Box Score (PDF)
TOWSON, Md. -- Senior third baseman Tony Giannini (Carmel, Ind.) and junior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) combined for six hits while four pitchers combined to permit just six hits as the Ohio baseball team (7-6) took the weekend series opener from host Towson (2-9), 5-2, on Friday (March 9) at Schuerholz Park.
The Bobcats won a series opener for the first time in four tries in 2018.
Giannini went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI while Rott finished 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Redshirt senior catcher Nick Bredeson (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) also produced a multi-hit day for the Bobcats, going 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Rott has now posted a team-high six multi-hit efforts this season while Bredeson has tallied five to rank second on the team and Giannini has posted four to tie for third.
Redshirt senior southpaw starting pitcher Gerry Salisbury (Brunswick, Ohio) picked up his second-straight victory on the mound, striking out two while allowing one earned run on four hits and three walks over five innings. He improved to 2-2 on the season. Redshirt senior righty Cory Blessing (Mayfield, Ohio) threw one scoreless inning of relief and did not give up a hit or a walk. Freshman right-handed reliever Eddie Kutt (Westlake, Calif.) worked two innings, fanning three while permitting one earned run on two hits and two walks. Redshirt senior right-handed closer Jake Roehn (Sandwich, Ill.) provided Ohio with a scoreless ninth inning, picking up his fourth save of 2018. He did not give up a hit or a walk. Roehn has now earned a program-record 26 career saves. Ohio's pitching staff did not surrender an extra-base hit.
The Tigers plated the game's first run in the home half of the second inning. Senior first baseman Charlie Watters hit a one-out single to right and later scored on a two-out base hit to right center by redshirt freshman second baseman Dirk Masters.
Ohio stranded a total of six runners on base over the first four innings but broke through to snatch a 3-1 lead in the fifth. Bredeson got things going with a one-out single back up the middle. Rott followed with a single to right, then redshirt senior designated hitter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) tied the game with a double to right center that plated Bredeson. Giannini put the Bobcats in the lead when he lifted a sacrifice fly center, allowing Rott to tag up and score from third. Freshman second baseman Aaron Levy (Cincinnati, Ohio) made it a two-run lead for Ohio courtesy of a two-out single to center that allowed Klein to score.
The Bobcats tallied insurance runs in both the sixth and seventh. Redshirt sophomore right fielder Ryan Sargent (Algonquin, Ill.) was hit by a pitch to lead off the sixth and scored two outs later by way of a double down the right field line by Bredeson. In the seventh, sophomore shortstop Trevor Hafner (Perrysburg, Ohio) hit a two-out single to right center. After Sargent was hit by a pitch and senior left fielder Evan Bourn (Overland Park, Kan.) coaxed a walk to fill the bases for Ohio, junior center fielder Devon Garcia (Bowling Green, Ohio) bumped home Hafner by working the count full and drawing a walk.
Towson got a run back in the eighth when Watters drew a one-out walk and scored one out later on a single to left by Masters, but that's as close as the Bobcats let the Tigers get. Kutt struck out sophomore left fielder Andrew Cassard to end the eighth, then Roehn worked around a leadoff error that put junior shortstop Richie Palacios on base to retire the next three Towson hitters and seal the victory for Ohio.
Masters led Towson at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs. Cassard collected two singles while Watters singled, walked and scored two runs.
Junior right-handed starting pitcher Gavin Weyman was saddled with the pitching loss for the Tigers, dropping to 0-3 on the year. He permitted four earned runs on seven hits and two walks over 5.1 innings. He struck out two. Junior righty Dean Stramara pitched 3.2 frames of relief, allowing one earned run on four hits and four walks while striking out one.
Ohio looks to pick up its first series win of the 2018 season when it faces Towson in game two of the weekend set on Saturday (March 10) at Schuerholz Park. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. Klein is scheduled to start on the mound for the Bobcats and oppose senior left-hander David Marriggi.