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Falcon baseball wins, shares MAC East title PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Monday, 24 May 2010 09:31
sm_bgsu_buffalo1.9946
Bowling Green's Logan Meisler (7) watchs after hitting the ball against Buffalo. (Photo: Andrew Weber/Sentinel-Tribune)
Bowling Green’s bats scripted another terrific finish Saturday.
On a day the Falcons honored their outstanding senior class, it was only appropriate that a senior stroked the hit that provided the team with its third straight Mid-American Conference East Division title.
Derek Spencer’s home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Falcons a 9-8 victory over Buffalo at Steller Field. PHOTO GALLERY
The third baseman and cleanup hitter lined a fastball that barely cleared the right-field fence, enabling BG to win three consecutive East titles for the first time.
Spencer’s 12th homer of the season came after Buffalo erased an 8-6 deficit with two out in the ninth. He hit a fastball on the outside half of the plate to the opposite field.
“I was looking for a pitch out over the plate and I saw the wind was blowing out to right, so I figured I’d try to help myself as much as possible,” said Spencer, a .306 hitter. “I was just trying to hit a fastball. I was looking fastball the whole time.
“I wasn’t sure at all if would (clear the fence). I thought I hit it too low,” said Spencer, who still would have doubled had the ball hit the fence. “I was screaming for it to get up all the way to first base. I’m just happy it went out.”
The Falcons shared the division title with Kent, which finished with a 20-7 win at Akron. Both teams were 18-9, but Kent earned the No. 2 seed for the MAC Tournament which begins Wednesday in Chillicothe. Kent won the tiebreaker, based on its series win against BG the previous weekend.
BG, 28-21-1 overall, is the No. 5 seed and will face No. 4 Ball State (29-26) at 9 a.m., although the time is tentative.
The Falcons are 16-3 in their last 19 conference games since a 32-10 loss April 10 at home to Ball State in the second of their three-game series. BG rallied a 9-3 win in the series finale and has played consistently well since.
BG was the preseason favorite to win the East after capturing the MAC’s regular-season championship the last two seasons. The Falcons had won back-to-back East titles in 1998 and 1999, and 2001 and 2002.
“I’m very proud of them, each and every one of them. This is probably as rewarding as anything that we’ve accomplished here,” said BG coach Danny Schmitz, who is in his 20th season. His teams played in the NCAAs in 1998 and 1999.
After posting losing records in 2006 and 2007, BG is 88-63-1 overall and 45-23 in the MAC the last three seasons.
In addition to Spencer, four other seniors start — Logan Meisler at second, T.J. Blanton in center, Dennis Vaughn in left and Mark Galvin in right. They’re also five of the top six hitters in the order.
The five were a combined 9-for-23 in the game with five runs scored and five RBI.
BG’s other seniors are pitcher Kevin Leady, an Eastwood High School graduate who is 8-2; and support players Brandon McFarland, a Perrysburg graduate; Richie O’Brien and David Borcherdt.
“I’m very happy for our seniors. They came into the program when it was struggling and helped turn it around,” Schmitz said. “Just the wins they’ve accumulated is phenomenal, but they’ve also turned the approach around.”
BG stroked 17 hits and needed every one of them against Buffalo (23-29, 9-18), which played hard all weekend even after being eliminated from tournament consideration Friday.
The Bulls erased a 4-1 lead after one inning to lead 6-5 in the seventh before Vaughn’s homer tied the game in the bottom of the seventh.
BG regained the lead in the eighth when it scored twice. Clay Duncan, who hit a solo homer in the sixth, doubled with one out, took third on Matt Pitzulo’s bloop single to center and came home on Ryan Schlater’s sacrifice fly to left.
Pitzulo went to second when Meisler reached on an infield error. Blanton’s two-out single scored Pitzulo.
Spencer, Berti and Duncan each had three hits for the Falcons, who lead the MAC with a .334 batting average. They score 8.1 runs per game.
“Our guys battled all day long,” Schmitz said.

