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Baseball Takes Two of Three from Ball State

OHIOBOBCATS.COM Willie Walker drove in seven runs in three games Sunday.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM
Willie Walker drove in seven runs in three games Sunday.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM

April 8, 2007

Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score
Game Three Box Score

ATHENS, Ohio - The Bobcat baseball team jumped into the Mid-American Conference win column Sunday as they took two of three games from Ball State in Bob Wren Stadium. Ohio won the first two games by scores of 11-6 and 7-6 before falling in the finale, 6-4.

"We did swing the bats better than we have for awhile today," Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "That is always good for morale when you are up there swinging the bats well. The kids played well today."

The teams played the better part of three games due to uncooperative weather conditions Friday and Saturday. Friday's game was postponed with one out in the top of the third and resumed Sunday at noon. Games two and three of the series followed on Sunday.

The Bobcats (12-16, 2-7) snapped a six-game MAC losing streak for their first two wins of the conference season. Ohio had started out the MAC schedule with sweeps to Northern Illinois and Toledo. Ball State (12-18, 3-6) has now lost five of six after being swept at Miami last weekend.

Senior Willie Walker (Marysville, Ohio) had a huge day as he went 7-for-13 with two doubles, seven RBI and two runs scored in the three games. Freshman Marc Krauss also went 7-for-13 with two doubles, six runs scored, two stolen bases, and three RBI. Sophomore Hayden Johnston (Strattanville, Pa.) finished the day 5-for-12 with a home run, two RBI, two stolen bases, and a run scored.

Game One - Ohio 11, Ball State 6

The Bobcats earned the win in game one as they scored eight runs in the first three innings and tacked on three more in the eighth inning for an 11-6 win. The game began Friday but with one out in the third and the score tied at five was delayed by snow. The game resumed Sunday at noon. Ohio finished with 11 runs on 12 hits with one error while the Cardinals scored six times in 13 hits and two errors in the loss.

Krauss paced the Bobcat attack as he went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, two RBI and a stolen base. Walker was 3-for-5 with three RBI while Johnston finished 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.

Sophomore Matt Schlarb (Lexington, Ohio) earned the win in relief with five solid innings. He allowed four hits and three earned runs with four strikeouts and two walks.

"We thought we had to run someone out there who could give us some innings," Carbone said. "I thought it was big that (Schlarb) got us out of that second-and-third situation with no runs. He fields his position well. He was tough for us for six innings and we could not ask for more."

Sophomore Adam Goodpasture (Columbus, Ohio) pitched a perfect ninth in the win. Sophomore Kevin Mementowksi (Parma, Ohio) made the start but was the victim of poor weather and lasted just 2.1 innings because of the snow delay. He allowed nine hits and five runs in a no decision.

Mementowski worked around a leadoff single in the first and the Bobcats gave him three runs to work with in the bottom of the frame. Junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) singled to open the inning and moved to second two batters later on a single by Krauss. Sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) followed with an RBI double that scored Stiffler. The Cardinal left fielder had trouble with the ball and Krauss scored on the resulting error while Besl went to third. Johnston scored Besl two batters later with an RBI single to give Ohio and early 3-0 lead.

Ohio added two more runs in the second inning. Sophomore Chris Klimko (McKeesport, Pa.) walked to lead off the frame and moved to second on a sacrifice and third on a groundout. Senior Dusty Hammond (Bellefontaine, Ohio) doubled home Klimko and then scored later in the inning on a Cardinal error for a 5-0 Bobcat advantage.

The Cardinals got right back into the game in the top of the third as Justin Rogers led off with a solo home run and the Ball State lineup followed with six straight hits to tie the game at five. After a Cardinal strikeout, the snow began to fall and forced the two teams to suspend the remainder of the game. Weather conditions on Saturday did not allow for baseball to be played but the game finally resumed Sunday at noon. Schlarb took over for Mementowski with runners on second and third and one away, but induced two groundouts to escape the jam and preserve the 5-5 tie.

The Bobcats regained the lead in the bottom of the third when Johnston hit an 0-2 pitch over the right-centerfield wall for a solo home run and a 6-5 Ohio lead. Ohio extended the lead to 8-5 in the fourth on two-out RBI singles by Krauss and Walker.

Schlarb worked efficiently through the fourth and fifth innings but Ball State scored a run on an RBI fielder's choice in the sixth to cut Ohio's lead to 8-6. The Bobcat right-hander tossed a scoreless seventh and then induced an inning ending double play with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth to preserve a two-run Ohio lead. Krauss added an RBI single and Walker added a pair with a two-run single in the eighth to finish the scoring and give the Bobcats an 11-6 win in game one.

