ATHENS, Ohio -- Despite not allowing a free base, the Ohio baseball team (11-8) fell to Morehead State (14-6), 3-1, on Tuesday (March 21) in a midweek matchup at Bob Wren Stadium.
The Bobcats broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning when sophomore first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) hit a one-out single to left and scored one out later on an error by the Eagles that allowed senior third baseman Connor Callery (Covington, Ky.) to reach base safely.
Ohio's pitching staff tossed seven straight scoreless innings to keep the Bobcats in command of the contest. Redshirt sophomore right-handed starting pitcher Nick Kamrada (Grand Ledge, Mich.) tossed the first two frames, allowing three hits. Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Cory Blessing (Mayfield, Ohio) fanned five while permitting only two hits in three innings of relief. Sophomore righty Kenny Ogg (Indianapolis, Ind.) struck out two in a perfect sixth inning. Junior right-hander Logan Jacik (Omaha, Neb.) tallied one strikeout and gave up one hit in the seventh.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, the Eagles broke through for two runs in the eighth to take the lead. Senior center fielder Ryan Kent led off with a single to left center, which set the table for a two-run home run to left by sophomore right fielder Niko Hulsizer one out later.
Morehead State tacked on an insurance run in the ninth when sophomore catcher Hunter Fain led off with a base hit through the left side and scored on a bases-loaded, pinch-hit sacrifice fly by sophomore Trevor Snyder.
Ohio put the tying run at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth after a single to right by senior second baseman Ty Black (Waynesville, Ohio), but Morehead State junior righty David Calderon recorded a strikeout to end the game.
"I thought we pitched a tremendous game," said fifth-year head coach Rob Smith. "We didn't hit anybody, we didn't walk anybody. Even in the eighth, it took two hits to score those runs, and it took a guy a breaking ball to hit it out of the park. I'm not disappointed with it at all. If we do that every game, we'll win a heck of a lot of games."
Black went 3-for-4 to lead Ohio's bats while Rott finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
Senior right-handed reliever Tom Colletti (Wheaton, Ill.) suffered the loss on the mound for the Bobcats, falling to 1-1 on the year. He allowed two earned runs on two hits in an inning of work.
Junior second baseman Braxton Morris led Morehead State at the plate with a 3-for-4 day. Hulsizer accounted for the game's only extra-base hits with a home run and a double. Junior third baseman Eli Boggess collected a pair of singles for the Eagles.
Freshman right-handed reliever Alex Garbrick was credited with the pitching victory for Morehead State, improving to 2-0 on the season. He struck out one over two spotless frames. Senior right-handed starting pitcher Luke Humphreys gave the Eagles five innings, allowed an unearned run on six hits while striking out three. Calderon picked up his third save of the year, fanning three while giving up a hit and a walk over two innings of work.
Ohio wraps up its current eight-game homestand with a three-game series against Butler this weekend at The Wren. The series opener is scheduled for Friday (March 24) at 6 p.m. ET. The Saturday (March 25) matchup is slated for a 3 p.m. ET start while the Sunday (March 26) series finale is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET. The Bobcats and the Bulldogs met on the opening weekend of the 2017 season in Lexington, S.C. Butler posted a 15-4 win on Feb. 18, but Ohio responded with a 4-0 victory the following day.