In AW-BG reunion, Generals down Bobcats, 7-3


WHITEHOUSE — The Bowling Green baseball team held a 3-1 lead through four innings of play at Anthony Wayne on Monday, but the Generals rallied to garner a 7-3 non-conference victory.

AW’s first four runs of the contest were unearned due to Bobcat errors. including a three-run fifth inning that allowed AW to erase a two-run deficit and take the lead for good.

BG got on the board first in the opening frame on two walks and a fielding error. Junior right fielder Rhett Winger led off the game with a walk and then stole second, his 22nd theft of the season.

He would score the next batter later when junior catcher Joey Kline’s bounder up the middle was not handled cleanly by the second baseman. Winger hustled home on the play as the 4-2 relay was well late and bounced wide of the catcher.

A one-out walk to senior shortstop Jack Brown put runners at first and second, but a double-play ball and another groundout ended the threat of any further BG runs.

The Generals tied the game in the second when designated hitter Liem Eichenlaub scored on a one-out, bases-loaded ground out to second off the bat of center fielder Ben Nieckarz. Eichenlaub reached on a fielding error to start AW’s half of the inning.

The Bobcats regained the lead in the third with a pair of tallies. Senior left fielder Caleb Kunstmann started the rally with a line single to left. Following a fly out to right, Kunstmann stole his ninth bag of the year and would take third when Kline reached via a wild pitch on a strikeout.

Kline then stole second to put both runners in scoring position for Brown who delivered by bringing home Kunstmann with his grounder to second. Senior starting pitcher/designated hitter Will Brose, a native of Whitehouse, plated BG’s final run with his RBI single to right inside the bag at first.

Brose (5-4), the hard-luck loser, allowed four runs (all unearned) on five hits. He struck out one, walked two, and also hit two batters before yielding the mound to senior Andrew Claypooll with two outs in the fifth.

Brose, who would re-enter the game on the hill for one batter in the sixth, worked five complete innings against the Generals.

In AW’s three-run fifth, a throwing error allowed right fielder Tommy Kec to reach base with one out. Second baseman Lukas Potkanowicz then singled to right center, sending Kec to third. Potkanowicz took second on the play.

Third baseman Max Crandall plated Kec with a ground out to short that should have been the third out of the stanza. A walk to Eichenlaub and wild pitch then set the table for left fielder Michael James’ two-run double to deep left that cleared the bases.

It was James’ third hit of the day. He previously singled in the second and fourth innings.

After hitting a batter, Claypool ended the fifth-inning uprising with a strikeout.

BG would never threaten again. Reliever Drew Cunningham, who was credited with the win, allowed just two base runners in his four innings of work to close the game. The first hitter he faced (senior third baseman Braden Loomis) reached on an error, and then Cunningham allowed his only walk of the game to start the sixth (to Brose), but the runner was quickly erased by a double-play ball to second.

Cunningham fanned five of the 13 batters he faced, throwing 42 pitches.

AW put the game away in the sixth when Potkanowicz drilled a three-run home run to left center, scoring center fielder Ben Nieckarz and Kec who reached by HBP and walk, respectively.

Potkanowicz finished 3-for-3 at the dish. He singled in the first and fifth, and also reached base via a walk in third before being gunned down by BG center fielder Brent Boston at third base trying to advance on a fly ball. It was Boston’s fifth outfield assist of the campaign.

BG, 13-12 overall, will begin sectional play on Wednesday when it hosts Toledo Central Catholic at Bobcat Field. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. BG is the district’s fifth seed, while CC is No. 9.

The winner of the BG-CC game will play at No. 2 Napoleon on Friday.

On a side note, Monday’s game in Whitehouse also was a reunion of seven BG-AW players who played ball together last summer with the Glass City Gems. Boston, Brose, Kunstmann, James, Rigney, Gregory, and catcher Grant Przbylski were all teammates under the tutelage of head coach Rob Brose (now an assistant coach in the BGHS program).

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