April 21, 2007
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio baseball team scored five times in the eighth inning to break open a tie game en route to a 14-9 victory over Mid-American Conference East Division foe Buffalo Saturday night in Bob Wren Stadium.
"We hung in there long enough," Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "Marc Krauss and Dusty (Hammond) really came through for us in the eighth inning. We hung in there, scored in the bottom of the eighth and put the game away."
Ohio (14-22, 3-11) jumped out to leads of 6-0 and 9-5 before Buffalo (6-25, 5-9) scored once in the sixth and three times in the ninth to tie the game. The Bobcats then scored five runs in the eighth to put the game away. Ohio finished with 14 runs on 15 hits and three errors while the Bulls scored nine times on 14 hits and also committed three errors.
Nearly everybody in the Bobcat lineup chipped in during the win as all but one player with an official at-bat collected at least one hit. Ohio's top five hitters in the lineup combined to go 8-for-19 with eight RBI and eight runs scored.
Senior Bryant Witt (Powell, Ohio) was a perfect 3-for-3 on the day with two walks, two RBI and a run scored from the eighth spot in the lineup. Junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) finished 2-for-3 with two walks, an RBI and two runs scored. Freshman Jeremie Rehak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) went 2-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI while junior Zach Hartle (Toledo, Ohio) was 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) also had a big day as he went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Senior Dusty Hammond (Bellefontaine, Ohio) picked up a two-run double in his only at-bat of the game.
Junior Andrew Shisila (Mentor, Ohio) was the benefactor of the eighth-inning outburst as he earned the win with 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. He moved to 1-2 on the season and allowed just one hit in the outing with two strikeouts. Starter Kevin Mementowski (Parma, Ohio) lasted 5.1 innings and allowed eight hits and six runs, only one of which was earned.
Dan Francis took the loss for the Bulls to fall to 0-2 on the season. He pitched four solid innings in relief but ran into trouble in his fifth inning. He ended up allowing three earned runs in four-plus innings of work.
Like Ohio, all but one member of the Buffalo lineup collected at least one hit. Rick Oliveri led the way with three hits while Mike Folli was 2-for-5 with three RBI.
The Bobcats wasted no time taking an early lead as they batted around in the bottom of the first with the help of some shaky Buffalo defense. Stiffler walked to start the rally and Rehak) followed with a single, then moved to second when Buffalo tried to peg Stiffler out at third. Freshman Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio) drove Stiffler in with a sacrifice fly and Besl followed with a single to put two runners on.
After another sacrifice fly by senior Willie Walker (Marysville, Ohio) made the score 2-0, sophomore Chris Klimko (McKeesport, Pa.) hit a high popup that the Buffalo first baseman dropped to extend the inning. Senior Jared Willis (Logan, W.Va.) and Hartle made the error costly, as Willis knocked and RBI single and Hartle laced a two-run single to give Ohio an early 5-0 lead.
Ohio extended the lead with a run in the second inning. Rehak reached on an error and scored on an RBI double by Walker for a 6-0 Bobcat advantage.
The Bulls answered in the third with five runs to make things close. All five of the runs were unearned due to two Bobcat errors in the inning. Ohio responded with two runs in the bottom half of the third. Witt started things with a one-out double and moved to third on a single by Hartle. Stiffler followed with an RBI single and Rehak scored Hartle on an RBI fielder's choice for an 8-5 Ohio lead.
Besl gave the Bobcats a three-run lead in the fourth inning when he led off the frame with a solo shot to left field. The home run was the third of the season for Besl and first since March 10.
Buffalo got the run back in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by Folli. The run got Buffalo to back within three at 9-6. After a scoreless seventh, the Bulls came all the way back to tie the game in the eighth. Folli brought two runs home with a two-run single and pinch-hitter James Piazza tied the game at nine with an RBI single.
The Bobcats wasted no time regaining the lead as they stormed back with five runs in their half of the eighth. Stiffler walked to open the inning and moved to third on a single by Rehak. Krauss followed with the go-ahead hit, a ringing double down the left field line to score Rehak. A sacrifice fly by Besl made it 11-9 and an RBI single by Witt, his third hit of the night, tacked on another Bobcat run. Hammond finished the scoring with a pinch-hit, two-run double to give Ohio a 14-9 lead. Shisila mowed down the Bulls in the ninth to finish off the victory and even the series at one game apiece.
The Bobcats and Bulls will play the rubber match of the weekend series Sunday at 1 p.m. in Bob Wren Stadium. Senior right-hander Zeke Isaacs (West Carrollton, Ohio) will go for Ohio against Buffalo right-hander Adam Ruszkowski. The game can be heard on WATH 970 AM and can also be seen on WOUB 2.