Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Buckeye State Baseball

I will be contributing to Buckeye State Baseball now officially, probably writing mostly about the MAC and Bowling Green, but you should check out the website because it's pretty nifty. Especially if your a die-hard baseball fan.

Falcons Continue Hot Streak

On a perfect day in Bowling Green, Ohio the Falcons continued their winning ways beating down the Western Michigan Broncos to the tune of 19-4. Bowling Green had a first round KO of sorts that was reminiscent to the Mike Tyson glory days.

Freshman pitcher Michael Klett of WMU loaded the bases in the bottom of the first by walking the first two batters of the game then giving up a single to Dennis Vaughn. Senior Derek Spencer then threw the first haymaker of the day when he blasted the first pitch he saw opposite field over the wall right beside the scoreboard. The grand slam set the tone for the game and proved that the Falcons were not going to give this game up.

Every single Bowling Green starter scored at least once and had at least one RBI with the lone exception being super Sophomore Jon Berti, who went 3 for 5 with a single, two doubles, two stolen bases, and scored three times.

Bowling Green threw six pitchers to the mound, but starter Nick Bruns earned the win going five strong innings, giving up seven hits and four runs on the day. The five other relievers combined to throw four innings of shutout relief.

Coach Danny Schmitz was pleased with the performance today.

“Three hour baseball games are only fun when your on the winning side of things, and hey, we were on the winning side today”.

The win improves Bowling Green’s overall record to 15-18-1 while Western Michigan falls to 9-27. Nick Bruns gets the win to improve to 2-1 on the season while Michael Klett gets the loss on the day and is now 0-1 for the season.

Even though both teams are in the MAC conference today’s game was considered an out of conference matchup.

Bowling Green On The Rise!

As two-time defending regular season MAC champions, Bowling Green came into conference play this year with lofty expectations. Bowling Green played a really tough out of conference schedule to start the year, facing potential Omaha bound squads Louisville and Kentucky, so when the team started out slow it wasn’t a huge worry for the Falcons.

When the trend continued into conference play however, things weren’t looking very good. Coach Danny Schmitz’s ballclub was reeling, only winning one game in each of the first three conference weekend series matchups for a 3-6 conference record.

Something Changed for the squad this past Friday night however when the Falcons traveled up I-75 to play rival Toledo. Schmitz knew the importance of the upcoming series.

“I just told our guys, hey this is a big series against a rival. This right here determines whether we’re pretenders or contenders this season.”

Oh man did his boy’s respond.

After recently being on the wrong side of a 32-10 affair with Ball State during the previous Saturday, Bowling Green decided to have a scoring spree of their own this past Friday, beating the Rockets to the tune of 20-15.

“That game really knocked the wind out of their sails… they came to the ballpark the next day and weren’t quite as loud and didn’t bring the same emotion we had.” Said Bowling Green Senior Derek Spencer.

Game one not only set the tone for a weekend series sweep of Toledo, but it might end up being a season changing win for Bowling Green. Rivalry games can do that to you sometimes. They bring out intensity sometimes that can’t be brought out any other way, and for the first time this season Bowling Green is looking like a team that deserves the lofty expectations given to them at the beginning of the year.

Red-hot Sophomore Jon Berti added, “It’s been sort of a snowball effect. We know we can win ballgames now… we have to go out and take two out of three in every series from now on.”

Before playing Toledo last year Bowling Green was 7-6 in conference play, but after beating their rival reeled off 12 of their last 14 conference games including beating Toledo to win the MAC regular season crown. After sweeping Toledo this past weekend Bowling Green has set sail on a similar path, improving to 6-6 in conference and only sitting one game back of MAC East leader Kent State (20-18, 7-5).

This upcoming weekend is also huge in determining how Bowling Green is going to finish the season as they travel to Athens to play Ohio University who, despite struggling at the beginning of the season, is 6-6 in MAC play and tied with the Falcons for second in the MAC East.

After winning six of their last seven, including today’s 19-4 beatdown on Western Michigan, Bowling Green might finally have the momentum needed to make a strong second-half push at a third MAC regular season crown. So, to the Buckeye State, watch out because this is a dangerous team that is peaking at the perfect time this season.