Baseball Begins Spring Break Trip With Weekend Series At Campbell

by Scott Swegan, BGSU Athletic Communications

Greg Basalyga

Baseball | Wed, Mar, 04

Bowling Green Falcons (3-3)
at
Campbell Camels (8-2)
Jim Perry Stadium (Buies Creek, N.C.)
Friday (March 6, 4:00 pm) LIVE STATS | AUDIO
Saturday (March 7, 4:00 pm) LIVE STATS | AUDIO
Sunday (March 8, 1:00 pm) LIVE STATS | AUDIO
Complete Game Notes (.pdf)

About The Falcons
• Bowling Green (3-3) begins their annual spring break trip with a three-game series at Campbell University (March 6-8). Following the weekend series in Buies Creek, N.C., BGSU will travel to Winter Haven, Fla. for five games from March 10-14.
• The Falcon baseball program is in the midst of its 96th season of varsity baseball in 2015. Bowling Green has an all-time record of 1,591-1,375-27 in its history. The Falcons have won seven MAC East Division titles and five MAC regular season championships in program history.
• The last time that Bowling Green won their first game of the season - 2013 - the Falcons went on to become Mid-American Conference Tournament champions and NCAA Tournament participants.
• BGSU is hitting .310 as a team through three games and has an earned run average of 5.69.
• Bowling Green is off to their best start since 2007, when the Falcons began the season 4-2 through their first six games.

Head Coach Danny Schmitz And Staff
• Head coach Danny Schmitz is in his 25th season at the helm of the Orange and Brown. Schmitz has a career record of 640-615-5 as head coach of the Falcons.
• Schmitz's coaching staff for the 2015 season features two former Falcons who played under him. Rick Blanc, a Falcon pitcher on the 1998 NCAA Regional team, enters his eighth season as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, while Ryan Shay, a former Falcon great under Schmitz, enters his first season as an assistant coach—working primarily with hitters and infielders. Garrett Gray returns for his second season as volunteer coach, working with catchers and hitters.

The Last Time Out
• Bowling Green got back on the field in Emerson, Ga. for a three-game set against Eastern Kentucky, defeating the Colonels in 2-of-3. The Falcons hit .336 over the weekend and scored 32 runs in the series.
• Campbell continues to impress, as they are off to an 8-2 start in 2015. The Camels have won five straight games entering a Wednesday doubleheader against William & Mary, including a 12-1 win over Elon on Monday (March 2).

A Look At Campbell
• Campbell has raced off to a fast start to the 2015 season, starting 8-2 through their first 10 games. The Camels, coached by Justin Haire, host a midweek doubleheader against William & Mary on Wednesday before welcoming the Falcons to town.
• Haire played at Bowling Green under Schmitz in both 2000 and 2001, before finishing his career at the University of Indianapolis.
• The Camels feature a strong offense and a tough pitching staff, as their team batting average is .308 and team earned run average is just 1.40.
• Campbell is led by three players who bat over .400 currently. Outfielder Brian Taylor leads the Camels with a .441 average through 10 games with a team-high six doubles.
• The CU pitching staff is especially strong, led by their three weekend starters. All three weekend starters have two wins and ERAs below 2.65, led by Saturday starter Nick Thayer's 0.47 ERA.

Running For The Win
• Both Bowling Green and Campbell find success in the running game, as the Falcons have stolen 11 bases thus far, while Campbell has swiped 30 bags.
• Against the Falcons, opponents have been successful on just 4-of-15 stolen base attempts, while Campbell's opponents have stolen 11 of a potential 14 stolen bases.
• Bowling Green is 3-0 in 2015 when they steal at least two bases in a game.

They Said It
On the weekend series at Campbell: "Campbell will be a very tough challenge for our program, but one that we are excited for. Coming off a strong weekend against EKU, our team has confidence heading into our eight-game spring trip. Campbell is a program that knows how to win, having won 40 games in each of the past three seasons. They are off to a great start in 2015, and our guys will have to step up and play fundamental baseball to have a chance this weekend."

Keegan Named MAC East Player Of The Week
• Bowling Green catcher Trey Keegan was named Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week on Monday (March 2) following an outstanding performance over the weekend against Eastern Kentucky.
• In the series, Keegan hit .667 (6-for-9) with an on-base percentage of .813. He was on base 13 times in 16 plate appearances and slugged .889 in the series.
• On the year, Keegan leads the Falcons with a .474 batting average and is first in the MAC with an on-base percentage of .630.

2-B Determined: Smith Off To a Strong Start
• In his first two seasons of his career, junior Matt Smith (Johnstown, Ohio) hit just three doubles in 116 career at-bats. Through just 20 at-bats in 2015, Smith has already hit three doubles.
• Smith is currently batting .300 on the year with a team-high three doubles. He is slugging .450 with an on-base percentage of .423.

Righter Making An Early Impact
• True freshman Randy Righter (West Bloomfield, Mich.) made a big splash to start his career, hitting two home runs on opening weekend against Southeast Missouri
• Through six games, Righter has hit three home runs and has two doubles, while knocking in a team-best eight RBI. He is third on the team with a .364 batting average.
• The first baseman currently is ranked first in the MAC in slugging percentage (.864) and is tied for first in the conference with his three home runs..
• Righter became the first Falcon since Kurt Wells in 2007 to homer twice in the season's first three games. Wells did so against Mid Tennessee State.

