Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stroh Center Floor Being Installed!

I got the opportunity to go over to the Stroh Center yesterday and take a look around. Dave Meyer came with me and shot a quick video of the floor being installed. It's coming along great and the facility is really beginning to round into shape. Here's the video:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday in Seattle

After winning a pair of games at the Seattle University Thanksgiving Tournament, the women's basketball Falcons took a little time to visit the Space Needle before heading home. On Sunday (Nov. 28), the players, coaches and staff headed up to the observation deck and checked out the view before having brunch at the restaurant ...

After brunch, senior Jen Uhl took a few minutes to share her thoughts on the Space Needle, the Falcons' win over Seattle the night before, and a myriad of other subjects.

Jen was kind enough to film a few videos during the trip, which can be found at Inside the Nest.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Falcons in Seattle

The women's basketball trip to Seattle continued to go well on Friday night (Nov. 26), as the Falcons picked up a 56-47 win over a tough UALR team. You can read about the game here.

On Saturday (Nov. 27), the Falcons prepared for Seattle, with a film & scout session as well as an early-afternoon shootaround. The team also found time for a little bit of sightseeing, however, venturing to the Pike's Place Market area. Here are a few brief videos of that trip. In the first video, the team takes a moment to pose for photos before heading off to explore the area. See if you can spot head coach Curt Miller in the video!

Assistant coach Kevin Eckert explained to freshmen Jillian Halfhill and Noelle Yoder that rubbing the pig statue would bring good luck, so the trio did just that.

The team returned to the hotel after the pregame meal, and sophomore Allison Papenfuss took a few moments to talk about the trip, the win over UALR and the Seattle game.

If all goes well, there will be video of a postgame interview or two after the Falcons' game vs. Seattle Friday night at

Friday, November 26, 2010

Checking in from Seattle ... Jill Stein

Hello, Mike Cihon here (in case the blog says 'posted by Jason Knavel' or something similar - I'm not the best at remembering my username and password, but enough about that). The women's basketball team is in Seattle to play a pair of games in Seattle University's tournament this weekend. I am going to take a page from Mr. Knavel's book and try to interview some team members periodically.

The first unfortunate victim in my great experiment is freshman Jill Stein. Jill was chosen in part because she was the only team member who had never flown before yesterday. She was kind enough to take a few minutes to chat with me, and the video is below. Enjoy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dennis Hopson Previews Ohio Dominican

Bowling Green assistant coach Dennis Hopson previews Monday night's men's basketball game with Ohio Dominican:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Coach Louis Twigg Previews Howard

Men's basketball assistant coach Louis Twigg previews tonight's game with Howard and talks about the lengths he had to go to in order to find video for scouting the Bison.

To Wyoming The Bird Goes

The bronze falcon statue is now in Wyoming, heading closer to Bowling Green, Ohio! A few pictures of the trip are posted below.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

On The Road To Howard; Remembering Last Night

Man, it's been a crazy couple of days. The men's basketball season starts tomorrow and, as the guy in athletic communications who handles the sport, I thought I'd do some blogging throughout the year on the team. We're currently on a bus headed to the airport to fly the rest of the way to Washington, D.C. for tomorrow night's game. I think there's a lot of anticipation (at least for me) about what this team is capable of. But before I get to that, I thought I'd quickly comment on last night's football game.

As a statistician, last night's game was a nightmare with the fog. In 12 years in this profession, I've never had a situation like last night in trying to stat a game. It was unbelievable. I've just got to throw some kudos out to the cast we have in the pressbox for the work they did in making sure the stats were accurate. Scott Swegan handles the actual inputting on the computer and he has the final say on all stats -- so he's got to confirm with his own eyes what he's told by others around him. Nate Doolin calls out the action on the field and spent half the game trying to decipher what happened through binoculars and half the game trying to figure it out while watching the ESPN telecast. Brad Meyer is our defensive stats guy, mostly handling tackles. Like Nate, he spent half the game with binoculars plastered to his face and half the game trying to confirm what he saw through the binoculars on the foggy ESPN telecast. Everett Fitzhugh and Kyle Wilbur spent much of the second half braving the weather on each sideline with cell phone in hand in case we needed a closer set of eyes to distinguish whether a #6 caught the ball or a #8. Reid Linder was helping with the ESPN telecast on headphones, but he helped us out to figure out the puzzle that was trying to make heads or tails of what happened. It was truly a team effort to get accurate stats completed last night.

Despite the final score, it's always fun to be involved with a team all dedicated on the same goal -- in this case figuring out what actually happened on the field when we couldn't see what was going on. And those guys did an excellent job. For the better part of two hours, we did nothing more than work as a collective unit to put together the detailed account of what was happening on the field. It may seem trivial, but it's probably the closest we get in our profession to actually being on a team. I've also got to give credit to my assistant and the football SID Dave Meyer. When we left the pressbox and walked back to our cars at 1:30 this morning, we realized we had just finished up an 18-hour day. And for Dave, an ESPN game like this one involves a whole lot of long days leading up to the game. We couldn't get the publicity and national attention we get without his tireless efforts.

Now -- onto men's basketball. For me, this is a pretty exciting time of the year. Two years ago, I started at BGSU three days before the men's basketball season started. I hit the road with the team to Minnesota for three games without knowing any of the players, coaches, or staff who I was on the road with. I had no idea what kind of team we'd have or even who our starting point guard was. Of course, I did my best to cover up those facts but as the season rolled along, I learned more. That season was such a blur that the fact that they won a MAC Championship almost snuck up on me.

As for this year, I'm really interested to see how this season develops. From a talent perspective, I don't see this team missing anything that would be needed to win a MAC title. But as those close to the conference know, the talent level in the MAC is so evenly distributed that there are a lot of intangibles that determine the best teams from the worst. There's very little talent discrepancy in this league. What this team achieves could be determined by how the individual pieces come together, chemistry, experience, and leadership. All the pieces are here but we're yet to see how the six newcomers fit with the eight returners. Will all those pieces fit together for a MAC Championship? Starting tomorrow night at Howard, we'll begin to find out that answer. So stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Bird Hits Nevada!

The bronze falcon statue has reached Nevada!

The team on the flatbed has been taking care of the bird while it was in storage and also loaded it onto the truck. You can get a good feel for the size of the falcon in this picture.

Bob Ward is the truck driver and he's providing us with many of these pictures. Thanks Bob!

The truck ran into some snow but is doing well.

The largest falcon statue in the world is about to pass into Nevada in this photo!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Follow The Falcon As It Flies Across The Country

Over the next few days, the bronze falcon statue that will make its home outside the Stroh Center will be making the trek across country from California to Bowling Green. We'll update the map above each day, filling in the states in orange as it moves across the country and we'll provide you with some photo updates and other notes as we receive them.

The photo above shows the actual bronze statue as it is preparing to leave California and make its way to its new home.

The photo above shows the side of the truck that the bronze statue is traveling in. Fittingly, the truck is named "Big Bird"!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

LaMonta Stone Previews The Exhibition

One thing I'm going to attempt this year is to talk with an assistant coach or player right before each men's basketball game this year and post it here on the blog. This morning, I talked with assistant coach LaMonta Stone after the team's shoot-around in preparation for today's exhibition game against Adrian:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Carlson Center -- Home of the Nanooks and (hopefully) a BG "W"!!

On our way back to the Carlson Center (Fairbanks, Alaska) this morning, I decided to get a little informative/creative/adventurous/insert-adjective-here with the BG Athletic Department FlipCam. So I took the "Voice of BG Hockey", Everett Fitzhugh out with me to talk about the ins and outs of the Carlson Center and our trip to Alaska as it stands today.

Here we are, outside of the Carlson Center just talking about the weather, the building and the culture that we have dove into head first with some great guides.

