April 4, 2006
ATHENS, Ohio -
Despite two home runs from Willie Walker, the Ohio baseball squad was unable to overcome an 8-1 deficit as it fell to Marshall in non-conference action at Bob Wren Stadium Tuesday night by a final of 8-6.
Walker took Marshall pitching deep the fifth and seventh innings, but the Thundering Herd (12-13) were able to put up two runs in both the first and second innings and they scored in four of the first five frames - a deficit that Ohio (8-12) ultimately could not make up.
Ohio was able to answer in the home half of the first. With one out, Dusty Hammond drew a walk and Anthony Gressick was hit by a pitch. Jon Vondrell then struck out, but Walker and Jared Willis drew back-to-back walks to force home Hammond and make it 2-1.
Marshall would tack on six more runs before the Bobcats got back on the scoreboard with pair in the second, then got a three-run shot from Rich Russell in the fourth and added a single tally in the fifth to jump out to an 8-1 lead.
The Bobcats were able to get a three-run homer of their own in the bottom of the fifth to break a four-inning drought. After Gressick led off with a walk and Vondrell singled to left, Walker smacked his first homer of the year over the right field wall to cut the Marshall lead in half, 8-4.
After a scoreless sixth for the `Cats, Walker came up again with one on and no outs in the seventh and jacked his second home run of the game over the right-center field wall to draw Ohio with two at 8-6.
The Bobcats mounted a threat in their next-to-last at-bat. Hammond led-off with a hit to left that took a sharp bounce just in front of the Marshall fielder and allowed Hammond to reach second. After Gressick and Vondrell were retired, Walker drew a pass on balls. Walker then stole second to give the Bobcats two runners in scoring position, but Willis struck out to end the threat.
Pinch-hitter Kirk Payne drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth, but no one else reached base as the Bobcats dropped their third-straight game.
Zeke Isaacs (0-1) took the loss for Ohio. In his first start of the season, Isaac allowed four earned runs on six hits in 1 2-3 innings. Daniel Utts threw 2 1-3 innings and allowed three earned runs on four hits.
The Bobcat freshman relief combination of Adam Goodpasture and Chris Rigo held Marshall scoreless the last four innings of the game and allowed just one Marshall batter to reach base.
Walker finished 3-for-3 at the plate with two walks and five RBIs - an Ohio season high. Walker now has six career home runs - three of which have come against Marshall.
Hammond registered two hits in four at-bats for the Bobcats.
Chris Cummings (1-0) earned the victory in his first appearance of the season for Marshall. He allowed just one Ohio batter to reach in two innings of work.
Marshall's Tom Ponietowicz got the ball in place of scheduled starter Adam Dobies, who was injured during pre-game warm-ups.
Brian Knipplemeyer was credited with his fourth save of the year after working 1 1-3 scoreless innings.
Adam Frederick led the visitors' offensive attack with a 4-for-5 performance at the plate.
The Bobcats will be back in action tomorrow night in Bob Wren Stadium when they host Cincinnati. Ohio will send Kurt Smith (0-1) to the hill for the non-conference match-up, which begins at 6 p.m.