BG baseball to close out regular season against MAC East

Sean Shapiro and Sean Shapiro

Thanks to a seven-run fourth inning by Notre Dame, BG’s losing streak was extended to two games in South Bend, Ind., on Wednesday evening. The Falcons scored three runs in both the first and sixth innings. However, the rest of the way they could only muster up two hits against three Notre Dame pitchers. ‘From an offensive stand point we had a couple chances to add to that lead, and we simply didn’t. I feel that allowed Notre Dame to stay in the game and eventually take over,’ said coach Danny Schmitz. In the opening inning, BG picked up runs on the strength of a Tyler Elkins single to load the bases, and one batter later reigning Mid-American Conference Player of the Week Derek Spencer brought home the runners on a single. Four innings later the Irish took control of the game chasing BG starter Kyle Atkinson from the game with a seven-run fourth. The first eight batters reached base, and on the strength of six hits, Notre Dame picked up a lead they would never surrender. BG did add three more runs in the sixth, however the Irish pitcher, Todd Miller, pitched three shutout innings striking out four to pick up the save. Five Falcon pitchers allowed 14 Irish hits, while Atkinson picked up the first loss of his collegiate career. Notre Dame starter Steve Sabatino went five innings allowing three runs and striking out four. After the loss BG will continue MAC play today with a 3 p.m. opening pitch against visiting Ohio University. The Bobcats are coming off a series with Otterbein College in which they outscored the visitors 25-4 in two games. In order for BG to slow down one of the better teams in the MAC East they’ll need better pitching than they’ve had throughout the season. ‘We’re only going to go as far as our pitching staff takes us. We really need some guys to flat out step it up,’ Schmitz said. ‘This weekend we need our pitching staff to start carrying their load, and they haven’t done that really all season.’ BG will use their normal weekend rotation of Brennan Smith today, Matt Malewitz tomorrow and as Schmitz likes to say, ‘to be announced’ for the series finale. This season BG has sent five different pitchers to the mound on Sundays, a day that they have yet to allow less than seven runs. Schmitz did hint at the fact Atkinson threw the ball well Wednesday and could be back on the mound for Sunday’s game.