BASEBALL: Bowling Green poses threat to No. 1 ranking
By JEFF BALTRUZAK
Assistant Sports Editor
The Irish will have little time to savor the flavor of being No. 1 as a hard-hitting Bowling Green squad rolls into Frank Eck Stadium tonight. Bowling Green sports a 28-10 record and poses more of a challenge than the Irish normally face in a mid-week contest.
The Falcons swing the bat with the best in the country, hitting .359 as a team and slugging 74 homeruns to the Irish's 23. The Irish pitchers must be on the lookout for first baseman Kelly Hunt and infielder Corey Loomis, both of whom have double-digit home run totals combined with averages over .360.
The Irish will send Ogilvie to the mound to battle the Falcons. Ogilvie has been very effective as mid-week starter for the Irish all year, starting four games while posting a team leading 0.72 ERA.
Sophomore righthander Peter Ogilvie has yet to face a team with as much offensive firepower as the Falcons, but the righthander will stick to his usual pitching formula.
"I'm going to try to keep the ball down, throw strikes and stay ahead of hitters, the usual," said Ogilvie.
Bowling Green will be hard-pressed to hit for any power against Ogilvie, who hasn't given up a gopher ball this season and has only allowed five extra base hits in 25 innings.
Should the game turn into an offensive struggle, the Irish will be well-armed, having shaken off the ill effects of an early season hitting slump.
Steve Stanley, Steve Sollmann, and Brian Stavisky have stepped up their production, all hitting over .380. But nobody has climbed out of a slump for the Irish like Alec Porzel. The senior shortstop has been on a tear, and now sits at third on the squad in RBIs and has raised his average almost 80 points in the last 15 games.
"Alec's one of the biggest leaders on the team," said Sollmann. "It means a lot to have him playing well Ñ a lot of players count on him." But Sollmann insists the Irish still have steps to take to maximize their offensive production.
"Our offense has improved, but there's lots of room for improvement. We've been hitting too many flyballs and things like that," he said.
As with any team that hasn't lost in 15 games, the Irish are flying high. With Bowling Green, the Irish will simply look to a common formula.
Said Sollmann: "Play hard every inning."
All Sports Stories for Tuesday, April 24, 2001