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ATHENS, Ohio -- Senior left fielder Spencer Ibarra (Fort Collins, Colo.) hit a pair of home runs to bring his 2017 season total to four as the Ohio baseball team (10-7) split a Saturday (March 18) doubleheader with Siena (4-11) at Bob Wren Stadium. The Bobcats bounced back from a 4-2 loss in game one with a 7-4 victory in the second game of the twin bill.
Game 1 - Siena 4, Ohio 2
Sophomore first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, and redshirt junior left-handed starting pitcher Gerry Salisbury (Brunswick, Ohio) fanned six over five solid innings, but the Bobcats fell to the Saints by two in game one of the doubleheader.
Ibarra led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo shot to right center to break a scoreless tie, but Siena put up a three spot in the top of the sixth to take control of the contest. Junior second baseman Jordan Bishop led off with a double to right center, then sophomore third baseman Brian Kelly followed with a single. Bishop scored the tying run on a wild pitch that allowed junior catcher Phil Madonna to reach first safely on a walk. One out later, senior center fielder Dan Swain gave the Saints the lead with a two-RBI single that plated Kelly and Madonna.
Redshirt junior designated hitter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) cut Ohio's deficit to one run in the home half of the sixth with a two-out solo shot down the right field line, but the Saints got the run back in the top of the ninth when junior first baseman Joe Drpich smashed a one-out solo homer to center.
The Bobcats threated in the bottom of the ninth after junior right fielder Tony Giannini (Carmel, Ind.) hit a one-out double to right center and junior pinch hitter Evan Bourn (Overland Park, Kan.) followed with a base hit to left. Unfortunately, Ohio stranded both in scoring position as Siena freshman right-handed reliever Danny Hobbs nailed down his first save of the year.
Sophomore southpaw starting pitcher Tommy Miller picked up the win on the mound for the Saints, improving to 2-2 on the season. He struck out three in six innings of work while giving up two earned runs on six hits and a walk. Sophomore righty Tom Sutera gave Siena two scoreless frames of relief, striking out one while giving up one hit. Hobbs threw a scoreless ninth, allowing two hits but fanning one.
Freshman Chris Davignon finished with three hits for the Saints. Bishop and Kelly each finished with two hits, a walk and a run scored.
The loss spoiled a solid start for Salisbury, who fanned six while allowing four hits and three walks over five strong frames. Sophomore righty Kenny Ogg (Indianapolis, Ind.) suffered his first loss of the season, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Senior right-hander Tom Colletti (Wheaton, Ill.) tossed four innings of relief, striking out one while allowing two earned runs on three hits and two walks.
Game 2 - Ohio 7, Siena 4
The Bobcats pounded out 13 hits while junior southpaw starting pitcher Butch Baird (Big Prairie, Ohio) struck out seven over 5.1 innnings on the mound in his home debut.
Ohio jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second. Senior shortstop Tyler Finkler (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) and Giannini hit back-to-back one out singles, then successfully executed a double steal. Freshman catcher Tanner Piechnick (Canonsburg, Pa.) served up a sacrifice fly to center that allowed Finkler to score, then senior second baseman Ty Black (Waynesville, Ohio) sent a base hit back up the middle to bring home Giannini.
Siena countered with three runs on three hits and an Ohio error to take a one-run lead in the third, though. Swain got the frame started with a two-out solo homer to left. Davignon and Drpich each drew walks and later scored on a two-RBI single to center by Bishop.
The Bobcats retaliated with a three-run fourth to take a 5-3 lead. Klein hit a leadoff single to left, Finkler followed with a single to right center and Giannini was hit by a pitch to load the bases with Bobcats. Piechnick drew a walk to bump home Klein. One out later, senior third baseman Connor Callery (Covington, Ky.) drove in Finkler with an infield base hit. Piechnick then scored when Ibarra reached on a Siena error.
The Bobcats added insurance runs in both the seventh and the eighth. In the seventh, Rott sent a leadoff double down the right field line and scored two outs later on a base hit to left by Giannini. The eighth inning saw Ibarra crush a two-out solo home run to right center.
Baird improved to 3-0 on the season, giving up three runs -- only one of which was earned -- on five hits and three walks. Senior right-hander Jake Rudnicki (Toledo, Ohio) pitched two innings of relief, striking out four. He gave up an earned run on a hit and two walks. Redshirt junior right-handed closer Jake Roehn (Sandwich, Ill.) earned his third save of the season and 10th of his career, striking out two while giving up one hit in 1.2 innings of work.
Rott, Klein, Finkler, Giannini, Black and Callery each produced multi-hit games for the Bobcats.
Ohio and Siena conclude the weekend set on Sunday (March 19) in a noon ET matchup. The series finale will mark the first 'Sunday Funday' of the 2017 season, with all fans receiving free admission courtesy of OhioHealth. Kids will also have the opportunity to run the bases at Bob Wren Stadium following the game. Klein will start on the mound for the Bobcats and oppose Siena senior right-hander Chris Amorosi.