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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Falcons host Spartans today

By Andrew Clayman

Sports Reporter

As the saying goes, a baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. Celebrations quickly give way to preparation, and there is little time for a team to catch its collective breath.

Fresh off their first two Mid-American Conference wins, head coach Danny Schmitz and the Falcons head right back into non-conference action today, when Michigan State visits Warren Steller Field for a 2 p.m. match-up.

The road-weary Falcons (2-0, 3-7 overall) were riding high over the weekend, as they took the field on their home turf for the first time this season, sweeping a two game set with Buffalo.

While the MAC season is officially underway, BG is not out of the non-conference woods by any means. Even after enduring grueling competition on trips to Tennessee and California, the Falcons have more top notch, non-MAC schools left on their schedule, including Notre Dame, Ohio State and this week, MSU and Dayton .

As Schmitz put it, “This might be one of one our tougher non-conference schedules ever.” Being that Schmitz is in his twelfth season at the helm, his opinion carries a lot of weight. Thus far, Bowling Green’s non-conference foes have gotten the best of them. The team dropped both games of a season opening series with Tennessee, and they lost five straight games at the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic in Fresno, California. It may be fair to say, however, that this Falcon squad is still in the process of learning how to play to its potential.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Schmitz said. “This team has a whole new identity. Losing your two, three, five and six-hole hitters, that’s a lot to replace.”

With several stars from last season having moved on, many inexperienced players are moving into more central roles on the team. With that in mind, there was room for optimism after the Buffalo series.

“These were real important games for us,” Schmitz added. “Pitching, defense and hitting: we finally got all three phases put together.”

Among the few remaining veterans on the team, senior first baseman Kelly Hunt, junior center-fielder David Barkholz and junior starting pitcher Kyle Knoblauch have gotten off to superb starts in the first month of the season. With these team leaders setting a standard for the younger players, the Falcons’ identity is sure to become apparent even faster.

In the meantime, they can take some solace in knowing that Michigan State just lost three of four games to a MAC school, Ohio University, and have a 4-13 record on the season. The game starts at 2 p.m. today at Steller Field, with Dayton coming in at the same game time tomorrow.

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