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Baseball Splits Doubleheader with Butler

March 11, 2007

Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score

ATHENS, Ohio - Sophomore Brandon Besl went 4-for-7 and extended his hitting streak to 10 games as the Ohio baseball team split a doubleheader with Butler, dropping the opener 7-5 but rebounding with a 9-3 win Sunday at Bob Wren Stadium.

Ohio (7-6) saw its six-game win streak snapped with the loss in the doubleheader opener but rebounded with the win in the nightcap. The Bobcats posted nine runs on 13 hits with one error in the victory while Butler (5-7) finished with three runs on eight hits and one error. The second game was a seven-inning affair.

Junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) went 3-for-3 in the Bobcat win with two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base. He finished the day 4-for-6 with two runs scored and two RBI. Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted a 2-for-3 performance in the second game with an RBI and a run scored. He has now hit safely in 10 straight games.

"(Besl) has been hitting the ball well," Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "He is a good defensive first and third baseman. Between him and Krauss at first base it gives us a little bit of pop in the lineup."

Sophomore Chris Klimko (McKeesport, Pa.) finished 2-for-3 in game two while freshman Jeremie Rehak (Pittsburgh, Pa.), senior Jared Willis (Logan, W.Va.) and senior Dusty Hammond (Bellefontaine, Ohio) all went 1-for-2 with a run scored. Willis also recorded an RBI. Senior Willie Walker (Marysville, Ohio) went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored in the nightcap.

Senior left-hander Dan Weiss (Cincinnati, Ohio) picked up the win as he tossed 6.1 innings and allowed seven hits and three earned runs. He struck out five hitters against three walks and moved to 2-1 with the victory. Senior Daniel Utts (Circleville, Ohio) threw two-thirds of a scoreless inning to finish out the win.

"I thought Dan (Weiss) threw well today," Carbone said. "That is a big shot in the arm."

Butler got on the board with a run in the top of the first inning in the second game of the doubleheader, but the Bobcats answered right back with three of their own in the bottom of the frame. Rehak reached on an error to lead off the inning and Hammond followed with a single to put two men aboard. Stiffler and Besl followed with back-to-back RBI singles and Walker plated the final run with a sac fly for a 3-1 Bobcat lead.

Ohio poured it on in the third inning as the Bobcats scored six runs on eight hits and sent 12 men to the plate in the inning. Stiffler and Besl stroked back-to-back singles to start the inning and Walker drove Stiffler home with an RBI single. Sophomore Hayden Johnston (Strattanville, Pa.) then bunted the runners to second and third and both scored on back-to-back wild pitches. Freshman Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio) followed with a double to right and moved to third on a Klimko single before scoring on an RBI fielder's choice by senior Bryant Witt (Powell, Ohio). Witt then stole second in front of an RBI single by Willis before senior Jon Vondrell (Centerville, Ohio) finished the scoring in the inning with a pinch-hit, RBI double to give the Bobcats a 9-1 lead.

The Bulldogs scored a pair of runs in the fifth inning to make the score 9-3 but Weiss rebounded with a perfect sixth inning. The senior Bobcat retired one hitter in the seventh but allowed a single and a walk and was replaced by Utts. Utts induced a game-ending double play as the Bobcats earned the win in the nightcap by a score of 9-3.

In game one of the double dip, the Bobcats finished with five runs on nine hits and one error in the loss. The Bobcat pitching staff issued six walks, three of them coming with the bases loaded. Butler posted seven runs on 10 hits and did not commit an error in snapping Ohio's six-game win streak.

"We battled back (in the first game) but we were down 5-0," Carbone said. "We showed character."

Besl led Ohio in the first game with a 2-for-4 performance and an RBI. Johnston went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and two runs scored while junior Zach Hartle (Toledo, Ohio) also went 1-for-3 with a two-run double. Klimko posted a 1-for-3 game with a run scored while Hammond finished 1-for-2 with an RBI.

Junior Matt Smith (Centre Hall, Pa.) took the loss after allowing five runs, four of them earned, over 4.1 innings pitched. He struck out five hitters but issued four walks in moving to 1-2 on the season. Sophomore Kurt Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio) threw four innings in relief and allowed one earned run with five strikeouts while Utts turned in two-thirds of a scoreless innings with one punch-out.

Bryan Bokowy earned the win for the Bulldogs as he pitched six innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits with two strikeouts and five walks. Nate Hart went 2-for-3 with two runs scored while Jason Jamerson finished 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI.

The Bulldogs struck first in game one of the doubleheader with a run in the first inning. Butler totaled just one hit in the inning but a pair of wild pitches allowed for a run to cross the plate. The Bulldogs made it a 2-0 lead in the third when they scored on another wild pitch.

Butler extended its lead to five runs with a three-run fifth inning. The rally came with only two hits as Bobcat pitching issued four walks in the frame, including three with the bases loaded to hand the Bulldogs a 5-0 lead.

The Bobcats got on the board in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 5-1. Witt started the rally with a two-out single and moved to second on a walk by Willis. Stiffler followed with an RBI double that just found the outfield grass.

Ohio plated two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, with the rally again coming with two outs and nobody aboard. Johnston walked with two away and moved to third on a single by Klimko. Hartle followed with the big hit, a two-run double to the right-centerfield gap for his first career hit and RBI in a Bobcat uniform. He was left stranded at second base but the Bobcats cut the Butler lead to 5-3.

Ohio pulled within one run in the seventh when Rehak led things off with a four-pitch walk. After a groundout moved Rehak to second, Besl sent a single up the middle but Rehak got caught in a run down between third and home and was tagged out. Hammond followed with an RBI single to chip the Bulldog lead to 5-4.

Butler answered back with a run in the top of the eighth to regain a two-run advantage. The Bulldogs singled and doubled with two away to plate the insurance run and take a 6-4 advantage.

Johnston started out the Bobcat eighth with a bang, as he hit a home run off the right field foul pole on the first pitch of the inning. It was the second home run of the season for Witt and cut the Butler lead to 6-5 after eight innings. It was as close as the Bobcats would get, however, as the Bulldogs added a run in the ninth and held on for the 7-5 victory.

Ohio will be back in action Saturday when the Bobcats host Oakland for a doubleheader at 1:00 p.m. at Bob Wren Stadium. The two teams will finish the three-game set Sunday with a single game beginning at 1:00 p.m.