Broncos Go Distance For Win

Chad Tarpley's RBI single in the bottom 15th inning lifted Western Michigan to a 4-3 victory over Northern Illinois in a marathon contest that lasted three hours, 55 minutes at Hyames Field. With the win, WMU split its four-game Mid-American Conference series against the Huskies.

Tarpley's chopper up the middle scored Tom Fabrizio from second base to conclude the longest Bronco game (in terms of innings played) in five seasons. WMU forced extra innings with Joe Zacharzewski's lead-off home run in the ninth which tied the game at 2-2.

"I told the guys afterwards that this will be an important win as the season unfolds, it shows that we can hang in games and win," said WMU Head Coach Fred Decker. "I thought our pitchers did a terrific job, we had chances in the extra innings with men on and couldn't score, but our pitching kept us in there."

Northern Illinois took a 3-2 lead in the top 15th when Rob Marconi scored from third on Dan Urban's sacrifice fly to left field. Mark Badgley was the hard-luck loser, allowing only three hits in 6.1 innings of relief.

WMU LHP Brad Mumma entered the game in the 13th and earned his team-best fifth win of the season. Mumma gave up one hit over 2.2 innings. Starter Keith Perez lasted nine innings before giving way to Zach Straayer.

Western Michigan begins a five-game road trip this Wednesday (April 16), taking on Michigan State at Oldsmobile Park in Lansing, home to the Class A Lugnuts. WMU then travels to Eastern Michigan (April 18-20) for a four-game MAC series.

NOTES: Today's contest was WMU's longest in 245 games dating to an 8-7 win over Eastern Michigan in 15 innings on May 10, 1998 ... Tarpley recorded 19 putouts and seven at-bats ... freshman R.C. Dickerson stole two bases, finishing with four on the weekend.

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