WMU Baseball Billy Gernon

Head coach Billy Gernon

Western Michigan baseball dropped three out of four games against Kent State for just its second MAC series loss this season.

The Broncos scored first in all four games, but surrendered a lot of runs in later innings. Friday’s game was a perfect example for the whole series, with WMU jumping out to a 4-0 lead before eventually falling 14-4 in eight innings.

Justin McIntyre had two RBI and a run scored in the first two innings, and Will Morrison drove in a fourth run in the top of the third to cap the 4-0 run for WMU. Brandon Peterson, after two scoreless innings, allowed five runs (four earned) over 4.1 innings before being pulled after surrendering a home run to Cam Touchette that gave Kent State the lead.

Will Mullen entered the game on the mound for the Broncos after Peterson and had one of his worst outings this season, allowing five runs in the sixth inning. Hayden Berg surrendered three more in the seventh on another Touchette home run, and the Golden Flashes walked off on the run rule when the lead was pushed to 10 in the eighth.

WMU bounced back to take game one of Saturday’s doubleheader. Sean O’Keefe got the scoring started with a two-run homer in the first for the Broncos. A Drew Devine home run made it 3-1 WMU in the third, and the Broncos added another run in the fourth. Easton Sikorski was putting together a great performance on the mound before three runs in the seventh inning, capped by a home run by Justin Kirby, chased him from the game with a final line of 6.1 innings, four runs on eight hits, striking out seven batters with no walks.

In extra innings, Jimmy Allen drove in two runs on a double in the ninth to regain a 6-4 lead for the Brown and Gold. Kent State earned one run off Ryan Watt in its half of the ninth, but WMU held on for the win. Watt earned his third win of the season, throwing 2.2 innings and allowing one run on three hits and one walk with one strikeout.

The Bronco bats were less active in game two of the doubleheader, the only game in the series in which WMU failed to collect at least 10 hits. Logan Hudson drove in both runs for WMU in the game including a solo home run in the fifth inning.

On the mound for the Broncos, Dane Armbrustmacher went four innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits and no walks, striking out three. The Golden Flashes would score three more runs in two innings off of Zach Mehelich to pull away for the 9-2 win.

Sunday’s series finale started out with a lot of hope for the Broncos, who took a 5-0 lead in the first before Brady Miller even took the mound. The teams went back and forth in the middle innings, with Kent State scoring four runs in the third to make it close before both teams scored two in the fourth.

The six runs allowed were enough to chase Miller, who had also surrendered eight hits in 3.2 innings. He allowed two walks and struck out one. One run for WMU and two for the Golden Flashes in the fifth tied the game at eight apiece. One run in the seventh and two in the eighth for Kent State off of Watt made it 11-8 heading into the ninth inning.

The Broncos made a strong comeback effort in its final opportunity, scoring two runs and getting the tying run to third base before falling just short. Devine, O’Keefe, Allen and Ethan Hajdukovic all drove in multiple runs for Western Michigan in the loss.

Devine led the Broncos offensively, going 8-16, scoring four runs and driving in three more. O’Keefe and Allen tied for the team high with four RBI each over the weekend. Blake Dunn was pinch hit for in game one and did not start any of the other three games.

The Broncos’ hopes for a MAC Championship came to an end with the losses combined with Central Michigan’s sweep of Eastern Michigan. WMU finishes the season with a series against Ohio from Robert J Bobb Stadium next weekend. The first game starts Friday at 3 p.m.

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