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Ohio Opens Season With a Pair of Losses

Jake Madsen

Feb. 16, 2013

Game One - Box Score | Game Two - Box Score

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Ohio University baseball team (0-2) dropped a pair of games on Saturday as it opened its 2013 campaign. The `Cats dropped their first game of the season to Belmont 5-1 and then were shutout 1-0 by Valparaiso in game two at E.S. Rose Park.

"I thought we played exceptionally well defensively today," head coach Rob Smith said. "Obviously we're disappointed about the losses, but give Belmont and Valparaiso credit, they both played well and got great outings from their starters. I think there were some positives to take away from today's games and we're looking forward to getting back to work on Monday."

In game one against Belmont, Ohio fell behind early as the Bruins scored three runs on five hits in the bottom of the first inning. Belmont sophomore pitcher Austin Coley kept the Bobcats in check for the first five innings of the game as he held Ohio without a hit.

In the bottom half of the fifth, Belmont increased its lead to 4-0 thanks to a two-out double by Matt Beaty. Ohio's offense began to get going in the sixth as it collected a pair of hits from freshman Nick Squires (Plain City, Ohio) and sophomore Jake Madsen (Cincinnati, Ohio), but the `Cats were unable to capitalize on the hits as they stranded a pair of runners.

Belmont struck again in the sixth to make the count 5-0. Ohio added a run in the eighth as senior Ben Otto (Menomonie, Wis.) came around to score thanks to an RBI single into right field by Madsen.

Freshman Jake Miller (Westerville, Ohio) suffered the loss after he allowed four earned runs on 10 hits. Madsen highlighted the Bobcats' offensive effort as he went 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. As a team, Ohio was outhit 13-4 by the Bruins.

In game two against Valparaiso, Ohio received a strong effort from senior starter Marck Paliotto (Columbus, Ohio) as he held the Crusaders to just four hits in 5.0 innings of work. He also struck out five in the losing effort.

"Marck (Paliotto) did a nice job in his first start of the year," Smith said. "He gave us a chance to win."

Valpo starting pitcher Cole Webb was equally effective in his first start of the season as he struck out four allowed just one hit and one walk in 8.0 innings of work to earn the win.

The lone Crusader run came off the bat of John Loeffler in the top of the 4th inning. Tanner Vavra led off the frame with a double down the left field line. Morman followed with a bunt down the third-base line. With runners at first and third and no one out, Loeffler grounded into a 6-4 fielder's choice that plated the Crusader second baseman.

Ohio returns to action next week as it heads to Greenville, N.C. to take on Illinois (Feb. 22), Boston College (Feb. 23) and New Mexico State (Feb. 24).