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Ohio Baseball Falls To Rider In Extras In Series Finale

Ohio Baseball Falls To Rider In Extras In Series Finale

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By Mike Ashcraft

Box Score (PDF)

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The Ohio baseball team (2-2) suffered a 6-5 setback to Rider (2-2) in 11 innings in the weekend series finale between the two teams on Sunday (Feb. 18) at Lexington County Stadium.

The Bobcats split the 2018 opening-weekend series with the Broncs. Ohio bounced back 6-4 loss to Rider in the season opener on Friday (Feb. 16) by taking both games of a Saturday (Feb. 17) doubleheader by scores of 10-2 and 6-5.

With the game knotted at four-all, Sunday's ninth inning saw Ohio strand a pair of runners in scoring position in the top of the frame and Rider ground into an inning-ending double play after putting two on with nobody out, sending the game to extras.

In the top of the 10th, senior left fielder Evan Bourn (Overland Park, Kan.) hit a two-out single and stole second, and junior center fielder Devon Garcia (Bowling Green, Ohio) drew a walk to put two on for the Bobcats. Both runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch, but Ohio could not push across a run. 

Rider had an opportunity to walk off in the home half of the 10th. Sophomore catcher Tyler Stockwell led off with a base hit to left, then was lifted in favor of senior pinch runner Dallas Clark. Clark then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman left fielder Lou Priolo. One out later, Clark scampered toward home plate on a single to center by junior shortstop Richie Tecco but could not beat the throw from Garcia to redshirt freshman catcher Dan McCauley (Pittsburgh, Pa.), sending the contest to the 11th inning.

Ohio took a 5-4 lead in the top of the 11th when junior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) coaxed a leadoff walk and scored two outs later on a double to center field by sophomore shortstop Trevor Hafner (Perrysburg, Ohio).

The Bobcats' lead did not hold up, though. Sophomore second baseman Kyle Johnson and sophomore right fielder Joe Simone drew back-to-back walks to begin the bottom half of the inning. Senior center fielder Harrison McClure evened the score when he singled through the left side to bring in Johnson. Simone was thrown out at the plate by senior third baseman Tony Giannini (Carmel, Ind.) when junior designated hitter Riley Mihalik reached on a fielder's choice. McClure advanced to third on the play, though, setting up a walk-off sacrifice fly to left served up senior first baseman Jake Bender, lifting Rider to the victory.

Ohio held a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning. After the Broncs plated two runs on RBI singles by Priolo and freshman third baseman Jake Barbiere to take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth, Ohio evened the score with a pair of runs of its own in the fifth. Giannini led off with a double to left, moved to third on a single to center by Hafner and then scored the Bobcats' first run on a base hit to right by freshman second baseman Aaron Levy. One out later, Hafner scored the tying run from third by way of a bunt single by Bourn. Ohio then took a two-run lead in the ensuing inning. Redshir senior designated hitter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Giannini hit back-to-back one-out singles to center. After Levy was hit by a pitch to load the bases one out later, redshirt sophomore right fielder Ryan Sargent (Algonquin, Ill.) delivered a two-RBI single up the middle to plate both Klein and Giannini and give the Bobcats a two-run advantage.

Rider answered with a run in the home half of the frame, then plated another in the seventh to tie the game again. Barbiere was hit by a pitch with one out in the sixth then scored one out later on a single through the left side by Johnson. McClure then evened the score with a leadoff homer in the seventh.

Both teams had opportunities to regain control of the contest in the ninth, but it took extras for the Broncs to ultimately prevail. Junior Eric Schulte was credited with the pitching win for Rider, striking out two while permitting one earned run on one hit and one walk. Redshirt junior CJ Hirschy got the start on the mound for the Broncs, fanning four over 4.1 innings but allowing two earned runs on four hits. Junior Jordan Silverman surrendered two earned runs on four hits over 1.2 innings of relief. He struck out three. Junior Nick Payesko and freshman Vincent Vitacco combined to toss 4.0 scoreless innings of relief for Rider. Payesko allowed two hits and a walk in one inning while Vitacco struck out five and gave up three hits and three walks.

Freshman right-hander Chace Harris (New Marshfield, Ohio) suffered the loss on the mound for Ohio, giving up two earned runs on a hit and two walks in the bottom of the 11th. Redshirt freshman Cole Shinsky (Butler, Pa.) made his first career start on the mound and was one of seven pitchers used by the Bobcats. Shinsky gave up two hits and a walk in two innings. Sophomore southpaw Derek Carr (Newark, Ohio) allowed two earned runs on two hits and two walks in 1.2 innings of relief. Redshirt junior righty Nick Kamrada (Grand Ledge, Mich.) fanned one and walked three over 1.1 frames. Freshman lefty Sebastian Fabik (Lebanon, Ohio) struck out one while surrendering one earned run on one hit in one inning of relief. Senior righty Logan Jacik (Omaha, Neb.) gave up one earned run on one hit. Freshman right-hander Eddie Kutt (Westlake, Calif.) gave Ohio four scoreless innings of relief, striking out three while allowing three hits and one walk.

Sargent finished the game with two singles, a walk and two RBIs. Giannini and Hafner each posted a double and a single, with Giannni scoring two runs and Hafner driving in a run and scoring another. Bourn went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. Redshirt senior catcher Nick Bredeson (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) also produced a multi-hit effort for the Bobcats with a pair of singles.

McClure was Rider's top performer at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two walks, two RBIs and two runs scored.

The Bobcats will head to Atlanta to play four games against Maine next weekend (Feb. 23-25) at Perfect Game's LakePoint facility in Emerson, Ga.