HUNTINGTON, W. Va. -- Senior center fielder Spencer Ibarra (Fort Collins, Colo.), senior second baseman Ty Black (Waynesville, Ohio) and sophomore first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) all homered, but the Ohio baseball team (16-16) could not protect an early lead and fell to longtime rival Marshall (17-15), 12-9, on Wednesday (April 12) at Kennedy Center Field.
The Bobcats fell to the Thundering Herd despite going yard a season-high three times and pounding out 13 hits. The two teams combined to utilize the services of 14 pitchers.
Ibarra provided Ohio with a quick 1-0 lead when he led the game off with a home run to right -- his team-leading fifth dinger of the 2017 season.
The Bobcats extended their lead to 4-0 with a three-run third inning. Rott led off the frame with a homer to right -- his second round tripper of the year. Redshirt junior designated hitter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) followed with a base hit to center. Black then delivered a two-run shot to left for his second home run of the season.
The Thundering Herd responded with a four-run home half of the inning, though, to tie the game, then took a 6-4 lead in the fourth. Junior third baseman Tyler Ratliff drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on a single to right by senior left fielder Sam Finfer and then scored the go-ahead run on a base hit through the left side by redshirt sophomore center fielder Shane Hanon. Finfer scored Marshall's sixth run one out later on a infield single to short by sophomore catcher Reynaldo Pastrana.
Ohio plated a fifth run in the sixth when senior shortstop Tyler Finkler (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) hit a one-out double down the left field line and scored on a double down the right field line by Ibarra, but Marshall added another run in the fifth and five more in the sixth to take a 12-5 advantage. The bottom of the sixth saw sophomore right fielder Andrew Zban hit a two-run home run and Ratliff smack a three-run home run.
The Bobcats mounted a rally in the eighth with four runs on just one hit and a Marshall error. Redshirt freshman left fielder Ryan Sargent (Algonquin, Ill.), senior catcher Anthony Mrosla (Coon Rapids, Minn.) and Finkler all drew walks to load the bases with nobody out. Ibarra was hit by a pitch to bump home Sargent. Mrosla scored on an RBI fielder's choice that put Klein on. Black reached on a fielder's choice that allowed Finkler to score. Klein made it a three-run game when he scored by way of a single to right by senior third baseman Connor Callery (Covington, Ky.).
Redshirt sophomore right-handed reliever Connor McMann (Flower Mound, Texas) kept Marshall off the scoreboard in the the eighth. Redshirt junior Nick Bredeson (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) hit a one-out, pinch hit single to center for Ohio in the top of the ninth, but that's all the Bobcats got.
Ohio fell despite receiving multi-hit efforts from four of its top-five hitters in the order. Ibarra went 2-for-5 with a double, a homer and three RBIs. Black finished 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs. Klein and Callery each tallied two singles, with Klein driving in a run and scoring two more while Callery recorded an RBI. Ibarra has now logged a team-high 11 multi-hit games while Callery and Black are tied for second with 10 apiece.
Five Marshall hitters logged multi-hit games. Hanon posted a game-high three singles and drove in a run. Ratliff went 1-for-4 with a home run, two walks, four RBIs and three runs scored.
Freshman right-handed reliever Hunter Sexton picked up the win on the mound for Marshall, improving to 4-1. He gave up an earned run on three hits and a walk while striking out three.
Senior southpaw Matt Mikolajczak (New Lenox, Ill.) suffered the loss on the mound for the Bobcats, dropping to 0-1 on the year. He struck out one by allowed four runs -- three of which were earned -- on five hits and two walks. Junior left-handed starting pitcher Butch Baird (Big Prairie, Ohio) tossed two scoreless frames, fanning four while scattering three hits.
Ohio visits Ypsilanti, Mich., this weekend for a three-game series with MAC West Division foe Eastern Michigan (13-20, 4-2 MAC) at Oestrike Stadium. The series begins with a 6 p.m. ET matchup on Friday (April 14). Game two is slated for 3 p.m. ET on Saturday (April 15). The Sunday (April 16) series finale is scheduled for a 1 p.m. ET start.
'Voice of the Bobcats' Russ Eisenstein will have the call of all three games on WOUB 1340 AM and online on OhioBobcats.com via Stretch Internet.