KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Behind two home runs from Senior INF Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.), the Ohio Baseball Team (18-32, 12-14 MAC) clinched the No. 6 seed in the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament after an 8-6 win over Western Michigan (18-31, 11-14 MAC) on Saturday afternoon.
Ohio will play No. 3 Kent State on Wednesday at 12:30 in the first round of the MAC Tournament.
Rott's first home run came in the top of the first inning and was a solo shot. Rott then broke the game open in the top of the fourth with a three-run blast to right field. Rott finished the the day 2-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored. His two hits gives him 284 in his career, putting him two behind the all-time leader, Jake Madsen. Rott was spectacular all weekend, hitting .538 with two home runs and seven RBI. Rott had 13 total bases and an on-base percentage of .571.
Sophomore LHP Brett Manis (Port Huron, Mich.) was clutch in a hold for Ohio. Manis tossed 4.1 innings for Ohio, his longest outing of the season, and fanned a season-high seven batters. Manis allowed two earned runs.
Redshirt freshman Jack Liberatore (Greensburg, Pa.) was the winner for Ohio, pitching 3.0 innings and allowing one earned run as the starter. Liberatore fanned two batters.
Sophomore RHP Edward Kutt IV (Westlake, Calif) – who was Thursday's starter – earned his first save of the season in 0.2 innings. Kutt IV came in the ninth with two on and one out and fanned the first batter he faced and got the second better to ground out with two runners on.
Ohio reached on eight hits, eight walks and two hit by pitches.
The Bobcats started the game in front when Rott hit a home run to center field.
WMU tied the game with a Logan Hudson single.
Ohio broke the game open in the sixth inning. After a junior C Tanner Piechnick (Canonsburg, Pa.) double, WMU hit two-straight batters to load the bases. Sargent and Funderburg both walked runs in, then Levy hit a sacrifice fly to give Ohio a 4-1 lead. Rott hit his second home run of the game to give Ohio a 7-1 advantage.
WMU was able to cut the Ohio lead to 7-4 in the bottom of the fifth, but a passed ball in the seventh scored Piechnick to extend the Ohio lead to 8-4.
The Broncos trimmed the Bobcats lead to 8-6 on a wild pitch and sacrifice fly but was unable to get closer than 8-6.