ATHENS, Ohio -- Redshirt junior pitcher Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) threw 5.2 strong frames and struck out eight in addition to going 2-for-3 with a triple, an RBI and two walks as the Ohio baseball team (11-7) defeated Siena (4-12), 6-4, on Sunday (March 19) at Bob Wren Stadium.
The Bobcats clinched the weekend series courtesy of Sunday's victory over the Saints. On Saturday (March 18), the two teams split a doubleheader, with Siena taking the first game, 4-2, and Ohio bouncing back in the second game of the twin bill with a 7-4 triumph.
"(Klein) has been pretty consistent for us all year," said fifth-year head coach Rob Smith. "Mike said from the beginning of the year he wanted to be in our weekend rotation and bat in the middle of our order, and thatâs what he set out to do."
Redshirt junior closer Jake Roehn (Sandwich, Ill.) picked up his second-straight save, fourth of the year and 11th of his career, striking out one in the final frame.
Ohio was led at the plate by senior left fielder Spencer Ibarra (Fort Collins, Colo.), who went 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI, a walk and three runs scored. Senior third baseman Connor Callery (Covington, Ky.) finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
Ohio struck first in the bottom of the first inning as Ibarra led off with a base hit to left and scored two outs later on a single to center by Klein.
The Bobcats continued to put runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third, taking a 2-0 lead when Ibarra walked, advanced to second and then third on a pair of wild pitches and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by sophomore first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.).
The ensuing frame saw Ohio extend its lead to 3-0 as Callery coaxed a two-out walk, advanced to second when sophomore center fielder Devon Garcia (Bowling Green, Ohio) reached on a Siena fielding error and then scored on a double down the right field line.
The Saints got on the scoreboard for the first time in the top of the fifth. Freshman left fielder Chris Davignon led off with an infield single and later scored on a base hit to center by right fielder Dan Lowndes.
The Bobcats went back up by three runs in the home half of the frame. Rott led off with an infield base hit and scored two outs later when senior second baseman Ty Black (Waynesville, Ohio) beat out an infield single.
In the top of the sixth, Klein pitched himself into a bases-loaded jam with one out by permitting three-straight walks. Sophomore third baseman Brian Kelly cut the Saints' deficit in half when he scored from third on a wild pitch, but Ohio sophomore right-hander Kenny Ogg (Indianapolis, Ind.) got freshman pinch hitter Rich Gilbride to fly out to left where Ibarra made a diving grab, forcing Siena to leave the bases loaded.
The Bobcats retaliated with two more runs in the home half of the sixth to take a 6-2 lead. Garcia was hit by a pitch to lead things off, then Ibarra singled to right. Redshirt junior catcher Nick Bredeson (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) drove in Garcia on an RBI ground out to second, then Ibarra scored on a sacrifice fly to to right by senior shortstop Tyler Finkler (Olmsted Falls, Ohio).
The Saints plated runs in both the seventh and the top of the ninth, but senior southpaw Matt Mikolajczak (New Lenox, Ill.), redshirt junior righty Cory Blessing (Mayfield, Ohio) and Roehn came out of the bullpen and kept Siena in check to preserve the win. Mikolajczak and Blessing each tossed scoreless innings of relief. After surrendering a one-out, pinch-hit solo home run to freshman Josh DelSignore, Roehn forced freshman pinch hitter Jonathan Crimmin to fly out and sophomore pinch hitter Jordan Folgers to ground out to end the game.
"Today coached wanted me to really focus on my cutter today," said Blessing of his scoreless eighth inning of relief. "The first batter was all cutters. I finally found it and it worked really well. Other than one I left up there, they were pretty good."
Senior left-handed starting pitcher Chris Amorosi was saddled with the loss on the mound for Siena, giving up an earned run on three hits and a walk in two innings of work. He fell to 0-2 on the season. Lowndes and junior first baseman Joe Drpich led the Saints at the plate with a pair of singles.
Ohio is scheduled to host Morehead State (13-6) on Tuesday (March 21) in a 6 p.m. ET matchup at The Wren.