Baseball: Ohio loses two of three games in series against South Carolina Upstate

Baseball: Ohio loses two of three games in series against South Carolina Upstate

 

Ohio freshman catcher Tanner Piechnick steps up to the plate during Ohio’s game against Dayton on April 4. (FILE)

 

Ohio lost two of three games in its road series against South Carolina Upstate this past weekend. The Bobcats won the last game of the series 10-5.

The Bobcats allowed 25 runs against the Spartans over the weekend, the most they’ve given up in a series this season.

Friday

Ohio lost the first game of the series 8-1 as it gave up six runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

Six pitchers threw in the loss, led by Gerry Salisbury, who threw five innings. Salisbury gave up seven earned runs and eight hits.

In the third inning, Nick Bredeson hit a single to left field, and Aaron Levy scored the Bobcats’ lone run of the game.

The Spartans didn’t score in the bottom of the third, and neither team scored in the fourth inning.

But in the fifth and sixth innings, the Bobcats allowed six runs, five of which came in the fifth.

The Spartans scored on three straight at-bats in the bottom of the fifth, and they tallied five hits in the inning.

What was perhaps most detrimental for the Bobcats was their three errors. Before Friday, the Bobcats hadn’t had more than two errors in a game since the second game of the Towson series.

Along with the errors, the Bobcats also tied a season-low for hits. Ohio had four hits in the first game of the series.

Saturday

The Bobcats lost the second game of the series 12-7 against the Spartans, giving up the most runs they’ve allowed in a game this season.

Michael Klein and two other pitchers — Cory Blessing and Eddie Kutt — threw in the loss. Klein pitched five innings and gave up four earned runs and eight hits. Blessing also gave up four earned runs, and he allowed four hits. Kutt gave up three hits and two earned runs.

While the Bobcats were in a 2-0 hole after the first inning Friday, they were down 4-0 after the first inning Saturday. Neither team scored in the second inning, but the top of the third was when the Bobcats began to improve offensively.

The Bobcats had two outs after Tanner Piechnick struck out. After Piechnick’s at-bat, Tony Giannini drew a walk, and Rudy Rott advanced to second base; Bredeson advanced to third.

Then, after Giannini drew a walk, Trevor Hafner hit a double, clearing the bases. On the next at-bat, Ryan Sargent hit a single, and Hafner scored.

The Bobcats scored four runs off four hits in that inning, but the Spartans scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth. Ohio scored two more runs in the top of the seventh, but South Carolina Upstate responded with two runs in the bottom of the eighth.

After posting three errors Friday, the Bobcats had two errors Saturday. They also had more hits (11). Rott, who leads the team in home runs and hits, led the Bobcats with three hits.

Sunday

The Bobcats won the series finale 10-5 on Sunday as they avoided a sweep. The Bobcats have yet to be swept so far this season.

Butch Baird and three other pitchers threw in the win. Baird allowed four earned runs and seven hits. Baird also threw eight strikeouts, and Jake Roehn, who didn’t give up any hits or runs, threw three strikeouts.

In the first two games, the Bobcats were down after the first inning. But in the series finale, they were ahead. Neither team scored in the first inning, and at the end of the second inning, the Bobcats were down 1-0.

Ohio was down 5-3 after the sixth inning, but a five-run top of the seventh helped the Bobcats create a strong lead. Devon Garcia, Bredeson, Giannini, Piechnick and Rott all scored one run for the Bobcats in the inning.

Out of the five players who scored a run in the top of the seventh, four are in the top five for most hits on the team.

Rott is first, then it’s Bredeson, Garcia and Giannini. Those four are also in the top five for batting average on the team. Rott leads the team in batting average (.390).

What’s next

Ohio (11-8) will play its first Mid-American Conference series of the season against Bowling Green (3-16). The series three-game series is set to begin Friday.

 

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