Broncos Beat Ball State 5-2

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (May 18) — Western Michigan saw its 2003 campaign come to a close with a 5-2 victory over Ball State Sunday at Hyames Field in the season finale for both teams. Despite the victory, WMU was edged out for the final spot in the Mid-American Conference Tournament as Ohio swept a doubleheader against Eastern Michigan in Athens.

"Obviously we are disappointed we didn't make the tournament. I felt we certainly had our chances this weekend, but give credit to Ball State, they played a great series," said WMU Head Coach Fred Decker. "I thought Keith pitched a heck of a game today, he really kept us in it until our bats came around."

The Broncos received a complete game from starter Keith Perez, who fanned eight Cardinals over nine innings. Perez gave up six hits and just one earned run to post his team-leading seventh win.

Ball State took a 2-0 lead into the bottom sixth before WMU answered with a pair of runs on Tom Fabrizio's RBI double to right field. WMU then scored three more times in the seventh after BSU inserted reliever Kory Bucklew into the game for starter Joe Ness.

An overthrow to third base and a wild pitch allowed R.C. Dickerson and Adam Rosales to score from third on subsequent plays.

Western Michigan finished with a 25-26 overall record, and fourth in the MAC West Division with a 16-12 mark.

NOTES: Ball State managed to capture the MAC West Division title with a .630 winning percentage ... RF Brad Snyder and 2B Kyle Dygert both left the game after running into each other chasing a fly ball in the second inning; ... Fabrizio's double tied the school career record of 56 shared by Kris Gundrum. Fabrizio finished with 204 career hits, good enough for seventh place on WMU's all-time hits list. His .390 batting average also led the team ... Perez closed his career as WMU's all-time strikeouts leader (289).

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