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    Northwestern Topped by Western Michigan, 5-2

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Kyle Ruchim had two hits and scored both Northwestern runs Wednesday.

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Kyle Ruchim had two hits and scored both Northwestern runs Wednesday.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    May 1, 2013

     vs. Western Michigan
     Box Score  WMU 5, NU 2
     Records  NU 19-18 (7-11 B1G), Western Michigan 14-29 (6-12 MAC)
     Next Game
     vs. Ohio State (Evanston, Ill.), May 3, 3:00 p.m.

    Watch: Western Michigan Game Highlights

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern dropped its only meeting of the season with the Western Michigan Broncos Wednesday, falling by a score of 5-2 at a sun-soaked Rocky Miller Park in Evanston, Ill.

    The Broncos drew first blood in the top of the second inning. Jared Kujawa led off the frame with a bunt single and eventually stole second base. Kujawa advanced to third on an infield single and soon scored the game's first run on a sacrifice bunt by Patrick Duncan.

    Western Michigan doubled its advantage with another run on three hits in the top of the third inning. Brett Sunde singled through the right side to lead things off and advanced to second on a ground out to third base. Sunde then scored the second run of the afternoon for the Broncos on a base hit to the gap in left-center field by Andrew Sohn.

    The offense continued to produce for Western Michigan in its half of the fourth inning. NU's starter Matt Portland retired the first two hitters with ease before another single and an RBI double by Sunde extended the Broncos lead to three runs.

    Northwestern finally got to WMU's Will Nimke the second time through the lineup. Kyle Ruchim, Zach Morton and Jack Havey produced three-straight singles in the bottom of the fourth; Havey's base hit dropped softly into center field to allow Ruchim to score and cut the deficit to two runs.

    Western Michigan finally chased Portland from the mound in the top of the sixth. Steve Buglione hit a lead-off double prompting head coach Paul Stevens to summon Jack Quigley from his bullpen. The next hitter, Duncan, notched a seeing-eye single through the right side that allowed Buglione to score from second base.

    Western Michigan Game Highlights

    The 'Cats provided a quick answer in the bottom of the inning. Ruchim and Morton reached safely once again with singles to set up freshman Zach Jones with two outs. The Glenview, Ill., native delivered an RBI double to score Ruchim and slice the deficit to two runs once again.

    The seventh and eighth innings were scoreless for both sides. The Wildcats had a scoring opportunity with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and Colby Everett standing on third base. With one of Northwestern's most dangerous hitters due up in the form of Ruchim, WMU went to its bullpen and tapped David Brennan to get out of the jam. The reliever did just that when he got NU's center fielder to fly out to shallow right field to end the threat.

    The visitors added an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Jack Livingston, making his second appearance in as many days, struck out the first Bronco of the inning before a single, an error and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases for Sohn. WMU's shortstop was hit on the top of the helmet to force in the fifth and final run of the day for Western Michigan.

    Portland took the loss Wednesday and his record drops to 2-2. The left-hander surrendered four runs in five innings. Portland recorded four strikeouts and did not issue a walk.

    Nimke picked up his second win of the season for WMU, while Brennan earned his first save of the season.

    Northwestern will host its final Big Ten home series of the season this weekend when the Ohio State Buckeyes come calling for a three-game set at Rocky Miller Park. The series begins Friday, May 3 at 3 p.m. and continues with games on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Upon the conclusion of the series finale on Sunday, NU's five graduating seniors will be honored in a brief on-field ceremony.

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