May 9, 2007
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Playing for the final time in non-conference competition, the Ohio baseball team dropped a 6-4 decision at West Virginia Wednesday at Hawley Field to finish the non-conference schedule with a 15-12 record.
"We gave up four runs in the first so we dug ourselves in a hole right off the bat," Ohio Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "We just could not get anything big going offensively. (Brandon)Besl, (Zach) Hartle and (Bryant) Witt all had two hits but we could not put together a big inning. (WVU starter Billy) Gross pitched very well for West Virginia. West Virginia's pitching just kind of shut us down today."
The Bobcats (20-28) fell in an early 6-1 hole after four innings and scored three times between the sixth and seventh but could not come all the way back. Ohio finished with four runs on 10 hits and committed two errors. The Bobcats have now collected at least 10 hits in each of their last seven games and out-hit the Mountaineers 10-7. West Virginia (26-19) posted six runs on seven hits and played errorless baseball.
Sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) and junior Zach Hartle (Toledo, Ohio) each went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the loss. Senior Bryant Witt (Powell, Ohio) finished 2-for-4 with a run scored. Freshman Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio) was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI single in the contest.
Senior left-hander Dan Weiss (Cincinnati, Ohio) took the loss for the Bobcats to fall to 3-6 on the season. He allowed all six WVU runs in 3.1 innings, with five of the runs being earned. Junior Cody Neyman (Dravosburg, Pa.) and sophomore Kurt Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio) both turned in scoreless outings in the loss. Neyman did not allow a hit in 3.2 innings and issued just one walk with one strikeout. The 3.2 innings was a season long for Neyman and the most since his freshman season. Smith allowed no hits and one walk in one scoreless frame. The pair combined to hold WVU hitless for the final 4.2 innings of play.
"I thought Cody Neyman and Kurt Smith pitched very well for us tonight," Carbone said.
Bill Gross got the win for the Mountaineers to improve to 4-2 on the year. He limited the Bobcats to three runs on eight hits over six solid innings. Justin Jenkins provided the offense for WVU as he finished 2-for-3 with a three-run home run. Adam White also had a big day and finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
The Mountaineers got to Weiss for four runs in the first inning to put Ohio in an earlier deficit. Jenkins provided the big hit, a three-run home run, to give West Virginia an early lead. The Mountaineers added a run on a throwing error for a 4-0 lead.
The Bobcats answered with a run in the top of the second. Witt rapped an RBI single to score Hartle, who had singled with two away and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch.
The Mountaineers added two runs to their cushion in the fourth when White and Tyler Kuhn collected back-to-back RBI singles to chase Weiss from the game. Neyman entered and slammed the door but WVU held on to a 6-1 advantage.
The Bobcats tried to get back into the game with a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh. Besl and senior Willie Walker (Marysville, Ohio) hit back-to-back singles and Hartle drove Besl home with an RBI single in the sixth. The following inning, freshman Jeremie Rehak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) singled to start the inning and junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) was hit by a pitch to put two on with nobody out. Krauss and Besl then collected back-to-back RBI singles but the inning ended on a double play with Ohio still trailing by two at 6-4.
While the Bobcat bullpen was brilliant, the Ohio offense could not get any closer as the Bobcats went down in order in the final two innings for their second loss of the season to the Mountaineers.
The Bobcats will play their final six games within the Mid-American Conference East Division, beginning this weekend when they host a three-game series against Miami. The two teams will kick the series off Friday at 6 p.m. in Bob Wren Stadium.