LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On Friday, Bowling Green State University baseball (2-3) went down to the wire, losing 2-1, against No. 5 Louisville at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Despite losing by one run, BGSU coach Kyle Hallock said, “This series is far from over. We will be back tomorrow ready to go,”
So, the Falcons bested the Cardinals 9-6 on Saturday for the first win in program history over a top five team in the nation. The rubber match between the Falcons and Cardinals is Sunday.
“Today we made a little history. Tomorrow, we want to make more. This is why you come to Bowling Green,” Hallock said.
The high-scoring game saw a lull from the fifth to the seventh inning with Louisville leading 6-5, but a four-run eighth made the difference for the Falcons, capturing the win to move to 2-3 on the season and even the weekend series with Louisville.
Leighton Banjoff ignited the Bowling Green offense with a two-run home run in the third inning to close the gap to 5-3 after a second inning RBI single by Tyler Ross.
The scoring continued for BGSU in the fourth with a two-RBI single by Kyle Gurney, tying the game at 5-5 before Louisville reclaimed the lead in the bottom half, 6-5, holding it through the seventh inning.
In the eighth, the Falcons loaded the bases after an initial out call was reversed. With the bases juiced, Nathan Archer singled to bring home the first run. Ross followed up by being hit by a pitch, bringing in another BGSU run. The rally continued with Justin Fugitt hitting into a fielder’s choice to score Sam Seidel.
The fourth run of the inning, and final of the game, came from Archer swiping home for his second stolen base of the year, clinching the 9-6 score.
On the mound, the Falcons once again received a scoreless group outing from the bullpen. Freshman Luke Krouse came on first, pitching a team-high 3.2 innings, giving up two hits and striking out a pair as well.
Connar Penrod took over from there for 1.1 innings, giving up three hits while striking out three en route to earning his second win in as many appearances.
Owen Recker came on in the ninth to shut down the game, recording his first save of the season and the second of his career.
On Friday, Gage Schenk put together another strong start for the Falcons, giving up just two runs over the six-plus innings of work.
BGSU tallied their lone run of the game in the fifth, but a seventh inning tally made the difference for Louisville in a 2-1 final as the Falcons held the Cardinals to their lowest run total of the season.
The game began with a close pitcher’s duel, playing the first three innings in less than 35 minutes,
Schenk allowed just one run on one hit through the first three innings. The bottom half of the third saw Schenk tally two strikeouts with an impressive defensive play by Ross on a bunt, completed with a pick at first base by Banjoff
The offense for the Falcons began to find their footing in the top of the fourth. With two outs, Fugitt reached on a bunt hit, stealing second and advancing to third on a throwing error before the end of the inning.
Schenk continued his dominance with one-two-three innings in the fourth and the fifth. In the top of the sixth, Bowling Green evened up the score.
Adam Fallon singled up the middle with one out and advanced to third on a pickoff attempt throwing error. That set up an RBI single for Ross, chopping a base hit over the shortstop to bring the score to 1-1.
Just one more run was scored in the game, being the difference. A double in the bottom of the seventh set up an RBI single for Louisville, pushing them in front for the eventual 2-1 final.