AMHERST, N.Y. -- The Ohio baseball team (24-25, 10-10 MAC) used a dominant performance on the mound by redshirt junior right-handed starting pitcher Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and a nine-run outburst in the top of the seventh inning to best Mid-American Conference East Division rival Buffalo (16-30, 8-12 MAC), 12-1, on Saturday (May 13) at Audubon Field.
The Bobcats clinched their second-straight MAC series win and fourth of the 2017 season with Saturday's victory over the Bulls. Ohio opened the weekend with a 5-3 triumph over Buffalo in the Friday (May 12) series opener. The Bobcats have come way victorious in seven of their last 11 league games.
Klein set the tone for the win with six solid innings, fanning seven while allowing just one earned run on three hits and a walk. He improved to 4-2 on the hill this year. Senior righty Jake Rudnicki (Toledo, Ohio), senior left-handed Matt Mikolajczak (New Lenox, Ill.) and redshirt sophomore right-hander Connor McMann (Flower Mound, Texas) each pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Rudnicki struck out two while Mikolajczak and McMan each fanned one. The Ohio pitching staff has now struck out 403 batters this year, marking the second time in three years the Bobcat arms have tallied at least 400 strikeouts.
The Ohio bats tallied double digit runs for the eighth time this year and double digit hits for the 21st time.
Senior center fielder Spencer Ibarra (Fort Collins, Colo.) hit his team-high 12th home run of the season and added a double to go along with a career-high four RBIs and a run scored. He has posted a team-high 21 multi-hit games and a team-high nine multi-RBI efforts this year. Ibarra has reached base safely in each of the last 19 games, which currently ranks fourth on the team.
Junior right fielder Tony Giannini (Carmel, Ind.) went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored, marking his ninth multi-hit game this year and second with three hits.
Senior shortstop Tyler Finkler (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) finished 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored, giving him nine multi-hit contests on the year.
Senior third baseman Connor Callery (Covington, Ky.) went 2-for-4 with two walks, an RBI and two runs scored. He made Ohio history with his leadoff single in the top of the second inning as he extended his hitting streak to 21-straight games -- a new program record. Then-redshirt senior catcher Cody Gaertner set the previous standard with a 20-game hitting streak in 2016. Callery has now tallied 18 multi-hit games this year, which ranks second on the squad.
Klein helped his cause by posting a single, a double, an RBI and a run scored. He has now recorded 13 multi-hit games this season.
Senior second baseman Ty Black (Waynesville, Ohio) collected a pair of singles and scored a run. He has now reached base safely in a team season-high 25-straight games and has totaled 16 multi-hit efforts, which ranks fourth on the team.
Sophomore first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) finished 2-for-4 with two walks and a run scored, giving him 17 multi-hit games on the year, which ranks third on the team. He has reached base safely 22-straight games, which currently ranks second on the squad.
Junior left fielder Evan Bourn (Overland Park, Kan.) also gave the Ohio offense a boost with a triple, a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Ohio broke through for two runs on four hits in the second to get the scoring started. Callery led off with a single through the right side, then moved up to third on a double to left by Giannini. Callery scored the Bobcats' first run on a wild pitch. Giannini then made it 2-0 when he tagged up and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Bourn.
The Bobcats' advantage grew to three runs in the fourth as Bourn drew a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior catcher Anthony Mrosla (Coon Rapids, Minn.), moved to third on a base hit to right by Finkler and then scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Ibarra.
Buffalo cut Ohio's lead to 3-1 in the home half of the fifth when senior third baseman Chris Kwitzer led off with a single to center and scored one out later on a double to left by senior second baseman Brian Dudek.
That's the only run the Bobcats let the Bulls get, though, and Ohio blew the contest open with a nine-run seventh. Ibarra led off with a home run to right center. Black beat out an infield single to second, and, after Rott coaxed a walk, both scored on a single by Klein and a Buffalo error. Callery plated Klein with a single to right. After Callery advanced to second on a wild pitch, Giannini moved him up to third with a base hit to right. Callery then scored on a wild pitch. Bourn laced a triple to left center to bring in Giannini, then scored on a passed ball. Mrosla reached base safely courtesy of another Buffalo miscue. After Finkler drew a walk, Ibarra drove in both he and Mrosla with a double to right, making it 12-1 in favor of the Bobcats.
Junior right-handed starting pitcher Shawn Dubin was tagged with the loss on the mound for Buffalo, falling to 5-3 on the year. The two-time reigning MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week gave up seven runs -- four of which were earned -- on 11 hits and three walks. He struck out three. Freshman righty Greg Dumham surrendered five runs -- three of which were earned -- on three hits and a walk. Redshirt sophomore right-hander Tom Taplin threw the final three innings for the Bulls, striking out four. He allowed four hits and two walks.
Kwitzer produced the lone multi-hit effort of the day for the Bulls, going 3-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
Ohio goes for its second MAC series sweep of the year when it closes the weekend with a 1 p.m. ET contest against Buffalo in the Sunday (May 14) finale.