Pitching pair combines for Bowling Green's first no-hitter since 1995
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Sophomore Brett Fitzwater and senior Chris Miller combined Friday for Bowling Green's first no-hitter since 1995, a 7-0, eight-inning shutout of Bucknell. It was the ninth no-hitter in school history.
Bucknell won the first game of the doubleheader, 7-3.
Fitzwater started the game for the Orange and Brown, throwing five innings for his first win of the season. He struck out six batters, walked just three, and did not allow a hit. Miller would finish off the no-no, firing three hitless innings for his first save of the season. He struck out two.
The game was ruled official after eight innings of play. The contest was originally scheduled to be a seven-inning game, but a miscommunication between the Russ Matt Tournament Committee and the umpires extended the game an extra inning.
The Falcons (6-11) jumped on the board with a four-run top of the second against Bucknell starter Dan Weigel. After two were out in the second inning, Greg Basalyga got things started with a walk. That was followed up by a double off the bat of Addison Rospert—his first career base hit—to put two runners in scoring position.
Leadoff hitter Brian Bien would connect with a pitch and line it back through the box for an RBI single, scoring both Basalyga and Rospert to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead. Patrick Lancaster would continue the two-out hit-parade with a single to center, advancing Bien into scoring position. Both runners would advance on a wild pitch to Jeremy Shay, and he would bring them both home with a single up the middle. The Falcons led 4-0 after five straight reached once two were out in the inning.
Weigel would settle in over the next few innings to keep the score at 4-0, but Fitzwater would continue to befuddle Bucknell batters. The six strikeouts were a new career high for the left-handed pitcher from Fairview, Ohio. His five innings also tied a career high.
The Orange and Brown would tack on a run in the top of the fifth to extend their lead to 5-0. Shay led off the frame with a double down the left field line, and T.J. Losby would advance him to third base with a ground out to second base. A Jesse Rait sacrifice fly to center field would bring Shay home from third.
Rospert, a freshman from Port Clinton, would single with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, his second hit of the game. He would advance to second base on a well-read pitch in the dirt, and Bien would single up the middle to score him from second.
Miller took the mound with a no-hitter in tact and a 6-0 Falcon lead in the bottom of the sixth. Much like Fitzwater, Miller would continue to keep Bison hitters guessing over the final three innings. His three-inning outing tied a career high, as he earned his first career save.
The Falcons tacked on a run in the top of the seventh, as Brandon Howard would score Losby with a two-out single.
Miller would hit a batter in each of the final two innings, but otherwise retired the Bison one-two-three in each frame to finish off the first no-hitter in nearly 19 years.
In the first game of the day, the Falcons fell behind 6-0 after an inning and a half, before scoring three runs in the bottom of the second.
Losby led off that second inning with a walk, and Jake Thomas would follow with another walk. Second baseman Logan Walker would double into the left field corner, scoring Losby and moving Thomas around to third. Basalyga would ground out to second base for an RBI to score Thomas, and Walker would score the Falcons third run of the inning on a Jesse Rait single through the left side.
Cody Apthorpe started the first game on Friday, picking up the loss in 3.1 innings of work. He is now fourth all-time for innings pitched in a career, with 246.0. Tony Landi relieved Apthorpe, tossing 3.2 innings and allowing just one earned run. The outing was the longest of the freshman's brief career. The Falcons totaled just three hits in the first game of the day.