May 5, 2007
AKRON, Ohio - Senior Willie Walker finished 3-for-4 with a three-run home run and four RBI, but the Ohio baseball team allowed 16 Akron hits in a 15-7 loss to the Zips in the second of a three-game series Saturday at Lee Jackson Field.
"Our pitchers just did not give us a chance to win today," Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "We walked way too many people and were behind in the count all the time. Your success or failure depends on how well you pitch."
Ohio (18-27, 4-16) finished with seven runs on 13 hits and committed two errors while Akron (20-18, 6-11) scored 15 runs on 16 hits with no errors. The Bobcats also drew five walks in the contest and left eight men on base in the loss.
"We have to give Akron credit," Carbone said. "They hit the ball well off us. (Akron starter Frank) Turocy made pitches when he had to make them. We had runners on base almost every inning. Akron played and pitched well today."
Sophomore Zach Elmer (Delaware, Ohio) took the loss for Ohio in his first career start to fall to 0-1 on the season. Elmer allowed five runs, three of them earns, on five hits in three innings pitched. He walked two and struck out one in his first ever start. Junior Cody Neyman (Dravosburg, Pa.) tossed 1.2 scoreless innings in relief.
Junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) had another big day at the plate as he finished 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored. The home run was the second of the season for Stiffler. Senior Willie Walker (Marysville, Ohio) finished 3-for-4 with a three-run home run. He also added a sacrifice fly for four RBI in the contest. Junior Zach Hartle (Toledo, Ohio) was 2-for-4 in the loss and has now hit in six straight contests. Sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) hit his 17th double of the season to tie him for sixth place on Ohio's single season doubled list. He is tied with six other players, including teammate Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio), who collected his 17th double of the season Friday.
Frank Turocy earned the win for the Zips to improve to 3-2 on the season. He allowed 10 hits and five earned runs in seven innings with three strikeouts and five walks. Kurt Davidson finished 3-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored for the Zips while Doug McNulty was 2-for-3 with a pair of walks and three RBI.
The Zips were the first on the board with a run in the bottom of the opening frame. Charlie Lenhard drove in the run with an RBI groundout. Akron jumped on top 4-0 in the next inning as the Zips scored three times. Scott Gunn rapped a two-run single in the inning and the third run scored on a Bobcat error.
Ohio had a golden chance in the top of the third as the team collected two singles and two walks in the inning but could not score. The Zips threw a runner out at the plate in the frame to keep the Bobcats off the scoreboard.
Akron tacked on a run in the third on a Vince Chiera RBI single and then scored two more times in the fourth for a 7-0 lead. Davidson slugged an RBI double and John Turk was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded later in the inning.
The Bobcats finally broke through in the fifth inning with a pair of runs. Freshman Jeremie Rehak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) singled with one away and Stiffler followed with an opposite field, two-run blast to cut Ohio's deficit to 7-2. The Bobcats threatened for more in the inning as senior J.T. Osburn (Warrenton, Va.) drew a one-out walk and Krauss singled to put two runners on, but Turocy struck out the next hitter and then Krauss was caught stealing to end the rally.
The Zips poured it on in the bottom of the fifth with a four-run outburst. Gunn had a two-run single in the inning and another run scored on the play due to a Bobcat error. McNulty gave Akron an 11-2 lead with an RBI single later in the inning.
Ohio finally kept the Zips scoreless in an inning as sophomore Kurt Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio) pitched a perfect sixth inning. It was the first time the Zips had not scored in an inning all game. The Bobcats climbed back into the contest in the top of the seventh when Walker slugged a two-out, three-run home run to cut Ohio's deficit to 11-5. Osburn singled and Krauss walked in front of Walker's three-run shot.
The Zips answered right back in the bottom of the seventh with a four-run inning to put the game out of reach. McNulty collected a two-RBI triple in the inning and Davidson and Kevin Haas each drove in a run to give Akron a 15-5 advantage.
The Bobcats put a couple of runs on the board to finish the scoring at 15-7. Besl slugged an RBI double in the inning and Walker added a sacrifice fly for his fourth run driven in of the game.
The Bobcats and Zips will play the rubber game of the series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Lee Jackson Field. Ohio will send sophomore right-hander Chris Rigo (Westlake, Ohio) to the mound against Akron southpaw Steve Zemanek. The game can be heard on WATH 970 AM or online at ohiobobcats.com.