$restriction.code /sports/bsb/2017-18/releases/20180311r681tn

Ohio Baseball Roars Back To Stun Towson, Sweep Weekend Series

Ohio Baseball Roars Back To Stun Towson, Sweep Weekend Series

FOLLOW OHIO BASEBALL: Facebook | Twitter 

By Mike Ashcraft

Box Score (PDF)

TOWSON, Md. -- The Ohio baseball team (9-6) roared back from an early 7-0 deficit to stun host Towson (2-11) and secure its first weekend series sweep of 2018 with a 9-8 win on Sunday (March 11) at Schuerholz Park.

The Bobcats have now won five of their last six games. Ohio topped the Tigers, 5-2, in the series opener on Friday (March 9), then held on for a 10-9 victory on Saturday (March 10) to earn its first series win of the year.

Junior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) led the way in Ohio's comeback win in the Sunday series finale, going 3-for-3 with his team-leading fourth home run of the season. He drew two walks and finished with three RBIs. Rott has now posted a team-high eight multi-hit efforts this season. Sophomore left fielder/catcher Tanner Piechnick (Canonsburg, Pa.) doubled, homered, walked and scored two runs. Redshirt freshman catcher Dan McCauley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run scored. He recorded his first career multi-hit game.

Towson got out to a hot start, plating three runs in the bottom of the first inning and four more in the second to quickly build a seven-run advantage over Ohio.

The Bobcats stranded a total of eight runners over the game's first five frames -- including leaving the bases loaded in both the first and third. 

Ohio got right back in the game, though, with a five-run top of the sixth. Piechnick jump started the comeback with a one-out solo homer to left center. Redshirt sophomore right fielder Ryan Sargent (Algonquin, Ill.) followed with a base hit to left, chasing Towson senior right-handed starting pitcher Michael Adams from the contest. Freshman second baseman Treyben Funderburg (Beavercreek, Ohio) was then hit by a pitch to put two on with one out. One out later, McCauley shot a single back up the middle to plate Sargent. Rott then served up a two-out, three-run blast to right to trim Towson's edge down to two at 7-5.

The Tigers got a run back in the home half of the sixth when junior shortstop Richie Palacios coaxed a leadoff walk and later scored on an RBI ground out by senior right fielder/second baseman Billy Lennox, putting Towson back up by three runs.

The Bobcats made it a new ballgame in the eighth, however, scoring three runs to tie it up at eight-all. Freshman Aaron Levy (Cincinnati, Ohio) coaxed a pinch-hit, one-out walk to get things going, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Junior center fielder Devon Garcia (Bowling Green, Ohio) was then hit by a pitch to put two on with one out. McCauley delivered again for Ohio, this time with a single through the left side to bring home Levy. After Rott drew an intentional walk to fill the bases with Bobcats, Garcia scored on an RBI ground out to short by redshirt senior designated hitter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.). Sophomore Jack Longo (Mayfield, Ohio), who had entered as a pinch runner for McCauley, then knotted the score when he scampered home on a wild pitch.

Throwing his third inning of relief, freshman righty Eddie Kutt (Westlake, Calif.) retired the Tigers in order for a third-straight frame in the home half of the eighth, giving the Bobcats a chance to take the lead in the top of the ninth. Piechnick then led off with a double left, chasing Towson junior right-handed reliever Joe Enea from the mound. After Piechnick moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Sargent, he tagged up and scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to right by Levy.

Kutt came back out for the ninth and locked down the come-from-behind win for the Bobcats, tossing his fourth three-up, three-down frame to earn his first pitching win at Ohio. He finished the contest with three strikeouts.

Enea took the loss on the mound for Towson. He struck out two but surrendered seven earned runs on five hits and three walks over 2.2 innings of relief. Adams worked 5.1 innings, striking out six while allowing two earned runs on five hits and three walks.

Palacios led the Tigers at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and three runs scored.

Ohio's 2018 spring break trip continues as it heads to North Carolina next Tuesday (March 13) for a 4 p.m. ET matchup at High Point (8-7).