Baseball defeats Oakland

Daniel Gedney and Daniel Gedney

Despite continued trouble from Mother Nature, the Bowling Green baseball team continued their recent surge. They swept a doubleheader from Oakland yesterday to extend their winning streak to a season high four games.

“I thought the team played outstanding,” head coach Danny Schmitz said. “I thought the pitching and the defense were fantastic.”

Rain and poor field conditions cancelled Saturday’s doubleheader. Conditions were not much better yesterday as the Falcons had to deal with heavy winds and temperatures in the lower 30’s.

Despite these less than ideal conditions, the Falcons were able to turn in 18 innings of error-free baseball and improve their record to 8-11 overall.

The Falcons rode the arm of right-hander Kyle Knoblauch in game one.

Knoblauch pitched a complete-game, four-hit shutout as the Falcons beat Oakland 4-0. Knoblauch had no walks and seven strikeouts while facing only 29 batters and allowing runners to get into scoring position only once. His earned-run-average currently stands at 0.45 in 40.1 innings of work this season, while his record is 2-2.

“He’s been lights out and it’s just been absolutely amazing,” Schmitz said. “He’s a guy that, as the game goes on, he gets stronger…it’s absolutely amazing what he’s doing right now.” The Falcons opened up the scoring in the first inning when David Barkholz led off with a bunt single and advanced to second following a throwing error.

A sacrifice bunt by Jimmy Lipari moved Barkholz to third and he scored on a passed ball to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead.

A Kelly Hunt single later in the inning scored Nolan Reimold from second base to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead.

Spencer Schmitz drove in runs in the fourth and eighth innings for the Falcons to round out the scoring.

Hunt finished the game with three hits, and Barkholz and Schmitz had two apiece.

Tyler Saneholtz got the start for the Falcons in the second game. In five innings, he allowed only one run while walking four and striking out six. He picked up the win to improve his record to 2-1 on the season.

Oakland struck first in the second game when Saneholtz walked Ty Heriott with the bases loaded in the top of the first inning.

The Falcons responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Two of the runs came when Hunt doubled to score Barkholz and Lipari.

Nate Henschen supplied the third run with a bloop single to right field that scored Reimold.

The Falcons added single tallies in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings to round out their scoring in a 6-2 victory.

Hunt’s two-run double in the first inning extended his hitting streak to 11 games. His batting average currently stands at .427 and he leads the team with 20 runs batted in through the first 19 games of the season.

“Kelly’s been swinging the bat pretty good, it seems like he has been seeing the ball better,” Schmitz said.

The Falcons out-hit Oakland 21-10 over the two games. They have gone 7-4 since returning from a trip to Fresno in which they went 1-5.

“I think we’ve come along way since the trip,” Hunt said. “I think everyone is finally starting to understand their roles and what they need to do to go out and get some W’s.”

Next up for the Falcons is a trip to South Bend, Ind. to take on No. 19 Notre Dame tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 Eastern Standard Time.