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February 29, 2024

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Finding a turning point

There are three phases in a baseball that you have to win a game – pitching, hitting and defense. Playing a complete game has troubled the Falcons this year in most of their losses.

In yesterday’s non-conference game against Toledo, the Falcons were finally able to put a complete game together as they beat the Rockets 6-2 behind the pitching of Marty Baird, Nick Cantrell and Richie O’Brien.

“It was good to rebound [after the previous series against the Rockets],” Baird said. “We hit the ball well today – pitched well, played good defense. It was good to come out on top today.”

The Rockets jumped out to the early lead in the top of the third. Ryan Satterlee started the inning off with a single up the middle. Drew Hoisington followed that up by singling to the right side and advanced Satterlee to third. Jake Oester plated Satterlee with a sacrifice fly to right field.

The Falcons came right back and answered in the bottom half of the inning. Mike Barnard started the rally with a single to center. Logan Meisler followed that up by singling to right center and advanced Barnard to third. Mark Galvin drove the run home by reaching on a fielder’s choice.

“We had some timely hitting today,” said BG coach Danny Schmitz. “I can’t say all the hits were pretty but we were owed a few seeing eye-ball hits.”

Kurt Wells started off the bottom of the fourth inning with a walk. Wells advanced to second after Brian Hangbers ground out to the pitcher. Wells moved on to third after Derek Spencer struck out but the pitch got away. David Borcherdt plated Wells with a single to center to give the Falcons a 2-1 lead.

“You got to give BG credit, they got some big hits when they needed them,” said Toledo coach Cory Mee. “Really what it comes down to is pitching, defense and clutch hitting and they got the clutch hitting.”

Nick Cantrell replaced Baird to start the fifth inning and was able to continue where Baird left off. Cantrell pitched two scoreless innings and was rewarded for his ability to keep the lead by the Falcon offense in the bottom of the sixth.

“I just basically wanted to hold the fort down and get the win for Marty,” Cantrell said.

Josh Dietz started off the inning by singling up the middle. Kurt Wells followed that up with a single through the left side and Dietz moved to third. Brian Hangbers and Chris Gacom followed with RBI singles to plate Dietz and Wells.

Eric Lawson plated both Hangbers and Gacom with a one-out single to right field for two RBIs on the play.

“[On Lawson’s hit] that’s what happens when you put the ball in play,” Schmitz said. “Like we tell the guys ‘you put the ball in play they have to do three things – catch it, throw it and catch it. If you don’t put it play, they only have to do one thing and that’s the catcher catching the ball’.”

Richie O’Brien was summoned from the bullpen and was able to get the Falcons through the final three innings allowing one run in the top of the ninth.

The Falcons will continue their home stand this weekend as they welcome conference foe Akron to Stellar Field tomorrow.

“We need to start playing well at home and start playing well in the conference,” Schmitz said. “We’re 2-10 in the conference and we are definitely a better team than that.”

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