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Falcons salvage NIU series with 11-10 win

In a game of wild events, the Bowling Green baseball team prevailed to knock off visiting Northern Illinois and avoid being swept at home this weekend.

Despite allowing seven home runs to the Huskies (18-17, 5-4 in Mid-American Conference play), the Falcons (19-9, 6-6) rallied to score six runs over the final two innings to win 11-10 at Warren Stellar Field.

Falcons centerfielder David Barkholz hit a walk-off solo home run to left field, his first of the year, leading off the bottom of the ninth to win the game. Barkholz finished the day 3-for-6 at the plate, scoring two and driving in two.

“I’m happy for David and I’m happy for us,” said BG head coach Danny Schmitz. “We finally got a ‘W’, the kids worked hard and I’m proud of them.”

With winds gusting out of the park, BG starter Burke Badenhop allowed five home runs in 6 2/3 innings, but had a career-high 10 strikeouts and did not walk a batter.

The Falcons received a big boost from the middle of their lineup, where Steve Raszka, Nolan Reimold, and Andy Hudak combined to go 9-for-15 with six runs scored.

“We just need to be more consistent and if we all are, we’ll win more games,” Hudak said.

Reimold homered to left-center in the bottom of the seventh with one out and the bases empty, his team-leading eighth of the year and fourth in the last week. In the bottom of the eighth, he came up big once again with a two-run double into the gap in right-center.

“I’m seeing some pitches I like and hitting them hard,” Reimold said. “Coach has been preaching to us to stay back and drive the ball the other way and I’m finally starting to do that.”

Huskies third baseman Rob Marconi hit three home runs, including a two-run shot in the top of the ninth off of lefty Neil Schmitz. Scott Simon followed with a solo home run to tie the game.

After Schmitz walked Jake Blair with two out, Tyler Johnson, who started Saturday’s game, came in to pitch for the Falcons.

Johnson attempted to pick off Blair, who ran for second base as the ball got by first base. Blair, though, slid past second and was tagged out to end the Huskies’ threat. Johnson picked up his fourth victory of the season without even throwing a pitch.

“[Johnson] only went 24 pitches [Saturday], so we were going to ride him for a while,” Danny Schmitz said. “I’m just glad we didn’t have to worry about that.”

BG lost Friday to Northern Illinois 9-6 as the Huskies plated three in the top of the 11th. Reimold homered and went 4-5 to pace the Falcons.

On Saturday, BG fell to NIU, 9-7. The Huskies got out to a quick 6-0 lead, only to have BG come back and tie the game at six in the seventh inning. NIU put two up in the eighth and one in the ninth to take the second game of the series from BG.

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