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April 18, 2024

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BGSU baseball vs Middle Tennessee State preview: Falcons looking to start 2024 strong

Sam+Seidel+heading+to+first+after+hitting+the+ball.
Keira Ellenberger
Sam Seidel heading to first after hitting the ball.

After nearly nine months of waiting, the Bowling Green baseball team will begin the 2024 season by travelling to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to battle Middle Tennessee State in a three-game series from Friday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 18.  

First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.  

The Falcons are seeking their first season-opener and season-opening series victory since 2022, along with their first season-opening sweep since 2006.  

Matchup History  

The matchup will mark the 11th, 12th and 13th all-time meeting between the two teams dating back to 2007, with the Raiders leading the series 7-3.   

MTSU has won the past four games and six of the past seven matchups against BG.  

Friday will mark the first meeting between the teams since Middle Tennessee State swept the Falcons in three games at the beginning of the 2021 season 

Scouting Bowling Green  

The Falcons finished with a 20-30 overall and 13-17 conference record last season, ranking seventh in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and missing the postseason conference tournament.  

According to the conference preseason coach’s poll, BG was picked to finish eighth in the MAC this season.   

The Falcons are led by fourth-year head coach Kyle Hallock, who received a two-year extension this offseason. 

Bowling Green struggled on offense last season, finishing with a .243 batting average, a .386 slugging percentage and a .363 on-base percentage, the worst, second and third-worst marks in the MAC, respectively.  

However, BGSU was one of the better pitching teams in the conference last season, holding a 5.88-team ERA, the third-best in the MAC.  

Scouting Middle Tennessee State  

The Raiders finished with a 27-29 overall and 14-16 conference record last season, including a 17-12 home record.  

MTSU finished in seventh place in the Conference-USA (CUSA) regular season standings and advanced to the semifinals of the conference postseason tournament.  

According to the conference preseason poll, Middle Tennessee State was picked to finish in sixth place in CUSA this season.   

The Raiders are led by head coach Jerry Meyers, who served as interim head coach last season.  

Middle Tennessee State finished with a .289 batting average last season, the third-best in CUSA, and 68 stolen bases, tied for the second most in the conference.  

However, the Raiders also drew the fewest walks in CUSA last season, 174, and hit the third-fewest home runs in the conference, 49.  

MTSU struggled with pitching last season.  

On top of throwing 63 wild pitches and giving up 84 home runs last season, both the most in CUSA, the Raiders finished with the second-highest ERA, 6.33, second fewest strikeouts, 414, and the third-most walks in the conference, 245.  

Falcon Four Players to Watch  

DJ Newman (Bowling Green #28)  

The sophomore two-way pitcher and outfielder is the projected starter for the Falcons on Friday.  

Newman dominated on both sides of the ball last season 

On the mound, the right-hander went 3-2 with a 3.49 ERA in 15 games and three starts, finishing with 33 strikeouts and just five walks in 28.1 innings pitched.   

At the plate, Newman led the team with a .481 on-base percentage and .383 batting average, finishing third and fourth in the MAC, respectively.   

The Archbold, Ohio, native was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Freshman All-America First Team while earning First-Team All-MAC and MAC Freshman Pitcher of the Year honors last season.  

Nic Good (Bowling Green #25)  

The junior left-handed pitcher is the projected starter for Bowling Green on Saturday.  

Good went 1-0 with a 4.74 ERA in 14 games and one start last season.  

The Grosse Pointe, Michigan, native finished with 13 strikeouts and 15 walks while allowing just three extra-base hits in 19 innings pitched last season.  

Calvin Mitchell (Bowling Green #33)  

The sophomore right-handed pitcher is the projected starter for the Falcons on Sunday.  

The Brecksville, Ohio, native transferred to BG after playing last season at Wright State.  

Mitchell pitched in four games in relief for the Raiders last season, finishing with a 10.80 ERA, six strikeouts and three walks in five innings pitched.  

Nathan Archer (Bowling Green #8)  

The junior outfielder is one of the key returning players for Bowling Green this season.  

Archer garnered Second-Team All-MAC and All-MAC Defensive Team honors last season, finishing with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage on 137 chances, the best among non-pitchers in the MAC.  

The Lagrange, Ohio, native led the team with nine home runs and seven sacrifice flies, finished second with 51 hits, two triples, 39 runs batted in, 10 stolen bases and a .497 slugging percentage, and finished third with 32 runs scored, eight doubles and a .282 batting average. 

For more stories related to BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn).

 

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