2003 Season-in-Review

The Western Michigan University baseball team concluded its 2003 campaign with a 5-2 victory over Ball State May 18 at Hyames Field. Despite the win, the Broncos were edged out by Ohio for the final berth in the six-team Mid-American Conference Tournament. WMU finished with an overall record of 25-26, and placed fourth in the MAC West Division with a 16-12 mark.

WMU entered its season-ending series against Ball State battling for the West Division title. WMU, however, dropped three of four games against the Cardinals to finish six percentage points (.577 to .571) out of the MAC tournament. The Broncos could have won the MAC West outright had they registered one more victory against BSU.

During its 93rd varsity season, WMU:
*became the first MAC school to record 600 league wins (4/12 vs. NIU)
*played in its 1,000th MAC contest (4/20 @ EMU)
*recorded the 1,600th win in school history (3/16 @ Xavier, G1)
*compiled a 5-1 record against Big Ten schools
*captured the season series against Central Michigan (4-1)
*were crowned co-champions of the Butler Classic
*played four nationally-ranked teams
*recorded a 9-4 record against Michigan schools
*went 25-18 after starting the year 0-8

Most Valuable — Tom Fabrizio; Rookie of the Year — Mark Abro; Most Improved — Joe Zacharzewski; Coaches' Choice — Zacharzewski; Offensive Player of the Year — Fabrizio; Co-Pitchers of the Year — Brad Mumma, Keith Perez. Note: the Offensive and Defensive POY Awards are based on statistics; all other team awards (besides Coaches' Choice) are decided upon by player balloting.

Fred Decker has coached 28 seasons at WMU, having compiled a career record of 770-678-6. His 770 wins are the most in WMU Athletics history while his 394 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.

Several Bronco seniors have etched their names in the Bronco record book. RHP Keith Perez leaves as the school's all-time leader in strikeouts (288) and innings pitched (287). He finished as the team leader in wins (7) and ERA (3.10) this year … RF Tom Fabrizio tied the school mark for career doubles (56); placed sixth in total bases (282) and seventh in hits (204) and runs (135). His 73 hits were sixth most in a season, leading to a .333 career batting average … 1B Chad Tarpley ranks fifth on WMU's all-time home runs list (24) … LHP Brad Mumma tossed seven straight complete games from March 15-April 25. He also gave up just two home runs in 85.1 innings of work … C Joe Zacharzewski, who appeared in 46 games, made just one error in 296 chances for a .997 fielding percentge … redshirt freshman Mark Abro started 50 games at third base, and finished second in team hitting (.302), home runs (5, tied) and RBI (28, tied).

Broncos Illustrated Top Stories