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Ohio Baseball Falls To Kent State In Series Opener

Ohio Baseball Falls To Kent State In Series Opener

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By Mike Ashcraft

Box Score (PDF)

KENT, Ohio -- The Ohio baseball team (17-20, 5-8 MAC) fell to host Kent State (24-10, 10-3 MAC), 5-3, on Friday (April 20) in the opening game of the three-game series between Mid-American Conference rivals at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium.

The Bobcats broke through for three runs on two hits and an error by the Golden Flashes in the top of the ninth inning but could not complete the comeback.

Kent State right-handed starting pitcher Joey Murray struck out 14 and limited Ohio to two earned runs on two hits and two walks over 8.1 innings.

Kent State took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning after redshirt senior right fielder Nick Kanavas drew a leadoff walk to set up a two-out, two-run home run to right by junior third baseman Pavin Parks.

The Golden Flashes extended their lead to 3-0 in the third. Redshirt senior center fielder Mason Mamarella coaxed a two-out walk, stole second and scored on a base hit back up the middle by senior catcher Tim DalPorto.

Kent State's lead swelled to 4-0 in the fifth. Freshman second baseman Greg Lewandoski smacked a leadoff triple to left center, then scored on a double to right by Kanavas.

The Golden Flashes extended their advantage to 5-0 with another run in the sixth. Left fielder Reilly Hawkins legged out an infield single to third and scored two outs later on a base hit through the left side by Kanavas.

Junior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) broke up Murray's no-hit bid in the seventh courtesy of a leadoff triple to right for Ohio's first hit of the contest. The Bobcats could not cash in on the opportunity, though, as Murray struck out the next three Ohio batters to get out of the inning.

The Bobcats tried for a rally in the ninth, putting two on with one out thanks to a leadoff walk by redshirt freshman catcher Dan McCauley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and a single to left by sophomore left fielder Tanner Piechnick (Canonsburg, Pa.) one out later. Ohio then broke through to make it a two-run game when redshirt senior designated hitter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) tripled to left to clear the bases and then scored himself on the play on a Kent State error. That's as close as Ohio got, though, as sophomore reliever right-hander John Matthews secured the final two outs for Kent State with a pop out and a strikeout.

Sophomore left-handed starting pitcher Derek Carr (Newark, Ohio) took the loss on the mound for Ohio, falling to 1-1 on the year. He struck out one but gave up three earned runs on a hit and three walks over 2.2 innings. Freshman right-handed reliever Eddie Kutt (Westlake, Calif.) gave the Bobcats solid work out of the bullpen, striking out four in 2.1 perfect innings of relief.

Ohio looks to bounce back on Saturday (April 21) when it takes on Kent State in game two of the weekend series. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. ET. Redshirt senior southpaw Gerry Salisbury (Brunswick, Ohio) is scheduled to get the start on the mound for the Bobcats and oppose junior left-hander Connor Wollersheim of the Golden Flashes. '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.