Ohio’s Aaron Levy swings the bat during Ohio’s game against Eastern Michigan on April 13. The Bobcats beat the Eagles 5-4 in their first game of a doubleheader. (FILE)
Ohio was coming off a series win against Kent State when it played Miami this weekend. The Golden Flashes and the Redhawks are two of the best teams in the Mid-American Conference.
But the Bobcats didn’t win their series against the Redhawks, another top-tier team in the MAC. Ohio lost two of three games as it fell 4-2 on Sunday in the series finale. With the series loss, the Bobcats are two games below .500 in the MAC and drop to 20-23 on the season.
The Bobcats’ next series will be at home over the weekend against Ball State, with Friday’s first pitch slated for 6 p.m.
The Bobcats were down 3-1 headed into the fifth inning after Miami scored three runs in the bottom of the third, but Ohio came back to win 4-3 in the first game of the series.
Eddie Kutt got the start on the mound, and he gave up three earned runs in three innings of work. Kutt gave up eight hits and tallied two strikeouts in the outing. Cory Blessing came in relief, and he struck out a career-high eight batters in his third win of the season. Jake Roehn, the Bobcats’ all-time saves leader, got his seventh save of the season.
Trevor Hafner drew a walk to begin the rally in the fifth. After advancing to second on a balk, Hafner then advanced to third on a groundout to first from Rudy Rott.
Hafner scored from third as Tanner Piechnick drove him in with a groundout to third. The Bobcats took the lead in the seventh inning when Dan McCauley hit an RBI triple to right center; Piechnick and Rott scored on McCauley’s RBI.
The Bobcats held onto the lead, and they finished with seven hits. Rott led the team in hits with two, and Piechnick and McCauley each had two RBIs.
The Bobcats led 1-0 after the second inning, but from there the Redhawks dominated. Ohio lost 6-1 in the second game of the series as Miami scored six unanswered runs after the second inning.
Ohio’s lone run came from Tony Giannini, who scored from third after Sebastian Fabik was caught stealing; Fabik was thrown out at second. While the Bobcats only scored one run, they did tally six hits. Giannini and Devon Garcia led the team in hits with two each.
The Bobcats drew five walks, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities.
What’s been important for the Bobcats’ pitching staff is their ability to not give up a lot of walks. That continued Saturday as the Bobcats’ pitching staff allowed two walks.
Gerry Salisbury got the start on the mound, and he gave up nine hits and three earned runs in his fifth loss of the season. Salisbury threw six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
Salisbury leads the team in strikeouts with 53, and he has an ERA of 4.50. Nick Kamrada and Logan Jacik contributed from the bullpen, and Kamrada gave up one earned run on two hits.
The Bobcats were down 3-1 heading into the eighth inning. The Bobcats scored one run in the eighth, but couldn’t regain the lead. The Bobcats lost 4-2 in the series finale.
With two outs in the top of the eighth, Fabik hit an RBI single to right field. McCauley scored off Fabik’s hit, and Garcia advanced to second. The Bobcats couldn’t continue to cut into the lead, though. Hafner reached on a fielder’s choice, and Fabik was thrown out at second to end the inning.
The Bobcats finished the game with three hits, the fewest number of hits they totaled in the series.
Rott, McCauley and Fabik each had a hit. Rott homered to right field in the first, earning his ninth home run of the season.
Michael Klein got the start in the series finale, and he gave up one earned run in 4 1/3 innings. Klein also threw five strikeouts. He has been recovering from a tweaked elbow. The last time he pitched was April 18 at home against Marshall.
Along with Klein, four pitchers contributed from the bullpen: Kutt, Blessing, Roehn and Kenny Ogg. The pitching staff gave up a combined eight hits and three walks.