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BGSU baseball at NIU series preview: Falcons seeking to continue historic MAC play start 

Drake Harlett
Bowling Green, OH – BGSU bench celebrating Gavin Ganun’s (14) grand slam to put the team ahead in the eighth inning at Steller Field in Bowling Green, Ohio

The Bowling Green baseball team resumes Mid-American Conference (MAC) play this weekend, staying on the road to battle Northern Illinois in a three-game series from Friday through Sunday.  

First pitch is set for 4 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. 

Along with looking to extend their program-record MAC play start, the Falcons are seeking to win four consecutive MAC sweeps for the first time in program history.  

The last time BG recorded four MAC sweeps in a season was during the 2010 campaign.  

2010 was also the last time BGSU won 10 straight MAC games. They have never won 11 straight MAC games at any point during a season in program history.  

Matchup History  

The teams have faced off 68 times since 1968, with Bowling Green leading the all-time series 40-27-1.  

The Falcons have won six of the previous 10 contests, including two of three last season, and have notched a pair of wins against the Huskies every season under head coach Kyle Hallock 

Scouting Bowling Green  

Bowling Green enters the series atop the MAC standings with a 12-10 overall and 9-0 conference record.  

Although the Falcons lost two out of three in their most recent series against Xavier, they have won nine consecutive conference games, marking their best start in MAC play in program history.  

Bowling Green’s offense has been arguably the best in the MAC this season, averaging 10.2 runs scored per game, the eighth-best mark in the country.  

Although they have played just 22 games, the fewest of any MAC teams, they lead the conference with 214 runs scored and a .511 slugging percentage (SLG).  

The Falcons also rank second in the conference with a .301 batting average (BA) and a .414 on-base percentage (OBP), third with 39 home runs and nine triples and fourth with 130 walks and 35 stolen bases.  

However, BG’s pitching, their biggest strength last season, has been very inconsistent this season.  

The Falcons hold a 7.68 earned-run average (ERA) and a .316 opponent batting average, ranking just eighth and ninth in the MAC, respectively.  

Scouting Northern Illinois  

Northern Illinois enters play with a 10-18 overall and 6-6 conference record.  

NIU’s offense has ranked in the middle of the pack in the MAC this season.  

Although NIU leads the conference with 134 walks and ranks fourth with 48 doubles, they rank just eighth with 162 runs scored, ninth with a .253 BA, a .381 SLG and 22 home runs. They also rank second-to-last in the conference with a .356 OBP.  

However, pitching has been a major weakness for Northern Illinois this season.  

The Huskies hold an 8.24 ERA and have hit 60 batters, the worst marks in the MAC.  

NIU has also allowed 160 walks and 47 home runs, the second worst marks in the conference, along with throwing 25 wild pitches, the third most.  

Defense has been the biggest strength for Northern Illinois this season.  

The Huskies hold a .976 team fielding percentage, the best mark in the MAC.  

Falcon Four Players to Watch  

Nathan Archer (Bowling Green #8)  

The junior outfielder ranks second in the MAC with 32 runs scored, fourth with two triples, sixth with a .648 SLG, seventh with seven home runs and 28 runs batted in (RBI) and eighth with eight doubles.  

Archer has been on fire over the past four games, batting 12-20 with three doubles and three home runs, scoring 10 times and driving in six runs.  

The Lagrange, Ohio, native is currently tied for the ninth most triples in program history with nine. He will move up to sixth all-time with his next triple.  

Archer is also four home runs shy of breaking into the top-10 list for most home runs in program history.  

Tyler Ross (Bowling Green #18) 

The senior infielder has had a breakout year this season. 

The Lewis Center, Ohio, native leads the MAC with a 1.212 OPS and a .761 SLG. He is also tied for the conference lead with three triples and ranks 10th with a .358 BA. 

Ross has reached base in all 17 games he has played this season. If you include last season’s finale, he has reached base in 18 straight games. 

Eric Erato (Northern Illinois #5)  

The senior infielder has been one of the best hitters in the MAC this season.  

Erato ranks fourth in the conference with 19 walks, fifth with 39 hits and seventh with a .361 BA and eight stolen bases.  

The Sussex, Wisconsin, native is currently riding a six-game hitting streak.  

Colin Summerhill (Northern Illinois #8)  

The senior outfielder and catcher has been the primary power source for NIU’s offense. 

The Chicago, Illinois, native is tied for the MAC lead with 22 walks, ranking second with nine home runs and seventh with 28 RBI.  

Over the past four games, Summerhill has launched two home runs and driven in five runs. 

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Tyler Kavalecz, Sports Production Director

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