Illinois State plays 29 games in Normal this season.
March 15, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - Following four straight weeks on the road, the Illinois State baseball program opens the home portion of its 2013 schedule with a four-game series against Bowling Green State University, March 15-17. All four games will be played at the Corn Crib, which is located one mile north of Duffy Bass Field in Normal, Ill. Admission is free. Installation crews are completing work on the renovated FieldTurf playing surface at Duffy Bass Field and the Redbirds look to move into their home ballpark later in this eight-game home stand.
Illinois State returns to Normal following its annual spring break Florida trip. The Redbirds finished the week at 3-2 overall. ISU won two-of-three games in Winter Haven, Fla., last weekend, defeating LIU Brooklyn and Fairfield, while suffering a loss to Miami University (Ohio). Tuesday night, the Redbirds handed the No. 29 University of Miami Hurricanes its worst defeat in eight years, beating the Hurricanes 17-6 at Alex Rodriguez Park. The Redbirds fell on Wednesday, 9-2.
Bowling Green State University continues its month-long road trip and travels to ISU following four-consecutive games in Florida. The Falcons defeated Georgetown, 8-7, on March 7, but lost its other three games in the Sunshine State, falling to Florida Gulf Coast, West Virginia and North Dakota State.
The Redbirds are guided by fourth-year head coach Mark Kingston, who is closing in on his 110th career victory. Kingston has amassed 30-plus win campaigns in each of his first three seasons as the skipper of ISU, and currently owns a career-record of 107-69.
BGSU is led by veteran head coach Danny Schmitz, who is in his 23rd season as the manager of the Orange and Brown. He sits nine wins away from 600 in his career and is a three-time MAC Coach of the Year.
Eric Aguilera leads the Redbirds in batting average (.393), on-base percentage (.444) and slugging percentage (.571), doubles (5) and is tied for the team-lead in RBI with Brock Stewart with 14. Three Redbirds have two home runs. Jeremy Rhoades (0 ER in 5.2 IP) and Chris Razo (2 ER in 8.1 IP) anchor the bullpen.
Bowling Green averages over four runs-per-game and posts a team ERA of 4.05. They have been hampered this season by poor defense, committing 37 errors through 12 games (.920 fielding percentage). The Falcons have allowed 25 unearned runs.
Will Headean (0-3, 4.32 ERA) starts versus Cody Apthorpe (0-1, 3.05) Friday, pitchers remain TBA for the doubleheader Saturday and Brad Sorkin (3-1, 4.30 ERA) faces Trevor Blaylock (0-3, 6.43 ERA) Sunday. All four games will be broadcast live on GoRedbirds.com and WJBC.com with Ronan O'Shea on the play-by-play.
The Opposition: Bowling Green State University (3-9, 0-0 MAC)
Bowling Green State University is located in Bowling Green, Ohio. The public university was established in 1910 and currently enrolls 17,706 students.
The Falcons have been members of the Mid-American Conference since 1952.
BGSU is in its 94th season of baseball, and owns a career-record of 1,542-1,323-27.
The Falcons are guided by veteran head coach Danny Schmitz, who is in his 23rd season as head coach of the baseball program. Schmitz owns a career-record of 590-551-5, and has won three MAC Coach of the Year awards (1994, 1995, 2009).
Bowling Green went 20-33 in 2012 and finished sixth in the East Division of the Mid-American Conference with a conference record of 9-18.
BGSU was selected to finish third in the East Division of the MAC, per the 2013 MAC baseball preseason poll.
Illinois State is 1-0 all-time versus BGSU, and defeated the Falcons, 18-10, in RussMatt Central Florida Invitational play on March 6, 2011.
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