The Bowling Green State University baseball team split a doubleheader at High Point University on Sunday afternoon, recording 12 base hits en route to a 7-4 win in game two. HPU got the best of the Falcons in the first game, winning 4-2. With the split, the Falcons are now 3-9, winning a game for the first time since Feb. 21 at Murray State.
Mike Frank turned in his best start of the season in the first game, but it wouldn't be enough as the Falcons lost to the Panthers 4-2. Frank went 7.0 innings, allowing just four hits while striking out three. The seven innings were the most by a Falcon starting pitcher this season.
Frank surrendered just one run through the first 6.1 innings, as High Point got on the board in the bottom of the fifth with a sacrifice fly to center field.
In the bottom of the seventh, High Point took a 4-0 lead on a three-run home run by shortstop Tony Fortier-Bensen. In that inning, the first two batters would reach base before a sacrifice bunt put them in scoring position. Fortier-Bensen would capitalize on one of Frank's only mistakes, as he jumped on a high fastball for a three-run homer over the left field wall.
The Falcons would get on the board in the top of the eighth, as Jeremy Shay would triple to deep centerfield to score Brian Bien, who had walked, from first base.
Jake Thomas would single home Logan Walker in the top of the ninth to close to within 4-2, and bring the tying run to the plate. But, the Falcons wouldn't be able to get anything more, as pinch hitter Matt Smith's deep fly ball to centerfield would be tracked down by HPU's Josh Greene.
The Falcons stranded seven runners on base in the game, as Frank was tabbed as the tough-luck loser. Devin Daugherty also appeared in relief, tossing a scoreless eighth inning for the Orange and Brown. Shay led the Falcons offensively, going 2-for-4 with a triple and RBI in the game.
The Falcons would never trail in the second game, scoring four runs in the top of the first, and winning 7-4. In the first inning, Bien led off the game with a single up the middle. Patrick Lancaster would walk after a deep fly out by T.J. Losby. After Shay was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Jake Thomas would walk to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead. That would be the end of starter Andre Scrubb, as he made it through just 1/3 inning, walking two, allowing a single and hitting a batter.
The new High Point pitcher, Cas Silber, would get a strikeout before throwing a wild pitch which allowed Lancaster to race home for a 2-0 lead. After an Andrew Kubuski walk re-loaded the bases, Brandon Howard would knock a single to center to score two and give the Falcons a 4-0 lead. Howard was 3-for-4 in the second game with a walk and two RBI.
Redshirt freshman Andrew Lacinak was sharp for five-plus inning, earning his first career win. Lacinak allowed just three hits and two earned runs, striking out two Panthers.
HPU would close to within 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth. Lacinak would issue a walk and hit a batter to begin the inning, after facing the minimum through the first three innings. The Panthers would lay down a sacrifice bunt to third, but the throw would be wide of first allowing HPU to score and put runners at second and third with nobody out. A sacrifice fly to left would make it 4-2, and two more singles would make it 4-3. Lacinak would work out of the jam, however, maintaining the lead.
The lefty would bounce back nicely in the bottom of the fifth, retiring the Panthers in order.
In the top of the sixth, Lacinak would be replaced by Ben Singer after a leadoff walk. After two quick strikes from Singer to the first batter, Shay would gun down the attempted base stealer for the first out of the inning. On the very next pitch, Singer would induce a fly out, and two pitches later he got out of the inning with a fly out to left.
The Falcons would tack on to the lead in the top of the seventh. Brandon Howard would lead off the inning with a single to short, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jesse Rait. After stealing third base, Howard would score on a sacrifice fly by Bien.
The Orange and Brown would add to their lead in the top of the eighth, as Andrew Kubuski would single home Jeremy Shay—who had doubled to lead off the inning—on a two-strike, two-out single through the left side of the infield.
Ethan McKenney would relieve Singer for the bottom of the eighth, getting the final six outs of the game for his second save of the season.
BGSU added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, as a Losby double to left field scored Bien from first.
Seven Falcons were on base at least three times in the game, as the Orange and Brown had 12 hits, 10 walks, and three hit batsmen in game two. It was just the second time all season that High Point has allowed double-digit hits in a game, the last time being Feb. 18 vs. Charlotte.
Bien extended his hitting streak to nine games in the contest, going 1-for-3 with a walk, a run scored, and an RBI.
Losby has now played in 121 consecutive games for the Falcons. He was 3-for-6 in the game with an RBI double.
The Falcons will now travel to Winter Haven, Fla. to play six games in five days during their annual spring trip. The Falcons will begin their week with a split doubleheader against Illinois State and Yale on Tuesday afternoon.