KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The Ohio baseball team (20-22, 6-9 MAC) was shut out by Mid-American Conference West Division foe Western Michigan (18-20, 8-10 MAC), 9-0, on Saturday (April 29) in the weekend series finale at Robert J. Bobb Stadium at Hyames Field.
The Broncos took the rubber match of the three-game weekend set. Western Michigan took the series opener, 3-2, in walk-off fashion in the first game of a doubleheader on Friday (April 28) to complete. The Bobcats won second contest of the twin bill -- a wild 17-13 marathon victory that took two days to complete after the contest was called in the top of the eighth inning on Friday.
Western Michigan plated three runs in the bottom of the first inning to crab control of the game. The Broncos used a leadoff single up the middle by senior second baseman Nick Vogelmeier, a single to left by sophomore shortstop Connor Smith and a bunt single by senior third baseman Grant Miller to load the bases with nobody out. Junior center fielder Tanner Allison plated both Vogelmeier and Smith with a two-run single through the right side. One out later, Miller scored by way of a base hit through the left side by sophomore first baseman Jesse Forestell.
The Broncos tacked on a fourth run in the third, a fifth in the fourth, three more in the seventh and another in the eighth to seal the win. Western Michigan plated nine runs on 16 hits. Allison went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and four RBIs. Miller finished 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and three runs scored. Vogelmeier collected three singles, drove in a pair of runs and scored two more. Redshirt sophomore designated hitter Andrew Stone doubled, singled and scored a run. Smith tallied a pair of singles.
Redshirt junior right-handed starting pitcher Jimmy Townsend-Chase gave the Broncos seven shutout innings, striking out six. He allowed six hits and three walks en route to improving to 2-2 on the year. Sophomore righty Nic Laio fanned two while giving up two hits in two shutout frames of relief.
Senior center fielder Spencer Ibarra (Fort Collins, Colo.) and freshman catcher Tanner Piechnick (Canonsburg, Pa.) accounted for Ohio's lone extra-base hits of the contest, with each recording a double.
Junior left-handed starting pitcher Butch Baird (Big Prairie, Ohio) suffered the loss on the mound for the Bobcats, falling to 4-3 on the season. He struck out three but permitted five earned runs on 10 hits and a walk. Senior lefty Matt Mikolajczak (New Lenox, Ill.) and sophomore right-hander Kenny Ogg (Indianapolis, Ind.) each threw a scoreless inning of relief for Ohio.
Ohio plays its final non-conference road game of the 2017 season next Tuesday (May 2) when it makes the trip to Kentucky to take on Morehead State. The Bobcats and the Eagles met at Bob Wren Stadium in Athens on March 21, with Morehead State coming away with a 3-1 win.