Box Score (PDF)
ATHENS, Ohio -- Redshirt senior left-handed starting pitcher Gerry Salisbury (Brunswick, Ohio) put together another strong outing on the mound, but the Ohio baseball team (16-16, 4-6 MAC) suffered a tough 6-4 setback to Eastern Michigan (12-19, 6-4 MAC) in 10 innings on Friday (April 13) at Bob Wren Stadium in the opening game of a three-game Mid-American Conference set.
Salisbury threw eight strong innings, striking out four while allowing three earned runs on six hits and two walks. Unfortunately, the Bobcats were unable to protect a 4-3 lead.
Ohio took advantage of two hits and two Eastern Michigan errors in the bottom of the first inning to grab an early 2-0 advantage. Junior center fielder Devon Garcia (Bowling Green, Ohio) got things started with a leadoff double to right center, and redshirt senior designated hitter Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) followed with a base hit to right. After Klein advanced on a wild pitch, he and Garcia both scored when junior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) reached on a fielding error by the Eagles.
Eastern Michigan countered with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Freshman catcher Eli Gora drew a one-out walk, then junior designated hitter Kolton Schenker hit a single down the left field line. Gora scored the Eagles' first run when sophomore third baseman/catcher Nick Jones doubled down the left field line. Sophomore second baseman Devin Hager knotted the contest up when singled down the right field line to bring home Schenker.
Redshirt freshman catcher Dan McCauley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) put Ohio right back in front in the home half, though, when he smashed a leadoff home run over the left field wall -- his second home run of his Bobcat career.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Rott extended Ohio's lead to 4-2 when he cracked a two-out solo shot to right for his team-high eighth home run of the 2018 season. The Bobcats managed just two more hits and one walk over the final six innings, however.
The Eagles cut Ohio's lead down to one in the sixth when sophomore first baseman/third baseman Zachary Owings sent a leadoff single back up the middle, stole second and scored from third one out later on a sacrifice fly to right by Gora.
Eastern Michigan then tied the contest up in the ninth. Gora led off with a double to left and was replaced on the base paths by redshirt sophomore pinch runner Joey Sweigart. One out later, Sweigart scored the tying run on a base hit to left by Jones. Junior left-handed reliever Mitchell Sparks retired Ohio in order in the bottom of the frame, sending the contest to extras.
The Eagles seized control of the game in the top of the 10th. Freshman center fielder Nate Jones singled to right center to lead off the frame but was caught stealing when junior shortstop Max Schuemann was struck out by Ohio redshirt senior right-handed reliever Cory Blessing (Mayfield, Ohio). Eastern Michigan quickly put runners on the corners, though, as Owings doubled to left and redshirt freshman left fielder Jeff Timko beat out an infield single to short. After Timko advanced to second via defensive indifference, freshman second baseman Jared Kauffman drove in the go-ahead runs with double down the right field line that cleared the bases.
Sparks then sat down the Bobcats in order for the second inning in a row to secure the win for Eastern Michigan. He tossed four scoreless innings of relief, striking out three and permitting just two hits en route to improving to 6-1 on the mound this year.
Redshirt sophomore right fielder Ryan Sargent (Algonquin, Ill.) was the only Ohio batter to produce a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a walk.
Eastern Michigan collected 12 hits, with three Eagles posting multi-hit efforts. Nick Jones went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Owings singled, doubled and scored two runs. Schenker tallied two base hits and scored a run.
Senior right-handed starting pitcher Justin McMurtrey went six innings on the hill for the Eagles, fanning four while giving up four runs -- three of which were earned -- on five hits and three walks.
Due to rain in the forecast, Ohio will now host a Saturday (April 14) doubleheader against Eastern Michigan beginning at 9 a.m. ET to wrap up the series. There will be no game on Sunday (April 15). Sophomore lefty Derek Carr (Newark, Ohio) will make his third-straight start on the mound for Ohio in game one of the twin bill and will oppose junior right-hander Jackson Shaver of the Eagles. The Bobcats' starting pitcher is to be determined for game two. Senior righty Luke DeVenney is scheduled to start on the mound for Eastern Michigan. Fans are invited to bring their dogs to The Wren as this weekend's series serves as Ohio Bark In The Park Weekend presented by the Athens County Visitors Bureau. 'Voice of the Bobcats' Russ Eisenstein and Max McDulin 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 OhioBobcatTV via YouTube.