Falcons look to win their first MAC game of the year

Corey Krupa and Corey Krupa

The BG baseball team will try to win its first game in conference play this weekend against Northern Illinois University.

The Falcons enter the series with a 6-13 overall record and an 0-3 record in the Mid-American Conference. The Northern Illinois Huskies have an overall record of 3-17-1 with a 1-2 record in MAC play.

The series will be played at Westfield Grand Park in Westfield, Ind. due to weather conditions.

Right-handed pitcher Cody Apthorpe will start Friday evening’s game and RHP Mike Frank will start Saturday’s game for the Falcons.

Lefty pitcher Andrew Lacinak will start the series finale against the Huskies. Lacinak comes into the game with a 3.86 ERA in 25.2 innings pitched this season.

The only time the Falcons and Huskies met during the 2013 season was in the Mid-American Conference Tournament’s first round. In that game, the Huskies jumped out to a 4-0 early lead. However, the Falcons offense scored two runs to close the gap to 4-2 in the fifth inning.

The Falcons would add a run in both the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game to force extra innings. Ethan McKenney pitched five innings in relief for BG and allowed one hit and no runs.

The Falcons scored two runs in the top of the 11th inning, and Nick Burns pitched the final 2.1 innings to close it out to earn the win. The Falcons advanced to the second round of the MAC tournament.

BG shortstop Brian Bien currently leads the team in batting with a .400 batting average. He has the second highest slugging percentage on the team at .467, and the highest on-base percentage at .466. Bien has a career batting average of .335, which also leads the Falcons. He has 16 extra-base hits and 16 stolen bases during his collegiate career.

Falcon Seniors Cody Apthorpe and T.J. Losby were named national candidates for the Senior CLASS Award this week. CLASS stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. Apthorpe and Losby were the only two players named from a MAC school.

BG has played its first 21 games of the season on the road, and will play at least the next seven away.

Following this weekend’s series, the Falcons will have played their first 24 games of the season on the road and traveled roughly 6,944 miles so far. Following this weekend’s games, the Falcons are scheduled to play at Cincinnati on Wednesday, and at Western Michigan next weekend.