March 4, 2007
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - Senior Willie Walker went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI and sophomore Brandon Besl was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI as the Bobcats earned their third straight win, a 12-7 victory over Rio Grande Sunday at V.A. Memorial Stadium.
"We are happy with the win," Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "We did not do a lot of things as well as we would have liked in the game but we came out with the win."
Ohio (3-5) earned its third consecutive win after starting the season with five straight losses. The Bobcats pounded out 13 hits en route to scoring 12 runs and finished the contest with two errors. Rio Grande (4-6-1) scored seven runs on 12 hits with two errors in the loss.
Walker (Marysville, Ohio) led the Bobcat attack with a 4-for-5 performance. The senior Bobcat singled in his first four trips to the plate and scored three times with two RBI.
"I had been struggling before today so it felt alright," Walker said "Anything you can do to help the team and keep getting on base and scoring runs will help."
"We were happy to see Willie have a good day against left-handed pitching," Carbone said. "That showed up big for us."
Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) had yet another big day as he went 3-for-5 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI. He finished the weekend with seven hits in 14 at-bats (.500), five RBI, five runs scored, two doubles, a home run, and a stolen base.
"That's why we have (Besl) in the four-hole against left-handed pitching," Carbone said. "He has done a good job at third base and makes good contact and comes to play every day."
Sophomore Hayden Johnston (Strattanville, Pa.) also had a nice day at the plate as he went 2-for-4 with a two-run double and a run scored. Junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) went 1-for-2 with three walks and three runs scored while freshman Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio) also walked three times and scored a run. Senior Jared Willis (Logan, W.Va.) finished 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI.
Senior Dan Weiss (Cincinnati, Ohio) picked up the win as he threw five scoreless innings in his third start of the 2007 campaign. Weiss allowed four hits and walked just one batter while recording a career-high six strikeouts. His previous high for strikeouts in a game was four, which he accomplished three times last season.
"(Throwing five scoreless innings) felt pretty good," Weiss said. "It's definitely a confidence booster. As a whole, the entire team getting a couple wins and coming off a good weekend, was good after the first five games and some disappointing losses."
Weiss moved to 1-1 on the season with the victory. The Redmen scored all seven of their runs after he had exited the contest.
"I think Dan did a very good job," Carbone said. "He overpowered them with some of his stuff. I thought he threw the ball very well today."
Nate Chau took the loss for Rio Grande after allowing five runs on seven hits in three innings. Kenta Sato led the Redmen attack with a 3-for-5 performance while Jason Baker went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Weiss worked around three hits in the first two innings to keep the Redmen off the board and the Bobcats gave him a lead in the bottom of the second. Walker and Willis reached on back-to-back infield singles to open the inning and moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by Krauss. McDonough followed with a first-pitch single to center field to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
After a one-two-three inning by Weiss in the third, Ohio broke through with a four-run bottom of the third. Stiffler led off the inning with a single and Besl reached on an error in front of a Johnston walk that loaded the bases. Walker followed with a single to score one run and Willis recorded an RBI groundout behind him. The Bobcats had the bases loaded with two away later in the inning, when senior Bryant Witt (Powell, Ohio) came through with a two-out, two-run single to put Ohio on top 5-0.
The Bobcats made it a commanding lead in the fourth as they tacked on four more runs for a 9-0 lead. Stiffler again sparked the rally, this time with a leadoff walk, and moved to third on a double by Besl that got lost in the sun and found the turf. Johnston and Walker then rapped back-to-back, RBI singles in front of an RBI groundout by Willis. A throwing error by the Redmen on the play allowed Walker to score from second to give the Bobcats the nine-run advantage.
Weiss finished his fine outing after five scoreless innings before sophomore Kurt Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio) came on in relief. The Redmen finally got on the board in the seventh inning as they scored a run on a wild pitch and an RBI single by Andy Whewell to cut Ohio's lead to 9-2. Ohio answered in the eighth with three runs. Besl knocked an RBI single and Johnston added an RBI double in the inning. The Bobcats scored the final run of the inning on a wild pitch. The Redmen scored three unearned runs in the ninth to make the final score 12-7 in favor of Ohio.
The Bobcats will look for their fourth win in a row this Tuesday when Ohio hosts Cleveland State. First pitch is slated for 4:00 p.m. at Bob Wren Stadium.