BG loses two games to EMU

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Hitting the ball, a BG baseball player makes contact with a pitch during the Falcons’ series with Eastern Michigan this past weekend.

After a Friday afternoon win against Eastern Michigan, the BG baseball team dropped two in a row as the visiting Eagles won an offensive-filled, error-ridden MAC series during the weekend.

BG jumped out to a big lead early in Friday’s first game, taking a 9-1 lead by the fifth inning en route to a 10-4 win.

Jake Thomas went 4-5 with a triple, knocking in three runners in a breakout offensive outburst.

Despite leaving nine runners on base and making five errors on defense, BG built the lead off timely hitting and constant defensive miscues from the Eagles.

In the third inning, already up 4-1, BG added a trio of insurance runs as five Falcons reached base to start the inning, including four hits.

Meanwhile, BG starter Cody Apthorpe (2-2) pitched a gem, throwing seven scoreless innings on just three hits.

The Falcons’ infield had a tough game defensively, with Brian Bien at shortstop, Jeremy Shay at first base and Nick Glanzman at third base combining for four errors.

Eastern Michigan was held scoreless from the second through the seventh inning. Their three runs late in the game were too little and too late to make any substantial comeback.

In the second game, the roles were reversed: Eastern Michigan pummeled Falcon starter Mike Frank with 10 hits in less than four innings. Frank surrendered six runs, but only four earned, as more defensive woes for BG carried into game two, which the Eagles won, 11-6.

Recording five errors for the second straight game, BG found themselves behind 8-1 by the fifth inning. The home team’s bullpen fared no better against the Eagles, as Ben Singer was knocked around for three hits and two earned runs in just an inning of work.

“The bottom line is [the team] has to be able to play defense,” Head Coach Danny Schmitz said. “I think that was the tattle tale of the game.”

Frank lost his fifth game of the season, as his ERA jumped to 4.33 on the season, the second worst of any BG starter.

In the sixth, BG pulled two within four runs, all with two outs. Glanzman reached on a throwing error, later scoring on a double from Andrew Kubuski.

Logan Walker followed with a two-run shot, his first home run of the season.

Despite three more runs in the bottom of the ninth for BG, insurance runs from the Eagles in the top half cemented Eastern Michigan’s 11-6 win, making Sunday’s contest the rubber game of the series.

Few things take the life out of a home team crowd like a six-run first inning from the visiting offense.

Such was BG starter Trevor Blaylock’s fate in the third game, lasting just two-thirds of an inning after giving up six runs off five hits, as the Eagles cruised to a 13-5 win to close out the series.

The moniker “fireman,” used to describe a bullpen specializing in shutting down a steamrolling offense, may have been earned by BG reliever Jason Link, who came on to replace Blaylock in the first.

In to face the top of the lineup following a stretch where six of seven Eagles hitters reached base, Link induced a fly ball out to end the inning.

The BG sophomore went another three innings to help preserve the Falcons bullpen, giving up a lone earned run off three hits.

Down 7-0 into the bottom of the second, BG managed a brief swing in momentum, cutting the lead to 7-3 after three innings.

But Eagles starter Paul Schaak (3-1) kept his team ahead, notching a win after five strenuous innings where he gave up six hits and three earned runs, throwing a walk, wild pitch and a hit batter.

Two more three-run innings from the Eagles gave them a 13-5 lead to stay.

With the loss, Blaylock moved to an 0-6 record, his ERA inflated to 6.10 through just seven starts. The sophomore starter has averaged around 4 1/3 innings per outing.

With 12 errors in the series, BG’s total moved to 64 through 26 games as their record dropped to 7-19. The team averages nearly 2.5 errors per game.

Editor’s Note: Assistant Sports Editor Alex Krempasky also contributed to this story.