Monday, April 12, 2010

Recap: Ball State

Well... Friday and Saturday were both full of facepalm moments for Bowling Green, as they were outscored by a, no joke, 44-15 margin. Ball State put up 32 runs Saturday alone. No lie. The Ball State Cardinals put up 32 runs Saturday and setting a record for the most runs ever scored by an opponent against Bowling Green.

The crazy thing about this weekend was that just as Bowling Green looked like a cellar-dweller this year in the MAC, freshman walk-on Michael Fahle hit a grand slam home run in his first ever collegiate at bat in the bottom of the 9th Saturday which seemed to spark the club and push them to a victory Sunday. Although Saturday was for a long time a lost cause, that home run was the start of nine positively amazing innings for the Falcons. Ball State is a great baseball team capable of making the NCAA tournament this year and while getting one win from this team might sound discouraging, the journey of the weekend might get this team going finally.

Bowling Green: 6
Ball State: 12

Bowling Green: 10
Ball State: 32

Bowling Green: 9
Ball State: 3

Game 1 Recap
After all the baseball I saw Saturday and Sunday, Friday seems like a long time ago. Basically, another bad loss by Bowling Green that followed the same pattern as most of BG's losses. Bad pitching, bad fielding, and hitting that can't capitalize on opportunities. Bowling Green left 12 on base and also committed four errors. The starting pitcher Brennan Smith only threw 2.1 innings, giving up eight hits and six earned runs.

- TJ Blanton extended his hitting streak to 19 games.

- The game lasted 3 hours and 29 minutes. Ouch! I was getting tired just watching the game. It felt like a Red Sox-Yankees game.

- Jon Berti went 3-4 and really had a good day at the plate.

- Ball State's starting pitcher Perci Garner hit 96 mph on the radar multiple times. The kid was a scholarship quarterback for Ball State and walked-on to the baseball team last year. Now he's quit football and is on scholarship for baseball and a draft prospect for this June's MLB draft. He has a mid-80s slider and a nasty curveball that makes hitters knees buckle.

- There were over ten scouts at Friday's ballgame, presumably to see Perci Garner and All-American second baseman Kolbrin Vitek, who is projected to be a 1st or 2nd round pick in the upcoming MLB draft.

Game 2 Recap
Wow. Saturday's game. Wow. I have seen lots and lots of baseball in my life... but I've never seen all the things I saw in one game.

- I haven't seen one team score 32 runs.

- I've never seen 42 total runs scored in a game either.

- I've never seen a pitcher with an ERA of 243.00 until I saw the stat line for pitcher Justin Warrington after Saturday's game.

- I've never seen a player walk up to the plate in his first ever collegiate at bat and hit a grand slam... that cut the deficit from 26 runs to 22 runs.

- This game lasted 3 hours and 21 minutes... somehow beating Friday's game but nonetheless taking forever. This series would've made Joe West cry.

Game 3 Recap
Losing the first two games of this series by a combined score of 44-18 the Falcons had a new look to them Sunday dominating and winning the final game of the series 9-3.

- The team came out and played the best defense I've seen them play this year. Jon Berti and Logan Meisler combined to make at least five outstanding defensive plays that held Ball State to only two runs in the first and one run in the ninth.

- Ball State imploded in the sixth inning, committing all four errors. The team kind of looked tired after the whooping they layed on BG the day before.

- TJ Blanton recorded a hit in every game this weekend extending his MAC best 21-game hitting streak.

- Kevin Leady is the ace of the Bowling Green staff. He now has four of the nine overall wins by Bowling Green this season. He threw 45 pitches in the first inning alone but rebounded to go seven full innings... striking out seven and only walking three despite the fact he got into nine full counts on the day.

What Does This Mean?
Bowling Green drops to 9-17-1 overall and 3-6 in the MAC after this weekend... putting them in 5th place in the MAC East and 10th place overall in conference. To make the conference tournament Bowling Green needs to finish 8th or better in conference. Bowling Green needs to start winning weekend series and it has to start this weekend against I-75 rival Toledo. Unfortunately for BG, Toledo is 8-1 in conference and 21-9 overall, boasting both the best conference and overall records in the MAC.

Bowling Green just doesn't have the pitching depth to keep up with their opponents this year and if the bats don't have a great day the team is going to lose. It's point blank as simple as that.