May 8, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- The WMU baseball team split a pair of doubleheaders at MAC West Division leader Ball State to remain in the chase for a Mid-American Conference playoff berth.
The Broncos lost an 11-5 decision in the opening game of the twinbill on Sunday (May 7) in Muncie, Ind. WMU rebounded with a 6-1 win in the nightcap. The Broncos also split a doubleheader at Ball State on Saturday (May 6), winning game one, 6-5, and losing the second game, 5-4
Western Michigan is now 23-24 overall. The Broncos are 9-15 in conference play. Ball State is now 15-7 in the MAC. The Broncos trail Northern Illinois by two games for the third and final playoff berth in the MAC West.
WMU has four conference games remaining, an upcoming four-game set against Toledo on Saturday and Sunday, May 13-14, at Hyames Field. The twin doubleheaders with Toledo conclude the regular season.
Next home action for the Broncos is Tuesday night, May 9, when it hosts Michigan State at 7 p.m. at Sutherland Field, Kalamazoo. WMU also hosts Illinois-Chicago in non-conference play on Wednesday, May 10, at Hyames Field beginning at 3 p.m.
WMU 6, Ball State 1 (Sunday, May 7)
Sophomore Shawn Morrison's complete game effort helped WMU post the split of its four-game series at division-leading Ball State. Morrison scattered six hits in seven innings, fanned three, and did not allow a walk.
The Broncos cracked open a 1-0 lead by scoring five times in the third inning. Jason Richards knocked in four runs and went 2-3 at the plate with a run scored. He slugged a home run in the victory, as did Tim Bellestri. Bellestri was 1-3 with a run scored and an RBI. John Toner collected one hit in four trips to the plate. He also scored once and drove in a run. Ryan Kochen , Nate Doorlag, and Andy Cosentino all recorded one hit apiece.
Ball State 11, WMU 5 (Sunday, May 7)
The Broncos trailed 3-2 after three innings but saw Ball State crack the game open with four runs in the bottom of the fourth and two runs each in the fifth and sixth. WMU cut into a 7-2 deficit with three runs in the fifth but the Cardinals extended the lead in their halves of the fifth and sixth. BSU slugged four homers on the day.
Kody Naylor took the loss. He allowed four hits and six runs in three innings. Naylor walked three. Rookie Pat Misch and Andy Spencer pitched in relief. Misch struck out four batters and did not issue a free pass in 2-1/3 innings. He surrendered four runs, all earned. Spencer was tagged for a run and a walk in 2/3 of an inning.
Jason Richards had a big day at the plate, driving in three runs and slugging a home run. Richards was 2-3 and scored once. John Toner collected two hits in four plate appearances. He also scored a run and drove in a run. Ryan Kochen, Nate Doorlag, and Chris Richter recorded one hit apiece. Joe Seestadt saw his 12-game hit streak come to an end with an 0-2 day at the plate.
Ball State 5, WMU 4 (Saturday, May 6)
Western Michigan posted a split in the doubleheader against the Cardinals. WMU carried a 4-3 lead into the sixth inning but saw the Cardinals score twice to snatch the win.
Matt Vriesenga took the loss. He allowed two runs, both unearned, in two innings. He also surrendered two hits. Vriesenga struck out five batters and did not issue a walk. Keith Perez started for the Broncos and lasted four innings. He allowed five hits, three runs, and fanned four.
WMU totaled just five hits in the loss, two by John Toner, who was 2-4 with an RBI an a run scored. The junior slugged his eighth homer of the year in the defeat. Joe Seestadt also recorded a hit and an RBI. Jason Richards and Brandon Baker also had hits for Western Michigan.
WMU 6, Ball State 5 (Saturday, May 6)
Game One of Saturday's twinbill saw the Broncos score four runs in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 deadlock and make a winner of Angelo Palazeti. Palazeti threw 6-2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits while fanning six. He allowed all five runs. Matt Vriesenga recorded the final out of the game for his second save of the season.
Ryan Kochen was 3-4 with an RBI and three runs scored. Joe Seestadt extended his hitting streak to 11 games and knocked in a pair of runs. Jason Richards also recorded an RBI in the victory.
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