Broncos Down Bowling Green, 13-6, To Open Conference Play
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio. – The Western Michigan Broncos faced off against the Bowling Green State University Falcons in game one of the Mid-American Conference opening series.
The Broncos had 17 hits on the day, with six players recording multi-hit games. Steve Buglione went 5-for-6 with three runs batted in. Hunter Prince went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in and Andrew Sohn contributed with three hits of his own, including his second home run of the season.
Getting the start for Western Michigan was LHP Mike Moyer, who tossed five and a third innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out three Falcons.
Starting on the mound for BGSU was RHP Cody Arthrope, who was chased from the game after three and third innings, giving up six runs on ten hits.
Bowling Green catcher T.J. Losby got the Falcons offense started by taking a pitch deep off the wall in left center to score the Falcons first run of the game. Third baseman Jeremy Shay followed with his first home run of the season to left center, giving BGSU a 3-0 lead.
The Broncos bounced right back when third baseman Patrick Duncan led off the top of the second with a line drive up the middle on a 2-0 count. First baseman Hunter Prince followed with a single down the third base line. Theo Piccirilli then sent a single into right field to score Duncan.
Shortstop Andrew Sohn led off the third with a single to right center and swiped second for his second stolen base of the day. Center fielder Steve Buglione singled past the third baseman to put two men on base. Duncan then took a pitch off the back, loading the bases. Caleb Caton hit a slow roller to the third baseman, scoring Sohn. Prince followed with a two run single to right center, giving the Broncos a 4-3 lead.
With two outs in the fourth, Sohn took a fastball deep to left field for his second home run of the season. Jared Kujawa followed with a double to right center. Buglione added a single up the middle to score Kujawa. Stepping up to the plate next was Duncan who smoked an Apthorpe fastball to left field for his second hit of the day, knocking Apthorpe out of the game. Western Michigan finished the inning scoring two runs, on four hits.
Mike Moyer picked up his third win of the season. Pat Haynes relieved Moyer in the sixth inning with bases loaded and retired both batters he faced to get out of the jam. Monty Porter came out of the bullpen to start the seventh inning. Porter pitched three innings, allowing one run on three hits en route to his first save of the season.
The Broncos added some insurance runs when Piccirilli led off the eighth inning with a single and was followed by Vinnie Booker being hit in the head by the pitch. Sohn laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Kujawa was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. A balk and wild pitch from Bowling Green plated two runners for the Broncos. After the pitching miscues by BGSU, Buglione added his fourth hit of the day with an RBI single.
Western Michigan batted through the lineup in the ninth, adding four runs on three hits, putting the game out of reach for the Falcons.
“The most impressive thing today was seeing us battle back after giving up three runs in the first inning,” said WMU head coach Billy Gernon.
“It was nice to see the offense come alive and pick up some clutch RBIs. We also got some nice work out of the bullpen by Haynes and Porter”.
Western Michigan is now 5-15 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.
The Broncos and Falcons were scheduled to play one game on Saturday and one game on Sunday, but due to the weather forecast Sunday’s game has been moved to Saturday. The teams will now play a doubleheader beginning at noon tomorrow.
LHP Steve Laudicina will get the start on the bump for Western Michigan tomorrow as the Broncos look to take another conference game from the Falcons.