We got a little cold after just five minutes outside of the building, so decided to take our tour where there was a little more heat ... inside of the Carlson Center. Here we talk about the building itself, take a look at the press box and take a bit of a virtual tour of the ice and greater arena ... all while a Bantam hockey game is in action prior to the Falcons' morning skate.

Hopefully, we will get some time to do one more video before we leave Alaska, or at the very least take a shot or two from the plane nearly 10,000 feet in the air!


Mush! Mush! Mush!

Live from the Dog Mushing capital of the world, this blog is perhaps a bit overdue. You the fans and followers would probably love to hear about the Yukon Nation in its entirety. In fact, I may go on a video shooting spree during practice this morning just so you can bits and pieces of the Wild White Yonder.

Alaska is certainly nothing like I imagined it, then again, according to our bus driver Carla, Alaska is in a late transition from fall to winter at the moment. Traditionally, spring and fall are seasons that last no more than two weeks and then it gets down right cold in the winter and what Ohioans would call "comfortable 80s" in the summer. Right now, we are seeing highs anywhere between 25 and 32 degrees and the snow is beginning to fall more heavily now than when we first arrived. We still have not seen anymore than 3-4 inches of accumulation in a given day, but by the time we leave Fairbanks on Saturday night they will be expecting a fairly large snow storm totalling between 8 and 12 inches of snow by Monday night.

** side note: the Alaskans we talk to here say that the weather SHOULD be about 10 degree highs and maybe upwards to a foot of snow.

The ride over "the other pond" to Alaska was certainly a bit taxing on the body considering that you gain four hours in time difference. Maybe the boys and those who can actually sleep on planes and buses didn't feel so exhausted, but I certainly did. The countryside that you get to see flying over the mid-west and into Seattle is stunning. Talking to our trainer, Dan Fischer, Seattle has the best of both worlds -- beaches to the west that you can surf and then you can take your snow board up to the mountains on the SAME DAY and do some snow boarding or skiing! That and the fact that in a 5-minute span I counted nearly 13 baseball fields that we flew over, and I love my baseball so that excited me. But the scenery on the way over has been tremendous.

I'll leave some of the game analysis from last night's 4-1 loss to the analysts, bloggers, reporters and message boarders but know this ... there is no doubt and 100% certainty that BGSU will come out with a fire lit under its butt tonight and play much better than last night's game. You most like saw/heard the frustration in head coach Chris Bergeron's voice in his post game interview last night and the tone was much the same at the team's post game meal. The Falcons WILL come out more intense tonight. Expect a far better game.

While I have your attention, check out the introduction combination that Alaska comes out onto the ice to. Add this video:

and then this video:

and you have a pretty epic intro.

More videos to come later ... ROLL ALONG!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A View From Alaska

Perhaps I should have taken the Flip Camera out far more than I have on this trip but this was just too good to pass up. If you haven't already seen the introduction video for UAF on YouTube or maybe floating around on Facebook, check this video out and then watch what the team enters the ice to, on the video below.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Scene from the Green at Michigan Stadium

The entire Sports Information staff came to Michigan Stadium to participate in the fun brought on by the BGSU v. Michigan football game, but one daring soul fought through the crowds of Maize and Blue to get field-side and gain this video of the intense atmosphere provided by The Big House and its occupants.

Here is video of BGSU's entrance through the tunnel and leading onto the field ...

... and here is video of the National Anthem being played for nearly 110,000 people in attendance.

Enjoy the rest of the game!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mike Cihon's Big Day, Part Deux

The fun continues at Perry Stadium -- when last we spoke, I had just enjoyed lunch and a quick check of some football action from around the nation. So much has happened since then, I don't even know where to start. OK, I have a rough idea of where to start.

I made a quick trip over to the press box with BGSU athletic communications guru Dave Meyer. While over there, I snapped a quick photo of the Falcon Marching Band. The FMB, obviously, is a huge part of Falcon football fun, and they work just as hard as the football team to ensure that everything goes well on game day (or, in today's case, game night)...

From there, it was out to Tailgateville to get a sense of the mood of Falcon Nation. In one word or less, the mood is 'festive.' This photo may not accurately depict all of the awesome festiveness that was taking place, but just trust me -- it's a fun atmosphere, and this photo was taken nearly six hours prior to kickoff...
Back inside the stadium, the FMB was still going at it. They will be joined by a large number of high-school bands from around the region this afternoon/evening as well...
And, some of those H.S. bands started to arrive at The Doyt at around 2:00 p.m. ...

... and joined the MFB on the field ...

At this point, I need to step away from the computer for a while to get ready for tonight's game. Until I'm able to post again, Roll Along!

Mike Cihon's Big Day

It's Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010. Most of you are well aware that the BGSU football team's home opener is tonight. But, there are a lot (A LOT) of other things going on around the BGSU athletics complex today. There's nothing creepy about an ugly old man wandering around with a camera, so I figured I'd capture some of the action on this day...

The day started with a couple of soccer practices on the Perry Stadium turf. The BGSU men practiced at 9:00 a.m., while the women's team practiced at 10:00. Both teams play Sunday matches on turf fields (women at Indiana State, men at Valparaiso), hence the reason for their using the turf field for Saturday's preparations. Because I didn't have the brilliant idea for this blog post until late in the women's practice, there's no picture from the men's practice. But, here are the BGSU women going through their preparations at the south end of The Doyt...
(Note - soon after this photo was taken, the abbreviation for tonight's football foe was changed from "Marsha" to "Herd" -- I just thought you'd wanna know.

With women's soccer practice winding down, I headed over to Keefe Courts, where the BGSU Invitational is underway. Penny Dean and the tennis Falcons will be in action today and tomorrow, hosting the season-opening tournament, so wander on over and catch the Falcons in action.

The first round of doubles action had concluded, and senior Christine Chiricosta and freshman Emily Reuland were on the court playing singles matches when I arrived. Here's a photo of Christine, under the watchful eyes of Coach Dean ...

... and here is Emily Reuland, firing a serve during her first-ever collegiate singles match ...

From there, I made a quick stop at the computer to get these photos off of the camera before I accidentally deleted them or something (you'd be surprised -- or maybe you wouldn't -- at how often that happens), and then went over to the Ice Arena to see the women's soccer Falcons off. Here's a photo taken through the windshield of a moving vehicle (note: I was not driving)...

When the coaches arrived, an impromptu catalog photo shoot broke out. Andy Richards is such a diva...

... and there are no words to describe assistant coach Scott Gloden. He actually posed for these pictures ...

The team received their lunch (from Panera - perhaps you've heard of it? Their food is pretty darn good) and prepared to head to Indiana State...

What kind of an SID would I be if I didn't get a free lunch out of the deal? (I actually owe assistant coach Tiffany Hansen some money for my lunch, but maybe she'll forget.) After a quick lunch at my desk...

... and a quick check of some college football scores ... was off in search of more BGSU action. Hopefully, I will have time to check in later and update this top-quality (???) blog entry. Until then, Roll Along!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

News and Notes Leading Into The Home Opener

It's really turning into an exciting day around the BGSU Athletics Department today. Even though the football home opener is still two days away, there is so much buzz and activity going on around here. Sure, there's a lot of stress to put our best foot forward for our fans, but it also makes it really fun. At heart, we're all fans around here too and these types of weekends are what attracts us to our jobs. Just thought I'd drop a few notes leading into Saturday:

* If you haven't heard, the game is being picked up by and ESPN Game Plan. Really, we want to have our fans in the stands but if you can't be here, there should be plenty of opportunity for you to follow the game. If you have an internet subscriber that doesn't allow you to watch, we will also have the video stream available for purchase through American One at

* Attendance seems to be tracking pretty well. It's unlikely to be a sell out but I would expect an announced attendance number much higher than last year's 14,514 for the home opener against Troy.

