Bowling Green State's baseball team stunned Ball State with a 7-0 victory for the Mid-American ConferenceTournament title Sunday afternoon at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon. With this win, the Falcons get the automatic bid and will return the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999.
The game started off as a pitchers' duel between Ball State's Scott Baker and BGSU's Nick Bruns. Baker came into Sunday's championship game with a 1.84 ERA and a 12-1 record while Bruns had a 2.83 ERA and a record of 5-2. Baker was also named the Mid-American Conference Pitcher of the Year, but none of that mattered Sunday. Bruns, named the MAC Tournament??s Most Valuable Player, outdueled Baker and threw a complete-game shutout for the win.
The Falcons recorded all seven of their runs in the fifth inning. With runners on first and third, Brian Bien laid down a squeeze bunt to give BG the 1-0 lead. Patrick Lancaster would then follow up with an RBI-single, and then Jake Thomas would score another run with an RBI-single. The run party would continue as Jeremy singled to give the Falcons a 4-0 lead. Ball State's manager Rich Maloney would then retire Baker for the game. Jesse Rait, Logan Walker and Nick Glanzman would each score with an RBI-single to make the score 7-0 at the end of the fifth inning.
From there Bruns shut down the Cardinals, allowing just three hits over the final five innings. Bruns would finish with nine innings pitched, allowing four hits, no runs and struck out four Cardinals.
This is the first MAC title for the Falcons since 1999 and is only the third MAC title in school history. This will mark the fourth time in school history that BGSU will make an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Falcons will find out their NCAA Tournament fate Monday at noon during ESPNU's selection show.