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BGSU baseball’s historic season ends with a 10-5 loss to Ball State  

Avon, OH – Falcons dugout celebrating a big hit at Crushers Stadium in Avon, Ohio

The Bowling Green baseball team’s historic 2024 season ended on Saturday, as the Falcons fell to Ball State in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament at Crushers Stadium in Avon, Ohio, 10-5.  

Although they fell short of a MAC Tournament Championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance, this season’s team brought life back into a program that was briefly eliminated in 2020.  

“I think we surprised a lot of people, but we didn’t surprise ourselves,” head coach Kyle Hallock said postgame. “We talked about the program was brought back on June 3, 2020, but these guys brought it all the way back.”  

The Falcons got on the board first, as freshman first baseman TJ Takats launched his second grand slam of the season on the first pitch he saw, putting BG ahead 4-0 after two innings.  

However, the Cardinals responded in a major way, plating five runs in the top of the fourth to take a one-run lead.   

Ball State would add another run in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, extending their advantage to 9-4.  

Junior outfielder Nathan Archer attempted to kickstart BGSU’s offense in the bottom of the eighth, launching a solo home run to right field, cutting BSU’s lead to 9-5.  

With the homer, Archer is tied for the third most home runs in a single season in program history (18) and moves into sole possession of the fourth most career homers (35). He also moved into a tie for the second most runs batted in (RBI) in a single season (63) and the 10th most career RBI (136).  

Although the Cardinals added another run in the top of the ninth to make it a 10-5 game, the Falcons had one last shot to extend their season.  

Archer, the reigning MAC Player of the Year, stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, with a chance to bring Bowling Green to within one with one swing of the bat.  

However, he swung and missed on three straight pitches to end the game and BGSU’s season.  

“Credit our guys for battling,” Hallock said. “It just shows you what these seniors are about, not giving away anything, no matter whether it’s the first game or what ends up being the last game of the season.”  

BGSU’s bats struggled to get the bats going outside of the two home runs, being outhit 16-6 by the Cardinals.  

“They pitched us tough, they pitched us really well. Kind of the back-third of the season, we’ve got pitched really tough, and, you know, people start landing off-speed pitches in good spots in the zone,” Hallock said. “We took good swings; we just didn’t find the barrel as much as we normally have, and that’s it.”  

BGSU starting pitcher, senior Rigo Ramos, had a tremendous start on the mound for the Falcons.  

The left-hander struck out five of the first seven batters he faced, including a stretch of four consecutive punchouts.  

“Rigo’s got special stuff. The work he’s put in to become the pitcher he’s gotten to is a testament to him. He hasn’t given away a day. He’s worked hard on everything he’s tried to get better at, and it shows up,” Hallock said. “We’re just really proud of the growth he made, and the credit goes to him for the hard work he put in every single day.”  

There were some special moments for the Falcons late in the game, highlighted by seniors Tyler Ross and Leighton Banjoff getting hits in their final collegiate at-bats wearing the Orange and Brown.  

“For the baseball gods to kind of smile on him and give [Ross] that base-hit in his last at-bat, same thing with Leighton Banjoff, those are two guys that worked really, really hard and have come in and transformed our program. They deserve something really good to happen to them at the end of their career,” Hallock said. “They can always sit down in downtown Bowling Green and say my last at-bat was a college hit, and we were MAC champs, so I’m very happy for them.”  

Along with Ross and Banjoff, Hallock credits the entire senior class for leading the program’s revival.  

“It’s legendary,” he said. “I think every time they drive through Bowling Green, they know where we were, they know where we are, they know where they took us and they know where it’s going.”  

Although the season has ended, Hallock views it as just the beginning of Bowling Green’s program turnaround.  

“We’re not done,” he said. “This is just the start for us.”

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

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Tyler Kavalecz, Sports Production Director

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