April 20, 2007
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio baseball team scored four times in the final two innings but was unable to finish the comeback in a 7-4 loss to Buffalo in the Mid-American Conference East Division opener for both teams Friday in Bob Wren Stadium.
"(Buffalo starter Mike) Radanovic did a good job," Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "He threw the ball very, very well. We have to give Buffalo credit. They were better than we were tonight."
Ohio (13-22, 2-11) finished with four runs on eight hits and left seven men on base in the loss. Buffalo (2-24, 5-8) posted seven runs on 10 hits with nine left on base. Each team committed two errors in the contest.
Sophomore Chris Rigo (Westlake, Ohio) took the loss to fall to 0-2 on the season in his third career start. He lasted 5.2 innings and allowed five runs, four of them earned, on nine hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Sophomore Matt Schlarb (Lexington, Ohio) tossed three innings in relief and allowed one earned run.
Sophomore Chris Klimko (McKeesport, Pa.) and junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) each posted multi-hit days with 2-for-4 efforts from each. Klimko finished with two RBI while Stiffler drove in one run. Sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) went 1-for-3 with an RBI while sophomore Kirk Payne (Hilliard, Ohio) went 1-for-1 with two runs scored.
Radanovic moved to 2-2 as he picked up the win in the start for Buffalo. He threw 7.2 innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits. Steve Geltz allowed one run in 1.1 innings pitched for his second save of the season. Mike Folli led the Bulls at the plate with a 3-for-5 performance and a run scored. Brad Agustin went 2-for-4 with three RBI and also scored a run in the win.
Buffalo jumped on top early with an unearned run in the top of the first inning. Folli led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a passed ball before scoring on an RBI groundout by Eric Flynn. Rigo allowed just one hit over the next two innings but the Bulls extended the lead to 2-0 in the fourth. Flynn doubled to open the inning and came around to score with two outs on an RBI single by Agustin.
The Bobcats squandered a golden opportunity in the fifth when they loaded the bases with nobody out but could not get a run across. Klimko and senior J.T. Osburn (Warrenton, Va.) rapped back-to-back singles and senior Bryant Witt (Powell, Ohio) reached on a fielder's choice but all three were left stranded after a strikeout and a double play.
Buffalo widened its lead in the sixth inning as the Bulls scratched three runs across on Rigo to chase him from the game. Agustin recorded a sacrifice fly and Shivam Bahn had an RBI single before the Bulls scored the final run of the inning on an error.
The Bobcats finally got on the board in the eighth inning as they scored three times to knock Radanovic out of the contest. Senior Jon Vondrell (Centerville, Ohio) drew a pinch-hit walk to start the rally but was still standing at first with two away. Senior Jared Willis (Warrenton, Va.) then hit a single to right-center and freshman Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Krauss was the final batter that Radanovic faced in the game. Zach Anderson entered and walked Besl to get the Bobcats in the scoring column. Klimko followed with a two-run single to center field that scored two more to cut Ohio's deficit to 5-3. The Bulls then turned to closer Steve Geltz, who retired the only hitter he faced in the eighth to escape further damage.
Schlarb, who relieved Rigo in the sixth and had not allowed a run, seemed to be breezing through the ninth as he retired the first two hitters he faced but then ran into trouble. Nick Walczak drew a two-out walk and came around to score on an RBI double by Agustin. Agustin then moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball for a 7-3 Buffalo lead. Stiffler laced an RBI triple in the Bobcat ninth but it was not enough in the 7-4 loss.
The Bobcats and Bulls will do it again Saturday at 6 p.m. in Bob Wren Stadium. The Bobcats will send sophomore Kevin Mementowski (Parma, Ohio) to the mound against Buffalo right-hander Adam Ruszkowski. The game can be heard on WATH 970 AM and will also be televised on WOUB 2 in the Athens area.