Box Score (PDF)
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- Sophomore left fielder Tanner Piechnick (Canonsburg, Pa.) hit two home runs, but the Ohio baseball team (11-9, 0-1 MAC) fell to Bowling Green (5-16, 1-0 MAC), 6-4, in its 2018 Mid-American Conference opener on Friday (March 23) at Steller Field.
The Bobcats overcame an early 3-0 deficit to even the score but the Falcons plated three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to secure the victory in game one of the three-game weekend set.
Piechnick, who drove in three of Ohio's four runs, recorded the first multi-homer game of his career and his fourth multi-hit game of the season. Senior third baseman Tony Giannini (Carmel, Ind.) tallied his sixth multi-hit effort of the year, going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
Bowling Green jumped out to a quick lead with three runs in the bottom of the first. Redshirt junior right fielder recorded the first hit of the contest with a one-out double to right. After junior designated hitter Brad Croy followed by coaxing a walk, senior first baseman Randy Righter drove in the game's first run with a double to left that brought home Scott. Croy scored the Falcons' second run on an RBI ground out by senior second baseman Derek Drewes, then junior third baseman Cam Daugherty gave Bowling Green a 3-0 lead when he sent a single to center to score Righter.
The Bobcats wasted little time cutting into Bowling Green's advantage thanks to one swing of the bat by Piechnick. Giannini set the table with a one-out single through the left side, and Piechnick followed with a two-run dinger to left to make it a one-run game.
Ohio evened the score in the top of the fourth. Junior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) hit a leadoff double, then scored one out later when Giannini lifted a sacrifice fly to right.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Bowling Green took advantage of some two-out lightning in the sixth to take a 6-3 lead. Daugherty led off the frame by drawing a walk, and sophomore center fielder Jake Wilson followed with a single to center. Two outs later, the bases were full of Falcons after junior shortstop Neil Lambert drew a walk. Scott cashed in on the opportunity with a two-RBI single to center that drove in Daugherty and Wilson. After Croy drew another walk to reload the bases for Bowling Green, Lambert scampered home on a wild pitch to make it a three-run advantage for the Falcons.
Ohio made it a two-run game again when Piechnick hit a two-out solo shot to left in the top of the ninth, but that's as close as the Bobcats got.
Scott led Bowling Green's bats with a 2-for-3 effort that included two RBIs and a run scored. Righter doubled, singled, drove in a run and scored another. Daugherty finished 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored. Wilson also put together a multi-hit day for the Falcons, collecting two singles.
Redshirt senior southpaw starting pitcher Gerry Salisbury (Brunswick, Ohio) struck out five in 5.2 innings of work on the mound for Ohio but surrendered six earned runs on eight hits and three walks. He was tagged with the pitching defeat, falling to 2-4 on the year. Freshman righty Eddie Kutt (Westlake, Calif.) tossed 1.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up two hits and a walk. Redshirt junior right-hander Nick Kamrada (Grand Ledge, Mich.) threw one scoreless frame.
Senior right-handed starting pitcher Zac Carey earned the win on the mound for Bowling Green, improving to 2-2 on the season. He struck out five over seven frames while giving up three earned runs on five hits. Senior lefty Kody Brown notched his first save of the year, striking out one while permitting one earned run on one hit over two innings of relief.
Ohio will look to even the series on Saturday (March 24) when it takes on Bowling Green in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest at Steller Field. 'Voice of the Bobcats' Russ Eisenstein and Max McDulin will have the call of the action on WOUB 1340 AM and online on OhioBobcats.com via Stretch Internet. Redshirt senior right-hander Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) is scheduled to get the start on the hill for the Bobcats and oppose freshman left-hander David Stopp of the Falcons.