A game-winning walk gives baseball a one-run victory over rival Western Michigan
Central Michigan (29-12, 10-5 in Mid-American Conference) was at home against rival Western Michigan (13-24, 6-8 in MAC) April 26 for game one of the three game weekend series.
CMU would come away from the tightly contested baseball game with a 5-4 come from behind victory.
Coach Jordan Bischel was happy with his team’s win.
“I just thought our guys really battled well,” Bischel said “I think it was big for us to battle back and to do it with some guys who haven’t been the guys who have carried us.”
The Broncos got off to a hot start and took a 3-0 after the first inning. CMU would add a run in the fourth inning, but not before WMU scored another run in the third. After four innings WMU led 4-1.
The Chippewas were able to get runners on base in the seventh inning, but were only able to add one run, stranding two runners. After seven innings the Broncos led the contest 4-2.
Junior starting pitcher Cam Brown was taken out after pitching seven innings allowing four runs and striking out nine batters. Freshman Ryan Palmblad was brought in to pitch in relief for Brown.
The Chippewas were able to get two early base runners in the eighth inning thanks to a hit by pitch and a walk. A Zach Heeke double brought in two runs and tied the game up 4-4.
The Broncos were held scoreless in the ninth inning. CMU right fielder Jacob Crum got the bottom of the ninth started with a double to left field putting the Chippewas in great position.
“That was awesome. What was great about that was we got to two strikes and he kept competing up there,” Bischel said. "Jake’s had just a monster year for us, and he just works so hard to prepare and its good to see it pay off.”
An intentional walk and a well-placed bunt by Garret Navarra loaded the bases for CMU with no outs.
When senior Evan Kratt came to the plate, he drew a walk forcing a run home and giving the Chippewas the victory.
Palmblad was excellent and earned the win striking out five batters in his two innings pitched allowing no hits.
Only a freshman Palmblad has worked hard to get where he is at to this point in the season and Bischel spoke highly of his work ethic after the game.
“Ryan was not on our travel roster when the season started, we had one or two pitching injuries that just snuck him on to the back of the travel roster,” Bischel said “ I said to him just so you know Ryan if you don’t redshirt you might only get three or four innings this year and obviously its turned into a lot more. That’s a credit to how hard he’s worked.”
Game two of the series will take place April 27 at Theunissen Stadium at 1p.m.