YPSILANTI, Mich. -- For the second day in a row, sophomore first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) provided the Ohio baseball team (16-19, 3-6 MAC) with three hits -- including a pair of home runs -- and drove in six runs, but Mid-American Conference West Division foe Eastern Michigan (16-20, 7-2 MAC) produced a wild 12-11 walk-off win on Sunday (April 16) at Oestrike Stadium.
The Eagles swept the weekend series from the Bobcats after taking the series opener, 8-2, on Friday (April 14) and following it up with a 12-9 win on Saturday (April 15).
Eastern Michigan faced an 11-10 deficit going into the home half of the eighth inning, but redshirt senior right fielder Jordan Peterson hit a one-out single to left and scored the tying run one out later on an infield single to third by freshman pinch hitter Zachary Owings.
After senior right-handed reliever Matthew Beaton retired the Bobcats in order in the top of the ninth, redshirt senior shortstop Marquise Gill sent a one-out base hit to right to give junior first baseman Brennan Williams an opportunity to deliver a walk-off single back up the middle.
Ohio got off to a hot start with a five-run top of the first to take control of the game in the early going. Redshirt junior catcher Nick Bredeson (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) hit a one-out single back up the middle, then senior second baseman Ty Black (Waynesville, Ohio) followed with one of his own. Redshirt junior designated hitter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) plated Bredeson for the game's first run with a single to center. Rott then scored both Black and Klein with a double to left center. Senior third baseman Connor Callery (Covington, Ky.) drew a walk, then he and Rott both scored on a two-out single to left by senior shortstop by Tyler Finkler (Olmsted Falls, Ohio). The Bobcats chased junior right-handed starting pitcher Brent Mattson from the contest after just 0.2 frames as he surrendered five earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out one.
Eastern Michigan retaliated with a six-run bottom of the fourth to take a 6-5 lead, though. Senior designated hitter John Montgomery led off the frame with a home run to center, then Williams came up with a three-run blast blast two outs later to help the Eagles take control.
Ohio tied the score in fifth thanks to a one-out solo shot to right by Rott, but Montgomery put the Eagles back in the lead with another leadoff homer in the bottom of the inning.
The Bobcats came up with a four-run sixth inning to retake the lead, 10-7. Senior center fielder Spencer Ibarra (Fort Collins, Colo.) got things started with a leadoff base hit through the left side. Freshman catcher Tanner Piechnick (Canonsburg, Pa.) followed with a single to center, then Black loaded the bases with Bobcats by drawing a walk. Ibarra tied game up when he scored on an RBI fielder's choice that allowed Klein to reach base. Rott then delivered a three-run home run to right to put Ohio back in front -- his fourth homer of the weekend and sixth in the last seven games.
Eastern Michigan wouldn't back down, though, scoring three more runs in the home half of the sixth to tie the game. Freshman third baseman Nick Jones hit a leadoff double to center, then, after Gill was hit by a pitch, scored one out later on a double to right by sophomore second baseman Max Schuemann. Gill and Schuemann both scored when Peterson tied the game with a two-RBI single to center.
Ibarra gave Ohio an 11-10 lead in the seventh with a one-out solo dinger to right -- his team-high seventh home run of the 2017 season and third in the last four games.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, the Eagles were able to tie the score once again in the eighth and then come up with a walk-off victory to seal the weekend sweep.
Rott recorded his 10t multi-hit performance of the year. Ibrarra went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and now leads the squad with 13 multi-hit contests. Piechnick and junior right fielder Tony Giannini (Carmel, Ind.) both provided Ohio with a pair of singles. Giannini has hit safely in a team-high eight straight games and has reached base safely in 11-straight games, which is currently tied with Black, who singled and walk twice, for the longest streak on the team.
Montgomery finished 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs to lead Eastern Michigan's attack. Jones went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored. Williams logged two hits -- including a home run -- to go along with a walk and four RBIs. Peterson singled twice, drove in two runs and scored another while Gill singled twice, drove in a run and scored three more.
Beaton threw a scoreless ninth to earn the pitching victory for the Eagles and improve to 3-2.
Redshirt junior right-handed reliever Jake Roehn (Sandwich, Ill.) suffered the defeat on the mound for the Bobcats, falling to 3-2. He allowed two runs -- one of which was earned -- on four hits and three walks over 1.2 innings. He fanned one. Junior southpaw starting pitcher Butch Baird (Big Prairie, Ohio) struck out six over 3.2 frames but gave up six earned runs on six hits and three walks. Senior righty Jake Rudnicki (Toledo, Ohio) tossed three innings of relief, fanning four while permitting four earned runs on five hits.
Ohio wraps up its current six-game stretch of contests away from Athens by taking on longtime rival Marshall in a neutral-site meeting next Wednesday (April 19) at Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. ET. The Thundering Herd defeated the Bobcats, 12-9, last Wednesday (April 12) in Huntington, W. Va.