In final home game, Bobcats down AW, 4-2


Bowling Green’s high school baseball team ended the home portion of its 2024 season Thursday with a 4-2 Northern Lakes League victory over Anthony Wayne at Bobcat Field.

With the win, BG improves to 15-12 overall and finishes 7-8 in league play (5-5 vs. Cardinal Division opponents; 2-3 vs. Buckeye Division foes). Four of the Bobcats’ league losses were by one run (2 within each division), including one extra-innings setback.

BG started two sophomores in the contest and threw senior Silas Green on the hill, his second start of the year and first since the spring trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. Although Green did not receive the win against the Generals, he kept AW off balance much of his 4 2/3 innings pitched.

Green allowed seven hits, while walking none. He did not record a strike out, but induced seven ground outs, two pop outs, and an additional five fly ball putouts to the outfield during his time on the hill. Green did not allow a run until the fifth when the Generals tallied twice to even the score at 2-2.

Senior Andrew Claypool (2-1) was credited with the win despite throwing only two pitches in relief of Green. With runners at the corners and two outs, Claypool was able to get left fielder Michal James, who already had recorded four hits against BG in the season series, to pop out to short stop Evan Meyer who made a tumbling catch in the outfield grass.

Junior Joey Kline, who started the game at second base, recorded the save, working a scoreless sixth and seventh. He allowed just one walk and an infield hit to second. As a team, BG did not strike out a hitter for only the third time this season. The Bobcats are now 2-1 when not fanning an opposing hitter in a game.

BG got on the board in the second when third baseman Josh Kunstmann, making his first varsity start, reached on a fielding error by his counterpart. He ended up opportunistically taking third on senior center fielder Brent Boston’s sacrifice bunt to the first baseman that was fielded in on the grass off the line.

Boston intentionally pulled up short not to be tagged and actually backpedaled back toward home plate, baiting the fielder to chase him down. Kunstmann raced to third as the tag was being applied and beat the throw to the bag.

Following a strikeout (with the putout at first), sophomore Kasey Dean dropped a single to left, scoring Kunstmann. Dean then stole second with senior left fielder Caleb Kunstmann at bat, who later walked. Sophomore catcher Cash Wisniewski, making his first varsity start, hit a soft line one hopper to the right fielder, plating Dean and sending Kunstmann to third.

Wisniewski then stole second and Kline walked for the second time in as many plate appearances to load the bases. Senior designated hitter Jack Brown teed off on the first pitch he faced, lining out directly to the center fielder and ending BG’s threat for more runs.

AW tied the game in the fifth with a pair of runs after stranding four runners in scoring position over the second, third, and fourth frames. Center fielder Ben Nieckarz led off the fifth with a line single to center. He then stole second and came home on shortstop Bryce Anderson’s RBI double over the left fielder that hit the base of the wall on one bounce.

Anderson then took third when right fielder Tommy Kec’s perfectly placed sacrifice bunt attempt down the grass at third wasn’t fielded cleanly. Anderson, who got a good jump out of the box, had the play beat anyway and was credited with a single. The Generals then knotted the score on second baseman Lukas Potkanowicz’s groundout to third.

The Bobcats, however, got both runs back in their half of the fifth. With one out, senior second baseman Rhett Winger, who came in at the pitching change in the top of the fifth, reached on an infield hit to deep short that the fielder ate with no play to be made on the runner.

Winger then stole second and took third on a past ball with Brown at bat. Brown then hit a hard bouncer inside the bag at third that the fielder couldn’t get a glove on for an RBI single. Senior first baseman Will Brose then moved Brown to second on a ground out to first for the second out of the inning. With pinch hitter senior Braden Loomis at the plate, Brown took third on a wild pitch.

Loomis then was hit by the pitch, and pinch runner Josh Kunstmann re-entered the game in his place. Kunstmann then stole second on the first pitch to batter Boston. The shortstop grabbed the late high toss and fired late back to the plate as Brown scampered home on the back end of the double steal. Kunstmann then advanced to third on another WP, but was left stranded.

BG collected just four hits, all by four different players, but capitalized on those safeties. Anderson and Kec combined for half of AW’s eight hits with each going 2-for-4.

Tanner Graf started on the bump for the Generals. He worked four complete innings before being replaced by Carter Johnson. Graf allowed two unearned runs and two singles, both in the second inning. He struck out five and walked three. Johnson, who started the fifth, took the loss. He also allowed two singles and hit one batter (all in the 5th). He worked a 1-2-3 sixth.

Weather permitting, BG will play at Napoleon today in the sectional final. Game time is set for 5 p.m. at the Wildcats’ Booster Field. In the event the game is postponed, it will be played Saturday at a time yet to be determined. A win not only would advance the Bobcats to the districts, but it would double last year’s win total.

No posts to display