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Courtesy: Jamie Hines

WMU Opens Snowbird Classic With 4-1 Win Over Northwestern

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 03/02/2012
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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- Western Michigan baseball began its four-game stay at the Snowbird Classic with a 4-1 win over Big Ten opponent Northwestern Friday.

Junior second baseman Zach Thoma drove in three of the Broncos' four runs, hitting a two-run single in the third and scoring freshman Jordan Tillman on a squeeze bunt in the sixth.

Freshman Jard Kujawa plated the Broncos' fourth run in the ninth, smacking his first career triple.

Left-handed senior Casey Webber (1-1) started on the mound and recorded the win, scattering six hits and allowing one run over five innings. He fanned four batters and walked two.

Sophomore reliever Patrick Borlick was dominate out of the bullpen, holding Northwestern without a hit in the sixth, seventh and eighth. Chris Bossenbery closed out the win in the ninth for his second save of the year.

Borlik inherited two runners in the sixth and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. He would strand all three Wildcats, getting out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts and a fly out. He also struck out two batters in the seventh.

Northwestern scored its lone run off Webber in the first. Kyle Ruchim led off the game with a triple and scored a batter later on Zach Morton's RBI single.

"We got a quality start from Webber and a tremendous performance from our bullpen," said WMU head coach Billy Gernon. "Borlik was masterful tonight in relief.

"Thoma stepped up big for us with a two-out single that plated Vinnie Booker and Tillman, as well as dropping a perfect squeeze bunt."

Western Michigan totaled seven hits, Tillman going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Jack Scanlon also doubled, extending his hitting streak to seven games.

"It was nice to see Jordan Tillman have a solid game. He has been working hard at making adjustments and I was proud of him tonight."

The Broncos (2-5) play Snowbird Classic host Ohio State tomorrow in a doubleheader, starting at noon.