Falcons top No.1 Central Michigan, win fourth straight MAC series



Its biggest series of the season hardly held back the Bowling Green baseball team over the weekend.

With a series split going into the rubber match on Sunday, the Falcons had a chance to serve the No.1 team in the Mid-American Conference, Central Michigan, its first MAC series loss this season.

The Falcons wasted no time.

Kory Brown led off the game with a double before Brandon Howard laid a sacrifice bunt down, moving Brown just 90 feet from scoring the game’s first run.

Trey Keegan then grounded out to third as Brown came into score, en route to a 5-1 win clinching the game and the series. BG improved its overall record to 16-22 and 9-9 in the MAC.

“We preach the three phases and that’s exactly what we got in today’s game,” said head coach Danny Schmitz.

True freshman Zac Carey did the offense a favor, tossing 7 1/3 innings of three-hit, one-run ball. Fellow freshman Kody Brown came on for the final five outs allowing just one baserunner — via the walk — holding the Chippewas in check.

“Zac Carey and Kody Brown combined to throw a tremendous game. Then I thought we made some great defensive plays and obviously had the bats rolling today,” Schmitz said.

BG scored a run in each of the first three innings before another in both fifth and seventh innings, totaling a gaudy 16 hits to just three for CMU. Matt Smith — who finished 3-4 at the plate — also added a web gem caliber play in the seventh inning, bringing back a would-be homerun and keeping the score locked at 5-1.

BG began the weekend in similar fashion.

Jason Link was the Friday starter, striking out a season-high nine batters over seven frames, allowing just one unearned run on three hits.

“Jason Link was dynamite today and gave us just what we needed,” Schmitz said.

He paced the Falcons to a 7-2 win to open the series despite two potentially costly fielding errors leading to runs.

“I felt good today with all of my pitches,” said senior pitcher Jason Link. “I was just trying to pound the zone with all my pitches and put them away when I could.”

BG wasn’t quiet with the bats either.

Kory Brown led the game off with a solo-homerun before it put up a four-spot in the fifth inning. The Falcons scored again in the sixth before adding an insurance run in the ninth, capping off a 10-hit day for the team.

The second game of the series was problematic

once again.

Losing the same second game in each of its last two series, BG was hampered again with another loss despite scoring first.

Kory Brown knocked in Randy Righter with a sacrifice fly in the third inning, but a quiet final six innings at the dish ultimately cost them the win.

“We got another good effort on the mound, but give their pitcher credit for keeping our offense off balance,” Schmitz said.

Despite the Saturday loss, the Falcons finished the weekend with their fourth consecutive MAC series win and bumped their conference record to .500 for the first time this season.

Conference rival and other half of the I-75 rivalry, Toledo comes to Bowling Green on Tuesday for a midweek bout before the Falcons go up north on Wednesday for a rematch. The two games are the only regular season matchups for BG and the Rockets.