Western Michigan baseball lost for the sixth straight time and was defeated in a three-game series against the Cincinnati Bearcats that weekend.
The story of the Friday game was that runners were left on the base by the WMU offense. The Broncos only scored one run with eight hits in the competition, leaving five runners stuck on the base paths.
On his second start to the season, Easton Sikorski scored 5 2/3 innings, allowing three deserved runs with eight hits while scoring four hits.
The lone run that the Western Michigan offensive faced was due to a goal from Connor Charping, shortly after a double from Greg Budig. Sean O’Keefe would score the strongest batting performance in the game for the Broncos as he went 3v4 with a double. WMU lost 5-1.
Saturday was a much tighter affair as each team fought back and forth early. Western Michigan got on the board first as O’Keefe’s great start to the series continued. He singled and drove Drew Devine from second base in the shortstop to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The Bearcats quickly made up the deficit in the lower half of the inning, scooping two runs taken by a sack fly from Ryan Nicholson and a single from Wyatt Stapp. Cincinnati led 2-1 to lead the second.
The Broncos offensive would then flare up again in the next inning, and Justin McIntyre hit a double with two RBIs to bring his team back to the top 3-2. The Bearcats would threaten a base-loaded 2-out situation in the lower half of the inning, but starter Brady Miller would come out unharmed. Miller eventually went three innings, gave up three runs with five hits, and scored a strikeout.
The relief pitcher Hayden Berg replaced Miller, and the Bearcats took control from that point on when another inning of two runs in the sixth and another run in the seventh led Cincy 7-3 into the ninth inning. Berg would end up with a career high four inning outing that allowed three deserved runs with five hits while defeating two batters.
Devine brought some life to the WMU comeback with his two-piece shot to left field in ninth, but the next two Batters would be out and Cincinnati would secure their second win of the series with a score of 7-5. McIntyre led the Broncos offensive, going 2-5 with two RBIs, a double and a triple.
Sunday also brought a close matchup as there were several leadership changes during the competition. The Broncos would get on the board first after a mistake in the second inning allowed Logan Hudson to reach the base, the next batsman went and Budig was unlucky to load the bases. Cincinnati’s catcher would then attempt to kick the runner out on first base, but his throw sailed up, allowing Hudson to score.
The Bearcats tied things up at the end of the inning and scored a run on a single to finish the game 1-1. Western Michigan hit back in third place with an O’Keefe single. Cincinnati responded with a sacrificial fly at the end of the inning to bring the game back to a 2-2 draw.
The 4th inning would be the Broncos’ best. It started with a solo homer from Hudson and ended the inning with an RBI double from Jimmy Allen to take Budig and give WMU a 4-2 lead.
Western Michigan would hold that advantage through the sixth inning, allowing one run in the fifth and two runs in the sixth to allow Cincy to take the lead. The Broncos had runners in goal position in the eighth and ninth innings but could not tie the game. The final competition went to the Bearcats, 5-4.
Jack Huisman threw 4 1/3 innings and gave up two well-deserved runs on three hits with six career-high strikeouts. Logan Hudson led the offensive, going with a solo HR 1-3.
The Broncos kick off the MAC game this weekend with a series of four games at Ball State. The game on Friday starts at 3 p.m., the double-headed ball on Saturday starts at 12 p.m. and the series finale takes place on Sunday at 1 p.m. As in all MAC series this year, the double header will be two seven-inning games on Saturday.