Baseball team starts closing pitcher, takes win in first of two games

Bowling Green got the best of Toledo in the first of two games in the Battle of I-75 on Tuesday.

Not a weekend series, thus not relevant for Mid-American Conference standings, both teams deployed some unfamiliar names. Nonetheless, the Falcons worked their way to a convincing 5-1 win.

Trevor Blaylock, former starting pitcher turned closer, got a taste of starting once again for BG.

On the mound primarily to get some innings, Blaylock didn’t disappoint through seven frames. Despite striking out just two batters, he allowed just four hits, forcing the Rockets’ hitters to hit into plenty of routine defensive outs.

“Coming out of the bullpen my last few times out, I didn’t really throw the ball well,” Blaylock said. “They gave [the ball] to me today and I just knew I had to go out there, throw strikes and compete. I went out there and did that and my defense played well behind me.”

The defense played a key role in Blaylock’s dominant outing.

Fielding nearly every play cleanly and making all of the necessary plays to keep runners from advancing, or keeping them off base entirely, the defense had an error-free game.

The same couldn’t be said for Toledo’s defense and the Falcons didn’t waste time capitalizing.

Nick Glanzman singled to leadoff the bottom of the second inning before UT starter Alec Schmenk walked the next two batters, loading the bases with no outs.

Tyler Greiner, starting behind the plate for Trey Keegan, roped a ball past Nate Langhals glove at third base bringing Glanzman in to score the first run of the game. But an errant throw in got past catcher Corey Tipton allowing both Randy Righter and Derek Drewes to score as well, eventually clearing the bases and putting the Falcons up 3-0 early.

“Any time you play Toledo whether it’s conference or non-conference, you like to come out and play a good game,” said head coach Danny Schmitz. “Greiner gets the big base hit.”

This lead allowed now reliever, Blaylock, to pitch a bit more relaxed, allowing him to do what he had to do, Blaylock said.

“It’s always good to go out there and pitch when you have a lead. You can go out there and throw strikes and not stress as much,” he added.

BG added another run in the second inning before adding an insurance run in the fifth inning. Toledo eventually scored off of reliever Tony Landi in the ninth inning, but it was too little too late as the Falcons capitalized on the Rockets’ mistakes.

While the win carries little meaning for MAC standings, it carries plenty of weight in the hearts of the players and it was an important midweek win for their confidence.

“It’s a rivalry game. We always go out there trying to get them, so we went out there and played our hearts out,” Blaylock said.

The Falcons face off against Toledo again on Wednesday — this time at Toledo — before returning home for a three-game series against Akron this weekend.