May 7, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- The WMU baseball team posted a split in first day of one of its biggest series of the season.
The Broncos, chasing a spot in the 2000 Mid-American Conference Tournament, split a pair of games at MAC West leader Ball State on Saturday (April 6) in Muncie, Ind. WMU posted a 6-5 victory in game one but lost a 5-4 squeaker in the nightcap.
Western Michigan is now 22-23 overall. The Broncos are 8-14 in MAC play and trail third-place Northern Illinois (9-11 MAC) by two games for the third playoff spot in the West. The Huskies split two games with Eastern Michigan (6-16 MAC), falling 5-1 and winning 6-5.
The Broncos appeared on their way to a sweep with a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning of game two. The Cardinals spoiled that by scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth to snatch the win.
Matt Vriesenga took the loss. He allowed two runs, both unearned, in two innings of relief. 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
Game One of Saturday's twinbill saw the Broncos scored 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.
Western Michigan's next home action is May 9, when it hosts Michigan State at 7 p.m. at Sutherland Field.
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