DAYTON, Ohio â A two-out RBI-double junior right fielder Tony Giannini (Carmel, Ind.) and diving catch by sophomore centerfielder Devon Garcia (Bowling Green, Ohio) sealed the victory in the 11th inning for the Ohio baseball team (8-6), as they topple Wright State (9-6), 4-3, to split the two-game set on Friday (March 10) at Nischwitz Stadium.
The Raiders jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first, but the Bobcats tied it up in the top of the second on a run-scoring single by senior third baseman Connor Callery (Covington, Ky.).
Wright State took back the lead in the bottom of third plating two more runs to take a 3-1 lead.
However, the Bobcat were not done yet. Ohio chipped away at the Wright State lead in the sixth as senior second baseman Ty Black (Waynesboro, Ohio) slapped a single through the left side to put sophomore first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) across the plate. The Bobcats would tie the game up in the top of the seventh as redshirt junior catcher Nick Bredeson (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) grounded into a fielderâs choice that plated Garcia.
The Raiders tried to take back the lead in bottom half of the seventh inning. Senior right-handed pitcher Jake Rudnicki (Toledo, Ohio) was on the hill in relief of junior southpaw starter Butch Baird (Big Prairie, Ohio). The Raiders loaded the bases with two outs as Wright Stateâs Zach Weatherford stepped to the plate. Rudnicki stepped up to the task and sat Weatherford down as he watched strike three, leaving the base loaded to end the inning.
Rudnicki allowed a pair of singles in the ninth, but shutdown the Raiders to force extra innings and strand the runners as first and second.
After both sides went down in order in the 10th, the Bobcats struck pay dirt in the 11th on a Giannini RBI-double to the Bobcats up 4-3 as they headed to the bottom half of the inning. After a leadoff double and a ground out single, Wright State had the potential game-tying run on third with one out. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Jake Roehn (Sandwich, Ill.) forced a pop out to senior shortstop Tyler Finkler (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) for the second out. The final batter for Wright State smacked a ball to center, but Garcia made the diving catch to seal the Bobcat victory.
Baird went six innings giving up just three runs on three hits, two free passes and two hit batters while striking out seven Wright State batters in a no-decision. After giving up the two runs in third, Baird faced the minimum through from the fourth through sixth innings, allowing just one runner on a hit pitch who was caught stealing.
The Ohio bullpen combined with Bairdâs final three innings, allowed just seven base runners across the final seven innings to hold the Raiders scoreless. Rudnicki went three innings allowing five hits and striking out three, while Roehn (3-0) went two frames allowing just one hit as the winning pitcher.
Ohio is back in action on Sunday (March 12) when it takes on Western Illinois in a neutral site game at Nischwitz Stadium at 3:30 p.m. ET.
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