March 2, 2007
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - Head Coach Joe Carbone recorded his 534th career victory, good for a second-place tie on the Mid-American Conference all-time wins list, and the Bobcats earned their first win of the season in a 9-6 defeat of Ohio Wesleyan Friday at V.A. Memorial Stadium.
Ohio (5-1) played its official home-opener in Chillicothe due to weather conditions that left Bob Wren Stadium unplayable. Ohio will also play Saturday's contest against Otterbein and Sunday's game against Rio Grande in Chillicothe. With Friday's victory, Carbone tied former Toledo Head Coach Stan Sanders for second place on the MAC overall wins list with 534 career victories. Carbone coached alongside Sanders while serving as an assistant for the Rockets.
"Stan Sanders and I are still the very best of friends," Carbone said. "I was his assistant (at Toledo) and he was my freshman coach at Ohio University. We talk to each other once or twice a month. I think Stan would be pleased, being two Bob Wren guys and we have been hanging around in this game in the Mid-American Conference long enough, that we are together in something. For Coach Sanders, who I have the utmost respect for, that is pleasing to our program."
Carbone is already second in MAC history with 288 conference wins. Fred Decker is the all-time leader with 791 total wins and 401 MAC victories.
The Bobcats earned the win Friday by scoring nine runs on 11 hits with three errors. Ohio left seven men on base in the win. The Battling Bishops (0-1) posted six runs on nine hits and no errors with 12 men left on base in their season debut. Ohio Wesleyan scored four times in the final two frames to make things interesting.
Senior Dusty Hammond (Bellefontaine, Ohio) led the way for Ohio as he went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. The senior Bobcat also swiped two bases in the victory.
"(Hammond) did all the things well for us tonight as far as being a good two strike hitter, making contact with men on base, stealing bases, and driving runs in," Carbone said. "He did a great job tonight for us."
Senior Bryant Witt (Powell, Ohio) chipped in a 2-for-2 performance with an RBI and a run scored for the Bobcats. Junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored while sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) smacked the game's only home run, a two-run shot in the fifth innings.
"It's a pretty big win, especially with two tough losses last weekend," Besl said. "I thought (the home run) was going to go foul but I got it up there in the wind. It feels good to get some confidence in my swing."
Sophomore Matt Schlarb (Lexington, Ohio) earned the win in relief as he tossed 3.1 innings and allowed one hit and two earned runs. Schlarb moved to 1-0 with the win and tallied three strikeouts and three walks in the game. Junior Andrew Shisila (Mentor Lake, Ohio) recorded the final two outs of the contest for his first career save. Senior Zeke Isaacs (West Carrollton, Ohio) started the game for Ohio and last 4.2 innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs with five strikeouts and two walks in the no decision.
"I thought Zeke threw the ball very well tonight until he started losing the zone and started getting tired at the end," Carbone said.
Sean Speed took the loss for the Bishops after allowing seven hits and five runs in two innings pitched. Kyle Sherman led Ohio Wesleyan at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance and three runs scored.
Isaacs worked around an infield single in the first and the Bobcats gave him a lead in the bottom half of the frame. Freshman Jeremie Rehak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) reached on an infield single to open the inning and moved to third when Hammond laced a single to right-center. Stiffler followed with a sacrifice fly to the leftfield warning track to give Ohio an early 1-0 lead.
The Bobcats added to their lead in the second innings as Ohio tallied four runs on five hits for a 5-0 lead. Senior Willie Walker (Marysville, Ohio) led things off with a double down the right field line and came around to score on a double by Witt. After a Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio) single scored Witt, sophomore Chris Klimko (McKeesport, Pa.) followed with a single to push Krauss to third. Rehak followed with an RBI groundout to score Krauss for the first RBI of his Bobcat career. Hammond finished the scoring in the inning with an RBI single to give Ohio the five-run advantage.
Isaacs allowed only two hits through the first three innings but the Bishops got on the board with one run in the fourth. The Bobcats answered right back with a three-run fourth inning of their own, all coming with two outs and nobody on. Hammond singled and stole second base before scoring on a single to left by Stiffler. Besl put the finishing touches on the inning with a two-run round tripper down the right field line for an 8-1 Ohio lead. It was the first home run of the season for the Bobcat sophomore and the third of his Ohio career.
Ohio Wesleyan reached Isaacs for one more run in the fifth inning, chasing him from the game. Schlarb replaced Isaacs and recorded the final out of the fifth and then put the Bishops down in order in the sixth. Ohio made it 9-2 in the bottom of the sixth when Rehak walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI groundout by Hammond.
The Bishops scored two runs in the eighth to cut Ohio's lead to 9-4 and added two more in the top of the ninth to make things a save situation. Shisila came in and worked around a walk and a catcher's interference call to retire the final two batters to earn the save and a 9-6 Ohio win.
The Bobcats look for win number two Saturday when Ohio hosts Otterbein at 1:00 p.m. from V.A. Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe. The game will be the first of the season for the Cardinals, who are ranked No. 1 in the country in the NCAA Division III.