BUFFALO BGSU
ab r h bi ab r h bi
Agustin 2b 5 1 1 1 Meisler 2b 5 1 1 0
Pizzuto dh 5 3 4 0 Blanton cf 5 0 2 1
Cchrn 3b 5 1 2 2 Vaughn lf 5 2 2 1
Rsnbck ss 4 0 1 0 Martin lf 0 0 0 0
Kanzler pr 0 1 0 0 Spencer 3b5 1 3 2
Baldock 3b 0 0 0 0 Berti ss 4 1 3 1
Sknczki cf 4 0 1 2 Galvin rf 3 1 1 1
Karstedt rf 5 0 0 0 Duncan 1b 4 2 3 2
Murphy c 3 1 2 0 Pitzulo dh 4 1 2 0
Neff lf 4 1 2 1 Schlater c 2 0 0 1
Lawler 1b 4 0 1 1
Totals 39 8 14 7 Totals 37 9 16 9

Buffalo 100 02 0 302 —8 14 2
BGSU 400 001 121 —9 17 1
(No out when winning run scored)
E—Austin, Rosenbeck, Meisler. DP—Buffalo 1, BGSU 1. LOB—Buffalo 7, BGSU 7. 2B—Neff, Lawler, Duncan. HR—Augustin, Cochrane, Vaughn, Spencer, Duncan. SF—Skonieczki, Schlater. SB—Berti, Galvin. CS—Berti.
IP H R ER BB SO
Buffalo
Edwards 6 1-3 12 6 6 2 0
Thompson L,2-3
1 2-3 4 3 2 0 2
BGSU
Apthorpe 4 3 3 2 1 1
Bruns 2 6 2 2 0 2
Gerdeman 2 2 1 1 0 1
P. O’Brien (W,4-2) 1 3 2 1 0 1
Apthorpe pitched to 2 batters in the 5th.
Bruns pitched to 2 batters in the 7th.
HBP—by Apthorpe (Rosenbeck). PB—Schlater 2.

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE
BASEBALL
EAST DIVISION
Team W L
BOWLING GREEN 18 9
Kent State 18 9
Miami 13 14
Ohio 13 14
Buffalo 9 18
Akron 3 24
WEST DIVISION
Team W L
Central Michigan 20 7
Toledo 19 8
Ball State 19 8
Eastern Michigan 13 14
Northern Illinois 12 15
Western Michigan 5 22
Friday’s Game
Miami 7, Ohio 3
Saturday’s Games
BOWLING GREEN 9, Buffalo 8
Kent State 20, Akron 7
Miami 16, Ohio 9
Toledo 8, Ball State 7
Central Michigan 10, Eastern Michigan 1
Northern Illinois 6, Western Michigan 3
(end of regular season)

MAC TOURNAMENT
At Chillicothe/Double elimination
(All times are tentative)
Wednesday’s Games
Game 1 — No. 4 Ball State vs. No. 5 BOWLING GREEN, 9 a.m.
Game 2 — No. 3 Toledo vs. No. 6 Miami, 12:30 p.m.
Game 3 — No. 2 Kent State vs. No. 7 Eastern Michigan, 4 p.m.
Game 4 — No. 1 Central Michigan vs. No. 8 Ohio, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday’s Games
Game 5 — Toledo-Miami loser vs. Kent-Eastern loser, 9 a.m.
Game 6 — BG-Ball State loser vs. Central-Ohio loser, 12:30 p.m.
Game 7 — BG-Ball State winner vs. Central-Ohio winner, 4 p.m.
Game 8 — Toledo-Miami winner vs. Kent-Eastern winner, 7:30 p.m.
Friday’s Games
Game 9 — Game 7 loser vs. Game 6 winner, 9 a.m.
Game 10 — Game 5 winner vs. Game 8 loser, 12:30 p.m.
Game 11 — Game 7 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 4 p.m.
Game 12 — Game 8 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 7:30 p.m.
May 29
Game 13 — Game 11 winner vs. Game 11 loser, tba (if necessary)
Game 14 — Game 12 winner vs. Game 12 loser, tba (if necessary)
Game 15 — Championship, Game 13 winner vs. Game 14 winner, 1 p.m.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 May 2010 13:26
 

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