Baseball looks to rebound

By Brian Earle

After dropping its opening conference series last weekend, baseball will look to bounce back against Bowling Green in a three-game series in Westfield, Ind., this weekend.

The Huskies (3-18-1, 1-2 MAC) won one out of their three games against Buffalo last weekend, while the Falcons (6-15, 0-3 MAC) went winless against Ball State.

For the second straight weekend, the Huskies will feature three seniors in their starting rotation: Anthony Andres on Friday, Eli Anderson on Saturday and Alex Klonowski to close the series on Sunday.

“All three of these guys are actually seniors, so that’s a good thing when they’re out there,” said head coach Ed Mathey. “They’re veteran guys. They’ve seen a lot of stuff, so they shouldn’t get rattled. It’s just about making adjustments.”

Andres recently took over for Jordan Ruckman in the starting rotation. He has filled the Friday slot nicely, earning his first win of the season in his previous start, throwing 5.2 innings, surrendering five runs on four hits while striking out four batters.

“His first outing I thought he did pretty well,” Mathey said. “He obviously made a couple mistakes and they hit them out of the park, and the good news about that was they were solo home runs. Yeah, you don’t like giving them up, but they’re not going to beat you as bad as if you’re walking a guy ahead of him or giving up a hit.”

At the plate, the Huskies have been led by second baseman Justin Fletcher, who has been swinging a hot bat. In his last seven games, Fletcher is 15-33 at the plate while recording five RBIs and scoring five runs. Fletcher has been doing this in a number of spots in the lineup, batting anywhere from leadoff to the No. 2 hitter or the No. 3 hitter.

“Justin is swinging the bat really well right now,” Mathey said. “… Having a guy like that who will put the bat on the ball, who can run, who has some, I don’t want to say power potential, but he’s got extra base potential, and that’s a great thing to have ….

That’s one of the things that we’re trying to do with the lineup, is keep him in the middle somewhere. I mean, he could be a leadoff hitter for us, but at this particular time we need him there in the middle to be in those situations. He’s a very versatile hitter. Hopefully, [Klonowski] and [Brian] Sisler can stay around him and do some things.”

The most dangerous hitter for the Falcons this season has been infielder Jeremy Shay in the No. 3 hole. He leads the team with 15 RBIs and is third on the team with 24 hits.

The starting pitchers for the Falcons will likely be Cody Apthorpe on Friday, Mike Frank on Saturday and Andrew Lacinak in the series finale Sunday.

The series was moved to Westfield, Ind., due to Bowling Green’s home field being unplayable.