Story courtesy of Bowling Green Sports Information
Louisville 8, Bowling Green 3
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Playing in their first NCAA Tournament game in 14 years, the Bowling Green State University baseball team was defeated by University of Louisville, 8-3, on Friday night in the NCAA Louisville Regional. The game, which was played at UofL’s Jim Patterson Stadium, was the first NCAA Tournament contest for the program since 1999.
Despite an early lead in the game, the Falcons committed two errors and allowed the Cardinals to grab momentum. With the loss, Bowling Green drops to 24-30 on the season. The Falcons are 2-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
After the first two were out in the top of the first, junior Jeremy Shay would give the Falcons a lead with his sixth home run of the season. Shay would get a two-strike slider from UofL starter Chad Green, depositing it into the crowd over the left-center field wall.
Falcons’ starting pitcher Mike Frank got off to a good start, retiring the Cardinals in order in the first. But, Louisville would tie the game in the bottom of the second, as Coco Johnson got on top of a 1-0 fastball for a solo home run.
Following a 25-minute rain delay in the bottom of the third, Louisville would have a runner on first with nobody out. A sacrifice bunt would advance the runner to second with one out, but T.J. Losby would catch the runner attempting to steal third for the second out of the inning. Frank would get a ground ball which looked like it would get him out of the inning, but an errant throw to first would allow a UofL runner to reach base. After a wild pitch advanced the runner to second, Johnson would mash his second home run of the game to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead.
Four Louisville hits coupled with a Falcon error opened the door for a big UofL inning, as they would score four times in the fifth to open up a commanding 7-1 lead.
The Falcons would get two runs back in the top of the sixth inning, closing the gap to 7-3. Brian Bien, who was on base three times in the game, began the frame with a walk. Patrick Lancaster would then double into the left field bullpen, with Bien coming all the way around from first to score. Following a line out, Shay would single to put runners on the corners with one out. Losby would elevate a ball during the next at-bat into left-center field, the flyout carrying deep enough to bring Lancaster home from third.
Louisville would add a run in the bottom of the sixth, as the Cardinals turned a leadoff single into an 8-3 lead.
That would be the only run that reliever Ethan McKenney would surrender, as he went the final three innings.
The Falcons could not scratch a hit across the board in the final three innings, as three UofL relievers combined to hold the Falcons at bay down the stretch.
The Falcons, with their backs against the wall, will fight for their lives tomorrow afternoon. The Falcons will play Oklahoma State in an elimination game beginning at 12:00 p.m. Cody Apthorpe will start the game for the Orange and Brown. Last season, OSU swept a series from the Falcons in Stillwater.