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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Season ends with victory

After giving up three runs in the fourth inning, Falcons pitcher Alan Brech caught fire, as did the Falcon offense. Brech retired the next 10 batters and the Falcons scored the game’s final 10 runs to defeat Western Michigan 11-3 in the regular season finale at Stellar Field on Sunday.

The Falcons trailed 3-1 in the fourth inning, but tied the score in the bottom of the fourth with a sacrifice fly from Spencer Schmitz and an RBI single coming from Jimmy Lipari. But in the fifth, the Falcons broke the tie, pounding in four runs off Broncos relief pitcher Zach Straayer.

The Falcons continued their offensive tear in the seventh and eighth innings with a pair of homeruns from Tyler Wasserman and Andy Hudak, along with an RBI double from Nolan Reimold.

Hudak has hit homeruns in back to back games for the Falcons. He has continued to slaughter Broncos pitchers, hitting 8-for-12 with two homeruns and five RBI’s in the three-game series against Western Michigan.

“I’ve been feeling pretty good, pretty comfortable,” Hudak said. “I just came out and did the same thing I did yesterday and really just tried to hit the ball hard.”

Falcon head coach Danny Schmitz said the victory resulted from an all around team effort.

“It starts with the pitching,” Schmitz said. “I thought we played real solid defense and then of course the hitting. We’ve really been swinging the bats well and putting some runs on the board. We did the things we needed to do offensively to be successful.”

Schmitz said that this was also a big win for the seniors in their last game.

“We have five seniors this year, and it was a nice way to send them out,” he said.

Seniors David Barkholz, Dino Cowell, Ryan Lindquist, Spencer Schmitz and Neil Schmitz were honored before the game.

Brech said the Falcon’s offense fed off of key hits from the seniors.

“Barkholz got us started with a run early in the second inning and Spencer came up big with two sacrifice flies,” Brech said. “The seniors led and everyone else followed.”

Coach Schmitz said that he was proud of the way Brech pitched for the Falcons, especially after having pitched the day before.

“We brought him in to close out yesterday’s game and we weren’t quite sure how long he would go today, but he sure is a competitor,” Schmitz said. “I thought he battled real well for us and basically had one off inning and that was it.”

Hudak said Brech has pitched outstanding in the last two starts. He said that despite the fact that Brech is only a freshman, he should be considered a sophomore because of the experience he has gained

“He had to come out and show something today and he really did,” Hudak said. “It’s a positive going into next year for him.”

The Falcons will now begin thinking about next year. They entered the game with the chance of earning a spot in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. However, their playoff hopes were crushed soon after the game, when both Northern Illinois and Akron won. The Falcons needed both teams to lose to advance to postseason play. Coach Schmitz said that if it were not for the injuries the Falcons have suffered this season, this team would have probably been in the playoffs.

“We got banged up with some injuries down the stretch,” Schmitz said. “That didn’t help us out, but still this program expects to be in the tournament every year. But I’m proud of the guys because we’ve had a number of guys play hurt down the stretch, and it shows a lot of heart and desire.”

With the Falcons season now over, many of their current hitting streaks were forced to end with the season, even though they were all kept alive. Nolan Reimold ended the season on a 13-game hitting streak, Jimmy Lipari ended the season on an 11-game hitting streak and Eric Lawson finished with a 10-game hitting streak.

Reimold also ended the season with a .404 batting average and a .749 slugging percentage, both among the top in the nation. Also, Falcon senior Neil Schmitz made his 91st career appearance, pitching against the final Broncos batter of the game. He holds the record for most appearances all-time at BGSU, and is second all-time in MAC history. The Falcons ended the season with an overall record of 28-19 with a 13-11 record in the MAC.

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