Box Score (PDF)
OXFORD, Ohio -- The Ohio baseball team (20-23, 8-10 MAC) lost the Mid-American Conference series finale to archrival Miami (25-15, 11-7 MAC), 4-2, on Sunday (April 29) in the weekend rubber match at at McKie Field at Hayden Park.
In the series opener on Friday (April 27), the Bobcats overcame a two-run deficit to defeat the RedHawks, 4-3. Saturday (April 28) saw Miami bounce back with a 6-1 victory over Ohio.
Ohio's bats were kept at bay by Miami senior right-handed starting pitcher Gus Graham, who limited the Bobcats to two earned runs on three hits while striking out 11 in a complete-game effort on Sunday.
The Bobcats jumped out to a 1-0 lead on the RedHawks for the third game in a row -- this time courtesy of a one-out solo home run to right by junior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) in the top of the first inning. Rott tallied his team-leading ninth homer of the 2018 season.
Unfortunately for Ohio, the round tripper marked their only hit of the contest until redshirt freshman catcher Dan McCauley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) beat out an infield single to third to lead off the eighth as Graham retired the next 20 batters he faced after Rott.
While Graham was dealing, redshirt senior right-handed pitcher/designated hitter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) preserved Ohio's 1-0 lead over the first four innings, retiring the RedHawks in order in both the second and fourth and forcing Miami to leave two runners on in both the first and the third while allowing three hits.
The bottom of the fifth saw Klein strike out redshirt sophomore second baseman Jordan Stephens to start things off. He then issued a walk to freshman designated hitter Christian Tejada, however, and was lifted from the mound in favor of junior righty Kenny Ogg (Indianapolis, Ind.). Junior center fielder Dallas Hall was hit by a pitch to put two on with one out for the RedHawks, and redshirt senior first baseman Ross Haffey followed by delivering a single through the right side that scored Tejada and tied the game. After Haffey moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior catcher Hayden Senger, sophomore third baseman Landon Stephens sent a base hit to right center that scored both Hall and Haffey and gave Miami a 3-1 advantage.
The Bobcats cut Miami's lead to one in the eighth McCauley singled to lead off the frame and scored two outs later on a base hit to right by freshman center fielder Sebastian Fabik (Lebanon, Ohio.
That's as close as Ohio got, though, as the RedHawks tacked on an insurance run in the home half of the eighth. Landon Stephens coaxed a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore shortstop Will Vogelgesang and scored one out later on a double to left center by redshirt sophomore right fielder/left fielder Kyle Winkler. Graham then came back out to pitch the ninth and retired the Bobcats in order to end the game, earning the win to improve to 4-0 on the year.
Hall produced the contest's only multi-hit effort for either team, going 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Ogg took the loss on the mound for the Bobcats, falling to 1-1 on the year. He permitted two earned runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. Redshirt senior right-handed reliever Cory Blessing (Mayfield, Ohio) provided two scoreless innings of work out of the bullpen, striking out one while giving up just one hit.
Ohio will have four days off for finals week before playing host to Ball State in a three-game MAC series next weekend (May 4-6) at Bob Wren Stadium. The Bobcats will be beginning a stretch of seven-straight games play at The Wren to close out the home portion of the 2018 schedule.