Broncos Celebrate Centennial Today

ON DECK - Western Michigan (22-21 overall, 15-9 MAC) takes a week off from league play to host Michigan and Detroit at Hyames Field before traveling to Wright State this weekend. Tuesday's contest versus Michigan has been designated the Centennial Celebration Game, with several promotions tied around the 4:00 p.m. start. The Broncos are 3-1 versus the Big Ten this season.

WMU plays host to Detroit on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. then takes on another Horizon League opponent in Wright State. Friday's contest from Nischwitz Stadium in Dayton, Ohio begins at 6:00 p.m., to be followed by a 1:00 p.m. start on Saturday. Note: the Wright State series was originally scheduled for four games.

PITCHING ROTATION (subject to change)
RHP — Mark Rasmussen (2-1, 6.67 ERA, 13 Ks, 29.2 IP)
LHP — Shawn Morrison (0-3, 8.23 ERA, 21 Ks, 27.1 IP)
Wright State:
Friday — LHP Pat Misch (3-2, 3.70 ERA, 37 Ks, 48.2 IP)
Saturday — LHP Brad Mumma (6-4, 3.38 ERA, 70 Ks, 77.1 IP)

Western Michigan took over first place in the MAC West Division after winning three of four games at Bowling Green (May 2-4). The Broncos opened with a 4-1 victory Friday, scoring three times in the 11th inning. After suffering a 4-2 loss in game one of Saturday's doubleheader, WMU answered with an 8-3 win in the night cap. The Brown & Gold scored a season-high seven runs in the eighth inning, sending 11 batters to the plate. WMU closed the series with a 5-2 victory on Sunday, highlighted by Chad Tarpley's three-run homer. Western Michigan's April 30 game against Valparaiso was cancelled due to rain. The three wins last week bumped WMU above the .500 mark for the first time this season.

Fred Decker's squad will likely play for the MAC West Division title next week (May 16-18) when Ball State visits Hyames for the Broncos' last four league games. WMU controls its own destiny standing atop the MAC West with a conference winning percentage of .625. The top two teams in each division qualify for the MAC Tournament (May 21-24), along with the next two squads with the best winning percentages, regardless of division. WMU was projected to finish fifth in the West in the preseason coaches poll.

The 100th anniversary of WMU's founding will be celebrated Tuesday when WMU plays host to Michigan in the Centennial Celebration Game at Hyames. Special promotions tied in with the game include: 25 cent hot dogs, $5 haircuts on site, live entertainment and a ceremonial first pitch by former Bronco great Ed Rossi. Hyames will be decked out in patriotic flags and bunting, reminiscent of ball parks from turn of the century. SCOUTING REPORTS
*Michigan (25-19), winners in 12 of 16 games since mid-April, captured three of four games at Ohio State last weekend. Rich Maloney's club is hitting .311 behind Brock Koman's team-leading .388 average. Jake Fox possesses impressive numbers as well, generating a team-high 11 homers and 50 RBI along with a .686 slugging percentage.
*Detroit (13-23) will engage in a cross-town doubleheader with Wayne State on Tuesday. The Titans feature one of the Horizon League's top base stealers in Jason Chapieski, who is 18-for-20 in stolen base attempts.
*Wright State (17-30) entertains Miami on Tuesday and travels to Eastern Kentucky Wednesday prior to meeting the Broncos. Chris Tuttle, who led the nation with a .473 average in 2000, is having another fine season at the plate, batting .353. On the mound, Casey Abrams owns 132 strikeouts in 93.0 innings of action.

Western Michigan defeated Michigan, 6-2, earlier this year at the Butler Classic. The Wolverines lead the all-time series, 77-74-1. WMU swept a pair of games against Detroit in 2002 and holds a 37-16 advantage all-time. WMU and Wright State will be meeting for the first time.

Fred Decker is in his 28th season at Western Michigan, having compiled a career record of 767-673-6. His 767 wins are the most in WMU Athletics history while his 393 conference wins tops the all-time list among MAC coaches. Decker led WMU to the 1989 MAC Championship and West Division titles in 1982 and 1983. He was inducted into WMU's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993. A total of 85 former players have been drafted by MLB.

"Michigan is really on a roll, they hit the ball well. We've fared well against Detroit in the past, but it may come down to the pitching match ups. Wright State has a pitcher (Casey Abrams) that I hear the scouts are really high on."

Chad Tarpley took over a share of the team lead in home runs (5) on Sunday. He also moved into a fifth place tie on the WMU's career charts (23) … senior Tom Fabrizio is two doubles shy of matching the WMU career record of 56 set by Kris Gundrum (1996-99). Fabrizio's .433 batting average ranks sixth-best in school history … Brad Mumma saw his complete games streak end at seven Friday at BGSU. Mumma went 8.1 innings in a game that was decided in 11 … RHP Keith Perez, who owns the school record for career strikeouts, needs 26 Ks to reach the 300 plateau … redshirt freshman Mark Abro leads WMU in runs (33) and homers (5), while ranking second in batting (.300), hits (51) and RBI (27). He has committed one error at third base in the last 14 games … the Broncos are 3-1 in extra innings.

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