May 2, 2007
PITTSBURGH - Six different Bobcats recorded multi-hit games and junior John Angelicchi retired the final nine hitters in order as the Ohio baseball team earned its second straight road win, a 9-7 victory at Pittsburgh Wednesday at Trees Field.
"I think we got some things going offensively tonight," Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "I thought (Matt) Stiffler, (J.T.) Osburn and (Brandon) Besl really hit the ball well. We got some timely base hits, stole a couple bases and played a solid game. We came up and swung the bats when it counted and that is something we had not been doing all year but we did tonight."
Ohio (17-26) won its second straight road game after starting the season 1-16 away from home. The Bobcats finished with nine runs on 18 hits with three errors while Pittsburgh (20-20) scored seven runs on six hits and did not commit an error in the game. With the victory, Ohio is now 4-4 against the Panthers since Carbone became Ohio's head coach in 1989. The Bobcats are now 14-11 in non-conference games this season.
Angelicchi (Woodmere, Ohio) earned the save, his first of the season and the second of his career, with three perfect innings in the win. He entered the game in the bottom of the seventh with Ohio clinging to an 8-7 lead and retired all nine batters he faced. He struck out three in the outing.
"Angelicchi had great stuff tonight," Carbone said. "He came out there and totally dominated the hitters the three innings he was in there. He really threw the ball well tonight."
Sophomore Matt Schlarb (Lexington, Ohio) earned the win with two innings in relief. He allowed two runs after replacing starter Chris Rigo (Westlake, Ohio), who allowed an unearned run in three innings. Rigo was lifted after three innings because he will start Sunday's contest at Akron.
The Bobcat bats were on fire Wednesday for the second night in a row as they pounded out 18 hits one night after recording 10 hits in just 5.2 innings. Junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI in the win. Stiffer also drew his 38th walk of the season to move him into a ninth-place tie with Bobcat legend Mike Schmidt on Ohio's single season walks list. Matt Engleka holds Ohio's single season walks record with 46.
Senior J.T. Osburn (Warrenton, Va.) had a huge night as he went 3-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored. Senior Willie Walker (Marysville, Ohio) and sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) each went 3-for-5 while Walker tallied three RBI and Besl finished with two. Senior Jared Willis (Logan, W.Va.) finished 2-for-5 with a solo home run and junior Zach Hartle (Toledo, Ohio) was 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.
Mike Wood took the loss in relief for the Panthers as he allowed four runs in 1.2 innings pitched. Ben Knuth started for Pittsburgh and allowed four runs on nine hits in four innings. Six different Panthers each collected one hit in the loss. Sean Conley finished with three RBI for Pittsburgh.
For the second game in a row the Bobcats jumped on top early with a run in the top of the first. Osburn started the rally with a one-out single and moved to third on a single by Stiffler. Besl put the Bobcats on top with an RBI single to give Ohio an early 1-0 lead.
The Bobcats made it 2-0 in the third with a two-out rally. Stiffler and Besl each singled with two away and Walker rapped a third consecutive single to score Stiffler and put the Bobcats on top 2-0.
Rigo cruised through the first two innings with just one baserunner allowed but gave up a run in the bottom of the third. He issued a walk and a stolen base and then committed an error to allow the baserunner to score, cutting Ohio's lead to 2-1.
Rigo exited the game after three innings in order to save his arm for his Sunday start against Akron. Schlarb entered the contest and allowed a leadoff double to Seth Patton. Patton advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at two.
The Bobcats went back on top in the next half inning and chased Knuth from the game with three straight singles to open the inning. Freshman Jeremie Rehak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Osburn singled to open the inning and Stiffler drove Rehak home with another single. After a pitching change, Walker put Ohio on top by a score of 4-2 with an RBI groundout.
The Panthers got a run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly to make the score 4-3, but Ohio fired right back with four runs in the top of the sixth inning. Senior Bryant Witt (Powell, Ohio) started things with a one out single and moved to third on a double by Hartle. Rehak drove in the first run of the inning on a sacrifice fly before the Bobcats put on their two-out hitting shoes. Osburn, Besl and Walker each collected two-out, RBI singles mixed in with a walk from Stiffler to give Ohio an 8-3 lead.
The Panthers refused to go down without a fight as they answered Ohio's four-run sixth with four of their own in the bottom half of the frame. The big blow was a two-out, two-run double from Conley. The Panthers also scored a run on an RBI groundout and a Bobcat error to cut Ohio's lead to 8-7.
Working with just a one-run margin, Carbone went to the right-handed Angelicchi, who proceeded to mow through the Pittsburgh lineup in order in the seventh and eighth innings. Willis gave Angelicchi a two-run lead with a solo home run in the top of the ninth, his second big fly of the season. Angelicchi went back to the hill in the ninth and retired the side in order yet again, marking nine consecutive Panthers he set down in a row to earn the save and preserve a 9-7 Ohio win.
The Bobcats will look to take the momentum into a three-game weekend road series at Akron. The Bobcats and Zips begin the series Friday at 3 p.m. with sophomore Kevin Mementowski (Parma, Ohio) on the mound for Ohio. All three Mid-American Conference games can be heard on WATH 970 AM or online at ohiobobcats.com.