* If you haven't been there yet, be sure to check out the Gameday Central page. We're posting as much info on there as we can and should be an invaluable tool for both fans who are coming to the game and those who will be following at home. You can access it at:

* Just a reminder that we'll be having a fireworks show as soon as the game is over Saturday night as well. Hang around for those postgame festivities.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cleaning out the flip camera files

Here are a few more videos from the women's soccer team's trip to Niagara Falls. Most of them are relatively self-explanatory...

The Falcons practiced on the game field at Niagara University on Thursday night (Sept. 2) ...

The next morning, the team took a walk from the hotel to nearby Niagara Falls. Senior Alexa Arsenault, a native of Canada -- it's right across the river, you know -- was asked to give a brief, yet informative, tour of the Falls to her teammates. Mission accomplished ...

The next day, the team boarded the Maid of the Mist. My "if the camera still works" comment turned out to be prophetic, as the flip camera took on a little water before the team boarded the boat and was rendered useless during the entire voyage...

Before the team boarded the boat, and before the camera stopped working, however, hilarity ensued ...

The Falcons take on Minnesota this afternoon (Friday, Sept. 10) at Cochrane Field. If you can't make it out to the field, log on to for live stats as BG battles the nationally-ranked Golden Gophers.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Inside The Radio Booth With Todd Walker

We spent a couple of minutes with Todd Walker and Falcon Radio Network engineer Dave Morris in the radio booth prior to the BG/Troy football game:

Todd Walker Shows Us What He Does

Todd Walker showed us how he prepares to announce a BGSU football game as he gets ready for the BG/Troy game this evening.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Heading To Alabama

Posted at 4:51 pm Friday -- Well the plane landed in Alabama and the team headed to Troy for walk through. Those of us who didn't need to go to practice went back to the hotel (mainly those on bus 3 with busses 1 and 2 being player/coach busses). Those of us in athletic communications went to Jim 'N Nick's BBQ for some good southern food. For myself, I spent the plane ride re-reading through Troy's game notes. A few things that I found noteworthy:

*Troy has won 23 consecutive home openers dating back to 1986 (when I was in 6th grade).
*Troy has never won a game over a MAC team (0-3 all-time).
*What does Oklahoma, USC, Ohio State, Florida and Troy have in common? Since 2001, they have been the five toughest teams to beat on their home field.
*Here's a cool little note -- Troy's Tyler Clark will wear #54 Saturday (normally he wears #58) to honor his best friend and former high school teammate Cody Dean, who was killed in a construction accident this summer.

Posted at 1:27 pm Friday -- Video from Todd Walker and John Gibson on the bus headed to the airport for Troy:

Follow us all weekend here on the BGSU Athletics Blog as the football team heads to Alabama to play Troy Saturday night at 7 pm EST. We'll provide as much of a behind-the-scenes view of the trip as we can, posting some videos and our thoughts as the Athletics Communications team. We leave at 9:30 this morning and the plane is scheduled to land in Alabama around noon CST. Here's a few links to keep you busy in the meantime:

BGSU Game Notes
The Weekly BGSU Press Conference
Gameday Central
Results From Around The MAC (The league went 4-1 Thursday night)

On another note, for those BGSU fans unable to be in Alabama, you can watch the game live on your computer at

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Eric Nichols Fan Club Meeting

The BGSU men's soccer team defeated Indianapolis, 1-0 in overtime, in the team's final scrimmage this afternoon (Sat., Aug. 28). From my perspective, the Falcons look to be an improved team, with a lot of talented youngsters and some very good leadership from the upperclassmen, and they are going to be fun to watch in 2010.

I just posted a recap at, but wanted to put this video here on the blog. I'm not ashamed to say that Falcon men's soccer coach Eric Nichols is a good-looking guy, and events like this probably happen to him all the time. But, as someone who has never been good-looking, and has NEVER had this happen to him, the video below seemed quite blog-worthy to me. Take 28 seconds to watch it, and see if you agree ...

Friday, August 27, 2010

BGSU Women's Basketball Photo Shoot

You might have noticed that I shot some video of the women's basketball team's photo shoot on Wednesday -- I will attempt to improve the quality of my filming, but that's another subject for another time. The main page of contains some video of the team picture and individual shots outside Anderson Arena, along with the photo shoot of the seniors inside the building.

Here, as a special bonus to you, the blog enthusiast, are a few additional videos of the individual sessions involving Lauren Prochaska and Tracy Pontius. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

News and Notes From Around The Office

As we head into the 2010-11 season, things are beginning to really move quickly around the Athletics Department. It's hard to believe we are just four days from the first real game when women's soccer hosts Cincinnati Sunday at 1 p.m. Remember -- free admission for all home soccer games all year long in celebration of BGSU's 100th Anniversary!

Anyway, we've had a lot of really exciting news over the past couple weeks around here and I thought I'd give my two cents worth on some of them, as well as let you know a couple of things we've got coming up.

1 - BGSU captured the Mid-American Conference Institutional Academic Achievement Award for the 2009-10 school year. That's a mouthful to say that our student-athletes had the highest GPA in the MAC this year. That's an awesome accomplishment and we are proud of the work our student-athletes are doing. We've had so many teams and individual receive academic awards over the summer that it's difficult to keep track of them all. There is no doubt that our athletes are putting in the time and effort to do well in the classroom and in competition.

2 - The women's basketball non-conference schedule came out this week and we're excited about that slate. If you haven't seen it, the big game on the schedule is a home tilt with Vanderbilt. I'm sure Vanderbilt will be fired up to come into Anderson Arena in the final year of The House That Roars to avenge a couple of recent losses to the Falcons. I hope we have a PACKED house for that game and we can show the SEC what real basketball fans are all about!

3 - Speaking of basketball schedules, I've got a men's non-conference schedule sitting in front of me right now. There's still a couple of contracts that have to get the proper signatures before we can release it, but expect that to come out either Friday or next Monday. There's a few new opponents on the slate and, as a teaser, a road game against a Final Four team from a year ago. And that contract is a 2-for-1 meaning that team will come play us in the Stroh Center in 2012. But that's all I can say about that (and maybe more than I should have, but why else would you read all this?)

4 - Along the academic lines, BGSU gymnast Megan Chronister received the Bob James Memorial Award this week, which is a $5,000 post graduate scholarship given to one male and one female in the MAC each year. BGSU has absolutely dominated this award, receiving 12 of the 44 scholarships given out all-time. No other school has had more the seven recipients of the award. In fact, our athletes have been given the scholarship in eight of the past 10 years.

5 - I'm also excited about the start of the men's hockey season in October. We've released the schedule at and I've had the opportunity to sit and talk with new coach Chris Bergeron on many occasions. If you listen to him talk for any amount of time, you can't help but believe in what he says. I don't know how that will translate into wins and losses this year, and honestly, I don't know that it matters at this point. The biggest thing is for Coach to instill his system and his values into the players and the program and we'll see positive returns soon.

Friday, July 30, 2010

MAC Football Media Day in Detroit

9:25 a.m. -- You are looking live at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. After a number of technical difficulties, I (Mike Cihon, athletic communications) have finally been able to get internet access here in the Ford Field press box. Several of us athletic communications types are here, along with head coach Dave Clawson, linebacker Champ Fells and running back Willie Geter.

Coach Clawson, Fells and Geter are in the midst of BGSU's electronic media portion of the festivities. Each of the three has already done multiple radio and television interviews. The East Division schools are in the electronic media area until 10 a.m. At that time, the print media folks will get their chance to speak to the BGSU contingent.

