13abc.com Joe Nugent, Sports Anchor/Reporter - email
Bowling Green State University exploded for eight runs in the first three innings against Ohio starter Jake Roehn on Friday afternoon at Warren E. Steller Field, cruising to an 11-3 victory in the first game of the weekend series with the Bobcats. With the win, the Falcons are now 22-22 on the season and 12-10 in Mid-American Conference play. Ohio drops to 10-35 on the year, and 6-16 in the MAC with the loss.
After BGSU starting pitcher Mike Frank retired the Bobcats in order to start the game, the Falcons quickly jumped on the board in the home half of the inning. With one out in the first, Jake Thomas and Jeremy Shay would hit back-to-back doubles to give the Orange and Brown an early 1-0 lead. T.J. Losby would follow with a single up the middle to score Shay, giving the Falcons a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, Roehn would once again retire the leadoff hitter for the Falcons. But, similar to the first inning, that wouldn't faze the Bowling Green lineup. After a one-out walk to Jesse Rait, Brian Bien would lace a double inside the left field line to put runners at second and third. Thomas would follow with a triple down the right field line, scoring both runners to give the Falcons a 4-0 lead. After Shay was hit by a pitch, a Losby sacrifice fly would be deep enough to score Thomas and give BGSU a 5-0 lead after two innings.
Ohio would begin the third with a solo home run off the bat of Taylor Emody, closing the Bowling Green lead to 5-1.
Back to work would go the Bowling Green offense in the bottom of the third, as Rait would get things started with a one-out single up the middle. Bien would follow with his second consecutive double down the left field line, and the Falcons once again had two runners in scoring position for Thomas.
For the third straight at bat, Thomas would rip one for extra bases—this one going for his second double of the contest—to score both runners and put him at second base. He would score on a Shay single to left field, and Ohio would turn to the bullpen facing an 8-1 deficit with just one out in the third.
Roehn was saddled with the loss, dropping to 4-7 on the year. He lasted just 2.1 innings, allowing eight earned runs and 11 hits on Friday.
Conversely, Frank would settle into the game nicely, pitching 6.1 innings for his fourth win of the season. He allowed four runs on six hits on the afternoon. With 304.1 career innings pitched and 211 strikeouts, Frank is the only player in school history to surpass the 300-inning and 200-strikeout benchmark in a career.
The Falcons would add three runs to their total in the bottom of the sixth, as Brandon Howard got into the hit column with a bunt single to get things started. He would advance to second via an error on the play, steal third, and score on a wild pitch. Patrick Lancaster, who extended his on-base streak to 13 straight games on Friday, would score on a Logan Walker double to make the score 10-1. Walker would score from third on an infield single by Bien, increasing the BGSU lead to 11-1 at the time.
Bowling Green had a season-high seven extra-base hits on Friday afternoon against the Bobcats. Their previous season-high came against Central Michigan on April 13, when they tallied six. The Falcons had tied that season-high through three innings in Friday's game.
Thomas carried the Falcon offense in the game, as he was on base four times. His three hits (two doubles, one triple) were a season-high, and his seven total bases tied a career high. He also scored three runs in the game, which tied a career high. Shay was also on base four times on Friday, as he has now reached base 57 times in the last 22 games. Losby also extended his on-base streak to 20 games on Friday.