May 13, 2006
OXFORD, Ohio -
Anthony Gressick drove in six runs to lead Ohio to a 7-4 victory against Miami in the first game of Saturday's twin bill, but the RedHawks bounced back to take an 11-5 decision in the second as the Mid-American Conference East Division rivals split in McKie Field.
Gressick busted open a one-run game with a grand slam in the top of the eight in the first game of the day, then added a solo shot in the ninth as Ohio (19-24, 11-12 MAC) built a 7-0 and weathered a ninth-inning Miami (26-23, 13-10 MAC) rally for the 7-4 victory.
The second game saw the Miami bats come alive as it built a 7-0 lead on Ohio and cruised to the 11-5 win to set up a rubber game on Sunday.
Ohio's Derek Witt and Miami's Keith Weiser locked horns in the first game of the day for a pitcher's dual through the first seven frames. After J.T. Osburn led off the game for Ohio with a double and scored two batters later on a groundout by Gressick, Weiser held the Bobcats hitless until the eighth.
While Weiser was cruising through the Ohio lineup in the second through seventh innings, Witt allowed Miami base runners in each of the first five innings but never surrendered a run. The Bobcat right-hander then retired the side in order in the sixth, seventh and eighth frames.
The top of the eighth was where the Bobcats did their damage, however. Aided by three RedHawk errors in the inning, Ohio loaded the bases with nobody out and Miami went to Matt Long out of the bullpen in relief of Weiser. Gressick then greeted Long with a grand slam over the right-center field wall on the first pitch he saw to propel the Bobcats to a 5-0 advantage.
Gressick got back at it in the top of the ninth. With the sixth run of the game already home on an RBI double by Matt Stiffler, who was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple, Gressick bombed his second homer of the day to dead center for a 7-0 Bobcat advantage.
Witt returned the mound in the bottom of the ninth to try to secure Ohio its first shutout of the season. The RedHawks' bats finally got to Witt, however, as they plated three runs on the Ohio senior and he was pulled two outs shy of a complete game. Adam Goodpasture then came on in relief and was able to get the final two outs while one more run came home on Witt's tab.
Witt (6-4) allowed four runs on 12 hits with seven strikeouts and no walks to earn the victory for Ohio.
Gressick finished with six RBIs after going 3-for-5 at the plate. His three hits moved him into sixth place on Ohio's all-time hit list and his two round-trippers marked his second-career multi-homer game. The two homers also moved him into a tie for sixth place on the Bobcats' career list with 33.
"He (Gressick) was sitting on a fastball and got a good swing to knock it out of the park," Ohio Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "He came up big for us in a crucial situation."
Weiser (3-5) took the loss for Miami after allowing four runs - two earned - on just three hits in seven complete innings. The southpaw struck out eight and walked two.
Evan Armitage, Jeff Carroll and Dan Leonard recorded two hits apiece for Miami.
"We felt fortunate to beat Miami in the first game," Carbone said. "Two very good college pitchers (Witt and Weiser) threw really good games and we were fortunate to get a win on one of the best pitchers in the MAC."
In the second game of the day, Gressick took the ball for Ohio and was not able to duplicate Witt's earlier success on the mound. The RedHawks battered Gressick for seven runs on 10 hits as he was pulled with one out in the fifth inning.
Zach Elmer relieved Gressick and gave up an RBI hit, but got out of the inning without further damage as the RedHawks built a 7-0 lead.
While Gressick struggled in his start, Miami's Graham Taylor had little problems retiring the Ohio batting order. Taylor cruised through the first five innings before the Bobcats broke through in the sixth with a two-RBI triple by Bryant Witt and a run-scoring groundout by Gressick to cut the Miami lead to 7-3.
Elmer threw a scoreless sixth, but the RedHawks put two more insurance runs on the board in the seventh. Ohio got the pair back in the top of the eighth on a RBI double by Gressick and Jon Vondrell scored when Jason Selhorst reached on a fielder's choice to make it 9-5.
The RedHawks didn't let up, however, and added two more tallies in the bottom of the eighth to provide what would be the final score, 11-5.
Gressick (4-1) suffered his first loss since May 15, 2005. He was charged with a season-high seven earned runs in 4 1-3 innings pitched. Elmer allowed four earned runs on five hits with six strikeouts in 3 2-3 innings of relief.
Bryant Witt was the only Bobcat player to record more than one hit in the game while Gressick drove home two runs to finish the day at the plate with eight RBIs.
Taylor (6-5) earned the victory for Miami after allowing five runs - four earned - on seven hits in seven innings.
Carroll and Geoff Orr both went 3-for-4 in the game and Orr recorded a team-best three RBIs.
Ohio has now split the first two games of its weekend series nine times in a row.
Yale Silverman (3-2) will get the ball for Ohio in tomorrow's rubber game against Miami's John Ely (6-2). First pitch is set for 1 p.m.