Even though it took me seemingly forever to get onto the web this morning, Assistant AD Jason Knavel has been hard at work sending out some updates on Twitter and posting video links. You might have seen his tweet from last night, which contained the link to a sneak preview of the new football commercial. I'm biased, but I think the commercial is great. You can view it here. I won't spill the beans re: who did the voiceover, because I think Jason will be sharing that info sometime later today. I will say, however, that I believe it was the first-ever voiceover work for the mystery voice, which rules out Tim Conway. Back in a few...

9:40 a.m. -- And, as I check the BGAthletics twitter feed, I see that Jason Knavel has announced the identity of the mystery voiceover man. It is none other than our own Champ Fells. Nice job, Champ! By the way, if you're not already following BGAthletics on Twitter, you should do so immediately.

10:15 a.m. -- The electronic media portion of the morning has ended for the MAC East schools, and the BGSU group has headed over to meet with the print media. A lot of NW Ohio media members are on hand, and Coach Clawson, Champ and Willie each did a ton of TV and radio interviews. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that most, if not all, of the Toledo TV stations will have interviews on their sportscasts tonight.

10:28 a.m. -- Let's try to upload a few of the videos from this morning, shall we? Apologies in advance, because the voiceover guy on these videos is nowhere near the caliber of Champ Fells. Here are two brief videos from BGSU's electronic media portion of the morning festivities ...

10:41 a.m. -- A few other things going on here in Detroit ... the MAC announced a regional television agreement with SportsTime Ohio. In the first year of the agreement, the MAC will have a few football games, but will have a minimum of 33 basketball games aired on STO. You can read the release at the MAC site here.

Additionally, the MAC and ESPN Regional Television have announced a regionally syndicated football package that will air in 24 television markets. The package will consist of six weeks of MAC conference and non-conference matchups, beginning Saturday, Sept. 18.

BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock and ESPN's Desmond Howard are on hand here in Detroit, and have done their share of interviews as well.

10:51 a.m. -- Here's the latest in the award-winning (??) series of expertly-shot, but poorly-narrated videos ...

10:53 a.m. -- I don't know about you, but this morning's events have me ready for some Falcon football! Here's some information from the "Things You Already Know" file: the 2010 season begins on Saturday, Sept. 4, at Troy. After a game at Tulsa the following Saturday evening (Sept. 11), the Brown and Orange open the home portion of the schedule against Marshall on Saturday, Sept. 18. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at Doyt Perry Stadium, but you already knew that.

11:00 a.m. -- As you probably already read at, the Falcons were picked to finish fourth in the East Division by the league's media members. In some other preseason polls, BGSU was picked to place anywhere from second through sixth. The Falcons were picked to finish second in the East by the Sporting News, third by USA Today, fourth by Lindy's, fifth by Phil Steele's and sixth by Athlon. Temple has been the consensus choice to win the East, while Northern Illinois is atop the West Division in the bulk of the polls.

11:43 a.m. -- Things are wrapping up here in Detroit, as the players and coaches are conducting a few final interviews prior to the luncheon. At some point later today, we will post a few videos of Champ and Willie interviewing each other. It'll be well worth your time to check back sometime in the near future.

1:15 p.m. -- And, here are those videos ... we've got Willie interviewing Champ ...

... and Champ interviewing Willie.

Thanks for reading, and Roll Along!

Monday, June 21, 2010

In Their Own Words -- Dr. Lee Meserve Part 3

Dr. Lee Meserve has just about seen it all. With 37 years at Bowling Green, he's seen more athletic events than almost anyone. As the Faculty Athletics Representative at BGSU, he represents the department in a variety of ways. This is his third blog post on his memories of BG athletics.

To the Present Day

In the fall of 1994, Shelley Appelbaum returned to BGSU as Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator. Shelley was a “townie” who had taken my anatomy and physiology course as part of her undergraduate degree program. During those years, she had also worked summers at Forrest Creason Golf Course on campus, where I saw her on a regular basis. We kept in touch through her careers as BG Junior High Girls Basketball Coach and on to Director of Student-Athlete Academics at the University of Toledo. She contacted me upon return to BGSU and asked “Have you ever thought of running for the Faculty Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee?” Long story short, I became a member, and then Chair of that committee, and then, when my predecessor Marv Kumler decided to retire, Dr. Sidney Ribeau appointed me Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), beginning summer, 1997. Thus began what has turned into a 13-year quest to attend every home contest of every BGSU sport that is staged when we are in Bowling Green (usually accompanied by my wife Marge). We have missed a few because of overlapping contest schedules, but not many for other reasons, and we’ve traveled to a few away ones, as well. It has been my feeling that as FAR, if I expected the student-athletes to perform well in the classroom (and I did, and they do), it behooved me to come out and watch them perform in their sports venues.

An early new sport for us as spectators was soccer. When I was in graduate school at Rutgers University (before I was married, so that was a while ago) I was shanghaied by a group of the other students in the lab where I worked to attend a pro soccer match in Yankee Stadium (the old one). Knowing virtually nothing about the game, I thought that watching it, even in person, was a lot like watching paint dry, but less exciting! About the time I began the elevated level of interaction with BGSU athletics, women’s soccer was added to the roster of sports. A number of the members of the team were also students in my Anat and Phys course (are you detecting that connection?), so we were motivated to go watch them, as well as the men’s team, play this game. I still knew virtually nothing about the game, but that year my Christmas gifts from Marge included a book by Mia Hamm (always start with the best), and Soccer for Dummies. I finally got a grasp on off side (they still need a blue line on the pitch!), and defensive plays. We’ve had the excitement of seeing two of Andy Richards’ squads win MAC championships. Although men’s soccer has been through a bit of a rough patch, Eric Nichols has them going in the right direction. I can honestly say that we have set through a more diverse sets of meteorological conditions as soccer fans than for any other sport! Marge appreciates soccer because the clock starts at the beginning of the match, and when it runs out the match is over (usually). She likes a finite sport!

A second sport that we sort of adopted is softball. We broke our streak of making spring break trips about eight years in a row this past March because the team had no trip during the break itself. We made up for that toward the end of the season by traveling an away weekend with them to Ball State and Miami. Since it was not their most successful of away swings, they may not ask us to do that again! :-) There have been a number of softballers who have been my academic advisees. A couple who stand out are third baseman Lynsey Ebel (now Lynsey Ebel, D.O.) and current centerfielder Lindsay Arney, who will be attending pharmacy school after the coming academic year, her senior year. On behalf of the Department of Athletics, the softball program paid the ultimate complement to Marge and I at homecoming 2008 by naming their facility the Meserve Softball Field. The hair on my arms still stands up every time I think of that.

Running, jumping, throwing heavy things! Since my high school in southern Maine was a relatively small one, we didn’t have football, so our ‘big’ sport was track and field. We also had cross country. Since the body in which I find myself trapped has never done any running (!), I didn’t take part in either, but I always enjoyed watching members of those teams aspire “to boldly go (you’re splitting an infinitive, Captain Kirk!!) where no one has gone before.” It’s been my pleasure to see Stephanie Heldt set an indoor record for the high jump, and just this year see Sabrina Forstein set a new mark in the indoor pole vault. Being a spectator at cross country in Maine worked like this: You stood at the start line yelling and hollering until the gun was fired. The runners ran off into the woods for ten to fifteen minutes while you stood by the finish line. Then the runners came out of the woods to cross the finish line and throw up! It’s really a pleasure to watch cross country from the top of Mount Jerome where you can see nearly all of the entire race without moving. Additionally, the runners come close to you as they run over the Mount.

Not to slight the golf teams, tennis, and swimming. We love to watch them too and get out to their sites as often as possible. We even attend the swimming biathlon at the beginning of their season every year. I thought ‘biathlon’ consisted of cross country skiing and shooting, and wondered how that would be adapted for life in the pool. I learned that in the swimming lexicon it consists of swimming and running (the latter part of which might as well involve cross country skis, according to the swimmers!).

