April 18, 2006
ATHENS, Ohio -
The visiting Pittsburgh Panthers got a shut-down pitching performance from starter Chad Baker and banged out 14 hits to deal the Ohio baseball squad its worst loss if the season, 15-1, Tuesday night in Bob Wren Stadium.
On the ninth anniversary of the opening of Bob Wren Stadium, the Bobcats (12-17) were unable to match the effort they put forth on April 18, 1998 in a 4-1 defeat of Bowling Green in the park's inaugural game. The Panthers (14-20) held an 8-0 lead after five innings and the lead ballooned to 15-0 before Ohio broke up the shutout with a single tally in the ninth.
The Panthers wasted little time getting to Ohio starter Andrew Shisila. In his third start of the year, the Ohio right-hander managed to retire the first Pitt batter he faced, but that was it. The Panthers next five hitters all reached on four hits and the Bobcats committed two errors behind Shisila to jump out to quickly fall behind 4-0. Ohio Head Coach Joe Carbone went to the pen with just one gone in the first and Adam Goodpasture retired the next two batters to end the rally.
Goodpasture was able to toss a scoreless second frame before the Panthers got back on the board in the third on a two-out single to right for a 5-0 lead. Kevin Mementowski took over for the Bobcats on the hill to start the fourth and was also able to hold Pitt scoreless for an inning, but not for a second. The Panthers ran up three runs on Mementowski in the fifth to jump ahead 8-0.
Zach Elmer and Matt Schlarb combined to keep the Panthers off the board in the sixth and seventh innings, but Schlarb met a similar fate in his second inning of work as his predecessors.
While the Bobcat pen was taking turns trying to keep Pitt off the board, Baker was buzzing through the Ohio line-up. The righty allowed the Bobcats just two hits in his six innings of work and only six Ohio batters even reached base during that span, three of which were hit batters.
The Panthers went to their bullpen with Mike Bassage to start the seventh and the Bobcats finally threatened for the first time, but still came up empty. With two outs, Brandon Besl singled to right-center and Hayden Johnston followed with another single. Ohio pinch hitter J.T. Osburn then ricocheted a hit off the Pitt's reliever's leg to load the bases. Jon Vondrell grounded out, however, and Ohio stayed scoreless.
Schlarb was tagged for four runs on four hits in the top of the eighth as Pitt extended to a 12-0 advantage. Bobcat closer Chris Rigo came on in a non-save situation in the ninth and gave up a three-run bomb to Pitt draft prospect Jim Negrych to supply the final tally of 15-0.
The Bobcats were able finally put up a tally in their last at-bat. Bryant Witt led off with a single and Brandon Besl drove a double down the left field line. Witt then scored on a grounder by Johnston to get Ohio on the board.
Shisila (0-3) took the loss for Ohio after allowing four runs - three earned - while recording just one out.
Kirk Payne and Besl each finished with two hits for the Bobcats.
Baker (2-0) gained the victory and didn't allow a run on two hits in six innings of work.
Morgan Kielty finished 4-for-6 at the dish for Pitt while Jimmy Mayer and Peter Parise each recorded four RBIs.
The loss was the third in a row for Ohio on the heels of a season-best four-game winning streak. With five errors on the night, the game also marked the eighth time this year that the Bobcats have committed at least four in a game.
"We're not pitching well enough, we're not hitting well enough and we're not playing good enough defense," Carbone said. "We're not a team that is consistently putting all of those things together right now."
The Bobcats will have a chance at redemption tomorrow night in Bob Wren Stadium when they host Xavier in the next-to-last non-conference home contest of the year. Yale Silverman (1-1) will take the mound for Ohio and first pitch is set for 6 p.m.