Feb. 23, 2007
DAVIDSON, N.C. - Senior Bryant Witt went 3-for-5 with a home run and freshman Jeremie Rehak went 3-for-4 with three runs scored but the Bobcats lost in 10 innings to Davidson Friday by a score of 11-10 at Wilson Field.
"We swung the bats much better, played pretty solid defense and played a good Davidson team tough," Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "We had the lead in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and nobody on base and we just didn't finish. They scored the tying run and we just kind of ran out of pitching in the end. We should have won the game and we will be better the next time we play."
Ohio (0-4) trailed Davidson by a score of 9-5 heading into the sixth inning, but tallied five runs in the frame and took a 10-9 lead into the bottom of the ninth. The Wildcats (4-0) scraped a run across with two down in the frame to send the game to extras and then won it with two outs in the bottom of the 10th.
The Bobcats posted season-highs with 10 runs and 14 hits in the game and finished with only one error in just their fourth game outdoors this spring. Ohio left eight men on base in the loss. The Wildcats finished with 11 runs on 16 hits with one error. The game was the first contest of the three-day Davidson Tournament.
Witt (Powell, Ohio) led the Bobcats at the plate with a 3-for-5 performance, including a home run, a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Rehak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) recorded his first career multi-hit game as he went 3-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored.
"They were both outstanding," Carbone said. "Witt and Rehak swung the bats really well. Rehak is showing that he is a force for us in the leadoff position. Witt swung the bat really well today and played good defense."
Senior Dusty Hammond (Bellefontaine, Ohio) went 1-for-2 with a pair of runs scored while junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) finished 1-for-5 with a double, a walk and three RBI.
"Matt is a good contact hitter. We can count on him," Carbone said. "He had a big double for us in the first inning to get some excitement in the dugout. That is why Matt is in the three-hole. He is our best all-around hitter."
Sophomore Hayden Johnston (Strattanville, Pa.) was one of eight Bobcats with one hit on the day, his coming via a solo home run. Sophomore Kirk Payne (Hilliard, Ohio) picked up a pinch-hit, RBI triple and also scored a run for the Bobcats. It was the first triple of his career.
Sophomore Matt Schlarb (Lexington, Ohio) was dominant in relief as he allowed just three hits and tallied two strikeouts without a walk in four innings pitched. Schlarb came on in the fifth inning for starter Matt Smith (Centre Hall, Pa.), who allowed 10 hits and nine earned runs in 4.1 innings pitched. Senior Daniel Utts (Circleville, Ohio) took the loss, allowing one run in two-thirds of an inning pitched.
"Matt Schlarb was outstanding," Carbone said. "He did a great job for us."
Zach Kayne finished 4-for-6 for the Wildcats with two RBI and a run scored. Blake Osborn and Rob Wilson each had two hits for Davidson in the win. Brian Packey picked up the win for the Wildcats with a scoreless 10th inning.
The Bobcats wasted no time getting on the board as they scored twice in the top of the first inning. Rehak led off the frame with a walk and moved to third on a single to right by Hammond. After Hammond moved to second on a passed ball, Stiffler slugged a double to right field to bring both runners home and give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead.
Ohio extended the lead to 3-0 in the next inning when Witt led off the inning with a solo shot to left field on the first pitch he saw from Wilson. The home run was the first of the season for the Bobcats and the third of Witt's collegiate career.
Left-handed starter Smith breezed through the first two innings, but the Wildcats reached him for a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. After allowing a leadoff walk, Smith struck out the next two hitters before Zach Kayne doubled down the leftfield line to plate the runner. Matt Webb followed with an RBI single to cut Ohio's lead to 3-2 after three innings.
Davidson took the lead in the next inning when the Wildcats scored four runs, all of them coming with two outs. Smith allowed five hits in the inning, but only one of the four runs were earned. The Wildcats rapped three consecutive, two-out singles to take a 6-3 lead.
Ohio pulled within one in the fifth with a pair of runs. Rehak singled with one out and advanced to third on an error in front of a walk by Hammond. A wild pitch then scored Rehak and sent Hammond to third, where Stiffler scored him on an RBI groundout. The Wildcats answered right back, however, as they plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth for a 9-5 lead.
Ohio bounced off the mat in the sixth inning as the Bobcats pushed five runs across to take a 10-9 lead. Johnston got things started with a one-out, solo home run to right-center field. It was his first home run of the season and second as a Bobcat. The long ball was the beginning of five straight hits, as Witt followed with a double and Payne roped an RBI triple to score him.
Sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) followed with a pinch-hit, RBI single and Rehak singled behind him to put two runners aboard. Senior J.T. Osburn (Warrenton, Va.) came through with another pinch hit, the third of the inning for the Bobcats, to score Besl and tie the game at nine. Stiffler then walked to load the bases and freshman Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio) drew a bases loaded walk two batters later to give the Bobcats the 10-9 lead.
"We got down early with some defensive mistakes but we battled back and had a big sixth inning," Carbone said. "Some guys came through with pinch hits and from there we played pretty well."
Schlarb held the Wildcats scoreless in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings and retired the first batter in the ninth before giving way to left-handed sophomore Adam Goodpasture (Columbus, Ohio).
"Matt came in and his pitch count started to get up there," Carbone said. "We were up in the air whether or not to let him pitch in the ninth with Goodpasture ready. We just do not want to extend anybody too much."
Goodpasture retired the only batter he faced but Bobcat closer Chris Rigo (Westlake, Ohio) ran into control problems, walking one hitter and hitting another, before giving way to Utts. J.P. Craven came up with the two-out, game-tying hit to send things into extras.
Rehak reached first on a bunt single in the top of the 10th and advanced to second on a wild pitch with no outs but Ohio could not advance him any further. After a single and a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the frame, Gregory Zage came through with the game-winning, two-out single to send Ohio away with an 11-10 loss.
The Bobcats will look to get in the win column Saturday when they take on Radford in day two of the Davidson Tournament. First pitch is slated for 11:00 a.m. from Wilson Field.