To wrap this up, I’ve been blessed to work with a great bunch of coaches over the past 13 years who really respect and support the ‘student’ portion of the student-athlete couplet. Without their concern for and attention to the academic sector of it all, our women’s sports would not have received the MAC Faculty Athletics Representatives Academic Award for Women this past year, and 420 student-athletes would not have completed spring semester 2010 with an overall accumulative grade point average of 3.07! Keep up the good work coaches, and I really would like to work with you another 13 years (more realistically, we’ll try for seven more to get to a total of 20).

My stock line is that Marge and I don’t have any kids of our own, so we borrow other people’s and then we give them back! Many of them have been BGSU graduate students, more have been BGSU undergraduates, and a goodly number have been student-athletes. And many of them retain a connection when we give them back. For example, we have attended many student-athlete weddings, last summer one between a gymnast and a football player. We had the pleasure of seeing Stephanie Swiger, volleyball, at the NCAA National Convention in Nashville when she was part of the National Student Athlete Advisory Committee (NAT SAAC), and then of writing a letter of reference for her successful application to law school. Of all the medical school aspirants I’ve advised, the only one to honor me by asking me to bestow the hood emblematic of the MD degree at graduation (from the MCO in Toledo) was another volleyballer, Marin (Ferlic) Wayner. If you’ve been following this entire string, you recall Ton Shehab (football). We hear annually (many years, several times) from Tom and Jos and their family. Thanks to you all. You have been and continue to ne, the greatest family in the world.

And finally a shout out to my dear friend Janna Blais. Janna and I spent over ten good yeas together before she moved on to bigger things. As long as there’s email, we’ll remain in contact as a mutual support team. And to my life partner of 42 years this fall, Marge, for accepting and participating in this life.

So that’s it up to now. There may be more blogs, but not soon. Hope that these three have not cured anyone’s insomnia! Keep rolling along!!


P.S. So, you’re probably wondering how I could have been here for the past decade and omit basketball!!! Chalk it up to trying to get a research poster ready to go and getting ready to get on the big bird to San Diego for the Annual Endocrine Society meeting where the research was presented. Believe it or not, about an hour out of Detroit headed west, I sat bolt upright in my seat on the plane and said to myself “Oh crud, I didn’t include anything on basketball!” Of course I remember basketball. I chatted with Curt Miller when he came on his job interview and could sense the passion and the vision. And it took only a year for him and his staff to begin realizing that vision. Six-peating as MAC regular season champions and making it to the Sweet Sixteen are hichlights, and Marge and I were able to attend four of the NCAA ‘dance’ games. What a thrill. And it makes us all proud that Curt has maintained the staff that he began with, plus a couple of additions, for the entire sweet, sweet run. Keep it rolling women’s b-ballers! And the men’s team has made some steps in the right direction under Coach Orr (who I also chatted with at interview time), a trend that we expect to continue during the year to Close the Doors on the House that Roars and begin a new set of roaring traditions at the Stroh.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

2010 MAC Tournament - Final Day!

11:20 a.m. -- Here it is folks, the final day of the 2010 MAC Tournament! As said in one of the best kids baseball movies of all-time, "Rookie of the Year", -- "this one is for the alllll the marbles... the whoollllleeee enchilada.... the whooolllle kit-and-kaboodle..." (as said by John Candy's character as the radio announcer in the movie). The winner of the re-rematch between BGSU and CMU will go on to play in the MAC Tournament Championship tonight against either Eastern Michigan or Kent State.

Once again, the team is loose as loose can be. You can only imagine the thrills running through everybody's veins upon defeating CMU yesterday, 8-3. Even at 10:30 last night when all the players are receiving treatment they were all talking about how badly they want this game and this tournament. This morning the same emotions were visible. Both teams' fanbases have filed in and the support for both teams is pretty impressive.

Without further ado (if that's how you spell it), let's get to those lineups beginning with the visiting team YOUR BGSU Falcons:

Meisler, 2b
Blanton, cf
Vaughn, lf
Spencer, 3b
Berti, ss
Galvin, rf
Duncan, 1b
Pitzulo, dh
Schlater, c

SP: Brennan Smith

Central Michigan lineup:
Faiman, rf
Emmett, dh
Teas, 3b
Theunissen, 1b
Cornstubble, c
Anderson, cf
Phillion, lf
Clark, 2b
Harman, ss

Starting pitcher: Trent Howard, LHP (4-3, 3.52)

11:34 a.m. -- We are underway here in Chillicothe on what is a somewhat cool and breezy morning, however its going to get quite uncomforatable based on morning weather reports. It is supposed to get to be a very muggy 89 degrees at some point. BGSU coaches are very glad to have the early game based on temperatures and the fact that if they win they will face off against a very depleted pitching staff for whoever it is and a team that is now playing back-to-back games in the heat after BG gets to take a nice 2 1/2 hour break (should they beat CMU).

On the field... BG's top two hitters record outs but Denny Vaughn keeps swinging a hot stick with a two-out single. He advanced to second on a wild pitch in the dirt by Howard but Spencer gets jammed and pops out to Theunissen on first base to end the inning.

Early scouting report on Howard (in this wannabe baseball analysts' mind): He doesn't seem to want to blow away people with any overpower stuff but he does have some devastating movement on his pitches. He has gotten all four batters he's faced thusfar to chase something outside of the strike zone that has broken down and away from left-handed hitters. He probably tops out in the high 80s or low 90s, but like I said, his job today will be to keep the Falcons off-balance. Bowling Green will have to have superior plate-discipline and take Howard deep into counts to force a high pitch count and tired him early. Hopefully by that time they will be able to capitalize on some hanging breaking pitches and get up early.

11:55 a.m. -- Bowling Green finds themselves down early after a walk and two wild pitches put a Chip runner on third, perfect position for a Nate Theunissen sac fly that scored a run. After walking his third batter of the inning, Smith allowed a two-run triple to give CMU a 3-0 early lead.

Smith thus far is struggling with his command, mostly low. Brennan is running on two days rest right now, something he hasn't done in the last two years. He will likely be on a short leash today with this being an elimination game and a rested Chuck Wooten, Ross Gerdeman and Michael Frank in the bullpen.

Unfortunately for BG in this mini-series between CMU and BGSU dating back to their first meeting this season, the first team to score is the team to win. That stat needs to change.

12:09 p.m. -- BG has made a call to the bullpen after Smith just seemed to not be able to find his rhythm. The nod now goes to Michael Frank, the Falcons traditional Day 2 starter for much of the season.

On his first batter he forced a 6-3 putout that scored a run after Smith allowed runners on second and third. After the ground out that scored a run (4-0, CMU), Frank has walked Emmett to put runners on the corners.

12:17 p.m. -- Frank has gotten the Falcons out of trouble, for now. After the 6-3 putout, he enduced a weak pop out to Meisler at second and a line out to right field that Galvin tracked down and fielded for the third out.

Time to get the sticks working!!!

12:24 p.m. -- Good news/bad news. Bad news is that the Falcons couldn't capitalize on a two-out double by Meisler. However, good news is that a rocket off of the bat of Dennis Vaughn clipped the pitching hand of CMU starter Trent Howard. I never wish injury upon anybody but if it is deemed that Howard can't pitch after favoring his hand coming off of the field, maybe better for the Falcons. Still 4-0 after 2 1/2.

12:31 p.m. -- T.J. Blanton just made a spectacular catch in left center field laying out and getting a face full of pellets while making an extra-base saving catch. The Falcon defense has answered the call to back up their pitcher.

