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Stiffler Homers in Bobcat Loss to Le Moyne, 11-3

March 10, 2006

Box Score

ATHENS, Ohio - Matt Stiffler homered to spur on a three-run Ohio seventh, but an early Le Moyne lead was enough to lift the Dolphins to an 11-3 win over the Bobcats in the series opener Friday at Bob Wren Stadium.

The Bobcats (3-5) fell into a nine-run hole after five innings, and despite a three-run seventh, Ohio couldn't make up any more ground. Derek Witt (Powell, Ohio) was pinned with the loss after surrendering nine runs--eight earned--in 4 2-3 innings pitched.

Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) was one of two Bobcats to record two hits on the day. Willie Walker (Marysville, Ohio) also went 2-for-4 on the afternoon with a run scored. Ohio picked up eight hits total on the day.

Le Moyne starter Bobby Blevins earned the victory, tossing seven innings. He scattered six hits and three runs--all earned. Blevins struck out eight and did not walk a batter. The Dolphins had three players with three hits on the day, including Robert Perez who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, three runs scored and a home run.

After a couple scoreless innings for each team, Le Moyne (4-5) took a lead in the second and didn't let go.

With two outs already recorded and nobody on base, Witt got into trouble for the first time in the third. He walked back-to-back hitters, then surrendered a double to left by third-hitter Michael Affronti. The runner from second came around to score easily, and when Stiffler's throw from left field went errant, a second run came around to score, putting the Dolphins on top 2-0 in the third inning.

The Bobcats went quiet in their half of the third, but Le Moyne went on to pad its lead in the fourth and take a 4-0 advantage. Again the Dolphins went with two outs, this time using back-to-back singles with a man on second to push across two more runs. Witt allowed a third-straight single, but the runner was thrown out at home on an assist by right fielder Anthony Gressick (Lancaster, Ohio).

The Dolphins put up five more runs in the fifth, this time not waiting until two outs were recorded. Le Moyne loaded the bases with nobody out. A fielder's choice, three-straight hits and a wild pitch later, the Dolphins had scored five more runs.

Witt's day came to a close with two outs in the fifth. He surrendered 11 hits, walking three and striking out one. Eight of Witt's nine runs were earned.

Yale Silverman (Baton Rouge, La.) spelled Witt, retiring the first hitter he saw in the fifth. He stayed on to finish he game, allowing four hits and two runs over the final 4 1-3.

The Bobcats put their first run on the board in the seventh inning. Willie Walker led off the inning with a triple to right center field. He was immediately brought home after Hayden Johnston singled through the right side, putting the score at 9-1.

Three hitters later, the Bobcats put two more on the board. Stiffler crushed a 1-0 Blevins offering over the wall in right-center field for a two-run home run, closing the gap to six runs through seven innings.

Le Moyne tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth, via a Robert Perez two-run homer to left-center.

The Dolphins committed three errors on the day, while Ohio had one. Each team stranded six base runners.

The Bobcats and Dolphins will go at it again tomorrow afternoon with a doubleheader. First pitch for the first game is set for 1 p.m. at Bob Wren Stadium. Game one is schedule for seven innings, with the late game slated for nine innings.