Box Score (PDF)
ATHENS, Ohio -- The bats stayed hot on a cold afternoon, and sophomore right-handed reliever Edward Kutt IV (Westlake, Calif.) came through with a clutch performance out of the bullpen as the Ohio baseball team (7-18, 3-3 MAC) bopped Bowling Green (9-14, 4-2 MAC), 12-4, in the Mid-American Conference weekend series finale today at Bob Wren Stadium.
Ohio earned its first series win of the 2019 season with the rubber match victory over Bowling Green. After dropping the series opener on Friday (March 29), 7-3, the Bobcats bounced back with a 12-2 triumph on Saturday (March 30).
"Our league might be a little top heavy this year," said seventh-year head coach Rob Smith of the importance of winning the series. "There's going to be a couple teams, I think, that are going to win a good chunk of games. Ball State probably being one of them. Miami, another one. I think as you look at the teams that we're going to be competing with, if we're going to create a path to the conference tournament, you felt like this was a series that you had to win."
For the second day in a row, the Bobcats matched their season high with 12 runs scored. Ohio's 14 hits marked its second-most in a game this season and third time in as many games it has tallied double-digit hits.
"It showed the ability to adjust and the resiliency to come in and stick to the plan," said Smith of the team's . "We were disappointed after Friday night. I don't think we made very good adjustments. Our plan wasn't very good. Our preparation was poor. We talked about that after Friday's game. Coach (CJ) Wamsley, Coach (Craig) Moore did an awesome job getting those guys ready to go on Saturday. They did the same thing today, and our hitters did a great job executing the plan. It was good to see. It was the response that we needed. Hopefully, this gets us some confidence rolling into our third MAC series next weekend."
Five Bobcats recorded multi-hit efforts. Redshirt sophomore designated hitter Michael Richardson (Cambridge, Md.) finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and three runs scored. Sophomore designated hitter Aaron Levy (Cincinnati, Ohio) went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Sophomore center fielder Sebastian Fabik (Lebanon, Ohio) went 2-for-4 with a triple, three RBIs and two runs scored. Sophomore shortstop Treyben Funderburg (Beavercreek, Ohio) finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored while redshirt junior catcher Nathan Mallott (Omaha, Neb.) collected two singles and scored a run.
Bowling Green struck first for two runs in the top of the first inning. Freshman Mike Malewitz led the game off with a single to center and scored two outs later on a base hit to left by senior designated hitter Brad Croy. After senior shortstop Neil Lambert walked, Croy scored by way of a single to center by senior second baseman Riley Minorik.
The Falcons loaded up the bases on a walk by senior catcher Joe McGuinness, but Kutt entered the game and struck out freshman third baseman Ryan Johnston to end the threat. Kutt proceeded to throw six innings of relief, totaling eight strikeouts while permitting just one earned run on three hits and a walk en route to first win of the season.
Ohio cut into Bowling Green's lead with a run in the home half of the first. Levy sent a one-out double to left center and scored one out later on a passed ball.
The Bobcats then proceeded to explode for nine runs over the next three frames to take a commanding 10-3 after four innings of play.
Richardson led off the bottom of the second by beating out an infield single to short, and redshirt freshman right fielder Cole Revels (Charlotte, N.C.) legged out an infield single of his own to short one out later. With two outs, Fabik delivered a two-run triple to center to put Ohio in front, 3-2. Redshirt freshman left fielder Trevor Lukkes (Tustin, Calif.) then plated Fabik with an infield single to third to make it a two-run lead for Ohio.
The Falcons made it a one-run affair again in the top of the third when sophomore first baseman Adam Furnas led off with a double to left center and later scored on an RBI ground out to short by Lambert. Ohio took control in the home half, though, scoring five runs on two hits and a Bowling Green error. Senior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) and redshirt junior third baseman Trevor Hafner (Perrysburg, Ohio) were each hit by pitches to lead things off. Richardson then delivered a double to left that scored Hafner. Hafner and Richardson both scored on wild pitches. Following a walk by Funderburg and Revels being hit by a pitch, Funderburg scored on a Bowling Green error. Revels scored Ohio's final run of the frame by way of an RBI fielder's choice that allowed Fabik to reach safely.
The Bobcats plated their 10th run in the fourth when Richardson hit a one-out double to left center and then scored on a single to left by Funderburg.
Ohio added on two more insurance runs in the seventh. Mallott led things off with a single to center, and Fabik followed with a base hit through the right side. One out later, Levy singled through the right side to score Mallott. Fabik scored Ohio's 12th and final run on an RBI ground out to second by Rott.
After Kutt exited the game in the top of the seventh, redshirt junior lefty Tony Iero (North Canton, Ohio) struck out senior pinch hitter Anthony Smith for the third out. Sophomore southpaw Brett Manis (Port Huron, Mich.) threw the final two innings for the Bobcats, striking out three while giving up one earned run on two hits and two walks.
Redshirt freshman right-handed starting pitcher Will MacLean was tagged with the pitching defeat for Bowling Green, dropping to 1-4 on the year. He allowed seven runs -- six of which were earned -- on six hits. He struck out one.
Ohio will close out its current 12-game home stand by playing host to Morehead State on Tuesday (April 2). First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. ET.