BG scores two in the ninth for win

In a game that only a mother could love, BGSU was able to pull off a dramatic ninth-inning rally to earn themselves the win over non-conference opponent Cleveland State yesterday, 5-4.

Despite a record of just 6-23 coming into the game, CSU was able to combat the Falcons when it mattered most, as BG stranded 11 runners in the ball game.

“We did not take advantage of scoring opportunities throughout the whole game,” said BGSU coach Dan Schmitz. “We had bases loaded at least three times and didn’t cash in on any of them.”

Due in part to their inability to convert runners into runs, BG found itself down one heading into the bottom of the ninth.

After Tyler Wasserman reached safely on an infield single, he was bunted over by Josh Stewart to put the tying run in scoring position.

One batter later, and down to their final out, BG’s Brian Hangbers hit a shot to the fence in left-center to send home the tying run.

“It was a 3-1 count so I was just sitting back and looking for something to drive in the gap,” Hangbers said. “It was a high fastball, and I just drove it the other way.”

BG then turned its attention to ending the game in regulation, and thanks to a Cleveland State miscue, they would do just that.

The final batter, pinch hitter Greg Feldkamp, hit a groundball to the first baseman that looked to be the final out of the inning. Fortunately for the Falcons, the pitcher was unable to handle the exchange, dropping the ball as pinch-runner Julian Bostelman scampered home to give BG the win and improve the team to 20-15 on the season.

“That was clutch,” Schmitz said. “Feldkamp put the ball in play and forced the defense to do three things: Catch it, throw it and then catch it again. Luckily for us, they didn’t do all three.”

BG used seven different pitchers. The final pitcher, Brett Browning, earned the win for the Falcons, striking out the side in the ninth and improving his record to 1-1.

The Falcons struggled from the plate early on as CSU pitcher Brandon Hewitt had hitters guessing. Hewitt went seven innings, allowing only two runs and striking out three for the Vikings in a no-decision.

“Early on our hitters were out in front and lunging at his curveballs, in the later innings hitters started to stay back and take the ball where it was pitched,” Hangbers said. “I think that was vital to this game.”

BG will get a day off before getting back into Mid-American Conference play on Friday in a three-game series at Akron.

“We did not play like we’re capable of playing,” Schmitz said, “and I’ll guarantee you if we don’t come out and play like we’re capable of playing this weekend we’re going to struggle at Akron.”