Feb. 17, 2012
WILMINGTON, N.C. - The Ohio University baseball team (0-1) dropped a 6-5 decision in 10 innings to UNC-Wilmington Friday night at Brooks Field in its 2012 season-opener.
Ohio trailed by two runs heading into the top half of the ninth inning, but plated a pair of runs with two outs in the final frame and held UNCW scoreless in the bottom part of the inning to send the game into extra innings.
Junior J.R. Reynolds (Cincinnati, Ohio) drew a bases loaded walk which scored senior Doug Holmes (Twinsburg, Ohio). Senior captain Ethan Newton (Norfolk, Va.) followed as he legged out an infield single which scored freshman Brice Nikithser (Pittsburgh, Pa.) from third, tying the game at four runs apiece. Newton's infield single increased his hitting streak to nine games, dating back to last year.
"We tied the game up because of his (Ethan Newton) ability to get on base," said head coach Joe Carbone. "Once he's on base, he's a guy that can really make some things happen out there."
The Bobcats took their first lead of the game in the top of the 10th thanks to a two-out double down the left field line by junior Ben Otto (Menomonie, Wis.), which scored Holmes from second. UNCW responded in the bottom of the half inning with a pair of runs off the bat of Thomas Pope, which ended the game.
"Our guys played really hard today, but we just weren't able to finish things off," Carbone said. "I'm really pleased with the way we hung in there when things weren't going very well. We need to swing the bat a little better and we will."
UNCW's William Prince got the win, while junior Tyler Backstrom (Columbus, Ohio) suffered the loss. Seahawk starter Mat Batts started the game for UNCW and held the Bobcats without a hit over the first seven innings, while striking out eight. Prince left the game after throwing 91 pitches.
"Batts did a great job today," Carbone said. "He did a nice job of working in his pitches and he's probably the last guy you want to face in your season-opener when you haven't played outside. Once we settled into our game we were able to come back."
Ohio starter Seth Streich (Ridgeway, Pa.) also had a strong outing as he went 4.2 innings, scattering six hits and allowing just two earned runs. The junior right-hander also went 1-for-2 at the plate.
UNCW outhit Ohio 11-6 and had fewer errors (3-2). The Bobcats collected all six of their hits in the final three innings. UNCW finished the game by leaving 13 runners on base, while Ohio left 10 on the base paths.
Ohio returns to action against UNC-Wilmington tomorrow afternoon for a doubleheader, beginning at 12 p.m.