AVON, Ohio — For the first time since 1999, Bowling Green will play for a Mid-American Conference baseball championship.
The Falcons advanced with a 1-0 win Saturday over Toledo after being pushed to an elimination game with a 5-2 loss to the Rockets.
No. 6 BG will take on No. 4 Ball State at noon today at All Pro Freight Stadium. Ball State advanced by twice knocking off No. 1 seed and defending tournament champion Kent State.
Cody Apthorpe turned in a gutsy performance for BG in the second game, throwing seven scoreless innings on two days rest to earn the win. Apthorpe scattered six hits in his seven innings.
The game stayed tied until the bottom of the sixth. Nick Glanzman and Matt Pitzulo both laid down perfect bunts to reach base to begin the rally.
After a sacrifice bunt from T.J. Losby advanced both runners into scoring position, Patrick Lancaster delivered a sacrifice fly to deep right field to score Glanzman.
That would be all that the Falcons would need, as Apthorpe, Ethan McKenney, and Nick Bruns would combine to finish off the Rockets for the fifth time in 2013.
Toledo showed its biggest threat in the top of the eighth when Tyler Grogg tripled into the left-center field gap with two outs. McKenney would recover though, inducing an inning-ending groundout.
Toledo starter Ryan Wilkinson (7-3) went nine innings for the win in game one, allowing five hits and two earned runs. The Rockets pounded out 12 hits — two apiece by Tyler Grogg, Matt Delewski, Ryan Callahan, Ben Hammer, and James Miglin. Callahan drove in two runs on a seventh-inning single to go ahead 5-1.