeze bunt. Scanlon drilled another double down the left line with two away to give the Broncos the lead. Thoma drove in Shutes in the eighth with WMU's third double of the game.
The Chippewas had a scoring chance in the bottom of the eighth with runners on first and second after Porter put two runners on with a hit batsman and a walk, but recorded a fly out to center to end the threat.
Western Michigan (25-26, 14-11 MAC) and Central Michigan (29-27, 17-10 MAC) conclude the regular season tomorrow in the series finale at 2:05 p.m.