BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- The Ohio baseball team (5-5) battled back from a 4-1 deficit, but came up short against host Western Kentucky (4-6), 5-4 on Friday (March 3) in the weekend series opener at Nick Denes Field.
The Bobcats fell despite a 2-for-3 effort from redshirt junior designated hitter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), who belted his team-leading third home run of the season.
The Hilltoppers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but Ohio cut its deficit to one run in the top half of the fourth when Klein hit a one-out solo shot to center.
Western Kentucky tacked on two more runs in the fifth and another in the seventh to extend its lead to 5-1, but the Bobcats rallied with a three-run eighth. Senior third baseman Connor Callery (Covington, Ky.) led off the frame with a base hit to left. One out later, senior shortstop Tyler Finkler (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) was hit by a pitch and sophomore first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) knocked a single to center to lead the bases for Ohio. Klein singled home Callery, then junior left fielder Evan Bourn (Overland Park, Kan.) smacked a two-run single to right to make it a one-run ballgame.
Senior right-handed reliever Tom Colletti (Wheaton, Ill.) came on to pitch the home half of the eighth for the Bobcats and retired the side, but Ohio could not capitalize on a leadoff walk by senior second baseman Ty Black (Waynesville, Ohio).
Redshirt junior southpaw starting pitcher Gerry Salisbury (Brunswick, Ohio) suffered the loss on the mound for Ohio, fanning one but allowing four earned runs on 10 hits and two walks over 4.2 frames of work.
Bourn went 2-for-3 with two RBIs while Callery tallied a pair of singles and scored a run for the Bobcats.
Ohio looks to even the weekend set on Saturday (March 4) in a 2 p.m. ET matchup.