March 31, 2007
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio baseball team scored three times in the ninth inning and had the winning run on first base but fell just short in a 6-4 loss to Toledo in game two of a three-game series Saturday evening in Bob Wren Stadium.
"We did not play that badly but early in the game we just could not do a whole lot with (Toledo Starter Mike Inselmann)," Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "We are just not getting the hits and scoring the runs when we need to right now."
The Bobcats (9-13, 0-5) were handcuffed for only four hits over the first eight innings by Toledo starter Mike Inselmann, but reached the Rocket bullpen for three runs in the ninth inning. Ohio posted four runs on six hits and left nine men on base in the loss while Toledo (9-10, 2-3) finished with six runs on 10 hits and eight men left on base. Each team committed one error in the game.
Senior right-hander Zeke Isaacs (West Carrollton, Ohio) started for the Bobcats and took the loss to fall to 0-1. He pitched 5.1 innings and allowed six hits and three earned runs. Isaacs struck out three and walked three.
"I thought (Zeke) threw pretty well," Carbone said. "He had some tough luck in the second when they scored two runs. He gave us a chance and he got us into the sixth inning."
Isaacs' outing was the first by a Bobcat starting pitcher to last longer than 4.1 innings in the last eight contests. Sophomore Chris Rigo (Westlake, Ohio) pitched the final 3.2 innings and allowed four hits and three earned runs.
Senior Willie Walker (Marysville, Ohio) finished 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored. Junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) also collected a multi-hit game with a 2-for-3 effort and an RBI. Sophomore Hayden Johnston (Strattanville, Pa.) was 1-for-3 with an RBI in the loss.
Inselmann was brilliant through eight innings of work in moving to 2-2 on the season. He allowed just one run on four hits over eight innings and finished with 10 strikeouts and three walks. He also hit two batters. Matt Meinberg recorded the final out of the contest for his first save of the season.
"We really could not do a whole lot with (Inselmann)," Carbone said. "I think he was the key to the game."
Scott Boley went 3-for-5 with a run scored for the Rockets while Josh Colliver was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. Josh Johnson also recorded two RBI in the Toledo victory.
The Rockets got on the board first with two runs in the top of the second. Boley singled to start the inning and moved to third on a single by Joel Visser. Colliver brought the first runner home with an RBI single and Jake Oester made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Ohio answered with a run in the bottom of the inning to cut the deficit to 2-1. Sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) was hit by a pitch and sophomore Chris Klimko (McKeesport, Pa.) followed with a walk to start the inning. The two moved to second and third on a passed ball in front of an RBI single by Johnston. Besl scored on the single but Klimko was gunned out at the plate to prevent the Bobcats from tying the game.
Isaacs breezed through the next three innings but Ohio could not solve Inselmann and get back on the scoreboard. The Rockets made it a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth when Oester walked and stole second in front of an RBI double by Jake Swint. Swint was the last batter that Isaacs would face, as Rigo came on in relief and escaped the inning with a double play.
The Rockets made it a three-run contest in the eighth when Colliver hit a two-out solo shot to right-center that gave Toledo a 4-1 lead. The lead extended to 6-1 in the ninth on a two-run double by Johnson.
The Bobcats made things interesting in the ninth as they put the winning run on first base. Freshman Jerod Yakubik (Byesville, Ohio) reached on an error and sophomore Kirk Payne (Hilliard, Ohio) walked to open the frame. After a lineout for the first out of the inning, Yakubik and Payne advance on a wild pitch in front of an RBI single by Walker that made the score 6-2. Senior J.T. Osburn (Warrenton, Va.) then lined a pitch right at the second baseman for the second out. Stiffler kept the rally alive with an RBI single and senior Dusty Hammond (Bellefontaine, Ohio) walked to load the bases. A wild pitch scored Walker to make the score 6-4 and freshman Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio) was hit by a pitch to put the winning run on first base. The Bobcats could not complete the comeback, however, as Besl chopped a pitch to the shortstop for the final out of the contest and Ohio fell by a score of 6-4.
The Bobcats will look to end their seven-game losing streak and salvage the series finale when they host Toledo Sunday at 1 p.m. in Bob Wren Stadium. The game can be heard on WATH 970 AM on online at ohiobobcats.com. Ohio will send senior left-hander Dan Weiss (Cincinnati, Ohio) against Toledo southpaw Ryan France. Sunday is Pack the Park Day, with admission to the game costing fans just $1. The first 50 fans through the gates will also receive a voucher for free ice cream from Sonic.