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Falcons beat Zips 10-1 in home opener, improve to 7-0 in MAC play

Bowling Green, OH- BGSU sophomore right-handed pitcher DJ Newman (28) after releasing the ball in the second inning with two outs at Steller Field

Bowling Green baseball (9-8) routed the Akron Zips (5-15) in a cold and rainy home opener on Friday afternoon by a score of 10-1, marking the fourth game that the Falcons have won by seven runs or more this season.  

BGSU came into the home opener on a historic run, going 6-0 to start Mid-American Conference (MAC) play for the first time since 1995. 

Bowling Green starting pitcher DJ Newman threw only six pitches in the top of the first, giving up two quick flyouts split in the middle by a strike out.  

The Falcons got on the board first in the bottom of the first after third baseman Leighton Banjoff’s single got a little help thanks to an error by Akron first baseman James Strom, allowing shortstop Sam Seidel to touch home plate.  

Bowling Green threatened in the bottom of the fourth with a leadoff double from Banjoff followed by a walk by first baseman TJ Takats and a hit batter that put leadoff hitter Nathan Archer up to bat with the bases loaded and two outs.  

Akron starting pitcher Dawson Tourney cracked under the pressure, hitting Archer with the third pitch of the at bat and scoring Banjoff from third, putting the Falcons up 2-0.  

The Falcons scored their third run via an unconventional triple steal that confused Akron followed by two more courtesy of a single by Seidel, giving the Falcons a comfortable 5-0 lead going into the fifth inning.  

Newman proceeded to shut down the Zips until he was finally taken from the game after throwing a stellar 7.1 innings of scoreless ball while striking out four in the home opener start, marking his second start of seven innings or more without allowing a run this season.  

BGSU reliever Landon Willeman would come in to replace Newman and strike out the first two batters he faced, keeping the good pitching day going.  

The Falcons tacked on five more in the bottom of the eighth starting with a sacrifice bunt down the third base line from Banjoff that allowed him to reach third due to a throwing error, and ending with two RBI singles followed by back-to-back RBI groundouts that put the Falcons up 10-0.  

Akron didn’t go down without a fight however, as they scored one run off an RBI double by catcher Michael Sprockett. Willeman finished the job with a pop fly to center field that would put a cap on the home opening win for the Falcons.  

Bowling Green improved to 7-0 in MAC play with the win and are now 9-8 overall on the year, sending Akron to a 5-15 record. 

The Falcons look to go to 8-0 in conference play for the first time in school history on Saturday, March 23 in game two against the Zips with first pitch at 3 p.m.. The two teams will round out the series on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. 

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

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