May 15, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- The WMU baseball team won the first of two games played Saturday (May 13) in a Mid-American Conference doubleheader versus Toledo at Hyames Field, but dropped the nightcap. The Broncos saw their season come to an end with a sweep by Toledo in Sunday's (May 14) doubleheader, also at Hyames Field.
The Broncos finished the year 10-18 in MAC games, 26-27 overall. Seniors Joe Seestadt, Andy Spencer, Dan Skryd, Matt Vriesenga, Joe Langschwager, and Angelo Palazeti made their final appearances at Hyames Field.
Entering Sunday's twinbill, the Broncos were a game ahead of Northern Illinois in the race for the final playoff berth in the MAC West Division. WMU needed to win as many or more games as NIU did at Central Michigan Sunday. The Huskies swept a pair from CMU to clinch the postseason appearance. Northern Illinois won 4-3 in eight innings and 3-2 to finish the season with an 11-17 MAC record.
Sunday, May 14, versus Toledo
Western Michigan fell 5-2 in eight innings in Game One and lost 5-1 in the nightcap.
The Broncos trailed 2-1 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh of the opener. Seestadt hit a single on an 0-2 pitch to score Ryan Kochen with the tying run and force extra innings. Toledo took advantage of an error and a popup that fell in for a hit to score three times in the top of the eighth and steal the victory.
Sophomore Shawn Morrison was tagged with his first loss of the season. He allowed five hits and three runs, none earned, in 3 1/3 innings of relief. The lefty fanned four and did not walk one Rocket batter. Starter Kody Naylor pitched 4 1/3 strong innings for WMU, fanned six and walking just one. He allowed one walk and six hits. Naylor was also charged with two runs, both of which were earned. Vriesenga pitched the final 1/3 of an inning.
Seestadt finished the game 3-3 with a run scored and two RBI. In addition to his game-tying single, the senior catcher blasted his seventh home of the year in the fourth inning to break a 0-0 deadlock. John Toner had three hits in four plate appearances while Chris Richter was 2-3. James Galla, Jason Richards, and Kochen all recorded one hit apiece in the setback.
Toledo broke a 1-1 deadlock in the nightcap with two runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Vriesenga started and took the loss. He allowed five hits, five runs, and two walks in four innings. He struck out five. Morrison threw the final three innings and whiffed three.
Galla's third-inning homer to right accounted for Western Michigan's lone run in Game Two. Richards and Richter both collected two hits in four trips to the plate. Tim Bellestri was 2-2 in the second game. Kochen, Toner, and Seestadt had one hit each in the loss.
Saturday, May 13, versus Toledo
The WMU baseball team split a doubleheader against Toledo on Saturday at Hyames Field.
The Broncos posted a 5-2 win over UT in the opening game behind a complete game effort from Angelo Palazeti, but fell, 8-0, to the Rockets in the nightcap. WMU moved into third place in the MAC West following Central Michigan's sweep of Northern Illinois (9-15 MAC) on Saturday in Mount Pleasant.
Palazeti allowed just four hits in seven innings in the opener. The lefty fanned seven batters and walked just one to improve to 6-6 on the year. After allowing both Toledo runs in the first inning, but Palazeti retired 15 of the next 16 UT batters he faced.
Mike Scott knocked in a pair of runs on a 2-2 day at the plate. He also scored once. He doubled in two runs in the first inning. He also slugged a triple in the fourth and scored on James Galla's sacrifice fly. John Toner and Tim Bellestri also drove in runs for WMU. Chris Richter finished the day 2-3. Toner's first-inning double plated Bellestri, who had walked. Bellestri added an RBI fielder's choice in the fourth to score rookie Nate Doorlag. Doorlag was 1-3 with a run scored.
WMU mustered just six hits in losing the second game 8-0. The Broncos' six safeties were their second-lowest of the year. Sophomore Keith Perez was tagged for five hits and six runs in 2-1/3 innings of work. He fanned five Rockets while allowing just one free pass. Josh Clark threw the final 4-2/3, surrendering three hits while whiffing four.
Toner collected two of WMU's hits in a 2-3 day at the plate. Joe Seestadt, Jason Richards, Doorlag, and Richter all had one hit apiece in the loss.
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