ATHENS, Ohio -- Despite a late rally, the Ohio baseball team (15-15, 3-3 MAC) dropped a 4-2 decision to Mid-American Conference West Division foe Central Michigan (17-14, 6-0 MAC) on Sunday (April 9) at Bob Wren Stadium.
With the loss, the Bobcats were swept in their first home MAC series of the year. In a doubleheader on Saturday (April 8), Ohio fell to the Chippewas by scores of 6-2 in 12 innings and 10-8.
Central Michigan broke through for the first run of the ballgame in the top of the third inning. Freshman third baseman Reed Adams led off with a single back to the mound and scored two outs later on an infield single to short by sophomore second baseman Jason Sullivan.
The Chippewas stretched their lead to 2-0 in the top of the fourth. Sophomore first baseman Evan Kratt sent a one-out double down the left field line and scored on a single through the left side by junior designated hitter Nick Stokowski.
Redshirt junior right-handed starting pitcher Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) kept the Bobcats right with the Chippewas with six solid innings on the mound. He struck out three while allowing two earned runs on seven hits and two walks.
Central Michigan plated two more runs in the top of the seventh. Sullivan was hit by a pitch with one out, then junior left fielder Daniel Jipping drew a walk one out later. Both advanced 90 feet into scoring position on a passed ball and scored by way of a single to right by Kratt to make it 4-0 in favor of the Chippewas.
Ohio put a dent in Central Michigan's lead in the home half of the frame, though. Senior third baseman Connor Callery (Covington, Ky.) shot a one-out single back up the middle, advanced to third on a double down the right field line by junior right fielder Tony Giannini (Carmel, Ind.) and scored on an infield single to third by senior shortstop Tyler Finkler (Olmsted Falls, Ohio).
The Bobcats made it a two-run ballgame with another run in the eighth. Redshirt junior catcher Nick Bredeson (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) got things started with a one-out single back up the middle. Klein and senior second baseman Ty Black (Waynesville, Ohio) then drew back-to-back walks to load the bases with Bobcats. Ohio got a run out of the opportunity when sophomore first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) executed a safety squeeze to score Bredeson and cut Central Michigan's lead to 4-2.
Redshirt junior right-handed reliever Jake Roehn (Sandwich, Ill.) gave Ohio a chance to rally by tossing 2.1 scoreless frames out of the bullpen.
Ohio brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth when Finkler sent a one-out double down the left field line, but the Bobcats could not complete the comeback.
Finkler finished the day 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI while Bredeson went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Klein reached base safely in his team-high 11th-straight game with a single and a walk but suffered the loss on the mound, falling to 3-2 on the year.
Kratt powered Central Michigan's bats with a 3-for-4 effort that included a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Adams went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
Sophomore right-handed starting pitcher Pat Leatherman earned the win for the Chippewas, fanning seven over seven frames while giving up just one earned run on six hits and two walks. He improved to 4-3 on the season. Junior righty Colton Bradley picked up his sixth save of the year, striking out one and giving up a hit in a scoreless ninth.
Ohio will play its next six games away from Athens, starting with a pair of midweek road games. The Bobcats travel north to Niles, Ohio, to battle Youngstown State on Tuesday (April 11) in a 5 p.m. ET matchup at Eastwood Field, then make the trek to Huntington, W. Va., the following day to square off against longtime rival Marshall in a 3 p.m. ET contest at Kennedy Center Field.