May 17, 2007
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Sophomore Chris Rigo allowed just two earned runs in 7.1 innings but the Bobcats committed five errors and allowed seven unearned runs in a 14-3 loss at Bowling Green Thursday at Warren E. Steller Field.
"We have to give (Bowling Green starter) Tyler Johnson credit," Ohio Head Coach Joe Carbone said. "He went out there and threw strikes and kept us off balance. When you are not playing good defense and you leave runners on base, it hurts your pitcher."
Ohio (22-30, 7-18) fell into an early 3-0 hole but clawed back to tie the game at three in the sixth inning. Bowling Green (21-31, 6-19) answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth but then put things away with a nine-run eighth inning. The Bobcats committed five errors in the loss and finished with four runs on five hits. The Falcons tallied 14 runs on 13 hits and committed one error.
Rigo (Westlake, Ohio) was the tough-luck loser to fall to 2-4 on the season. He allowed eight hits and six runs, only two of them earned, in 7.1 innings. He fanned five hitters but also issued four walks in the loss.
"Last game (Rigo) was real sharp but today he was not as sharp, which is normal for a young pitcher," Carbone said. "Defensively we made some mistakes. We gave away three or four runs on routine plays that we have got to make."
No Bobcat in the lineup finished with more than one hit. Junior Matt Stiffler (Bellbrook, Ohio) finished 1-for-3 with a triple and a walk, his 44th walk of the season. He is already in sole possession of second place on Ohio's single season walks list and is now two shy of tying Matt Engleka's record. The triple was the seventh of the season for Stiffler, moving him into a third place tie with three former Bobcats for third place on Ohio's single season triples list. Stiffler now has nine career triples, good for a fourth-place tie on Ohio's career triples list.
Senior Willie Walker (Marysville, Ohio) went 1-for-4 on the day and extended his current hitting streak to 11 games with a two-out, solo home run in the top of the ninth inning. Freshman Marc Krauss (Deshler, Ohio) finished 1-for-4 with two RBI and has now hit in nine straight games. Senior J.T. Osburn (Warrenton, Va.) and junior Zach Hartle (Toledo, Ohio) each collected one hit in the loss.
Bowling Green starter Tyler Johnson baffled the Ohio lineup as he threw all nine innings for a complete game win. He moved to 6-5 on the year as he allowed four runs on just five hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Logan Meisler, Kurt Wells and Brian Hangbers each finished with two hits for the Falcons.
The Falcons got to Rigo in the first inning when Meisler doubled to open the inning and scored on a two-out, RBI single by Hangbers. Three Bobcat errors in the second and third innings allowed for two unearned runs to cross the plate as the Falcons took a 3-0 lead after three innings. Johnson, meanwhile, retired the first nine Bobcats in order.
Stiffler recorded the first Ohio hit of the game when he led off the fourth with a triple over the right fielder's head. Krauss drove him in with an RBI groundout two batters later to cut Ohio's deficit to 3-1.
The Bobcats came back to tie the game in the sixth inning with a pair of runs on two hits and a walk. Stiffler drew the free pass to start the rally and moved to second on a single by Osburn. Krauss drove Stiffler in for the second time in the contest with an RBI single and he and Osburn both moved into scoring position on a balk. Sophomore Brandon Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) followed with a sacrifice fly to score Osburn and tie the game at three.
Bowling Green answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, thanks again to a Bobcat error. Rigo retired the first two hitters in the inning but then allowed a single and a double to put two runners in scoring position. The next hitter lifted a routine fly to left but an error on the play allowed both runners to score for a 5-3 Bowling Green lead.
The Bobcats went down in order in the seventh and eighth innings and could not keep it a two-run game as the Falcons plated nine runs in the eighth inning. Wells laced a two-run double, Eric Lawson tallied an RBI double and Marty Baird and Andrew Foster each recorded RBI base hits in the inning. Eight consecutive Falcons reached base between the first and second outs of the frame. Bowling Green also scored on a bases loaded walk, a balk and a Bobcat error to take a 14-3 lead.
Walker hit a two-out solo home run in the ninth to make the final score 14-4. The home run was the third of the season as Walker tallied his team-leading 42nd RBI of the season.
The Bobcats will look to get back in the win column Friday when they play game two of the series against the Falcons. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. at Warren E. Steller Field. Ohio will send right-handed sophomore Kevin Mementowski (Parma, Ohio) against right-hander Dusty Hawk. The game can be heard on WATH 970 AM or online at ohiobobcats.com.