March 24, 2007
DEKALB, Ill. - The Ohio baseball team held a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning but allowed two runs in the frame and then fell on a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th inning in a 5-4 loss to Northern Illinois Saturday at Ralph McKinzie Field.
"I told the team `you hung in there and battled,'" Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "We played pretty well today but we did not play well enough to win. We have to give (Northern Illinois) credit."
The loss keeps Ohio (9-9, 0-2) winless on the road in seven attempts and drops the team to 1-2 in extra innings this season. The Bobcats finished with four runs on 12 hits with one error while Northern Illinois (10-7, 2-0) scored five times on 11 hits and committed two errors in the win. The Huskies have now won four consecutive games.
Junior Andrew Shisila (Mentor, Ohio) took the loss in relief as he allowed one run on three hits in 1.2 innings pitched. Senior Zeke Isaacs (West Carrollton, Ohio) started the contest and took a no-decision after giving up two runs, one of them earned, in 3.2 innings pitched. He allowed four hits and struck out two Huskies without issuing a walk.
"We got a good effort from Zeke and got a good effort from Matt Smith," Carbone said. "I thought Shisila threw the ball well too."
Four different Bobcats posted multi-hit games in the losing effort. Senior Bryant Witt (Powell, Ohio) finished 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI while senior Jared Willis (Logan, W.Va.) posted a 2-for-3 day. Junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) went 2-for-4 while sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished 2-for-5. Freshman Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio) scored two runs and drew a walk in a 1-for-4 performance while freshman Jeremie Rehak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) went 1-for-3 with an RBI single in the loss.
"Bryant swung the bat well and Marc Krauss is swinging it well and hit the ball hard today," Carbone said.
Andy Deain picked up the win for the Huskies with two scoreless innings in relief. He skated around three hits and a walk in moving to 1-1 on the season. Northern Illinois starter Brandon Copp tossed six innings and allowed three runs, one of them earned. Danny Reed led the Huskies with a 3-for-4 day and two runs scored at the plate while Jesse Seykora was 1-for-4 with a two-run home run in the second inning. Bobby Stevens went 1-for-5 with a run scored and earned the game-winning RBI on the bases loaded walk in the 10th inning.
The Bobcats had chances in each of their first three innings but could not get on the scoreboard. Willis led off the game with a base hit and Besl doubled to open the second dinning but both were stranded. Ohio put runners on first and second with only one away in the third inning but the Bobcats were once again unable to score.
Isaacs worked efficiently through the first three innings, facing just one hitter over the minimum, but the senior right-hander ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth. Stevens reached on an error to open the inning and came around to score when Seykora, the current MAC West Player of the Week, launched a home run over the left field wall for a 2-0 Northern Illinois lead.
Isaacs allowed back-to-back hits after the home run before retiring the next two hitters. With two one and two away, the left-handed hitting Jeff Thomas came to the plate and Carbone opted to go to the bullpen and left-handed junior Matt Smith (Centre Hall, Pa.). Smith struck out Thomas to end the inning and keep the Ohio deficit at 2-0.
The Bobcats recorded singles in each of the fifth and sixth innings but were unable to get Copp to cough up a run. Smith kept the Bobcats within a pair of runs as he pitched a perfect fifth inning and worked out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth.
Ohio finally got to Copp and chased him from the game in the seventh with the help of some Northern Illinois miscues. Krauss drew a walk to open the inning and sophomore Chris Klimko (McKeesport, Pa.) reached on a throwing error by Copp that put runners on second and third with nobody out. The next batter was pinch-hitter J.T. Osburn (Warrenton, Va.), who chopped a grounder between the mound and third baseline. Copp made a nice play to get to the ball but his throw home was late and an errant throw by the catcher to first base once again put runners on second and third with nobody away.
With the score 2-1 in favor of the Huskies, Mark Badgley entered the game in relief of Copp. Witt greeted Badgley with an RBI groundout that brought the scoreboard even at two apiece. Rehak then pinch-hit for Willis and fouled off several two strike pitches before recording an RBI infield single to give Ohio its first lead of the game at 3-2. Rehak stole second and Stiffler was hit by a pitch but Badgley escaped the inning without further damage to keep it a one run contest.
The Bobcats added an insurance run in the eighth inning to take a 4-2 lead. Krauss doubled to left with one away and scored when Klimko followed with an RBI bloop to left.
Northern Illinois bounced right back with a pair or runs to tie the game in the eighth. Reed walked with one out and Justin Behm put runners on second and third with a pinch-hit double. Carbone opted to go to Shisila with the tying runs in scoring position and he immediately recorded the second out but then issued a walk to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Dave Reynolds followed with the big blow, a two-run single that tied the game at four.
Ohio put together a two out rally in the ninth when Stiffler and Besl rapped back-to-back singles with two away, but the Bobcats could not translate the rally into runs. Shisila threw a scoreless bottom of the ninth and Ohio headed to extras for the third time this season.
The Bobcats again mounted a rally with two away in the 10th, when sophomore Kirk Payne (Hilliard, Ohio) doubled and Witt walked. Like the ninth, however, Ohio was unable to collect a hit when it mattered most and the game remained tied at four.
The Huskies pushed the winning run across in the bottom of the 10th with just one hit in the inning. Behm singled to open the inning and Jordin Hood walked to put two runners aboard with nobody out. Sophomore left-hander Adam Goodpasture (Columbus, Ohio) then entered the game for Shisila and recorded the first out of the inning on a sacrifice bunt that pushed the runners to second and third. After a lineout, Goodpasture issued a walk to load the bases and Carbone gave the ball to senior Daniel Utts (Circleville, Ohio). Utts issued a five-pitch walk to Stevens with the bases loaded to send Ohio away with a 5-4 loss in 10 innings.
The Bobcats will look to snap a three-game skid and earn their first road and MAC win of the season Sunday when they finish off a three-game set with the Huskies. First pitch is slated for 2:00 p.m. ET at Ralph McKinzie Field and can be heard on WATH 970 AM. The Bobcats will send left-handed senior Dan Weiss against Northern Illinois left-hander Matt Jernstad.