The Bowling Green State University baseball team opened Mid-American Conference play by sweeping the University of Toledo in a Saturday (March 23) doubleheader at Steller Field. After winning the first game of the day, 10-6, the Falcons secured the series victory and doubleheader sweep by winning the second game by a score of 9-6.
COACH SCHMITZ QUOTE
"I am very proud of this team. This is a great way to start conference play, but Toledo is going to be ready to go tomorrow. We'll need to come out with the same energy and focus if we want the Sunday sweep. We had so many big contributions today, and it was great to see the bats come alive."
BATTLE OF I-75 DOMINATION
• BGSU now leads the all-time series with Toledo by a 128-93 margin.
• Bowling Green is 57-35 against Toledo since head coach Danny Schmitz's first season at BGSU in 1991.
• Since 2005, Bowling Green has lost just three season series to Toledo, racking up a record of 29-14 over that time frame.
GAME 1 (BGSU 10, TOLEDO 6)
Starter Andrew Abrahamowicz was phenomenal on the mound for the Falcons, as the sophomore picked up his first win in the Orange and Brown. The righty allowed just one run on three hits while striking out seven over 5.2 innings of work.
Bowling Green's offense provided more than enough support, scoring four runs apiece in both the fourth and seventh innings. The Falcons tacked on two more runs in the eighth to take a commanding 10-5 lead. The Rockets scored one in the ninth off Jeremy Spezia, but Spezia nailed down the win by pitching the last 2.0 innings for the Falcons.
Daniel Buratto got some key outs for the BGSU pitching staff, as well, allowing two unearned runs across 1.1 innings on the bump.
Riley Minorik, Ryan Johnston and Ty Suntken drove in two runs apiece for Bowling Green. Johnston and fellow freshman Mike Malewitz each had two hits. Malewitz scored two runs, and Neil Lambert crossed the plate twice, as well.
GAME 2 (BGSU 9, TOLEDO 6)
Bowling Green's bullpen was forced to log all 9.0 innings on the afternoon. After 3.2 innings of three-run ball from Griffin Parrill, David Stopp and Damon Egnorcombined to allow just one unearned run over the final 5.1 innings of play.
Stopp scattered three hits across 1.2 scoreless innings, before Egnor turned in arguably his best performance as a Falcon. On his way to earning the first save of his career, Egnor surrendered one unearned run in 3.2 innings. The right-hander struck out one.
After falling behind, 4-1, the Falcons scored five unanswered runs and never looked back. BGSU scored at least one run apiece in each of the first five innings, bringing a 9-5 lead into the sixth. The Rockets scored once in the eighth to conclude the game's scoring.
Brad Croy's first-career home run, a two-run shot, gave Bowling Green an 8-5 advantage in the fourth. Croy, Mike Malewitz, Adam Furnas, and Ryan Johnston registered two hits apiece for the Orange and Brown. Croy had three RBI, while Furnas scored two runs and had two RBI. Johnston, Malewitz and Jake Wilson each drove in one run.
• Bowling Green is 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 2011. The Falcons won the first two games of a MAC-opening series at Northern Illinois in 2011 before losing the series finale.
• BGSU's doubleheader sweep marks the program's first doubleheader sweep in conference play since winning a pair of games at Northern Illinois in May of 2017.
• The Falcons are 4-1 at Steller Field in 2019, marking BGSU's best start at home through five games since a 4-1 start in 2012.
• Bowling Green will go for the three-game sweep tomorrow afternoon. The series finale versus the Rockets is scheduled for a 1:05 p.m. first pitch.
• BGSU begins next week with a home game versus Youngstown State on Tuesday, March 26. The Falcons will then travel to Athens for a three-game MAC series at Ohio (March 29-31).