The Bowling Green baseball team lost just one game against a Region 4 team throughout the entire regular season.
That team – Glasgow – was the same team that stood in the Purples’ way of the Region 4 Tournament championship, but in the rematch, Bowling Green was able to come out on top.
With Eli Burwash on the mound, the Purples beat the Scotties 8-1 in the Region 4 Tournament semifinals Monday at Western Kentucky University’s Nick Denes Field to advance to Tuesday’s 6 p.m. championship game.
“When you have Eli Burwash on the mound – he hasn’t been beaten and is one of the top pitchers in the state, possibly in the region – confidence is very high,” Bowling Green coach Nathan Isenberg said. “It’s going to be something, as I told our guys, we’re the only team that can beat us. We just have to play good baseball and don’t let the game speed up on us and try to do too much.”
Glasgow (19-15) was one of just five teams to beat Bowling Green (33-5) this season entering postseason play. The Scotties claimed a 9-5 decision at home May 13 to snap the Purples’ 17-game winning streak.
But with Burwash on the mound, the Purples liked their chances with the season on the line, and the senior pitcher delivered.
Burwash picked up a complete-game victory, allowing just one run on five hits and two walks. He struck out five batters in the win.
“He’s a competitor. He has great command,” Isenberg said. “One of the things that has concerned me over the past few games is when he’s pitched, we’ve not played great defense. He has a 0.7 ERA, so you know he’s going to hold them to at least one earned. Anything else will come down to whether we play defense. It was nice to see us play good defense.”
The Purples got the offense going early, scoring all eight of their runs in the first three innings.
Bowling Green took advantage of two Glasgow errors in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead, and added three more in the second. Burwash made it 3-0 with an infield single, before Patrick Forbes made it a 5-0 game with a two-run single two batters later.
Glasgow got on the board in the top of the third, using singles from Jackson Poland, Tyler Lane and Cole Bunch – the final of which drove in the Scotties’ lone run – to make it 5-1.
“They’re an outstanding baseball team,” Glasgow coach Sam Royse said. “We just had a good day (May 13) against them up at our place. We had a good day and we made more plays and we got some balls to fall in with runners on base, so we just had a good day against them. We didn’t have that day today. They just outplayed us today, for sure.”
After Bunch’s RBI, Burwash only got better. He struck out the next two batters, starting a string of 11 straight batters retired leading into the top of the seventh. After giving up a leadoff single to John Carter Myers in the final inning, he induced a 4-6-3 double play and recorded his final strikeout to end the game.
“To me, the strike zone was kind of small, so I just kind of wanted to get pitches to hit and try to get ground balls and draw some double plays and everything,” Burwash said.
Bowling Green added insurance in the bottom of the third with a two-run single from Dom Davis and a sacrifice fly from Turner Nottmeier to make it 8-1.
Jackson Poland got the start for Glasgow, allowing six hits, two walks and a hit batter in three innings. Zachary Poore pitched three shutout innings of relief, allowing just one hit with one strikeout.
The victory sets up a championship game matchup against Franklin-Simpson. The final is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Nick Denes Field. The Wildcats beat Russell County 5-3 in Monday’s second doubleheader.