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Bobcat Comeback Falls Short Against Buffalo

OHIOBOBCATS.COM Matt Stiffler hit his first home run of the season Sunday.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM
Matt Stiffler hit his first home run of the season Sunday.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM

April 22, 2007

Box Score

ATHENS, Ohio - Trailing 11-1, the Ohio baseball team tallied nine runs in the seventh inning but was unable to get any closer in a 13-10 loss to Buffalo in the rubber match of a three-game series Sunday at Bob Wren Stadium.

"Unfortunately for us we gave away too many runs early," Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "We dug ourselves in a hole and walked a lot of people today."

Ohio (14-23, 3-12) tallied nine of its 10 runs and nine of its 13 hits in the seventh inning rally. The team finished with 10 runs on 13 hits and three errors and left 12 men on base in the loss. Buffalo (7-25, 6-9) posted 13 runs on 12 hits with one error and stranded 14 men on base. The Bulls drew 11 walks from Bobcat pitching as Ohio used eight different pitchers in the contest. Only seven of Buffalo's 13 runs Sunday were earned runs.

Senior Zeke Isaacs (West Carrollton, Ohio) took the loss for the Bobcats to fall to 1-2 on the season. The right-handed starter lasted just 1.1 innings and allowed three runs, only one of them earned, on three hits while walking two and striking out one. Junior John Angelicchi (Woodmere, Ohio) pitched two scoreless innings in relief in the game.

Junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) had a big day at the plate as he finished 3-for-5 with a solo home run, a walk and two runs scored. He is now three walks shy of tying Jason Arbinger for 10th place on Ohio's single season walks list. Stiffler's home run Sunday was his first of the season. Freshman Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio) also had a big day as he finished 3-for-6 with two RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) was 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored while junior transfer Zach Hartle (Toledo, Ohio) hit his first home run in a Bobcat uniform and finished 1-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored.

Buffalo starter Adam Ruszkowski earned his first win of the season against six losses as he was dominant through the first six innings. Ruszkowski had allowed just three hits through six innings but ran into trouble in the seventh. He finished with six innings pitched and allowed six hits and four earned runs. Steve Geltz pitched the final 2.1 innings and allowed two runs for his third save of the year.

Bobby Pizzuto led the Bulls with a 3-for-6 day and two RBI. Shivam Bhan finished 2-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored.

Buffalo got to Isaacs with a run in its first at-bat for an early 1-0 lead. Chris Ciesla hit a two-out, RBI double to score Mike Folli, who singled to open the inning. The double put runners on second and third but Isaacs escaped without further damage.

The Bulls chased Isaacs from the game in the second inning as they scored three times in the frame. After retiring the first hitter, Isaacs allowed a single and a walk and was lifted in favor of junior left-hander Matt Smith (Centre Hall, Pa.). The Bulls loaded the bases with one away and a key Bobcat error allowed for three unearned runs to cross the plate, giving Buffalo a 4-0 lead.

The Bobcats ran into more trouble in the third as Smith was forced to leave the game with two outs due to an injury. The Bulls had already scored one run in the inning on an RBI double by Rick Oliveri and had runners on first and third when Smith left the contest. Sophomore Zach Elmer (Delaware, Ohio) entered the game and the Bulls tacked on two more unearned runs for a three-run frame and a 7-0 lead.

The Bobcats got on the board in the fourth without the benefit of a hit. Besl and Dusty Hammond (Bellefontaine, Ohio) walked before Chris Klimko (McKeesport, Pa.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Bryant Witt (Powell, Ohio) then drew a bases loaded walk to get Ohio in the scoring column at 7-1.

The Bulls threatened in the fifth when they loaded the bases with only one away. Carbone went to the bullpen again and brought in sophomore Kurt Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio), who retired the next two hitters to keep the deficit at six runs. The Bobcats could not keep Buffalo in check in the sixth as the Bulls scored four times to take an 11-1 lead.

Ohio finally got things going in the seventh inning as the Bobcats exploded for nine runs to get back in the game and chase Ruszkowski from the contest. Stiffler led off the inning with a long solo home run and Jeremie Rehak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) followed with a single. A double by Krauss put runners on second and third for Besl, who singled both runners home. Hammond then singled two batters later and freshman Kris McDonough (Upper St. Clair, Pa.) followed with an RBI single. After the second out of the inning, Hartle delivered a three-run home run to bring Ohio within three runs at 11-8.

With seven runs already across in the inning, the Bulls went to their bullpen for the second time in the inning and brought in Geltz. Stiffler greeted Geltz with a double off the top of the right field wall and Rehak followed with a walk. Krauss then blasted a long drive to deep center, which again was just inches shy of a home run, to bring two runners home and cut Ohio's deficit to one run at 11-10.

The Bulls got an insurance run in the eighth with an unearned run. A Bobcat error allowed the leadoff man to reach base and Pizzuto made the error pay with an RBI triple for a 12-10 Buffalo lead. Ohio put two runners on with two outs in the bottom of the eighth but Geltz was able to wiggle off the hook. Buffalo added another run in the ninth and Geltz worked around a two-out double in the bottom of the ninth to hand the Bobcats a 13-10 loss.

Ohio returns to non-conference home action this Wednesday when the Bobcats host Marshall for a doubleheader. The action begins at 4 p.m. in Bob Wren Stadium.