April 5, 2006
ATHENS, Ohio -
For the second-straight night the Ohio baseball team dug itself a large hole and its late comeback was not enough as Cincinnati earned an 11-8 victory over the Bobcats Wednesday night in Bob Wren Stadium.
The Bobcats (8-13) trailed by as many as nine runs more than half way through the game, but eight runs over the course of their last four at-bats were not enough to catch up with visiting Cincinnati (17-10).
Just like Tuesday night versus Marshall, Cincinnati was able to build a substantial early lead on the Bobcats. The Bearcats got a single tally in the first and tacked on four more two innings later. With one on and two outs in the third, Ohio Head Coach Joe Carbone pulled Bobcat starter Kurt Smith in favor of reliever Daniel Utts. Cincinnati was then able to send six more batters to the plate before the Bobcats could get the third out as it registered two singles, three walks and an Ohio fielding error to push ahead 5-0.
With the Bobcats only getting three runners on safely through the first three innings and hitting into two doubles plays, Cincinnati got right back at it in the fourth, this time on Ohio's second reliever of the night, Matt Schlarb. The Bobcat freshman surrendered three-straight walks, a two-run double, hit a batter, and walked another batter to extend the Bearcats' lead to 8-0 before Carbone called on Yale Silverman out of the bullpen. Silverman was able to record three-straight outs to get out of the inning without any more damage.
After the Bearcats went ahead 9-0 with another run in the fifth, the Bobcats were finally able to break through in the home half of the inning. Willie Walker led off with a single to center and Brandon Besl followed that with a single to right center to move Walker to third. Jason Selhorst then hit into a double play, but Walker came home for Ohio's first run of the night.
The Bobcats registered two more runs in their next at-bat as well. Pinch-hitter Dusty Hammond drew a lead-off walk and Hayden Johnston ripped a shot to center that went over the outfielder's head as he raced around to third and Hammond trotted home. After the next two batters were retired Jon Vondrell singled through the left side to plate Johnston and cut Cincinnati's lead to 9-3.
Cincinnati was not done scoring, however. They added a run in the seventh and got a 410-foot shot to center from Brian Szarmach in the ninth to extend to an 11-3 advantage.
After two scoreless frames, the Bobcats mounted a furious comeback in their last at-bat. Anthony Gressick, Vondrell, Walker, Besl, and Chris Klimko all registered hits and Matt Stiffler brought another run home on a deep drive to right that the Bearcat right fielder bobbled as Ohio plated four runs before Cincinnati got the first out. After a sacrifice fly by Johnston brought home Ohio's fifth run of the inning, J.T. Osburn grounded out to end the game.
"We kind of shoot ourselves in the foot early in the game, then we settle down in the end and make a run for it now and then," Carbone said. "We need to do that earlier in the game and have people chase us."
Smith (0-2) took the loss for Ohio after allowing two runs - one earned - on two hits in 2 2-3 innings of work. The subsequent six pitchers that the Bobcats threw allowed nine runs - six earned - on 10 hits.
Vondrell went 3-for-4 at the plate for Ohio. Hammond had his team-best 11-game hitting streak broken after he went 0-for-2 off the bench.
Adam Calez (1-0) earned the victory for Cincinnati after throwing three scoreless innings.
Four Bearcat batters finished with two hits apiece, including John DeLuca, who also registered three RBIs.
"I thought we hung in there," Carbone said. "We are working on some things to get better."
Ohio will now travel to Muncie, Ind., this weekend for a three-game set at Ball State. The Bobcats second-straight Mid-American Conference series on the road will begin on Friday with first pitch set for 3 p.m.