April 8, 2006
MUNCIE, Ind. -
After letting a 3-2 lead from Friday's suspended game slip away in a 4-3 loss, the Ohio baseball squad fought back to take the second game of the series from Ball State Saturday afternoon by a final of 4-3.
The Bobcats and Cardinals started the day by picking up where they left off on Friday before the game was suspended because of lightning with Ohio ahead 3-2. Friday's Bobcat starter Derek Witt had been in a groove, retiring 10-straight batters before surrendering his first walk of the day just prior to the stoppage.
Ohio Head Coach Joe Carbone decided to go with Yale Silverman on the hill, but the Bobcat reliever could not finish what Witt started. When the game resumed with a runner on first and two outs, Ball State got two-straight singles to plate the tying and go-ahead runs as the Cardinals took a 4-3 lead.
That would be all the home team would need as the Bobcats only got one runner on base in their last two at-bats and Ball State earned the victory.
"We just couldn't get the last out of that inning (seventh)," Carbone said. "You've got to give them (Ball State) credit, they went out and got two base hits."
Silverman (1-1) ended up with the loss after he was credited for one run allowed on two hits.
Bryant Witt went 3-for-3 in the game to break out of a 2-for-26 slump that he brought into Friday.
Richie Fralic (1-0) earned the victory in relief for Ball State and Kyle Heyne was credited with his fifth save.
The Cardinals carried that momentum over to Saturday's regularly-scheduled second game of the series as they scored single tallies in the first and third innings on Bobcat starter John Angelicchi. The Ohio righty was able to settle in though, and held the Cardinals scoreless over the course of the next 3 2-3 innings and left the game with a lead for the first time in five starts this year.
Trailing 2-0, the Bobcats sent nine batters to the plate in the sixth inning and plated all four runs they would get in the game. Matt Stiffler singled through the left side to lead off and Dusty Hammond followed with a singled to right center. Anthony Gressick then registered Ohio's third-straight base-knock to score Stiffler for the Bobcats' first run. After Jon Vondrell fouled out to the catcher, Willie Walker singled through the right side to scored Hammond and Hayden Johnston reached on a fielder's choice which scored Gressick. Jared Willis then drove a pitch to left for a sacrifice fly that brought home Gressick for a 4-2 Ohio lead.
After allowing that third-inning run, Angelicchi permitted just two Ball State batters to reach base over the course of the next three innings and retired the first two in the seventh before he hit a batter and walked consecutive hitters to load the bases. Carbone went to Adam Goodpasture, who induced a pop-up to get out of the jam.
The Cardinals tacked on their third run of the game on a solo homer by Justin Rodgers with one out in the eighth off the Bobcats' second reliever Chris Rigo, but the Ohio right-hander shut the door from there as he retired the last five Ball State batters he faced to earn his team-leading fourth save of the year.
Angelicchi (1-4) turned in Ohio's fifth quality start of the year as he allowed two runs on six hits with five strikeouts and four walks in 6 2-3 innings.
"He (Angelicchi) did a great job Adam Goodpasture did a good job coming in with the bases loaded and getting one of their best hitters to pop out," Carbone said. "(Chris) Rigo gave up a home run, but he bounced back from that and just put them away."
"I thought, all in all, all three pitchers did a great job today," Carbone said.
Hammond led five Bobcats who registered multiple-hit games with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate.
With a 2-for-3 outing, Bryant Witt is now 5-of-6 in the series.
"We thought Bryant was pressing a little bit both offensively and defensively. We needed him to take a step back a little bit," Carbone said. "We decided to put him in at second base and he did a good job at second base and hit the ball well. He was a big lift today."
Kory Bucklew (3-2) was tagged with the loss in a relief role. He allowed Ohio's fourth run of the game and surrendered six hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Rodgers and Matt Singleton each finished with two hits to lead Ball State at the dish.
"I'm really proud of the kids the way the bounced back after having a real tough loss like we did against an outstanding Ball State team," Carbone said. "We hung in there and were pretty mature and focused for the second game."
The Bobcats and Cardinals will get together for the rubber game of the weekend series tomorrow in a 1 p.m., start.