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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Badenhop rolls but NIU takes win

Burke Badenhop had eight strikeouts and gave up just one extra base hit, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Huskies from getting their first Mid-American Conference victory of the season.

Northern Illinois began the game hot at the plate scoring three runs on five hits in the first two innings. Then Badenhop found his rhythm and didn’t allow another hit until the eighth inning.

That eighth inning proved to be the difference maker as the Huskies mustered another three runs and stayed on top for a 6-5 victory over the Bowling Green baseball team in DeKalb Ill.

“Burke (Badenhop) pitched very well yesterday and deserved to get the (win),” Falcons head coach Danny Schmitz said. “But unfortunately we couldn’t quite pull it off for him.”

With the loss, the Falcons (22-10, 7-5 MAC) failed in their attempt to sweep the Huskies (9-22, 1-8 MAC) in the season series after winning 4-3 on Saturday and 5-1 on Friday. Even though the Falcons won the first two games, Schmitz said Sunday’s loss put a damper on the weekend.

“After winning the first two and not getting game three, it almost felt like we lost the series which is kind of a strange feeling,” Schmitz said. “It was one of those games where we really wanted to win.”

Both teams combined for 40 hits in the last two games but only reached extra bases a total of three times. Two of those came from BG seniors Jimmy Lipari and Kevin Longstreth who each had a double. Neither team hit a homerun throughout the weekend series.

The Falcons left 12 runners on base in their extra-inning victory on Saturday and also stranded nine on Sunday.

“We’ve got to get some guys hot and start swinging the bats and take advantage of our scoring chances,” Schmitz said. “We need to start coming up with some big base hits.”

The Falcons top two leaders in batting average, Andy Hudak (.362) and Josh Stewart (.340) have struggled at the plate over the last five games. Since the Falcons 5-3 loss to Buffalo last week, Hudak has hit 4-for-21, while Stewart 3-for-17.

Schmitz said the offense starts with Hudak and Stewart in the middle of the lineup. He said if they get back on track, the rest of the team will come together offensively.

“Right now our big guys aren’t swinging the bats like they were earlier in the season,” he said. “Once they get hot then it grows throughout the rest of the team so we need to get those guys going and hopefully everyone else will catch fire.”

It will be important for the bats to be ready today as the Falcons take on IPFW. The Mastodons have won five of their last seven games and are led by Ryan Steinbach who leads the team in hits (38), RBI’s (27), walks (21), home runs (4) and stolen bases (19). IPFW also has two other players who have each stolen 19 bases this year.

“Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne is going to be a gritty group of players,” Schmitz said. “They like to run and have three guys approaching 20 stolen bases. They’re having a very fine year.”

Tomorrow, BG will come back home to take on the Dayton Flyers who lead the Atlantic-10 West Division with a 9-3 record. Overall, the Flyers are 22-13 and like IPFW, have also won five of their last seven games.

Schmitz said the team will be challenged against both IPFW and Dayton this week.

“Dayton played very well against us last year and that program has been on the rise the past couple of years,” Schmitz said. “They are both going to be very strong teams.”

BG takes on IPFW today in Fort Wayne, Ind. before hosting Dayton tomorrow at Steller Field. Both games are scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.

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