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Falcon baseball beats Buffalo, remains tied for East lead PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Friday, 21 May 2010 00:08
sm_bgsu_buffalo1.6638
Bowling Green's Brennan Smith (1) pitches against Buffalo. (Photo: Andrew Weber/Sentinel-Tribune)
Bowling Green’s baseball team honored part of its storied past prior to Thursday’s game against Buffalo. PHOTO GALLERY
The Falcons then went out and moved one step closer to a piece of their own history — BG’s third straight Mid-American Conference East Division championship.
BG stroked 11 hits — including three home runs — and Brennan Smith allowed just three hits in seven innings for a 10-8 victory at Steller Field.
The Falcons, 26-21-1 overall and 16-9 in the East, remained tied with Kent for first place in the division. Kent was a 9-2 winner over Akron (3-22).
Both series finish with single games today and Saturday.
The Falcons, 13-5 in their last 18 MAC games, and Kent will share the East title if they tie. But Kent would be the No. 2 seed for the MAC tournament after winning last weekend’s series against BG. The West winner is the No. 1 seed.
Buffalo, two games out of the final MAC tournament berth, is 23-27, 9-16.
“We’re taking it one game at a time, that’s what the coaches have talked about all season,” BG senior Dennis Vaughn said.
Vaughn’s two-run home run to left-center field gave BG a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first, putting the Falcons ahead for good. Logan Meisler lined a single up the middle to start the inning and Vaughn homered with one out.
After Smith retired Buffalo in order in the top of the second, BG increased the lead to 7-1 in the bottom of the inning, the last three runs coming on T.J. Blanton’s homer. Earlier in the inning, Ryan Schlater and Meisler stroked RBI singles.
The Falcons have never won the East in three straight seasons, although they’ve won back-to-back titles two other times (1998-99, 2001-02).
Prior to the game, BG recognized Gary Haas and Jim Fisher, who played on the Falcons’ 1972 MAC championship team which advanced to the NCAA playoffs.
They were were two of the major donors in a fundraising campaign that resulted in new dugouts at Steller Field this season. The other major donors — Jim Meerpohl, who played on the 1972 team; and former BG athletics director Dick Young and his wife, Sandy — were unable to attend.
“Today is nice, but we have to come back and do it again tomorrow,” Vaughn said.
Smith complemented BG’s offense with solid pitching.
He allowed four runs on three hits, and had just one bad inning — the fifth when Brad Cochrane hit a three-run home run with after a walk and a hit batter with two out.
But the junior right-hander was in command. He retired 21 of the final 26 hitters he faced. Except for the first and fifth innings, he threw all three of his pitches for strikes.
“He gave us seven strong innings,” BG coach Danny Schmitz said. “We just told him he needed to be aggressive and to start pounding the strike zone with all three pitches, just pitching the way he’s capable of pitching.”
Smith was the MAC pitcher of the year last season, but has struggled most of this season. He’s 5-4 with an 8.53 earned-run average, allowing 103 hits and 40 walks in 69 2/3 innings.
“He was giving the hitters too much credit and not being aggressive enough,” Schmitz said. “Today looked more like Brennan.”
After Buffalo closed to within 7-4, BG pushed the lead back to 10-4 with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh.
Schlater homered in the sixth and Matt Pitzulo hit a two-run single in the seventh.
Seven different Falcons had hits, including Meisler, Vaughn, Jon Berti and Schlater with two each. Vaughn had three RBI.
Pitzulo, Schlater and Clay Duncan (who hits seventh) were a combined 3-for-4 with four RBI and four runs scored in the three bottom spots in the order. Duncan also had a key sacrifice bunt and later walked and scored. They’re hitting a combined .330 with eight homers and 67 RBI.
BG is scoring 7.96 runs per game and leads the MAC in hitting with a .328 average.
“They’re a big help to our lineup,” Vaughn said. “One through nine, everyone’s hitting. We have power at the top. We have power at the bottom.
“With every guy being a threat, it really helps the team because two or three guys don’t have to carry us.”By KEVIN GORDON
Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor
Bowling Green’s baseball team honored part of its storied past prior to Thursday’s game against Buffalo.
The Falcons then went out and moved one step closer to a piece of their own history — BG’s third straight Mid-American Conference East Division championship.
BG stroked 11 hits — including three home runs — and Brennan Smith allowed just three hits in seven innings for a 10-8 victory at Steller Field.
The Falcons, 26-21-1 overall and 16-9 in the East, remained tied with Kent for first place in the division. Kent was a 9-2 winner over Akron (3-22).
Both series finish with single games today and Saturday.
The Falcons, 13-5 in their last 18 MAC games, and Kent will share the East title if they tie. But Kent would be the No. 2 seed for the MAC tournament after winning last weekend’s series against BG. The West winner is the No. 1 seed.
Buffalo, two games out of the final MAC tournament berth, is 23-27, 9-16.
“We’re taking it one game at a time, that’s what the coaches have talked about all season,” BG senior Dennis Vaughn said.
Vaughn’s two-run home run to left-center field gave BG a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first, putting the Falcons ahead for good. Logan Meisler lined a single up the middle to start the inning and Vaughn homered with one out.
After Smith retired Buffalo in order in the top of the second, BG increased the lead to 7-1 in the bottom of the inning, the last three runs coming on T.J. Blanton’s homer. Earlier in the inning, Ryan Schlater and Meisler stroked RBI singles.
The Falcons have never won the East in three straight seasons, although they’ve won back-to-back titles two other times (1998-99, 2001-02).
Prior to the game, BG recognized Gary Haas and Jim Fisher, who played on the Falcons’ 1972 MAC championship team which advanced to the NCAA playoffs.
They were were two of the major donors in a fundraising campaign that resulted in new dugouts at Steller Field this season. The other major donors — Jim Meerpohl, who played on the 1972 team; and former BG athletics director Dick Young and his wife, Sandy — were unable to attend.
“Today is nice, but we have to come back and do it again tomorrow,” Vaughn said.
Smith complemented BG’s offense with solid pitching.
He allowed four runs on three hits, and had just one bad inning — the fifth when Brad Cochrane hit a three-run home run with after a walk and a hit batter with two out.
But the junior right-hander was in command. He retired 21 of the final 26 hitters he faced. Except for the first and fifth innings, he threw all three of his pitches for strikes.
“He gave us seven strong innings,” BG coach Danny Schmitz said. “We just told him he needed to be aggressive and to start pounding the strike zone with all three pitches, just pitching the way he’s capable of pitching.”
Smith was the MAC pitcher of the year last season, but has struggled most of this season. He’s 5-4 with an 8.53 earned-run average, allowing 103 hits and 40 walks in 69 2/3 innings.
“He was giving the hitters too much credit and not being aggressive enough,” Schmitz said. “Today looked more like Brennan.”
After Buffalo closed to within 7-4, BG pushed the lead back to 10-4 with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh.
Schlater homered in the sixth and Matt Pitzulo hit a two-run single in the seventh.
Seven different Falcons had hits, including Meisler, Vaughn, Jon Berti and Schlater with two each. Vaughn had three RBI.
Pitzulo, Schlater and Clay Duncan (who hits seventh) were a combined 3-for-4 with four RBI and four runs scored in the three bottom spots in the order. Duncan also had a key sacrifice bunt and later walked and scored. They’re hitting a combined .330 with eight homers and 67 RBI.
BG is scoring 7.96 runs per game and leads the MAC in hitting with a .328 average.
“They’re a big help to our lineup,” Vaughn said. “One through nine, everyone’s hitting. We have power at the top. We have power at the bottom.
“With every guy being a threat, it really helps the team because two or three guys don’t have to carry us.”

