Feb. 24, 2007
DAVIDSON, N.C. - Sophomore Hayden Johnston went 2-for-4 with three RBI and junior Matt Stiffler finished 3-for-4 with a pair or runs scored but the Bobcats could not hold onto a 9-1 lead as they fell to Radford 10-9 in walk-off fashion Saturday at Wilson Field.
"We strung together some hits with a couple walks and had a big (fifth) inning," Carbone said. "Late in the game we got the bases loaded with nobody out but did not score. That was a big key. We have got to come through in that situation."
Ohio (0-5) scored eight runs between the fourth and fifth innings and added one more in the sixth to take a 9-1 lead but could not hold on for the victory. The Highlanders (2-3) earned the walk-off win with an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth. The Bobcats finished with nine runs on 14 hits and one error and stranded eight baserunners while Radford scored 10 runs on 13 hits with one error and six men left on base.
Johnston (Strattanville, Pa.) finished 2-for-4 on the day with three RBI and a run scored. He now has five RBI through five contests this spring.
"(Johnston) has been looking good," Carbone said. "He has been doing alright and playing good defense. He has been swinging the bat better every day."
Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) went 3-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored in the loss. Sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio), senior Jared Willis (Logan, W.Va.) and freshman Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio) also collected multi-hit games. Besl was 2-for-4 with two runs scored while Willis went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Krauss finished the contest 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.
Senior left-hander Dan Weiss (Cincinnati, Ohio) started the contest and allowed only one run through the first five innings but gave up four earned runs without retiring a hitter in the sixth. He finished with 5.0 innings pitched, five hits, five runs, four strikeouts, and two walks in the no-decision. Senior Daniel Utts (Circleville, Ohio) took the loss in relief.
Alex Gregory paced the Highlanders in the win with a 3-for-5 performance, including a home run, five RBI and two runs scored. John Lloyd earned the win in relief with one-third of a scoreless inning.
Both starting pitchers were spectacular through the first three innings, as Radford freshman Adam Hoyt held the Bobcats hitless and Weiss allowed just one hit to keep the game in a scoreless tie heading into the fourth inning. Ohio broke up the pitchers dual in the top of the fourth, scoring five runs on six hits and chasing Hoyt from the contest.
Senior Bryant Witt (Powell, Ohio) and Stiffler kick-started the inning with back-to-back singles and Besl followed with an RBI double to make the score 1-0. Senior J.T. Osburn (Warrenton, Va.) kept things rolling with another RBI single before Johnston delivered the big blow, a two-run double left-centerfield. The hit was the fifth-straight to start the inning. Hoyt managed to retire the next two hitters but Willis roped a two-out, RBI triple to center to give Ohio a 5-0 lead and exit Hoyt from the game. The triple was the first of Willis' career.
The Highlanders fought back for a run in the bottom of the inning with back-to-back doubles to start the frame. Weiss worked out of the jam, however, and retired the next three hitters to limit the damage and maintain a 5-1 Ohio lead.
The Bobcats picked up in the fifth right where they left off in the fourth, adding three more runs to their advantage. Stiffler and Besl started the inning with back-to-back singles and senior Dusty Hammond (Bellefontaine, Ohio) followed with a pinch-hit single to drive Stiffler in from second. Johnston then scored Besl on a sacrifice fly and Krauss singled up the middle to score Hammond and five the Bobcats an 8-1 lead.
Weiss continued his fine outing in the fifth and retired the side in order on nine pitches. The Bobcats tacked on another run in the top of the sixth on a two-out, RBI single by Stiffler for a 9-1 advantage. The Highlanders climbed back into the contest in the bottom of the frame, however, as Radford used four hits, two walks and a Bobcat error to score six runs and cut the Ohio lead to 9-7. Weiss was lifted with nobody out in the sixth inning.
"He got behind and walked a couple guys and then gave up the double to right field," Carbone said. "The pitch count was starting to get up there so we got him out of there."
The Bobcats loaded the bases in the seventh with nobody out on a pair of walks sandwiched around a Johnston double, but Ohio was unable to plate any of the runners. The Highlanders made it a costly mistake, as Gregory hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the seventh to knot the score at nine. The line drive shot took a bad hop and bounced over Stiffler's head in center, allowing it to roll all the way to the wall.
"It took a high bounce over his head," Carbone said. "(Stiffler) was breaking down and playing safe and then it bounced over his head for an inside-the-park home run."
After a scoreless eighth inning, Krauss mustered a two-out single for the Bobcats in the ninth but was left stranded. The Highlanders put things away in their last at-bat, as Raphael Turner singled with one out and came around to score on a Tom Neiman double to end the game at 10-9.
The Bobcats look for their first win of the season Sunday when they take on Mount St. Mary's at 11:00 a.m. from Wilson Field in the final day of the Davidson Tournament.