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ATHENS, Ohio -- Sophomore first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) bashed his first career grand slam to help power the Ohio baseball team (21-23, 7-9 MAC) to a 9-1 victory over Mid-American Conference East Division rival Bowling Green (11-29, 6-13 MAC) on Friday (May 5) in the weekend series opener at Bob Wren Stadium.
Rott hit his career-high 10th home run of the 2017 season, smacked a double and matched his career high with six RBIs.
Junior right fielder Tony Giannini (Carmel, Ind.) finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs while senior third baseman Connor Callery (Covington, Ky.) went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Callery has hit safely in a team-high 16-straight games, which ranks as Ohio's longest hitting streak of the season.
Senior center fielder Spencer Ibarra (Fort Collins, Colo.) finished 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. He has now tallied a team-high 19 multi-hit games, has hit safely in each of the last 11 games, which ranks second on the team, and has reached base safely in 14 straight games.
Senior second baseman Ty Black (Waynesville, Ohio) walked twice and scored three of Ohio's nine runs. He has reached base safely in a team-high 20-straight games.
Redshirt junior left-handed starting pitcher Gerry Salisbury (Brunswick, Ohio) gave the Bobcats a strong outing on the mound, earning the win en route to improving to 2-3 on the year. He struck out seven over seven frames while allowing one earned run on four hits and a walk.
Redshirt junior righty Cory Blessing (Mayfield, Ohio) and senior southpaw Matt Mikolajczak (New Lenox, Ill.) came on in relief of Salisbury. Blessing struck out three in 1.1 perfect innings while Mikolajczak struck out one to help to record the final two outs of the ballgame.
"It was a big win to get, but, more importantly, I was happy with how we got it," said fifth-year head coach Rob Smith. "The fact that we put a really good pitching performance and a really good offensive performance together on the same night...we've not been able to do that enough throughout the course of this year. We really did it tonight. It's nice to be able to play that kind of game."
Ohio took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Callery hit a leadoff single to center, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior left fielder Evan Bourn (Overland Park, Kan.) and scored on a double to right by Callery.
The Bobcats extended their advantage to 2-0 in the third. Black drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on a walk by Rott and third on a single to center by redshirt junior designated hitter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and then scored on an RBI fielder's choice that put Callery on.
Ohio blew the contest open with a four-run home half of the fourth. Senior catcher Anthony Mrosla (Coon Rapids, Minn.) coaxed a walk a one-out walk, senior shortstop Tyler Finkler (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) was hit by a pitch and Black was hit by a pitch one out later to load the bases with Bobcats. That set the stage for Rott's grand slam to right, giving Ohio a 6-0 lead.
"He's a really good hitter," said Smith of Rott. "He struggled early, but we knew he was going to come out of it. There was a no question he was going to figure it out, and he's figured it out in a big way."
Bowling Green broke up Salisbury's no-hit bid in the top of the fifth when redshirt senior shortstop Nick Glanzman hit a two-out single to left. The Falcons then plated their lone run of the game in the sixth. Sophomore designated hitter Riley Minorik led off with a double to left center, moved up to third on a base hit up the middle by sophomore third baseman Cam Daugherty and scored by way of an RBI ground out by junior first baseman Randy Righter.
Ohio added two more runs in the bottom half of the sixth, though to make it a seven-run game. Ibarra legged out a two-out infield single to short, then scored on a double to right by Rott.
The Bobcats plated their ninth and final run in the seventh as Callery hit a leadoff double to right and scored one out later on a single by Giannini.
Glanzman accounted for Bowling Green's lone multi-hit effort of the game with a pair of singles.
Redshirt junior right-handed starting pitcher Tyler Anderson took the loss on the mound for the Falcons, dropping to 2-8 on the year. He allowed six earned runs on four hits and five walks. Senior right-hander Tony Landi tossed 3.1 frames of relief, giving up three earned runs on four hits. Freshman righty Damon Egnor threw one scoreless inning, permitting one hit.
Ohio will go for its third MAC series win of the year when it takes on Bowling Green on Saturday (May 6) in a 3 p.m. ET contest at The Wren. Klein will get the start on the hill for the Bobcats and oppose junior right-hander Zac Carey of the Falcons. 'Voice of the Bobcats' Russ Eisenstein will have the call on WOUB 1340 AM and online on OhioBobcats.com via Stretch Internet.