BGSU 10, BUFFALO 8

BUFFALO BGSU
ab r h bi ab r h bi
Agustin 2b 2 3 0 0 Meisler 2b 4 2 2 1
Pizzuto lf 3 1 0 0 Blanton cf 5 1 1 3
Cchrne dh 5 1 2 4 Vaughn lf 5 1 2 2
Kanzler pr 0 1 0 0 Martin lf 0 0 0 0
Rsnbck ss 4 0 1 0 Spencer 3b 3 0 0 0
Skncki cf 5 0 3 3 Berti ss 4 1 2 0
Krstdt rf 4 0 0 0 Galvin rf 4 1 1 0
Baldock 3b 4 0 0 0 Duncan 1b 2 1 0 0
Murphy c 4 1 2 1 Pitzulo dh 3 1 1 2
Lawler 1b 4 1 1 0 Schlater c 4 2 2 2
Totals 35 8 9 8 Totals 34 10 11 10

Buffalo 100 03 0 004 — 8 9 1
BGSU 250 00 1 20X —10 11 1
E—Rosenbeck, Blanton. LOB—Buffalo 7, BGSU 8. 2B—Cochrane, Murphy, Pitzulo. HR—Cochrane, Murphy, Blanton, Vaughn, Schlater. CS—Spencer. S—Pizuto, Duncan.
IP H R ER BB SO
Buffalo
Mye L,4-7 6 10 8 8 1 1
Hains 1 1 2 2 2 0
Klaus 1 0 0 0 01 0
BGSU
Smith W,5-4 7 3 4 4 3 5
Bruns 1 4 3 3 1 1
R. O’Brien 1 2 1 1  0
Bruns pitched to 3 batters in the 9th.
HBP—by Mye (Pitzulo), by Smith (Karstedt), by Smith (Agustin), by Mye (Galvin), by Hains (Berti). WP—Mye, Smith 2.

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
Team W L
BOWLING GREEN 16 9
Kent State 16 9
Ohio 13 12
Miami 11 14
Buffalo 9 16
Akron 3 22
WEST DIVISION
Team W L
Ball State 18 7
Central Michigan 18 7
Toledo 18 7
Eastern Michigan 13 12
Northern Illinois 10 15
Western Michigan 5 20
Thursday’s Games
BOWLING GREEN 10, Buffalo 8
Kent State 9, Akron 2
Miami 8, Ohio 1
Toledo 8, Ball State 7
Central Michigan 6, Eastern Michigan 0
Northern Illinois 7, Western Michigan 5
Today’s and Saturday’s Games
Buffalo at BOWLING GREEN, 1 p.m.
Kent State at Akron
Ohio at Miami
Ball State at Toledo
Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan
Western Michigan at Northern Illinois
(end of regular season)
Last Updated on Friday, 21 May 2010 19:33
 

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