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Ohio Baseball Suffers Tough Loss At Central Michigan

Ohio Baseball Suffers Tough Loss At Central Michigan

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By Mike Ashcraft

Box Score (PDF)

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- The Ohio baseball team (21-30, 9-16 MAC) suffered a tough 3-2 walk-off loss to host Central Michigan (24-28-1, 14-11 MAC) in the opening contest of a three-game Mid-American Conference series on Thursday (May 17) at Theunissen Stadium.

The Bobcats broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third when redshirt sophomore catcher Dan McCauley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) hit a leadoff single back up the middle and scored one out later on a sacrifice fly to center by sophomore designated hitter Tanner Piechnick (Canonsburg, Pa.).

Ohio's lead swelled to 2-0 in the fifth. Sophomore left fielder Jack Longo (Mayfield, Ohio) led off with a base hit through the right side, advanced to third on a double to left center by sophomore shortstop Trevor Hafner (Perrysburg, Ohio) and then scored on an RBI ground out to second by junior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.). Rott's RBI marked his team-high 50th of the 2018 season. Longo finished the contest 2-for-3 with a run scored, tallying his first career multi-hit game.

Redshirt senior southpaw starting pitcher Gerry Salisbury (Brunswick, Ohio) shut out Central Michigan through the first eight frames of the ballgame, allowing just six hits and a walk during the span. He struck out two, retired the side three times and forced the Chippewas to strand two runners in both the fifth and seventh innings.

Central Michigan broke through in the ninth, though. Junior second baseman Jason Sullivan hit a one-out single to right center, junior center fielder Jacob Crum followed with a base hit to left and junior catcher Blake Cleveland loaded up the bases for the Chippewas with a single to left. Junior pinch hitter David Cole then singled to left to drive in Sullivan and make it a one-run ballgame. After Central Michigan lifted Cleveland in favor of junior pinch runner Ty Rollin, Crum scored the tying run on an fielder's choice that put freshman third baseman Jordan Patty on. Sophomore first baseman Zach Heeke then beat out an infield single to short, allowing Rollin to score the game-winning run for the Chippewas.

Salisbury took the loss on the mound for Ohio, falling to 4-7 on the season. He threw a career-high 8.1 innings, giving up three earned runs on 10 hits.

Four Chippewas recorded multi-hit games. Crum and Cleveland both went 3-for-4, with Crum scoring a run. Heeke singled twice and drove in a run. Sullivan finished 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Junior left-handed reliever Jack Collins was credited with the pitching win for Central Michigan, improving to 5-1 on the year. He fanned five over three spotless innings of work.

Ohio will took to even the series up when it faces Central Michigan in a 3:05 p.m. ET matchup at Theunissen Stadium. Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) is scheduled to make the start on the mound for the Bobcats and oppose junior righty Michael Brettell of the Chippewas. 'Voice of the Bobcats' Russ Eisenstein will have the call of the action on WOUB 1340 AM and online on OhioBobcats.com via Stretch Internet. The contests will also be streamed live by CSN Digital.