Falcons travel to Cleveland State

Rsatkow and Rsatkow

Currently playing their best baseball of the year, the Falcons will look to extend their winning streak to nine games this afternoon as they travel to Cleveland to take on Cleveland State.

The teams met two weeks ago, with the Falcons winning 6-5 in extra innings.

In that game, Ryan Schlater homered and Tyler Elkins was 3-5 with two RBIs, including the game-winning double in the 10th inning.

It was also the game in which T.J. Blanton’s 21-game hit streak was snapped.

Nick Bruns started that game, giving up four runs — three earned — in 6.1 solid innings.

Either Bruns or Cody Apthorpe will start today. In his last two starts, Bruns has given up seven earned runs in 11.1 innings, while Apthorpe has only allowed two earned runs in 11.2 innings in his last two starts.

The Falcons will look to continue to get strong contributions from their offense, which has scored 98 runs on their eight game win streak, including three games of at least 19 runs.

Recently named Mid-American Conference Eastern Division player of the week, Jon Berti has been swinging a hot bat for the Falcons.

Last week, he was 11-22, hitting two of his three homers, while driving in eight runs and scoring 11. He also stole four bases.

While the Falcons are 8-1 since their meeting with Cleveland State, the Vikings are going in the opposite direction, going 1-8 since the teams last met.

They have allowed 75 runs in those nine games, while scoring only 40 runs.

Overall on the season, they are 9-28, with a 4-8 mark at home.

While only hitting .263 as a team, they do have several dangerous hitters.

Tyler Wynn and Bob Suitca both have eight homers on the year and are hitting over .300.

Kyle Schaffer leads the team with a .357 average, while contributing six home runs.

Their pitching has struggled, with a 8.61 team earned-run average. They also walk nearly as many hitters as they strike out.

The only pitcher on the staff with an ERA under 6.75 is ace Anthony Sambula, who the Falcons will likely not face today.

First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.