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2016 MAC Baseball Tournament: Western Michigan blanks Central Michigan, advances to Sunday Championship

Broncos pitching propels them to victory

The No. 7 seed Western Michigan defeated No. 6 seed Central Michigan with a 4-0 shutout on Saturday night at All Pro Freight Stadium. With the win the Broncos advance to Sunday's MAC Baseball Championship game and will face the winner of Eastern Michigan and Kent State contest. This will mark Western Michigan's first ever appearance in the MAC Baseball Championship game.

The Broncos scored three early runs in the first two innings and rode the excellent pitching performance by starter Jacob Piechota to take control of the game. Piechota threw six scoreless innings on only one hit and four strikeouts. Jake Bartels came on to pitch the final three scoreless innings and allowed only two hits and two strikeouts. The duo of Piechota and Bartels combined for a shutout performance and allowed only three hits.

Western Michigan opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Nick Vogelmeier reached first after his fly to left was dropped by Central Michigan left fielder Daniel Jipping. Vogelmeier scored on Grant Miller's double to right center for the early 1-0 lead.

The Broncos added two more runs in the bottom of the second inning to extent the lead to 3-0. With one out Drew Farmer walked and Nate Grys singled to left. Both runners advanced as Vogelmeier grounded out to third. Both Farmer and Grys came around to score as Connor Smith singled to right center.

Western Michigan added another run in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 4-0 lead. The Broncos loaded the bases as Grant Miller singled, Tanner Allison walked and Alex Goodwin advanced both runners. Mitchell Ho singled to score Miller for the late inning insurance run.

Central Michigan starting pitcher Jimmy McNamara went only one and two-thirds innings and allowed three runs, two earned, with four hits and two walks. Colton Bradley relieved him in the second inning and threw four and one-third innings with one earned run on two hits, along with three walks and three strikeouts. Morgan Oliver pitched the final two innings and allowed only one hit.