Tony Giannini, left, and Rudy Rott joke during Ohio’s first game in a double header against Siena University on March 18, 2017. (FILE)
Ohio had its first series sweep of the season this past weekend as it defeated Towson on the road.
Saturday and Sunday’s games were both decided by one run; on Sunday, the Bobcats came back from a seven-run deficit. 15 games into the season, the Bobcats have driven in 78 runs and have a .273 batting average. As a team, the Bobcats also have an ERA of 3.45.
The Bobcats had four pitchers throw in the series’ opener as redshirt senior Gerry Salisbury earned the win, giving up one run and four hits. The Bobcats defeated Towson 5-2 and totaled 11 hits.
The Tigers earned the first run of the game when Dirk Masters singled in the bottom of the second to drive in Charlie Watters.
After scoreless third and fourth innings from both teams, the Bobcats started to pick up in the top of the fifth inning. Ohio scored three runs in that inning off four hits.
Michael Klein helped the Bobcats score their first run with a double in the top of the fifth. Klein’s hit helped Nick Bredeson score. In the next two at-bats, Tony Giannini drove in Rudy Rott with a sacrifice fly and Aaron Levy drove in Klein with a base hit.
Ryan Sargent scored in the top of the sixth off a double from Bredeson. Trevor Hafner scored in the top of the seventh inning off a walk from Devon Garcia. Along with Salisbury, Cory Blessing, Eddie Kutt and Jake Roehn threw in the game. Kutt gave up two hits and a run, and he had three strikeouts.
Ohio tied its season-high of 15 hits in the second game and defeated Towson 10-9. Klein earned the win, and he totaled five strikeouts and three earned runs.
Like Friday, the Tigers earned the first run of the game. Richard Miller scored in the bottom of the second, and when the inning ended, the Bobcats only had two hits — both came in the top of the first.
But in the top of the fourth and the top of the fifth, the Bobcats’ hits increased. Between both innings, the Bobcats had seven runs and eight hits. Ohio had one out in the top of the fourth, and then Giannini scored off a single from Sargent.
After that, Sebastian Fabik had a base hit, scoring Hafner. In the next at-bat, Garcia had a base hit into left field, and Sargent scored.
In the top of the fifth inning, Hafner hit a single to left field and drove in Giannini and Piechnick. Hafner then scored after a wild pitch, and Garcia drove in Aaron Levy after Fabik drew a walk.
The seven-run boom the Bobcats had helped them acquire a 7-4 lead after the fifth inning. The Bobcats scored three more runs in the sixth and seventh innings to help seal the win.
Rott had a home run in the top of the sixth, and he leads the team with four home runs on the season.
Along with Klein, four other pitchers threw for Ohio. Blessing and Nick Kamrada each pitched an inning. Blessing allowed two hits and an earned run. As a team, the Bobcats had six strikeouts — Klein had five, and Roehn had one.
The Bobcats overcame a seven-run deficit against the Tigers in the series’ final game to win 9-8. Kutt earned the win as six other pitchers threw in the game.
Ohio was down 7-0 after the second inning, when Towson had a hitting boom of its own. In the top of the sixth inning, though, the Bobcats’ offense began to improve.
The Bobcats scored five runs in the top of the sixth, and they only allowed one run by the Tigers.
After Hafner flew out to right field to start the inning, Tanner Piechnick hit a home run to give the Bobcats their first run of the game. A few at-bats later — when the Bobcats already had two outs — Dan McCauley had a base hit that helped Sargent score. Rott then hit a home run, driving in McCauley and Treyben Funderburg.
After the end of the sixth inning, the Bobcats held the Tigers scoreless. Between the top of the eighth and the top of the ninth, Ohio scored four more runs to help seal the win.
The uptick in hitting is what the Bobcats needed in the series. They were no-hit on March 4 in the last game of their series against Nebraska-Omaha.
But in this series, the Bobcats had 36 hits, the most they’ve had in a series since they had 48 against Rider to open the season.
Ohio will travel to play High Point on Tuesday, and then it will play South Carolina Upstate on Friday and over the weekend.