ATHENS, Ohio - Freshman Tyler Wells went 2-for-4 with his third home run of the season and senior Jensen Painter got on base for the 37th-consecutive game as the Ohio Baseball team (20-17; 9-4) defeated Buffalo 6-4 Friday night at Bob Wren Stadium in the first of a three-game weekend series.
Wells (Lexington, Ky.) also finished with two runs and two RBI on the night, while sophomore Garrett Black (Lima, Ohio) also had a strong performance, going 2-for-3 with a sac hit. Senior Doug Holmes (Twinsburg, Ohio) went 1-for-3 and scored a run as well.
Pitcher Brent Choban (Rittman, Ohio) secured the win in the game as he improved to 6-2 on the year. The senior pitched seven innings, allowed 11 hits and recorded three strikeouts, while junior Brett Barber (Hurricane, W. Va) was credited with the save, his fifth of the season.
Buffalo jumped out to the early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Alex Baldock singled to center field to drive home Matt Pollock, but Choban was able to drop the next two batters with a strikeout and fly out to center field.
After two wild pitches from Camp in his first action on the mound, Ethan Newton (Norfolk, Va.) advanced to third base as Wells (Lexington, Ky.) and Jensen Painter (Willshire, Ohio) both got on to load the bases. Freshman Jake Madsen (Cincinnati, Ohio) then flied out to right field, but it was enough to bring senior Ethan Newton (Norfolk, Va.) home and tie the score at 1-1. Junior Dan Schmidt (Kamiak, Wash.) singled to score Wells and Painter added one more run before the end of the inning to help the Bobcats take the lead 3-1.
A scoreless second inning from both teams provided the Bulls an opportunity to tie the game as Tom Murphy hit a two-run home run to left field to knot things up 3-3. Buffalo continued its offensive pressure into the top of the fourth, scoring the go-ahead run with no outs on the board to take the lead 4-3. The Bulls would threaten by putting more runners on base, but the Ohio infield was able to turn a double play to get the 'Cats out of the jam.
Wells provided the heroics in the bottom of the fifth, blasting a home run to left-center field to tie the game at four runs apiece. Painter followed by getting on base with his third walk of the night, but the Bulls prevented Ohio from generating momentum and regaining the lead as pitcher Cameron Copping retired the next three Bobcat batters.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Wells continued to find the hot bat as he recorded a base hit to drive in a Holmes run and give Ohio the 5-4 lead. Choban and company kept up solid infield play to begin the seventh and freshman Ian Mezlak (Lorain, Ohio) flied out to left field, allowing Madsen to score and extend the Bobcats' lead to 6-4 with two innings left to play.
Junior Brett Barber (Hurricane, W. Va.) replaced Choban in the top of the eighth inning and helped seal the win for Ohio, striking out two of Buffalo's final three batters.
Both teams return to Bob Wren Stadium Saturday, Apr. 21 for the second contest of the three-game series. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.