An expected outcome, sure, but it's still a little sad. I will admit not being able to watch much of BG baseball this season, but it was a great surprise to see them compete on a semi-national stage (ESPN3) this weekend. They had a better chance to win this game than they did Friday, which was a little sloppy, and they had a very specific chance to get back in the game in the eighth inning.
|Oklahoma State Cowboys||1||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||0||7||9||1|
|Bowling Green Falcons||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||3||8||1|
|WP: Tyler Nurdin
LP: Cody Apthorpe
The first couple innings were a little painful. Sometimes you don't have your good stuff, and for whatever reason, Cody Apthorpe didn't have much command. After getting the first two outs on nifty defensive plays behind him, Apthorpe walked the bases loaded before escaping in the first with just a single run, but in the end he couldn't escape the second inning, being charged with four runs, four walks and two wild pitches. Keeping them in the game,was Ben Singer, who pitched remarkably for the next 4 2/3 innings, facing the minimum by allowing just two hits and inducing two double plays.
Offensively BGSU scratched together a run in the second as Logan Walker was nicked by a pitch, advanced to second on a hit, third on a groundout, and home on a wild pitch. For the next five innings BGSU threatened but couldn't touch the scoreboard, so credit goes to the cowboys' Tyler Nurdin for the first seven innings.
But that eighth. Oh man, if ever they needed another 7-run inning, it was then.
Patrick Lancaster singled and Jeremy Shay drew a walk, forcing Nurdin out of the game. Then T.J. Losby singled home a run, then BG scored again on an error on the next play. After a couple strikeouts, Jake Thomas reached on a hit by pitch, setting up a huge pinch hit opportunity for senior Matt Pitzulo, who could've tied the game with a ball over the fence. He had zero homers on the year but six in his career. On a 3-2 pitch Pitzulo harmlessly flied out to center, ending the threat.
But despite the loss, it was a much better game than Friday. Brian Bien also had a terrific game, reaching base on his first three at bats with singles.
The season ends for BGSU at 24-31, which in any other context would be a disappointment, but disproves the theory that losing seasons are always bad. On the contrary, the Falcons will graduate just two seniors: Pitzulo and Nick Bruns, who threw the shutout against Ball State and also appeared in this game, finishing up with two earned runs and four strikeouts in three innings. Everybody else comes back.
Although college baseball doesn't get the type of attention that other sports do — especially in the MAC (and heck, the northern states in general) — this excites me, especially as a BG fan because although the Falcons don't win many conference championships, so we'll latch onto the teams that know how to win.