Western Herald – sports
Through 13 games in 2016, the Western Michigan Bronco baseball team was 1-12. Through 13 games in 2017, the team is 7-6, as of March 16, thanks in part to winning six of their seven past games, including a sweep of the Stetson Tournament.
The team beat the University of Connecticut (4-3), Saint Joseph’s University (9-2) and Stetson University (5-3).
“I’m not surprised we swept the tournament, but had we gone 2-1, I wouldn’t have been surprised about that either,” head coach Billy Gernon said. “Sometimes you need good fortune and it takes hard work and we had that. UCONN was a very good team and the game could’ve gone either way, the Stetson game was very tight until the end of the game and we pulled away and we were able to do so with execution and we outplayed them. St. Joseph’s was a tight game for four innings and then we just took over. I was pleased with our spring trip.”
The one blemish came against Georgetown, losing 12-8 in 11 innings after being up 8-2 in the eighth inning.
“It’s been the thing that has plagued us; we had walks in bad spots,” Gernon said. “We were trailing for most of the game and we took the lead, so it was good to see our resiliency, but it was difficult to see us lose a six run lead with six outs remaining. To our guys’ credit, they continued to battle and got us into extra innings. It was a good game, but we should’ve won it.”
Following a 9-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers’ top prospects in an exhibition game, the team beat Northeastern University 14-7 and beat Villanova University 11-6. Sophomore shortstop Connor Smith was named Mid-American Conference Western Division player of the week, and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association national hitter of the week …