Falcons Win Third Straight With 11-5 Win Over Akron
13abc.com Joe Nugent, Sports Anchor/Reporter - email
Bowling Green continued to swing the bats well in Saturday's 11-5 win over Akron, recording 14 hits against Zips pitching to win their third consecutive game. The Falcons have scored 37 runs during their three-game winning streak, recording 49 hits in that span. With the victory, Bowling Green improves to 7-7 in Mid-American Conference action and 15-19 overall.
Both teams were held scoreless during the first three innings, as Falcon starting pitcher Brett Fitzwater kept Akron off balance throughout his outing. Fitzwater, making the first weekend start of his career, allowed just two hits in 4.0 innings of work.
The Falcons broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth inning, as Jake Thomas led things off with a double to right field. He would advance to third base on a wild pitch with one out, and after a T.J. Losby walk, Bowling Green had runners on the corners with just one out.
On the first pitch to Trey Keegan, he would lift a fly ball to center field, scoring Thomas on the sacrifice fly to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead. With a runner on first and two outs, Patrick Lancaster would crush a pitch to left-center field for a triple, scoring Losby all the way from first to give the Orange and Brown a 2-0 lead. Brandon Howard would then hit a chopper up the middle for an infield single, scoring Lancaster for a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, the Falcons would score again to increase their lead to 3-0. Brian Bien, who went 4-for-6 in the game, led off the inning with a single to right field. With one out, both Shay and Losby were hit with pitches to load the bases. Keegan would once again lift a fly ball to center field, deep enough to bring Bien home for the RBI sacrifice fly.
BGSU went back to work in the top of the sixth inning, scoring two more runs to take a 6-0 lead into the seventh. In that sixth inning, Logan Walker would walk and Jesse Rait would be hit by a Joe Cochran pitch. Cochran threw 23 pitches to get through the first three batters in the sixth, recording just one out in those 23 pitches. Bien would then single to score Walker from second, as Rait advanced from first-to-third on the play.
Akron would bring in reliever Evan Jensen with one out in the inning, and his first pitch would be in the dirt, allowing Bien to scamper down to second. Thomas would deliver with a sacrifice fly to center field to score Rait and give Bowling Green a 6-0 lead.
Akron would score three unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to get on the scoreboard and cut the Falcons' lead to 6-3, but the Bowling Green defense would do a nice job to minimize the damage. With one out and the Falcons leading 6-2, Logan Walker would make a diving stop up the middle, get to a knee, throw to first, and receive a nice pick from Shay on the low throw to record the out. Akron, however, would tally a run on the play to make it 6-3 with a man on third base and two outs. The next batter would hit a flare towards center, but Lancaster would make a waist-high catch on the dead sprint towards the infield to retire the batter and end the inning.
Needing some insurance, Bowling Green would come to bat in the top of the ninth leading 6-3. After a nice defensive play by Akron second baseman James Sheltrown, seven of the next eight Falcons would get hits to blow the game open.
Leading 11-3 into the bottom of the ninth, Bowling Green's Devin Daugherty would get the first two outs of the inning before giving way to Jason Link for the final out of the game. Akron would score two in the bottom of the ninth to make the final score 11-5. The win was Daugherty's second of the season.
Bowling Green will look to complete the weekend sweep on Sunday, when they take on Akron at 1:00 p.m. at Lee R. Jackson Field. Andrew Lacinak will oppose UofA's Myles McVeigh on the mound.
Notes *Trey Keegan recorded a season-high three RBI in Saturday's win. The redshirt freshman, who was DHing for the third straight game, had two sacrifice flies and an RBI single.
*Brian Bien tied his career high with four singles on Saturday. The four hits were the 2014 season high for Bien. He also set his single-season high and tied his career high with six at-bats.
*Patrick Lancaster scored multiple runs in Saturday's win. It was the fourth time this season that Lancaster has accomplished that feat. The centerfielder also tied his season high with five at bats in the game.
*Bowling Green has scored in the same four innings in both games this weekend. The Falcons have scored 12 runs in innings 4-6 this weekend and eight runs in the ninth inning.
*During the three-game winning streak, the Falcons have scored 37 runs and recorded 45 hits.