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Rott Drives In Five Runs As Ohio Baseball Topples Bowling Green, Evens Series

Rott Drives In Five Runs As Ohio Baseball Topples Bowling Green, Evens Series

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By Mike Ashcraft

Box Score (PDF)

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- Junior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) drove in a season-high five runs to help the Ohio baseball team (12-9, 1-1 MAC) topple Bowling Green (5-17, 1-1 MAC), 11-3, for its first Mid-American Conference victory of the 2018 season on Saturday (March 24) at Steller Field. 

The Bobcats bounced back from a 6-4 loss to the Falcons in the series opener on Friday (March 23).

Rott helped the Bobcats pound out 11 runs on 12 hits, going 3-for-5 with a double, five RBIs and two runs scored. He drove in at least five runs in a game for the fourth time in his career. He has now tallied a team-high 12 multi-hit games this season -- including a team-high four with at least three hits. Sophomore left fielder/catcher Tanner Piechnick (Canonsburg, Pa.) went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI, marking his fifth multi-hit effort of the year and second in a row. Redshirt sophomore right fielder Ryan Sargent (Algonquin, Ill.) recorded his fifth multi-hit game of the season, finishing 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. Senior third baseman Tony Giannini (Carmel, Ind.) collected a pair of singles in the victory and is now tied for third on the squad with seven multi-hit outings this year.

Bowling Green quickly took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when junior designated hitter Joe McGuinness hit a one-out single back up the middle and then scored on a double to left center by senior first baseman Randy Righter. 

Ohio seized control in the top of the third, however. Freshman second baseman Aaron Levy (Cincinnati, Ohio) led off with a double to left, and junior center fielder Devon Garcia (Bowling Green, Ohio) followed by drawing a walk. One out later, Rott cleared the bases with a base hit back up the middle that gave the Bobcats the lead. Piechnick then singled to right, and, one out later, Rott gave Ohio a 3-1 advantage when he raced home as he and Piechnick successfully executed a double steal.

The Bobcats' lead swelled to 7-1 thanks to a four-run fourth. Sargent got things started by drawing a walk, then redshirt freshman catcher Dan McCauley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) singled to left center. Both moved up 90 feet on a passed ball. Sargent tagged up and scored from third on a sacrifice fly to right by Levy. Garcia coaxed another walk, and, one out later, Rott cleared the bases again -- this time with a double to left. Piechnick then plated Rott with a single to left, giving a six-run advantage.

Bowling Green cut into Ohio's advantage in the fifth when freshman Nick Neibauer drew a leadoff walk and later scored on a one-out single up the middle by sophomore center fielder Jake Wilson. The Bobcats retaliated, though, with two more runs in the sixth. Levy drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on a Bowling Green error and then to third on a wild pitch. Bredeson walked one out later to put runners on the corners. Rott then sent a single to left to bring home Levy. After Piechnick walked, Bredeson scored on a fielder's choice that put Giannini on base and another miscue by the Falcons.

Ohio tacked on two more insurance runs in the ninth. Sophomore shortstop Trevor Hafner (Perrysburg, Ohio) one-out walk, and Sargent followed with a single to left. Sophomore Jack Longo (Mayfield, Ohio) then delivered a pinch-hit, RBI-single to right to drive in Hafner. Sargent made it 11-2 in favor of the Bobcats when he scored on an RBI ground out by Levy.

The Falcons got a run back in the bottom of the ninth when junior second baseman Riley Minorik led off with a single to left and scored one out later on an infield single to short by freshman left fielder Evan Brown, but that's as close as the Bobcats let the Falcons get.

Redshirt senior right-handed reliever Cory Blessing (Mayfield, Ohio) picked up the win on the mound for Ohio, improving to 2-2 on the season. He fanned two while permitting one earned run on one hit and four walks over 2.1 frames. He came on in relief of redshirt senior right-handed starter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) who struck out one while allowing one earned run on three hits and a walk in 2.2 innings of work before exiting the contest with an injury. Sophomore southpaw Derek Carr (Newark, Ohio) earned his first career save, throwing the final four innings for the Bobcats. He struck out three while giving up one earned run on four hits and two walks. Klein, Blessing and Carr combined to surrender just eight hits -- including only one for extra bases. No Bowling Green hitter collected multiple hits.

Freshman southpaw starting pitcher David Stopp took the loss for the Falcons, dropping to 0-3 on the year. He struck out three but gave up two earned runs on three hits and a walk before being lifted after 2.1 innings on the mound.

Ohio will go for its first MAC series win of the season when it meets Bowling Green in the Sunday (March 25) series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET. Senior lefty Butch Baird (Big Prairie, Ohio) is set to start on the hill for the Bobcats and oppose redshirt senior righty Tyler Anderson of the Falcons.