BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Another strong effort by the pitching staff powered the Ohio baseball team (7-5) to a series-clinching 3-0 shutout of Western Kentucky (4-8) in the Sunday (March 5) rubber match at Nick Denes Field.
After dropping the opening game of the series, 5-4, on Friday (March 3), the Bobcats blanked the Hilltoppers by identical scores of 3-0 in each of the final two contests of three-game weekend set. Sunday's shutout marked Ohio's third of the young 2017 season.
Redshirt junior right-handed starting pitcher Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), sophomore righty Kenny Ogg (Indianapolis, Ind.), senior right-hander Tom Colletti (Wheaton, Ill.) and redshirt junior right-handed closer Jake Roehn (Sandwich, Ill.) combined to limit Western Kentucky to just three hits and four walks. Klein picked up his first win on the mound of the season, fanning one while scattering three hits and allowing a walk over five strong innings. Ogg, Colletti and Roehn threw four hitless innings out of the bullpen. Ogg pitched a perfect sixth inning. Colletti struck out two and permitted one walk in two innings. Roehn tallied one strikeout and walked two in the ninth en route to earning his second-straight save, bringing his career total to nine.
The Bobcats placed their first run of the contest on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning. Senior right fielder Spencer Ibarra (Fort Collins, Colo.) led off with a single to right, then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior shortstop Tyler Finkler (Olmsted Falls, Ohio). One out later, Klein, junior left fielder Evan Bourn (Overland Park, Kan.) and redshirt junior catcher Nick Bredeson (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) coaxed back-to-back-to-back walks to bump Ibarra home.
Ohio tacked on two more in the fifth. Klein sent a leadoff base hit to left to get things started. Bredeson followed with a single through the left side one out later. Senior second baseman Ty Black (Waynesville, Ohio) loaded the bases with Bobcats with a base hit to left. Senior third baseman Connor Callery (Covington, Ky.) cashed in with a single to center to plate Klein. Bredson scored Ohio's third run when sophomore center fielder Devon Garcia (Bowling Green, Ohio) served up a sacrifice fly to center.
Ibarra led the Bobcats with three singles -- his third multi-hit effort of the year and first with at least three base knocks. Bredeson went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and a run scored. He posted his third-multi-hit performance of the season.
Freshman right-handed starting pitcher Michael Hicks was saddled with the loss for Western Kentucky. He gave up one earned run on five hits and four walks in 3.1 innings on the mound.
Ohio will play four games in the Dayton-area next weekend. The Bobcats are scheduled to play Dayton on Friday (March 10), then visit Wright State in a Saturday (March 11) doubleheader in Fairborn before closing the weekend with a Sunday (March 12) matchup against Western Illinois in Dayton.