Box Score (PDF)
MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Freshman second baseman Aaron Levy (Cincinnati, Ohio), junior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) and senior right fielder Evan Bourn (Overland Park, Kan.) combined to hit four home runs, but the Ohio baseball team (12-11) suffered a tough 9-8 loss to Morehead State (15-11) in 10 innings on Tuesday (March 27) at Allen Field.
The Bobcats took an 8-7 lead in the top of the 10th inning when redshirt sophomore left fielder Ryan Sargent (Algonquin, Ill.) drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second when Bourn laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached base safely courtesy of an error by the Eagles, moved to third on a bunt single by sophomore shortstop Trevor Hafner (Perrysburg, Ohio) and scored the go-ahead run when redshirt senior designated hitter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) lifted a sacrifice fly to right.
Unfortunately for Ohio, Morehead State answered with two runs in the home half of the 10th to take the ballgame. Junior designated hitter Adam Rapp coaxed a walk and was then lifted in favor of sophomore pinch runner Brody Shoupe. Junior catcher Hunter Fain then doubled down the left field line to put the tying run at third and the winning run at second for the Eagles. One out later, freshman third baseman Bryce Hensor delivered a walk-off single to right center to score Shoupe and Fain and secure the win for Morehead State.
The loss spoiled a hot start to the contest by the Bobcats, who plated seven runs over the game's first three frames.
In the top of the first, Levy led off the game with a home run to right center. One out later, Rott smacked his team-high fifth homer of the season to center to make it 2-0 in favor of Ohio.
The early lead was short lived for the Bobcats, though, as a two-out, two-run home run to center by junior first baseman Trevor Snyder evened the score for the Eagles.
The Bobcats retaliated with some two-out lightning in the second, however, to snatch a 6-2 advantage. Hafner drew a two-out walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch, setting the table for Levy's second round tripper of the evening and his third of the season. Klein followed with a base hit to left, then Rott drew a walk. Sophomore catcher Tanner Piechnick (Canonsburg, Pa.) plated Klein with a single to left, and senior third baseman Tony Giannini (Carmel, Ind.) followed by delivering a single up the middle to bring home Rott and give the Bobcats a four-run advantage.
Bourn made it a five-run lead for Ohio in the third when he led off the frame with a home run to center -- his second dinger of the year.
The Eagles began chipping away at the Bobcats' advantage in the bottom of the fourth, however. Junior shortstop Reid Leonard was hit by a pitch to lead off the home half of the frame. He then advanced to third one out later on a single by Rapp and scored on an Ohio error to cut the Bobcats' lead back to four runs.
Morehead State made it a one-run game with a three-run seventh. A leadoff walk by junior right fielder Jake Hammon, a single through the left side by Hensor and a base hit to right by senior left fielder Tyler Niemann loaded up the bases with no outs for the Eagles. Senior second baseman Braxton Morris drove in Hammon with a single to left. Hensor scored on an RBI fielder's choice that put Snyder on base. Niemann then scored Morehead State's third run of the frame when he scampered home on a wild pitch.
The Eagles then made it a new ballgame when Rapp led off the bottom of the eighth with a home run to left center that evened the contest at seven-all.
Ohio and Morehead State combined for 21 hits and also combined to utilize the services of 14 pitchers in the extra-inning affair.
Levy, Piechnick and Bourn all recorded multi-hit days for the Bobcats while Hensor, Morris and Rapp posted multi-hit efforts for the Eagles.
Sophomore right-handed reliever Dom Masullo picked up the win on the mound for Morehead State, improving to 2-1 on the year. He struck out five over two innings while giving up an unearned run on one hit and one walk.
Redshirt senior right-hander Jake Roehn (Sandwich, Ill.) was saddled with the pitching defeat for Ohio, falling to 1-1 on the season. He fanned one but permitted two earned runs on two hits and two walks in one inning of relief.
Ohio makes its 2018 debut in front of its home fans this weekend (March 30-April 1) at Bob Wren Stadium as Northern Illinois comes to town for a three-game Mid-American Conference set.