Baseball: Ohio’s offensive slump continues, Bobcats lose to Marshall 7-6

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Aaron Levy hit a fly ball to left field at Bob Wren Stadium. The Bobcats only needed one more run to tie the game and send it into the extra innings.

Levy’s fly ball was caught for the game’s final out, and Ohio couldn’t continue the boost it got on offense in the bottom of the eighth. The Bobcats lost 7-6 at home Wednesday against Marshall, dropping their third straight game.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Bobcats were down 7-4. They hadn’t scored since the first inning, when Michael Klein hit a grand slam. The Bobcats benefited from the four walks they drew in that first inning. But as the game went on, they didn’t drive in runners who were in scoring position.

“I mean, hitting’s hard,” Klein said. “They’re not trying to give up runs, so they’re throwing their best stuff. But yeah, we can battle down, try to get that clutch hit because that’s how you win ball games.”

With one out in the eighth, Devon Garcia was at the plate with the bases loaded. Garcia drew a walk on his at-bat, and Levy scored from third.

After Evan Bourn struck out, Ohio had two outs – and bases were still loaded. Rudy Rott drew a walk, and Tony Giannini scored from third. After Rott’s walk, Tanner Piechnick was at the plate with a chance to help tie the game for Ohio or give it the lead. Piechnick’s fly ball was caught in left field, though, and that was the end of the inning.

From the second inning through the seventh inning, the Bobcats didn’t score. And in that same span, the Bobcats only had three hits. Levy was the only player who tallied more than one hit for the Bobcats; the team had a total of six hits.

The Bobcats have been struggling on offense recently, and coach Rob Smith wants his team to have better approaches at the plate.

“Our at-bats in certain situations aren’t well planned in some ways I think,” Smith said. “And it’s causing us to have bad at-bats.”

Before its offensive slump, Ohio was one of the better hitting teams in the MAC. The Bobcats prided themselves on being aggressive, particularly early in the count. Pitchers try to throw strikes early in the count, so the Bobcats were looking to be just as aggressive.

The Bobcats drew a season-high 12 walks against Toledo on April 6. The Bobcats won that game 15-4 and scored the most runs they’ve had in a game this season.

While the Bobcats have been able to draw walks, the key going forward will be taking advantage of them more consistently.

“We just need to be better at getting them in when they’re giving us those free bases,” Klein said.

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