LHP Clark Sterley took a shutout into the eighth before giving up a bloop single in what turned into a UI rally. RHP Keith Perez came on in relief, and after exchanging a run for an out at third, gave up a double to Drew Davidson just inside the left field line which resulted in two more runs.
Bronco pitching allowed just four hits against a Fighting Illini squad which improved to 13-5.
"It was one of those games where we didn't have any luck tonight," said WMU Coach Fred Decker. "It's a tough loss to take.
Clark did a really fine job for us, we just didn't have enough run support. (Illinois) is a good Big Ten team, I think they can contend for their league title."
1B Chad Tarpley went 3-for-4 and SS Adam Rosales connected on his third home run of the season, matching his total of a year ago. The Broncos scored runs in the sixth (Rosales' homer to
left) and eighth innings. Tom Fabrizio singled home Mark Abro in the eighth after the redshirt freshman reached base on a bunt single, then stole second.
UI pitcher Brian Blomquist went eighth innings, earning praise from head coach Itch Jones. "I thought that Brian Blomquist gave us a great game on the mound. We were finally able to put
some runs on the board in the eighth inning against a very good ball team," Jones said in a UI post-game press release.
Western Michigan concludes its two-game series with Illinois tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. CST. Senior LHP Shawn Morrison (0-2) will make his third start of the year.
NOTES: Sterley made the most of his second chance against UI. Last year, the senior lasted just 2.2 innings and gave up six runs in a
14-1 loss to the Illini ... Fabrizio has hits in 14 of his last 15 games and has his second seven-game hits streak of the season ... WMU played under the lights for the fourth time this season.
Illinois Stages Late Rally
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