Howard Dangerous On The Bases
Brandon Howard (Cincinnati, Ohio) was a perfect 21-for-21 over the final 30 games of the 2014 season in stolen base attempts.
• He is 5-of-7 on the season to lead the Falcons and is just three stolen bases shy of cracking Bowling Green's top 10 list for most career stolen bases.
• Howard finished the 2014 season with 23 stolen bases, good for sixth-most all-time in a single season. He will make a serious run at surpassing that total in 2015, and could even make a run at the all-time single season record with 32.

Brown Sparking Bottom Of Order
Kory Brown, a newcomer and captain for the Orange and Brown, has given the Falcons a spark out of the nine-hole in the batting order to open the season.
• A native of Sparta, Mich., Brown is hitting .368 which is second-best on the team. He has hit safely and reached base in every game this year, and is second on the team with six runs scored. His on-base percentage of .500 is second on the team.

Lacinak Is Mr. Consistency On Friday
• For the first time since the 2011 season, Bowling Green had a new opening day starter on the mound in redshirt sophomore Andrew Lacinak.
• Lacinak has embraced his role as the Falcons' ace this season, and is 1-0 through two starts in 2015. In his last start, Lacinak went six innings while striking out six EKU batters, which tied his career high.

Falcons Off To A Quick Start
• Bowling Green has started the season at 3-3 through their first six games of the season, which marks the Falcons' best start since the 2007 season which saw them start 4-2.
• The last time that the Falcons had a .500-or-better record through the first nine games of the season came in 2007, when the Orange and Brown started 6-3.

Callaway A Two-Sport Athlete at BGSU
• True freshman Cody Callaway (Elyria, Ohio) is the only male student-athlete at Bowling Green to play two sports. On top of baseball, Callaway is a quarterback on the Falcon football team.

The Final Link
• Bowling Green's Jason Link has taken the ball as the Falcons' closer in 2015 and delivered, closing out two games for the Orange and Brown.
• A native of Hamilton, Ohio, Link has struck out two batters in two innings of work to earn the saves. He is currently tied for second in the Mid-American Conference in saves.

The Ohio Connection
• Bowling Green's roster features an impressive number of players who were home grown. The Falcons have done a great job of recruiting their own backyard, with the current roster featuring 25 players from the state of Ohio.

Falcons Have Tri-Captains In 2015
• Bowling Green has three captains for the 2015 season, as voted on by the coaching staff and team. Seniors Jason Link and Brian Bien will serve as captains along with junior Kory Brown, a newcomer on the 2015 roster.

Falcons In The Pros
• Four former Falcons will be playing professional baseball in 2015. Both Burke Badenhop and Nolan Reimold have spent the last several years in the big leagues, while Jon Berti and Brennan Smith continue to move up the ranks in the minor leagues.
• Badenhop signed a contract with the Cincinnati Reds in the offseason. He has a mutual option for the 2016 season. Last season, Badenhop had a career-best 2.29 ERA in 70 appearances for the Boston Red Sox.
• Reimold signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles this offseason, with an invite to big league spring training. Reimold spent the first five seasons of his major league career with the Orioles prior to playing for three different organizations last season.
• Berti continues to impress at the minor league level, competing last season for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats—the Double-A affiliate for the Toronto Blue Jays. Berti has been successful at every stop he has gone in his brief professional career, and competed this past fall in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.
• Smith spent time in both A and AA last year in the Detroit Tigers organization. Over the course of his career, Smith has compiled a 3.36 ERA in 123 career games with 14 wins and nine saves.

On The Road, Again
• Bowling Green will play their first 14 games of the 2015 season on the road, traveling well over 4,000 miles round trip to do so. According to Google Maps, the Falcons will travel 4,560 miles to play games throughout the first month of the year.
• The Falcons traveled approximately 1,034 miles round trip for a weekend series against the Redhawks of Southeast Missouri to begin the season. Then, BGSU went on the road this past weekend to Emerson, Ga. to play against Eastern Kentucky (1,208 miles round trip).
• The spring trip starts this weekend with the Falcons traveling to Buies Creek, N.C. (608 mile trip) for three games at Campbell University. From there, BGSU will travel 613 miles by bus to Winter Haven, Fla. before making the 1,097-mile trip back to Bowling Green for the home opener against Youngstown State on March 18.

Falcons Picked Fourth In MAC East
• BGSU was picked to finish fourth in the MAC East in the preseason, as voted upon by the league's 12 head coaches. The Falcons did receive one first place vote.
• The Falcons also received one vote to win the Mid-American Conference Tournament, one of seven schools receiving at least one vote.

Up Next
• Following the three-game series at Campbell this weekend, Bowling Green will load up the bus and drive from Buies Creek, N.C. to Winter Haven, Fla. on Sunday night for spring break.
• The Falcons will play five games down in the greater Winter Haven, Fla. area beginning on Tuesday, March 10, with a doubleheader against Bucknell and Butler. On Wednesday, the Falcons will take on Illinois State to continue play in the RussMatt Invitational. Following an off day on Thursday, the Falcons will take on Maine (March 13) and Cornell (March 14) before trekking back to Northwest Ohio where they are scheduled to open play at Warren E. Steller Field against Youngstown State on March 18.
 
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