Solid starting pitching helped the Western Michigan Broncos take two of three from the Eastern Michigan Eagles in Kalamazoo in the first full series of May for both squads.
The Broncos took game one 5-1 as Steve Laudicina moved to 5-4 and went the full nine innings. Despite only striking out two, he allowed just six hits and one run.
Western had timely hitting from Kurt Hoekstra, Grant Miller, Hunter Prince, Dan Shutes and Vinnie Booker. Hoekstra helped extend the Broncos lead to three in the fourth with a two-run double to left. Prince, Shutes and Booker all contributed an RBI to the winning cause.
Eastern Michigan outfielder Michael Mioduszewski scored in the second on a Marquise Gill bunt for the Eagles only run. Led by Adam Dennison with two hits of his own, the Eagles managed to put the ball in play consistently, only going down twice on strikes in the game.
Freshman pitcher Sterling Sharp tossed seven innings on the mound and allowed nine hits and five runs, while only striking out one.
Eastern Michigan came out on top in game two of the series on Saturday, winning 6-3. The Eagles' Paul Schaak picked up his first win on the year, pitching seven innings of four-hit, two-run ball. Schaak tossed a scoreless first four frames before yielding two runs in the fifth, and then proceeded to shut down WMU for two more innings.
The Eastern bats broke through in the fourth. Sam Ott got the offense going with a double to lead off the inning and would later score off of a double by Lee Longo. Mioduszewski single plated two to give EMU a 3-0 lead.
Western Michigan tallied two in the fifth to pull within one, scoring on an error and a fielder's choice. EMU made the lead three runs again in the sixth when Adam Dennison was hit by a pitch to score once. Ty Gilmore picked up an RBI with a bunt single to score Longo. Both squads picked up a run in the ninth, as EMU prevailed.
Western Michigan picked up the series victory by winning 6-1 on Sunday. The Broncos improved their record to 19-24 (8-13 MAC) with the win as Eastern fell to 17-29 (4-17 MAC).
Freshman hurler Keegan Akin picked up WMU's second complete game of the series, going the full nine innings and allowing three hits, one run, and struck out five in the process.
Hoekstra led the way with three RBI, including a single that scored two in the second, and shortstop Andrew Sohn scored two runners. Hoekstra had three hits as Sohn and Shutes had an extra two.
Eastern Michigan, who had 16 hits in the first two games, had only three in the rubber match.