Broncos Fall to Ball State

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (May 16) — Brad Miller's RBI single in the ninth lifted Ball State to a 3-2 victory over Western Michigan in a Mid-American Conference showdown at Hyames Field. WMU, which entered today's action tied with Eastern Michigan for first place in the MAC West Division, dropped to third as Ball State moved ahead based on conference winning percentage. EMU remains alone in first after notching a 9-7 win at Ohio.

BSU starter Jason Paul and WMU's Brad Mumma engaged in a pitcher's duel through six innings, before WMU broke through with a pair of runs in the sixth. Chad Tarpley drove in Mark Abro from third, while Tom Fabrizio tagged from third on Joe Zacharzewski's sacrifice fly to center.

Ball State responded in its next at-bat, scoring twice to even the game at 2-2. Mumma stayed in until the eighth inning, when Zach Straayer faced one batter, before giving way to J.R. Mathes. Mathes gave up a lead-off walk then a single to Brad Snyder to start the ninth. After the runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt, Miller singled home Marc Franz with one out for the decisive run.

"It's a tough loss to take, I thought both teams pitched very well and there was good defense on both sides," said WMU head coach Fred Decker. "The difference in the game were a couple of walks and a bloop single."

The Cardinals stranded 13 runners as WMU was able to end threats in the third (on a diving catch by RF Tom Fabrizio) and sixth (Mumma struckout the side).

Western Michigan and Ball State square off in a doubleheader (7/9 inns.) starting at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow at Hyames Field.

NOTES: The errorless game featured four double plays, three by BSU ... SS Adam Rosales stole his 12th base of the season, and is now 19-for-20 for his career ... John Pettibone earned his ninth save for Ball State ... MAC West standings after Friday's action: EMU 16-9 (.640), BSU 15-9 (.625), WMU 15-10 (.600).

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