May 11, 2007
ATHENS, Ohio - Sophomore Chris Rigo gave up a hit on the first pitch he threw but did not allow a hit the rest of the way in a complete game, one-hit gem Friday as the Ohio baseball team dealt Mid-American Conference East Division-leading Miami a 9-0 loss at Bob Wren Stadium.
"It felt good to go out there and get the runs early and pitch with the lead," Rigo said. "In the first inning (with the bases loaded and nobody out) I said to myself that I cannot let anybody score. I just went out there with a bulldog mentality."
Rigo (Westlake, Ohio) became the first Bobcat to throw a complete game shutout since Yale Silverman shut out Bowling Green on May 19 of last season. Rigo allowed just the one hit in nine innings and struck out a career-high-tying six hitters while issuing three walks and hitting three batters. The complete game was the second of his career and the first of nine innings. He threw an eight-inning complete game April 13 in a 2-0 loss at Eastern Michigan.
Rigo escaped a bases loaded jam with nobody out in the first inning and cruised the rest of the way. Only one hitter reached second base on Rigo after the first inning and that came in the ninth. He moved to 2-3 on the season with the win and lowered his season ERA from 5.10 to 4.38 in the process.
Ohio (21-28, 6-16) continued its hot hitting as the Bobcat pelted 13 hits and have now collected double-digit hits in each of the last eight games. The Bobcats knocked Miami (26-19, 13-7) starter John Ely around for six runs, three of them earned, on 10 hits in six innings. Ely entered the game with a 7-2 record and a 2.83 ERA but suffered the loss Friday.
Senior Willie Walker (Marysville, Ohio) had another big day at the plate as he finished a perfect 4-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) and freshman Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio) each went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Krauss also notched his 18th double of the season to tie him with former Bobcats Adam Fox and Jason Graham for fourth place on Ohio's single season doubles list.
Senior J.T. Osburn (Warrenton, Va.) was 1-for-5 with a three-run home run in the win, his first long ball of the season. Junior Zach Hartle (Toledo, Ohio) finished 1-for-3 with a run scored to run his hit streak to 10 games. Senior Bryant Witt (Powell, Ohio) was 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored in the win.
The Miami offense was limited to the lone hit by Evan Armitage and was held in check the rest of the way. Jordan Petraitis finished 0-for-3 in the game to snap a 27-game hit streak.
Rigo escaped his only real jam of the game in the first inning when he allowed the single to Armitage, a walk and a hit batsmen to load the bases with nobody out. After a visit from Ohio's pitching coach Andrew See, the sophomore right-hander struck out the next three hitters in a row to pull off the Houdini act.
The Bobcats gave Rigo a lead in the second inning when they touched Ely for two runs. Besl singled to start the frame and moved to third on a double by Walker. Sophomore Chris Klimko (McKeesport, Pa.) picked up an RBI on a ground ball that the Miami third baseman booted and Witt recorded an RBI groundout to give Ohio a 2-0 lead.
The Bobcats added another run in the fourth inning thanks to some clutch, two-out hitting. Walker singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Klimko but was still standing there with two outs. Witt came up with the big hit, a sharp single on a 1-2 count to score Walker and put the Bobcats ahead 3-0.
After escaping the bases loaded jam in the first, Rigo continued to mow through the Miami lineup. He retired 11 consecutive hitters from the first inning to the fourth, when he plunked a RedHawk with two outs. Rigo worked around the hit batsmen in the fourth and a walk in the fifth to keep the RedHawks off the board.
The Bobcats tacked on another run in the fifth inning when Krauss and Besl rapped back-to-back singles with two outs. Walker made it three straight singles to drive in Krauss for a 4-0 Bobcat lead.
Ohio gave Rigo even more breathing room with a two-run sixth inning. Hartle doubled down the left field line to start the rally and Witt reached on an error to put two runners aboard. Freshman Jeremie Rehak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) then singled and a RedHawk error on the play allowed Hartle to score and Witt to move to third. Junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) scored Witt on a sacrifice fly to give Ohio a 6-0 advantage.
Osburn provided even more offense in the bottom of the eighth with a booming three-run home run over the right-centerfield wall. The home run was the first of the season for Osburn and gave Ohio a 9-0 lead.
Even with the offensive fireworks, Rigo was clearly the story of the night as he continued his domination of the Miami lineup. Rigo worked around a walk in the sixth and then retired the RedHawks in order in the seventh and eighth innings. He hit one batter in the ninth but worked around it to finish off his complete game, one-hit gem and hand Ohio a 9-0 victory.
The Bobcats and RedHawks will play game two of the three game series Saturday at 6 p.m. in Bob Wren Stadium. Ohio's Kevin Mementowski (Parma, Ohio) will face Miami's Connor Graham.