Offensive showcase

After a slow start in the field that led to a two-run deficit, the BG baseball team’s bats more than made up for six errors in a 19-10 victory over IPFW yesterday at Stellar Field.

The Falcons’ (13-14) impressive day at the plate was a welcome site for a team that has been struggling producing runs this season. BG pounded the IPFW pitching for 19 runs on 19 hits, including six home runs. Three of those homers were blasted by Robbie Foster, who began the game on the bench.

“Today was a great hitter’s day, and it’s nice to see the bats come around ” because they have been silent way too often, especially since we’ve gotten back from Florida,” said BG coach Danny Schmitz.

IPFW (4-23) took advantage of two Falcon errors in the first three innings to take a 3-1 lead off starter Marty Baird going into the bottom of the third.

That lead would not last long, as BG put up five runs in the third, fourth and seventh innings to quell any hopes of an IPFW upset.

“Our defense as a whole has been pretty good. We have our moments like today, but when you put 19 runs on the board you really don’t notice them as much,” Schmitz said. “If you’re not putting runs on the board and you make those kind of errors, they usually come back to haunt you.”

Third baseman Chris Gacom started the offensive barrage for BG in the third with a double off of IPFW starter Brett Merkley and was promptly brought home by a Brian Hangbers single. Kurt Wells followed Hangbers with a game-tying, RBI double. Shortstop Derek Spencer then capped off the inning with a two-run homer, the first of his career, to put the Falcons up 6-3.

Merkley’s 9.28 ERA to begin the game was not helped any, as the freshman finished the game giving up five earned runs on five BG hits in 2.2 innings pitched.

The pitching change didn’t reverse the fortunes of IPFW, as Hangbers highlighted the Falcons’ fourth-inning outburst with his fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot to right-center. Left fielder Dennis Vaughn added a RBI single while catcher Travis Owens drove in BG’s 10th and 11th runs with a two-out double.

The Mastodons added a run in the sixth, four in the eight and another in two more in the ninth, but that would be as close as IPFW would come.

Baird (2-2) recorded the win for BG, going five innings and giving up three runs, all unearned.

Foster led 14 different Falcons recording hits with his three homers and five RBIs.

“The wind was blowing out so that helped me a little bit. I was just up there trying to put the bat on the ball. I was just fortunate to get a few out of here,” Foster said.

Spencer raised his batting average to .522 with two hits, including a home run and two RBIs. Hangbers added three RBIs while Owens and Mike Barnard also knocked home two runners.

Next up for BG is Xavier today at home. First pitch at Stellar Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.