MOREHEAD, Ky. -- The Ohio baseball team (20-23) piled up a season-high 19 hits -- including a season-high six home runs -- but came up short to Morehead State (29-16), 15-14, its final midweek road game of the 2017 season on Tuesday (May 2) at John "Sonny" Allen Field.
The two teams combined to plate 29 runs on 36 hits. Four Bobcats combined to smash six home runs in the loss.
Returning to the lineup after a six-game absence due to injury, redshirt junior designated hitter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) went 5-for-6 with a pair of homers, a double, four RBIs and three runs scored, upping his season home run total to six.
Sophomore first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) finished 5-for-6 with two dingers, a double, three RBIs and three runs scored. His pair of homers bumped his season total up to nine.
Senior third baseman Connor Callery (Covington, Ky.) homered for the first time in his Ohio career and added two singles, a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Senior center fielder Spencer Ibarra (Fort Collins, Colo.) went 2-for-5 with his team-high 11th home run of the year. He also walked and tallied two RBIs and a run scored.
Morehead State plated eight runs over the first two frames to build up a big early advantage, but Ohio countered with a four-run top of the third to cut its deficit in half. Ibarra got the inning going with a leadoff home run to center. Senior second baseman Ty Black (Waynesville, Ohio) followed with a single through the left side and score one out later when Klein doubled down the right field line. One out later, Callery blasted a two-run homer to right center.
The Bobcats took the lead, 9-8, courtesy of a five-run fifth. Rott and Klein led off with back-to-back homers to center. One out later, Callery singled to center and junior right fielder Evan Bourn (Overland Park, Kan.) coaxed a walk. Senior catcher Anthony Mrosla (Coon Rapids, Minn.) brought home Callery with a base hit to center, and Bourn scored when senior shortstop Tyler Finkler (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) successfully executed a squeeze bunt. Ibarra drove in Mrosla with a two-out single to center to give Ohio a one-run lead.
The Eagles tied the game at nine-all in the home half of the fifth when junior first baseman Tyler Niemann sent a one-out single through the right side and scored one out later on a single to left by sophomore designated hitter Jake Hammon.
Ohio regained the lead, though, in the top of the sixth when Rott smashed a leadoff shot to center. The Bobcats then plated four more runs in the seventh to make it a 14-9 contest. Finkler led off the seventh with a double to right and stole third one out later. After Black drew a walk, Finkler raced home on a wild pitch. Rott doubled down the right field line to score Black, then Klein smashed a two-run home run to left center.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Morehead State made it a two-run game by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh, then plated three more in the eighth to take a one-run lead. Ohio had the go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the ninth after Rott sent a two-out single down the right field line, but freshman right-hander Dom Masullo came on to pitch for the Eagles and got Klein to ground out to short the final out, giving him his first save of the year.
Senior center fielder Ryan Kent finished with three singles and drove in five runs for Morehead State. Junior third baseman Eli Boggess went 4-for-5 with a double and scored four runs. Sophomore Niko Hulsizer smashed a two-run home in the bottom of the first to drive in the first runs of the ballgame -- his 21st round-tripper of the season. Niemann smacked a two-run homer in the second -- his eighth dinger of the year.
Junior righty Kyle Cantu was credited as the winning pitcher for Morehead State in a contest that saw the two squads combine to utilize 15 players on the mound. He struck out two and allowed a hit in 2.1 scoreless innings of relief, improving to 3-0 on the year.
Redshirt junior right-handed closer Jake Roehn (Sandwich, Ill.) suffered the loss on the mound for the Bobcats, dropping to 3-3 on the season. He tallied one strikeout but permitted one earned run on two hits.
Ohio plays host to a critical three-game series against MAC East Division rival Bowling Green (11-28, 6-12 MAC) this weekend at Bob Wren Stadium. The weekend set opens Friday (May 5) with a 6 p.m. ET matchup. The first pitch of the Saturday (May 6) contest is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET while the Sunday (May 7) series finale is slated to get underway at 1 p.m. ET. 'Voice of the Bobcats' Russ Eisenstein will have the call of all three games on WOUB 1340 AM and online on OhioBobcats.com via Stretch Internet.