On an update for CMU pitcher Trent Howard, he has come back out on the hill and doesn't appear to be having any issues with his pitching hand which was hit by a Dennic Vaughn grounder up the middle. Concerns still linger for the CMU radio crew about his ability to grip his curveball, but as I type, he strikes out Jon Berti with an off-speed pitch to retire the Falcons in the fourth.

12:42 p.m. -- Thus far, both teams are guilty are getting some good contact on the ball but hitting it directly to a fielder somewhere between the lines. For the most part aside from the three-run first inning, both teams have settled into a groove and this game has been moving right along. It's still 4-0 in the top of the fifth and BG again isn't able to find a hole to put the ball in. Howard still looks good out there on the hill for CMU, cruising through this BGSU lineup.

However, BG is now making him work and he is going deeper into counts more now than ever in this game. Hopefully the Falcons can find another hanger to take advange of.

12:59 p.m. -- BG bats have remained silent, but CMU has come out in the fifth with some fire coming from their sticks. After a hit batter and single by Theunissen, a hot shot to short handcuffed Berti and took an unfortunate hop giving the runner a chance to score and make the score 5-0. BGSU cautered the bleeding and kept the score at that.

They threaten now with a runner at second and no outs. It's time wake up the sticks!

1:10 p.m. -- FALCONS ARE ON THE BOARD!!! T.J. Blanton doubled to left field to start the inning off, but in typical BG fashion its two-out hitting that gets it done! Jon Berti hits a liner in the gap. Berti ran through the stop sign of Danny Schmitz and turned a doule into a triple sliding into third base safely. The run gets BGSU on the board, 5-1.

The triple by Berti also gives him a share for the all-time record for triples in a season with six. He and teammate Logan Meisler have a share of the record with Larry Ardnt, set in 1982.

The Falcons can't bring in Berti, but at least they have something to show for their effort in the sixth. 5-1, CMU

1:22 p.m. -- Mike Frank has done a masterful job on the mound and kept the Chips at bay with the bats while getting some great help from his 'D'. Now BGSU is threatening AGAIN after a seeing-eye single to center by Pitzulo and a walk drawn by nine-hitter Ryan Schalter. I think Howard may be hitting his wall here. His stuff isn't as sharp as it was even an inning ago. Action in the CMU bullpen as Deidrich Enns (MAC Freshman of the Year) down in the bullpen for CMU. It's gettin' crazy here now!!

1:25 p.m. -- OH YEAH BABY! TJ Blanton comes through with his second double of the day painting the left field line. One run comes around and Schlater rolls into third base. Runners at second and third with only one out and now a visit to the mound for CMU! 5-2, game now!

1: 27 p.m. -- On the first pitch, Vaughn lofts an outside pitch to deep left field. Phillion in left makes a leaping catch while fighting the sun that perhaps save a second run from coming home, but the fly out is enough to being home BGSU's third run of the game and just like that the Falcons are a serious threat to get right back into this one.... 5-3 the score. Runner on second, two out and Derek Spencer to the plate!

Pitching change for the Chips... coming in now is Enns, the MAC Freshman of the Year who has had a great season coming out of the bullpen for CMU. A lefty, he throws heat and has a great combo of off-speed stuff too. He pitched three innings in the Chips opening game of the tourney and hasn't seen action since.

1:38 p.m. -- Derek Spencer made the entire stadium gasp with a deep fly ball into center field that many thought was a goner for sure. However gravity has its way and bring the ball back down to the turf and into glove of Billy Anderson to eliminate the BGSU threat. After 6 1/2, BG now only trails by two, 5-3.

1:43 p.m. -- Pitching change for the Falcons after Frank allows two baserunners before recording an out here in the bottom of the seventh. Now on the hill, Ross Gerdeman.

Gerdeman makes an immediate impact and while Cornstuble gave himself away showing bunt early, Ross gets him to bunt right back to him and he fires to third to get the force out! Runners on first and second still with one down. How about a nice inning-ending DP??? What do ya say!?!?!

1:47 p.m. -- I think I'm baseball's Nostradomus. Guess why? Inning-ending double play, 4-6-3 tailor made! Thata boy Ross! Way to get the Falcons out of an early jam and give it up to the bats. Top of the 8th we go!

1:55 p.m. -- WE'RE ALL TIED UP!!!!! WOW! Jon Berti leads off with a single to center and Galvin gets clipped by the next pitch from Enns. With two on, Duncan tries to put down a SAC bunt, but Enns tries to go to third and throws it away! On their horses, both Berti and Galvin score and we're all tied up!!!!!!

2:04 p.m. -- FALCONS TAKE THE LEAD!!! After Meisler was walked and Blanton was hit by a pitch, it loaded the bases for Dennis Vaughn. He plants a single through the right side and two runs score on the hit. The throw to the plate was high and heads up base running and Cornstubble drop allows a third run to score, yet Vaughn was caught leaning on second base for the third out. THREE RUNS! 8-5 FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:22 p.m. -- The Chips won't go down without a fight. The Falcons let Ross Gerdeman attempt to go the duration of the game but the young sophomore from Fort Jennings, Ohio allowed the first two hitters on base with back-to-back singles. Now pitching for the Falcons, Patrick O'Brien. He has been solid and has certainly earned his chevrons as the team's closer this season. He will look for his 7th save here. Three outs away!

2:28 -- CMU's Teas singles down the left field line and allows one run to score. 8-6 the score. Nobody said this would be easy. Now CMU belts another single to center field, 8-7. Leady warming up in the pen.

2:31 p.m. -- O'Brien strikes out Billy Anderson to get the first out. Now the double play is in order. My heart is pounding out of my chest.

2:33 p.m. -- Phillion hits a deep fly to center field... caught by Blanton... sacfrice scores the tying run. With bases loaded and now two down... Ricky Clark gets handcuffed but floats a looper into right field, over the head of a helpless Logan Meisler and the Chips somehow, come from behind and will score the game winning run. Final score: 9-8 Chips win

Friday, May 28, 2010

Women's Basketball Odds & Ends

I’ve been meaning to mention a few Falcon women’s basketball-related honors and achievements for a few weeks now, and today's the big day. Some BGSU (and former BGSU) greats have been in the news lately, and certainly deserve a mention here ...

* Former BGSU women’s basketball coach Fran Voll and one of his players, Jeanne Arnzen Gulick, were inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame over the weekend. Voll compiled an eye-popping record of 208-17 during nine years as the girls basketball coach at Delphos St. John’s High School, then came to BGSU in 1984 and went 144-60. During that time, the Falcons won three MAC regular-season championships, four MAC Tournament titles and made four consecutive trips to the NCAA Championships from 1987-90.

* Gulick, as Jeanne Arnzen, was a starter under Voll on Delphos St. John’s teams that made three consecutive trips to the state tournament, winning the Class A championship in 1977 and the Class AA title in 1979 after losing in the AA semifinals in ‘78. She played two years at Northern Kentucky University before playing her final two seasons at BGSU.

* The Delphos Herald and Marion Star each did stories on the Hall of Fame induction.

* Laura Bugher, who recently completed her four-year playing career with the Falcons, was one of three University students chosen by the BGSU Board of Trustees to receive its Leadership Scholarship. The scholarship is given to students with outstanding records of leadership, academic achievement and social commitment.

* The BGSU women’s basketball banquet was held a few weeks ago at Olscamp Hall. The list of individual award winners can be found here at I don’t have a ton to add to what’s in the release, other than to say that this was truly a special night. I’ve been to many, many banquets over the years, and being old, bitter and jaded (not necessarily in that order), I have sat through a few that have lasted far, far too long. This one, though, lasted close to three hours, but was incredibly entertaining from start to finish. All of the speakers were great, and all four seniors – Bugher, Tara Breske, Sarah Clapper and Tamika Nurse – gave very good speeches. In fact, Tamika’s speech may have been the finest senior speech I have ever heard, and I’ve heard a lot of them. If I were in position to hire her for an on-air job at ESPN (or TMZ, for that matter), I would do so in a heartbeat. If anyone has video of Tamika’s speech, let me know and I’ll try to link it to this blog.