Game Two - Ohio 7, Ball State 6

The Bobcats won game two of the series in walk-off fashion on an RBI single with two outs by Besl. The Bobcats held a 6-4 lead heading into the ninth before a two-run Cardinal inning tied the game ahead of Besl's last inning heroics. Ohio finished with seven runs on 12 hits while Ball State had six runs on seven hits. Each team committed one error.

The Bobcats' second through fourth hitters in the lineup combined to go 9-for-17 in the win. Krauss was 3-for-4 with a stolen base and three runs scored while Walker went 2-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored. Besl was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored while Hammond went 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

Junior Matt Smith (Centre Hall, Pa.) earned the win in relief for the Bobcats to move to 3-3 on the season. He tossed 4.1 innings and allowed two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Starter Chris Rigo (Westlake, Ohio), making his first career start, lasted 4.2 innings and allowed three runs, two of them earned, on three hits with four strikeouts and five walks.

The Cardinals got on the board first in game two with a pair of runs in the first inning. Ball State took advantage of a leadoff double, two wild pitches and a passed ball for an early 2-0 lead.

The Bobcats got on the board in a big way in the fourth inning with four runs on five hits. Hammond, Krauss and Besl all singled to load the bases and Walker drove in a pair with a ringing two-run double to right-center. After two were away, junior Jason Selhorst (Ottawa, Ohio) came up with a two-out, two-run single to put Ohio on top 4-2.

The Cardinals answered right back in the top of the fifth with two runs to tie the game at 4. A Bobcat error paved the way to both unearned runs in the frame.

Ohio regained the lead with two runs of its own in the bottom of the fifth. Hammond doubled to start the rally and Krauss moved him to third with a single and advanced to second on a throw home. Walker singled both runners home for his third and fourth RBI of the game and a 6-4 Bobcat lead.

Smith, who relieved Rigo with two outs in the fifth, allowed just one hit until the ninth inning to preserve the two-run advantage. Smith ran into trouble in the ninth, however, as he hit a batter and then gave up a double to put runners at second and third. After a wild pitch scored one runner, Nate Fields singled up the middle to tie the game at six.

The Bobcats got the final word as they plated the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. The rally came with two men away and nobody on base, when Krauss singled to right and then stole second with Besl at the plate. Besl came through with a walk-off RBI single to score Krauss and give the Bobcats a 7-6 win in game two.

"We hung in there long enough and won the game," Carbone said. "We were disappointed we let the lead get away in the ninth but that is the way things going. With two out, Krauss did a great job of getting on base and Besl did a great job of hanging tough and hitting the ball the other way."

Game Three - Ball State 6, Ohio 4

The Bobcats had an opportunity in the series finale for a three-game sweep but let a late 4-2 lead slip away as the Cardinals scored four times in the eighth inning. Ohio posted four runs on eight hits with one error while Ball State scored six times in 13 hits and two errors.

Walker went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Johnston was 2-for-3 in the Bobcat loss. Stiffler was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. John Angelicchi (Woodmere, Ohio) took the loss after giving up two runs, one of them earned, in one inning pitched. Senior Zeke Isaacs (West Carrollton, Ohio) made the start for Ohio and tossed five innings, allowing 7 hits and two runs with a career-high-tying seven punch-outs and three walks

Isaacs worked around three walks and two singles in the first three innings to keep the Cardinals off the board and the Bobcats gave him a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Freshman Jeremie Rehak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) walked to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Bryant Witt (Powell, Ohio). Stiffler drove Rehak in with an RBI single and then scored two batters later on an RBI double by Krauss.

Isaacs worked a scoreless fourth and fifth innings but ran into trouble in the sixth. He allowed back-to-back singles and Carbone opted to go to the `pen and left-handed senior Dan Weiss (Cincinnati, Ohio) with runners on first and second and nobody out. After a sacrifice bunt put both runners in scoring position, Alex Schmid singled up the middle to tie the game, 2-2.

The Bobcats were able to regain a two-run lead in the seventh inning and chase Ball State starter Ryan DeGeeter from the game. DeGeeter had allowed just one baserunner since the third inning, but Walker singled to start the seventh and moved to second on a sac bunt. Klimko followed with a single and moved to second on an error to put two runners in scoring position with one away. Pinch-hitter Jared Willis (Logan, W.Va.) followed with an RBI groundout and Witt drove Klimko home with a two out, RBI single for a 4-2 Bobcat lead.

The Cardinals fired right back in the eighth with four runs to take their first lead of the game at 6-4. Wayne Bond rapped a two-run double in the inning and Justin Rogers followed with an RBI double. Ball State scored the final run of the inning on a fielding error. The Bobcats were unable to get anything going in the eighth or ninth as they dropped the third game of the series, 6-4.

Ohio returns to non-conference action Tuesday when the Bobcats hit the road to take on Duquesne for a 3 p.m. first pitch.