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BG led by pitchers, five of them

Led by a shut down performance from five pitchers, the Falcons baseball team rolled to a 3-1 victory at Cleveland State Wednesday.

Starter Greg Becker set the pace for the pitching staff, throwing three scoreless innings and striking out three. Brett Browning relieved Becker and pitched two hitless innings, allowing one unearned run and two walks.

Browning, a freshman, picked up his first collegiate victory after Burke Badenhop, Nick Cantrell and Matt Hundley combined to pitch the final four innings, giving up just two hits to close the game. Hundley picked up his first save of the season.

BG needed a solid effort from their pitchers as the lineup gave little production.

“We had just enough offense to push three runs across and get the victory,” said Falcons head coach Danny Schmitz.

Nolan Reimold scored what turned out to be the game- winning run in the sixth inning when Josh Stewart singled to right field, giving BG a 2-1 lead.

Reimold also scored again in the eighth inning after drawing a walk, then advancing to third base on a Andy Hudak single. Stewart hit into a double-play, which allowed Reimold to come home.

The Vikings only run came in the bottom of the fifth when John Clyde scored on a throwing error by Hudak. Brett Chin grounded out and Hudak attempted to throw Clyde out at third, but the errant throw got away and brought the run in.

Schmitz was pleased to be able to use five pitchers in the game in order to have the staff in better shape for the weekend.

“It’s kind of the way we treat our mid-week games,” he said. “We try to send a number of guys out there to get them ready for conference play.”

This weekend’s conference matchup pits the Falcons in a three-game home series against last year’s Mid-American Conference regular season champion Central Michigan.

“They have a very solid team in all phases, the pitching, the defense and the hitting,” Schmitz said.

The Chippewas are hitting .291 as a team, while the pitching staff has an ERA of 2.71.

Bryan Mitzell has had the biggest bat to date for CMU as he leads the team with three homeruns, 21 runs batted in and nine doubles. His .313 batting average also ranks third on the team.

BG will send out lefty Alan Brech (2-1, 3.54 ERA) to face the Chippewas first, as he is slated to start Friday’s game. Right-hander Kyle Knoblauch (0-1, 7.29) will throw on Saturday, and either righty Burke Badenhop (4-1, 4.61) or lefty Keith Laughlin (2-2, 4.95) will pitch the final game on Sunday.

Schmitz expects the Chippewas to go with right-handers Ty Dunham (2-1, 2.51) and Jason Cairns (2-3, 3.35) and left-hander Josh Ruhlman (0-0, 2.25) as their starters for the weekend. Ruhlman will start on Saturday and Dunham and Cairns will start the other two games, although which day is not yet known.

Friday’s game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and both Saturday and Sunday’s games will start at 1 p.m.

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