SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Ohio Baseball team (2-8) spilt a doubleheader with USC Upstate (5-6) at Harley Park today. Ohio dropped the first game of the series to the Spartans, 10-7, and won the second game, 2-1.
Redshirt freshman RHP Jack Liberatore (Greensburg, Pa.) threw 7.0 shutout innings and struck out six batters to earn his first collegiate win in the back end of the doubleheader.
Game One | Ohio 7, USC Upstate 10 | PDF Box Score
Senior INF Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) ripped three RBI while going 3-for-5 with a home run and double. Rott scored one run during the game and now has two home runs this season.
Junior INF Trevor Hafner (Perrysburg, Ohio) was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a single. Hafner reached twice as he was also hit by a pitch.
Junior DH Tanner Piechnick (Canonsburg, Pa.) drove home one RBI while going 0-for-2 on the day. Piechnick reached twice after being hit by pitches.
Ohio jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Rott doubled to score redshirt freshman OF Trevor Lukkes (Tustin, Calif.)
Lukkes would go on to score two runs and finished the day 3-for-5 with three singles.
USC Upstate answered with one run in the bottom half of the inning.
The Bobcats retook the lead when Piechnick scored on a Hafner single through the left side of the infield. Piechnick reached after being hit by a pitch advanced to second on a passed ball and moved over to third on a fly out.
The Spartans took a 3-2 advantage in the bottom half of the fourth, but Ohio tied the game in the fifth. Sophomore OF Sebastian Fabik (Lebanon, Ohio) reached on a single down the left field line. Lukkes pushed Fabik to second with a single and Rott moved Fabik to third with a single of his own. Piechnick drove Fabik home on a sacrifice fly to center field.
USC Upstate answered with two runs of their own and went up 5-4. It was Ohio's turn for two runs, as Rott hit a two-run home run to score himself and Lukkes, who reached on an infield single.
The Spartans put up five runs in the bottom half of the seventh inning.
Ohio was able to get one run back when Piechnick scored on an error by the second baseman.
RHP Matt Brosky (Strongsville, Ohio) was handed the decision and fell to 0-1 after pitching 1.2 innings. Brosky allowed five earned runs and struckout two batters.
Freshman LHP Joe Rock (Aliquippa, Pa.) earned the start for Ohio and tossed 5.0 innings. Rock fanned a season-high five batters and allowed four earned runs.
Redshirt senior Nick Kamrada (Grand Ledge, Mich.) threw 1.1 innings and allowed just one hit and sat down one batter.
Game Two | Ohio 2, USC Upstate 1 | PDF Box Score
Redshirt freshman Jack Liberatore (Greensburg, Pa.) was phenomenal in the second game of the doubleheader. Liberatore tossed 7.0 innings of shutout baseball allowed just five runners to reach base. Liberatore earned his first win of his career and improved to 1-1 this season. Liberatore's season ERA is an impressive 1.15 ERA.
Sophomore LHP Brett Manis (Port Huron, Mich.) shut the door on the Spartans for his second save of the season. Manis pitched one inning and allowed just one runner to reach on a walk. Manis has not given up an earned run in five appearances this season.
Freshman RHP Eamon Horwedel (Ann Arbor, Mich.) pitched the eighth inning and struck out two batters. Horwedel did not give up an earned run but one run crossed while he was on the mound.
Ohio scored in the first inning when Lukkes started off the game with a bunt single. Lukkes advanced to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a flyout. Rott brought Lukkes home with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Rott finished the day 1-for-3 with one RBI off the sacrifice fly and a single. Lukkes scored one run in the second game and was 1-for-4.
The Bobcats scored again in the second inning when redshirt junior Ryan Sargent (Algonquin, Ill) scored on a Fabik sacrifice fly to center field. Sargent reached after being hit by a pitch and stole second base during the inning.
Fabik wrapped up the day 1-for-3 with a single and RBI.
USC Upstate scored one run in the ninth inning to make the final score 2-1.
The Bobcats will travel to Dayton, Ohio to play Dayton, Wright State and Canisius. Ohio will face Dayton on Friday, March 8 at 3 p.m., play a doubleheader with Wright State on March 9 at noon, and wrap up the series against Canisius on Sunday, March 10 at 11 a.m.