* The 2009-10 team was quite successful on the court, but the student-athletes were just as stellar in the classroom. Yesterday, I posted a release on the team’s academic accomplishments, and there are a lot of them.

* Coach Curt Miller and emcee Larry Weiss provided a few pieces of information at the banquet that you may or may not be aware of. First off, Miller announced that seniors-to-be Maggie Hennegan and Lauren Prochaska will be the co-captains of the 2010-11 Falcons. The head coach also announced that rising seniors Tracy Pontius and Kelly Zuercher, along with rising junior Jessica Slagle, will join Hennegan and Prochaska on the team’s leadership council. This group will have a say in the day-to-day operation of the team, on and off the court.

* As the banquet wrapped up, Weiss mentioned that the Falcons will open the home portion of the 2010-11 schedule with a game against Creighton on Monday, Nov. 15. He added that the Creighton game will be one of at least six non-conference games at Anderson Arena. With the Falcons assured of eight MAC games at home, that means you've got 14 more chances to see BGSU play at Anderson. Along those lines ...

* As you know, the ’10-11 season will be the last at Anderson Arena, as we are “Closing the Doors on the House That Roars.” There is still time to vote for your favorite Falcons (for volleyball and men’s basketball, as well as women’s basketball) for the All-Anderson Teams, to share your favorite Anderson Memories, and to track the progress of the Stroh Center construction. You can do any or all of those things by Clicking Here. Roll Along!

2010 MAC Tournament - Day 4

8:11 a.m. -- Man what a crappy day outside we woke up to. It was actually POURING from about 5 a.m. to about 8 a.m. this morning and just now has it downgraded to a slight drizzle. On the plus side, it's really cool (in temperature) and the heat won't be getting to anybody in game one today.

To recap last night, there wasn't much to be said between coaches, players and staff alike. Of course our illustrious equipment manager, "Scooter", has full confidence that the Falcons are winning two today to stay alive and advance to Championship Day, but we all admit its going to be a long road ahead and whoevers bullpen is the strongest will prove to guide their team to victory. The message from the coaches last night was, "This is not the time to feel sorry for ourselves. You know what we have to do now." And so it shall be...

BGSU has to win two games today to advance to the championship round, where they will have to win two more games to win the MAC Tournament title. Ball State is first on the docket this morning, and we are still scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Today starter is Cody Apthorpe (2-2, 3.62)and will face off against BSU's Brad Piatt (3-4, 7.62). Below are the starting lineups for today:

BGSUMeisler - 2b, Blanton - cf, Vaughn - lf, Spencer - 3b, Berti - ss, Galvin - rf, Duncan - 1b, Pitzulo - dh, Schalter - c

Ball State
Baumet - ss, Beemer - rf, Vitek - dh, Dygert - c, Nielsen - 1b, Claypool - 3b, Elliot - cf, Widau - 2b, Chenoweth - lf

23 mins to gametime baby!

9:03 a.m. -- The rains have stopped here in Chillicothe and although it is still pretty much and cool its a good day for baseball. The field turf is great for days like these since it soaks up water, or perhaps drains it, so that there is nothing to worry about after a hard rain.

After two batters, Bowling Green has taken advantage of a BSU error by Baumet at short and Blanton stands on second to put the Falcons in scoring position early!

9:09 a.m. -- Baumet made up for his early error. With a hit and run in effect, Spencer put a good stick on the ball but Baumet made a leaping grab to snare away a base hit from Spencer and a run from the Falcons. After a half inning, its still scoreless and its freshman Cody Apthorpe's turn to run the show from the hill!

9:17 a.m. -- The Cardinals go 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first with some pretty good pitching from Apthorpe. His outfield was tested early with a deep fly to Blanton in center and Mark Galvin having to make a sliding catch in right, but a good start for the freshman who has truely earned his way into the starting rotation.

Jon Berti led the top of the second off with a single deep in the hole to short. No shortstop is going to get the speedy Berti on that play. Then the sophomore swipes second on his 28th steal of the season. It probably one of the closest plays at second on one of Berti's steals that I've seen this year but I think he got the outside of the bag before the tag came down.

9:23 a.m. -- Let me just say one thing that has been on my mind all season long... Matt Pitzulo is a machine. With runners on first and third, the freshman has just belted his 13th double of the season splitting gap in left center. Berti scored from third easily on the play. Duncan on his horse all the way from third base had a really good read on the ball dropping in the gap and beat the high throw to the plate. Now after the two-RBI double by "The BG Machine", it is 2-0 Falcons.

9:28 a.m. -- As an aside, it must be oldies day here at VA Memorial Stadium. About 80% of today's jams have been some of the best of the 1950's and 60's. This guy doesn't complain as someone that was brought up on the Golden Oldies... and if it weren't for the fact that I'm not in my home press box I most likely would have been singing and dancing to the Beach Boys that they were just playing.

9:41 a.m. -- The Falcons are really starting to get to Piatt. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Derek Spencer and Jon Berti have hit back-to-back two-baggers to left field giving the Falcons another run on the board, 3-0. Berti's shot was a liner that smack the left field wall on the fly. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a dent or permanent marking in the padding of that wall out there!

9:44 a.m. -- How about a THIRD consecutive double for the Falcons, this time by Mark Galvin!! Berti stole third on the prior pitch right before Galvin knocked a double down the left field line and scored the Falcons' fourth run of the game! Falcons offense has found their stroke today!

9:49 a.m. -- Cody Apthorpe is perfect no more. With one swing of the bat the Cardinals took away the no-hitter and shutout after a Baumet blast over the left center field fence. 4-1 Falcons.

9:57 a.m. -- Apthorpe has just gotten himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the third inning after giving up the solo homerun to make it a 4-1 game. With the bases juiced after walking two batters and giving up a base knock, the freshman struck out Ian Nielsen on a high fastball on an 0-2 count to end the inning. He was immediately greeted by "team spark plug" Kevin Leady for a slap on the behind and words of encouragement as they both went back into the BGSU dugout. Apthorpe is going to be fun to watch in the coming years!

10:02 a.m. -- How about the showers of doubles the Falcons are putting on the Cardinals?! Ryan Schalter hit the Falcons fifth double (they have six hits to this point) off of new BSU pitcher Heath Riley to set up for a RBI-single by Logan Meisler (now seven hits) to put the Falcons up 5-1 in the top of the fourth inning!! The Ball State dugout has quieted down exponentially in comparison to the start of the game.

10:16 a.m. -- Apthrope gets himself out of another jam stranding BSU runners on both first and second in the bottom of the fourth inning. After four, he has allowed only three hits, but his three walks and hit batsman is hurting him and his pitch count. He is currently at 71 pitches which isn't great for four inning of work. The most pitches he has ever thrown in a game is 82 against Dayton earlier this season in their win over the Flyers.

10:35 p.m. -- Apthorpe is now pitching lights out and the offense is taking it to the Ball State pitchers. Insert who you will, but BGSU has now slammed back-to-back doubles AGAIN and has put two more runs on the board. The Falcons are really taking it to the Cardinals now and I'm LOVIN' IT like McDonald's! 7-1 Falcons in the top of the 6th!

10:51 a.m. -- Ball State cut into the BG lead with a run by way of a sacrifice fly in the top of the 7th and now Bowling Green has decided to go to its bullpen. After a steller run on the hill, Cody Apthorpe's day is done after going 6.0 innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs with five walks and three strikeouts. Now on the hill, sophomore righty Ross Gerdeman.

