Today two schools in BSB territory faced off in a mid week inter-conference game that ended up being one of the better games I’ve seen so far this year. A battered and bruised Bowling Green squad managed to squeak by a young Cleveland State team 6-5 in ten innings. Freshmen Nick Bruns and Patrick O’Brien combined to pitch all ten innings for Bowling Green, tallying eight strikeouts and only recording one walk the whole game.
Bowling Green head coach Danny Schmitz proudly remarked, “Nick and Pat really provided us with a great pitching performance today, and since we only have eleven healthy pitchers at the moment we really needed them to go out and do that.”
Catcher Ryan Schlater started off the scoring blasting a shot over the left field fence to put Bowling Green up 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning and by the end of the third Bowling Green was up 4-1. The Vikings scored two in the seventh and then in the eighth inning Bob Suitca singled into centerfield to score third baseman Kyle Shaffer and tie the game up. The game remained tied until the bottom of the tenth inning when Bowling Green Senior Tyler Elkins of Hamilton, Ohio doubled down the third base line to score Jon Berti and win the ballgame for the Falcons. The win improves Bowling Green’s record to 10-17-1 overall while Cleveland State falls to 8-20 on the season.
Even though Cleveland State lost today their head coach Kevin Kocks was fairly optimistic.
“We’re a young team, we have mostly freshman and sophomores on the roster… I’m encouraged by today because we gained experience.”
When asked about the Vikings past weekend in which they took two games from Horizon League favorite Wright State Kocks had this to say.
“After this weekend (against Wright State) we are building for the future. Wins like that prepare us for the future, building a program takes time... our goals are still to win a conference championship, which is very much still in reach, and to get better everyday.”
Senior centerfielder TJ Blanton went 0-4 on the day to snap a 21-game hit streak. The hit streak was the longest in the MAC and ranked in the top 10 nationally. Patrick O’Brien earned his second win on the season to improve to 2-2 while Pat Shedlock gets the loss to drop his record to 1-3 on the year.
Bowling Green travels to Ann Arbor today to face the University of Michigan (19-11, 4-2) and then to Toledo (21-10, 8-1) this weekend to face their arch rivals. Cleveland State plays Kent State (18-16, 6-3) today and at Valparasio (11-19, 2-1) in a conference series matchup this weekend.