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Unlucky No. Thirteen

The Falcon baseball team slugged it out with Youngstown State yesterday, collecting their eighth loss of the season in an 18-13 home run derby of a game.

Four total home runs were hit in the nine-inning non-conference affair, with Brian Hangbers, Derek Spencer, and Dennis Vaughn going deep for BG (10-8).

Cory Hornyak kicked off his 3-for-6 day at the plate with a Youngstown shot over the center field fence.

The Falcons led the Penguins, who were 5-15 going into the game, through two-and-a-half innings. Clay Duncan, Andrew Foster and Hangbers had crossed the plate to

put BG up 3-0.

In the bottom of the third, however, Falcon pitcher Brennan Smith fell apart.

The freshman gave up four earned runs before Hangbers was called in to pitch.

Hangbers, facing a wind that was blowing straight out, served up Hornyak’s two-run home run as part of a seven-run Penguin inning.

‘Brian did a heck of a job today, though,’ said Clay Duncan, who went 1-for-3 at the plate while splitting time with Derek Spencer at third base. ‘He battled the whole way pitching wise, and he had a good approach today at the plate.’

‘He did his best in trying to help us get a win.’

Hangbers stuck it out for three innings on the mound, and in the top of the fifth he tried to help his own case with a leadoff home run to right center field.

‘I believe Brian ended up with three hits, and with that wind blowing out to right field, he had a very nice day at the plate,’ said BG coach Danny Schmitz.

After a single by Frank Berry and a walk by Mark Galvin, Dennis Vaughn got under a pitch and put it over the right field wall.

Hangbers, on his second at-bat of the fifth, then doubled home Duncan, Foster, and Travis Owens to cap BG’s own seventh run inning.

‘It was a good day to be a left-handed batter, but not so good to be a pitcher on either side,’ Schmitz said. In addition to the 31 runs scored on the afternoon, there were 37 hits combined by the two Ohio teams.

Schmitz’ words were especially evident after a couple of Youngstown singles tied the game through five innings – at 10-10.

It was a score and weather more suited for an autumn football game than April’s first baseball game.

That score grew even bigger in the bottom of the seventh with Marty Baird on the mound for the Falcons. The Findlay, Ohio native faced 13 Youngstown batters and gave up six earned runs.

Dan Parsons replaced him and gave up two more runs, though both were unearned. This was due partly to BG’s five errors on the day – the second straight game in which they made that many.

‘We need to start making the routine plays again,’ Schmitz said. ‘That needs to be solidified.’

‘We just have to forget this game, go back at it tomorrow, and get on the win streak again like we had been,’ Duncan said. BG has still won 10 of its last 12, even with the loss yesterday.

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