Box Score (PDF)
ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio baseball team (20-27) belted four home runs -- including two by junior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) but fell to in-state rival Youngstown State (15-31) in a 10-9 slugfest on Wednesday (May 9) at Bob Wren Stadium.
The contest marked the final midweek game of the 2018 season for Ohio.
The Bobcats and the Penguins combined to smack seven home runs. Ohio's four round trippers marked the third time this year the squad has smacked at least four dingers in a game.
Rott led the way once again for Ohio's offense, going 2-for-5 with a pair of homers, four RBIs and two runs scored. The contest marked his team-high 22nd multi-hit game of the season and team-high 13th multi-RBI game of the year. He has now homered in four of the last five games and has went deep a team-high 13 times this season. Senior third baseman Tony Giannini (Carmel, Ind.) finished 2-for-4 with a home run -- his third on the season -- to go along with a walk and two runs scored. Making his second career start, freshman designated hitter Noah Weiner (Murrysville, Pa.) went 2-for-5 with his first career home run and scored two runs. Freshman second baseman Aaron Levy (Cincinnati, Ohio) went 3-for-5 with an RBI.
Youngstown State grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when freshman center fielder Lucas Nasonti hit a one-out single to right center and freshman shortstop Jeff Wehler followed with a two-run home run to left.
The Penguins' advantage swelled to 3-0 in the second when senior first baseman Andrew Kendrick led off with a homer down the left field line.
Ohio got on the board in the home half of the second when Giannini led off with a home run to left, but the Penguins answered back in the third with three runs to push their lead to 6-1. Nasonti led off the frame with a double to left center. One out later, after sophomore right fielder Blaze Glenn coaxed a walk, junior second baseman Drew Dickerson doubled to left center to drive in Nasonti. Both Glenn and Dickerson then scored one out later on a base hit to center by freshman designated hitter Nick LaBrasca.
The Bobcats made it a brand new ballgame in the bottom of the third, however. Sophomore shortstop Trevor Hafner (Perrysburg, Ohio) got things rolling by leading off with a double to left center, and freshman center fielder Sebastian Fabik (Lebanon, Ohio) followed with a single to left center. That set the stage for Rott's first home run of the evening -- a three-run blast to dead center that made it a two-run affair. After redshirt sophomore right fielder Ryan Sargent (Algonquin, Ill.) reached on a fielder's choice, Weiner shot a two-out single back up the middle. Sargent then scored by way of an RBI single to right by Levy, and Weiner tied things up at six-all when he scored on an RBI single to left center by sophomore left fielder Jack Longo (Mayfield, Ohio).
The tie was short lived, though, as Youngstown State plated two more runs on a hit and an Ohio error to take an 8-6 lead in the fourth. Nasonti sent a one-out single through the left side and advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a ball-four wild pitch that put Wehler on base with a walk. After Wehler moved to second on another wild pitch, Nasonti tagged up and scored from third on a sacrifice fly to right by Glenn. Wehler also scored on the play on a throwing error by the Bobcats.
Ohio began chipping away at Youngstown State's lead in the fifth when Weiner hit a two-out solo homer to left to make it a one-run game. The Bobcats then squared things up in the sixth when Rott went yard again -- this time a two-out solo shot to left center.
The Bobcats snatched their first and only lead of the game in the seventh when Giannini drew a leadoff walk, took second on a wild pitch, moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt by junior pinch hitter Devon Garcia (Bowling Green, Ohio) and then scored on another wild pitch.
Unfortunately for Ohio, the Penguins evened things up again in the eighth and then took the lead in the ninth. In the eighth, senior left fielder Trey Bridis smacked a one-out home run to left center. The ninth saw Glenn lead off with a single to center and take second on the play on an Ohio miscue. He then scored what proved to be the winning run one out later when LaBrasca lifted a sacrifice fly to left.
Youngstown State freshman right-handed reliever Chad Coles capped off his second scoreless inning of relief in the bottom of the ninth by retiring the Bobcats in order to end the game. He picked up the win to improve to 1-1 on the season, striking out one while not giving up a hit or a walk.
The Penguins were led at the plate by Nasonti, who went 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored. Dickerson compiled the only other multi-hit effort of the contest for Youngstown State, finishing 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and a run scored.
Junior right-handed pitcher Kenny Ogg (Indianapolis, Ind.) took the loss on the mound for the Bobcats, dropping to 1-2 on the year. He allowed an unearned run on a hit and a walk in one inning of relief. Sophomore left-hander Nick Byrnes (Cincinnati, Ohio), redshirt junior righty Nick Kamrada (Grand Ledge, Mich.) and freshman southpaw Alex Kuster (Lake Orion, Mich.) all tossed one scoreless inning of relief for Ohio as the Bobcats utilized nine different pitchers. Byrnes struck out one while permitting one hit, Kamrada fanned one and Kuster struck out one while giving up one hit.
Ohio stages its final three home games of the 2018 campaign on the penultimate weekend of the regular season, as Western Michigan comes to town for a Mid-American Conference series this weekend (May 11-13) at Bob Wren Stadium.