10:55 a.m. -- Aside from grazing a Ball State Cardinal, Gerdeman pitches a really nice seventh inning and walks away unscaved. Top of the 8th ... 7-2 BGSU!!!

11:11 a.m. (make a wish!) -- Gerdeman stayed in for the eighth but got himself into a bit of trouble allowing a two-run double to cut into the lead further, 7-4. Nick Bruns came in and smoked the next two BSU hitters to end the threat with some good D behind him. We'll soon turn over to the bottom of the ninth! Patrick O'Brien to enter for the Falcons to close out the game.

11:46 a.m. -- And that will do it folks... O'Brien comes in and pitches a flawless ninth inning to seal the win for Bowling Green, 7-4, over the BSU Cardinals. The Falcons advance and the Cardinals will go home packing. Bowling Green now advances to the 4pm game after achieving their 30th win of the season. They will play the Central Michigan Chippewas at 4pm. Should Bowling Green win, they will play CMU again tomorrow to earn the right advance to the Championship game. We all know what happens if they lose again...

The full recap will be provided here in the coming hour.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4:01 p.m. --

Game #2 ~ #5 BGSU v. #1 Central Michigan

After a couple hours of rest the Falcons are back at it again. Getting the start for the Falcons is another freshman, this time Nick Bruns. If you recall, Bruns has been used in two relief appearances already in this tournament but has pitched so well that he has earned himself a start. He is a guy that plays with a ton of passion and his energy alone can fuel him through five innings!

Setting the lineups for both teams:

Meisler, 2b
Blanton, cf
Vaughn, lf
Spencer, 3b
Berti, ss
Galvin, rf
Duncan, 1b
Pitzulo, dh
Schlater, c

Matt Faiman, rf
Brendan Emmett, dh
James Teas, 3b
Nate Theunissen, 1b
Dale Cornstubble, c
Billy Anderson, cf
Scott Phillion, lf
Ricky Clark, 2b
Robbie Harmon, ss

4:15 p.m. -- T.J. Blanton scored today's first run and put the Falcons up 1-0 early after his double into the right-center field gap put him on second. Dennis Vaughn singled to left, but it wasn't enough to score Blanton from second. But a balk call on CMU starting pitcher Zach Cooper advanced both runners and scored Blanton.

However, as I type CMU catcher Dale Cornstubble blasts a homer into the trees beyond left field, a solo shot that ties the game at one.

4:34 p.m. -- Still nodded up at one, both pitchers appear to be getting into a bit of a groove. Although our third base umpire today (Mike Duffy, no relation to 'Duff-Man' of The Simpson's) has called a balk on each pitcher today. Apparently the balk called on CMU was warranted as he flinched with his glove but even the CMU radio guy I'm sitting next to doesn't know what the heck Bruns did to receive his balk. I personally think he just has "Jerry West-syndrome" and likes the sounds of his own voice.

4:57 p.m. -- Oh the life of a GA taking summer classes. The beauty of baseball is that you can SID, watch the game AND do your homework that you forgot about for your summer class all at the same time. But I digress...

The activity had been pretty slow on the field. We've seen both pitchers lose some of the gas in their tanks, so this one is going to be decided by the bullpens. In the bottom of the 3rd, the Falcons tried a double steal with two outs and Jon Berti at the plate. I'm not sure if it was a missed sign but Blanton was pegged at third without contest to end the inning.

Patrick Martin is on the hill in relief for Bowling Green, taking the place of Nick Bruns who gaves three quality innings of work. You can tell he was gassing it up, but paying the price with fatigue setting in. Let's see how the R-So. lefty handles this.

5:15 p.m. -- Bowling Green has taken advantage of a CMU miscue. After a pair of BGSU runner reached (Berti and Galvin), Cooper tried picked Berti off at second but nobody was home! The ball rolled into center field and both runners advanced. With Duncan at the plate, he accidentally made contact with a high fastball from Cooper, but it was perfectly placed between first and the pitcher to give Berti enough time to fly home and score the go-ahead run. Matthew Pitzulo then hit a fly ball JUST deep enough to left field that plated Galvin on a sacrifice fly.

Bowling Green now has the momentum and Patrick Martin has a two run cushion to work with as we head to the fourth. 3-1 Falcons!!!

5:24 p.m. -- There, my homework is now done and I can give my full attention to the game. Perhaps it was just meant to be that the broadcating equipment I brought to the game to do the broadcasts doesn't work, or else this assignment would be later than it already was!

We're in the bottom of the fifth and BGSU still has a 3-1 lead. Blanton walked and Vaughn sacrifcied him to second. One down... here we go Falcons, here we go! (clap clap!)

5:32 p.m. -- On a bang-bang play at third, the Falcons got the benefit of the doubt play when Blanton went to third on a grounder in the infielder. With Blanton on third and two down, Berti grounded to short and honest to goodness unless I'm regressing in my sight again I thought he beat it out (which would have scored a run) but the first base umpire Paul Lancaster banged him out and left the entire BGSU fanbase (and even some of CMU's fan) in awe. Still 3-1 after six.

5:38 p.m. -- BG catches another break. Runners at first and second with one down and a grounder to third was fielded and thrown to second in an attempt to turn a double play. The CMU runner went in hard at second. He was called out at second on the turn and then the batter was called out due to runner's interference at second with Meisler making the turn.

This is the second time this crew has made that call this tournament, most recently earlier today when Toledo beat Kent when Kent was guilty of the interference.

However, more humorously a new phrase has been used that I may have to incorporate into my repitoire. I think it's from the BG side but is not a BG fan saying but CMU manager Steve Jaska is wearing #22... so whenever he goes out to argue a call (which he has a couple times today) he is referred to by someone as "Tooty-two"... and I like it!!!

5:44 p.m. -- Still here in the sixth inning the Falcons have forced CMU to go to the bullpen. Cooper looked like the single up the middle he allowed to Galvin caught his finger while passing by, so he has departed and on the hill now for CMU is Jake Sabol.... fresh meat!!

5:50 p.m. -- Fresh meat indeed! Matthew Pitzulo absolutely CRUSHES a Sabol offering to dead center and it clears the batters' eye nearly 400 feet away!! Two-run jack is Pitzulo's fourth of the season and man, what timing for it! 5-1 BGSU on top! after six.

6:01 p.m. -- Patrick Martin gets out of a jam allowing two runners on with two out, but he gets CMU 5-hitter Nate Theunissen to strike out swinging to set up the Falcons offense to explode again.

Oh yes, I said explode. T.J. Blanton and Denny Vaughn go yard BACK-TO-BACK for a pair of solo jobs and they extend their lead 7-1. Both were no doubters and split the gaps in left and right fields, respectively. BGSU is taking advantage of the tail end of the CMU bullpen now!

6:06 p.m. -- Mark Galvin would have hit BG's THIRD home run of the inning, however VA Memorial Stadium has a piece of signage that extends the hieght of the wall by about 4 feet and that small wall robbed Galvin of a homer, but puts runners on second and third with one out.

6:20 p.m. -- Unfortunately, BGSU cannot bring home either of the two runners home that they had on board. CMU has "chipped" into the BGSU lead with a two-run homer from Scott Phillion to make it a 7-3 game. Patrick Martin still on. Aside from that one batter, he has looked solid.

6:33 p.m. -- Patrick O'Brien on to put the nail in the coffin in this game. Top 9... here we go!

7:26 p.m. -- Patrick O'Brien does the job. He allows one single but rest you can sit'em down and close the books on this one. BGSU wins 7-3 and stays alive for another day! They will now play CMU again tomorrow, but the start time will depend on the result of the EMU/KSU game tonight. Should EMU win, BGSU will play at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow. If Kent State wins, then EMU is eliminated and BGSU will play at 12 noon for the right to play KSU for the championship.

Time to work on the release! ROLL ALONG!!!