April 27, 2007
KENT, Ohio - Sophomore Chris Klimko slugged a two-run home run, his third of the season, but it was all the Ohio offense could muster in an 8-2 loss at Kent State in the opener of a three-game set Friday in Schoonover Stadium.
"We got some guys on base today but could not get much going offensively," Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "We have to give Kent State credit. They were better than we were today."
Ohio (15-24, 3-13) remains winless in Mid-American Conference road play as the Bobcats fall to 0-7 in MAC road games. The Bobcats finished with the two runs on seven hits and one error and left six men on base. Kent State (18-23, 9-7) totaled eight runs on 11 hits and did not commit an error while stranding seven men on base. The Flashes hit three home runs, two of three-run variety, for seven of their eight runs.
Junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) was the only Bobcat to record a multi-hit day as he finished 2-for-4 in the loss. Klimko (McKeesport, Pa.) went 1-for-2 and was responsible for all of Ohio's run production with a two-run home run. The long ball was the third of the season for the sophomore backstop. Sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Sophomore Chris Rigo (Westlake, Ohio) took the loss for the Bobcats to fall to 0-3 on the season. He allowed 10 hits and seven runs, six of them earned, in 6.2 innings pitched. All seven of Rigo's runs crossed the plate via the home run as he gave up three of them. Sophomore Kurt Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio) tossed 1.1 scoreless innings in relief for Ohio.
Brad Winter had a huge day at the plate for the Flashes as he finished 3-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI and three runs scored at the plate. Winter's offensive outburst backed Kent State starter Evan Smith, who moved to 3-4 with the win. Smith held the Bobcats to seven hits and two runs in six innings pitched.
Rigo mowed down the Kent State lineup in the first but ran into trouble in the second inning. After an error and a single but two runners aboard, Winter hit his first home run of the day for a 3-0 Kent State lead. The Bobcats put their leadoff hitter aboard in the first and second inning as Stiffler doubled to open the first and senior Willie Walker (Marysville, Ohio) singled to start the second but in each inning the next three Ohio hitters were retired in order.
Winter gave the Golden Flashes a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning when he hit a solo shot off Rigo for his second deep fly of the game. The Flashes busted the game open in the fifth with their third home run of the contest, this one another three-run shot, to take a 7-0 lead.
Klimko got Ohio on the board in the sixth inning when he hit an offering from Smith over the outfield wall for a two-run blast. The home run scored Besl, who doubled earlier in the inning. The Bobcats would send just one hitter to the plate over the minimum in the final three innings and Kent State tacked on a run with a suicide squeeze in the sixth to send Ohio away with an 8-2 loss.
The Bobcats will look to even the three-game series Saturday when the two teams match up at 1 p.m. in Schoonover Stadium. Ohio will send right-hander Kevin Mementowski (Parma, Ohio) to the hill.