Box Score (PDF)
ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio baseball team (3-12) was edged by Army West Point (8-7), 8-6, in the 2019 home opener for the Bobcats today at Bob Wren Stadium.
The Bobcats and Black Knights combined for 27 hits in the opening contest of a three-game weekend set. Three Black Knights combined for nine Army's 16 hits while four Bobcats produced multi-hit days.
Army held a 3-0 lead after two innings. In the top of the first, junior right fielder Drake Titus legged out an infield single to short, then scored the game's first on a triple to left center by sophomore first baseman Anthony Giachin. Giachin gave the Black Knights a 2-0 advantage when he scored on a double down the right field line by junior designated hitter John McKenna. Army's lead grew to three runs in the ensuing frame when senior second baseman Josh White led off with a base hit through the left side and later tagged up and scored from third by way of a sacrifice fly to left by junior center fielder Jacob Hurtubise.
The Bobcats retaliated in bottom of the third with four runs to take a one-run lead. Sophomore second baseman Treyben Funderburg (Beavercreek, Ohio) got things started by beating out a bunt single and advancing to second courtesy of an Army throwing error on the play. After moving to third on a sacrifice bunt by redshirt sophomore designated hitter Devonte Washington (Twinsburg, Ohio), Funderburg scored on a passed ball as sophomore third baseman Aaron Levy (Cincinnati, Ohio) drew a walk. One out later, Levy stole second, senior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) drew a walk and both then advanced 90 feet via a wild pitch. That set the table for sophomore center fielder Sebastian Fabik (Lebanon, Ohio) to deliver a two-run double to left and center and tie the game. Redshirt sophomore Dan McCauley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) then put Ohio in front, 4-3, when he drove in Fabik with an RBI single to left.
Ohio's lead was short lived, however, as Army plated five more runs over the next three frames. White led off the fourth by being hit by a pitch and scoring one out later on a single to right by sophomore catcher Brendan Siriani. The Black Knights then took a 5-4 lead when Titus doubled to left to plate Siriani. Army tacked on a sixth run in the fifth McKenna was hit by a pitch to lead things off, advanced to third on a single to left by sophomore left fielder Andre Walden and then scored on a double to left center by junior third baseman Jeremiah Adams. Army tacked on two more runs in the sixth as Siriani led off with a single and later scored on a bases-loaded walk by McKenna and Hurtubise beat out a bunt single and later scored on an RBI fielder's choice that put Walden on base.
The Bobcats stranded two runners on base in the home half of the sixth and left the bases loaded in the seventh but broke through for two more runs in the eighth. Junior shortstop Trevor Hafner (Perrysburg, Ohio) hit a leadoff single to left. After Washington coaxed a one-out walk, Hafner scored on a single to right by Levy. Washington then scored on a wild pitch to make it an 8-6 ballgame. Unfortunately, Ohio ended the inning with a pair of runners left on base.
Ohio attempted to start a rally in the ninth when redshirt junior right fielder Ryan Sargent (Algonquin, Ill.) drew a one-out walk, but the Bobcats could not capitalize as senior left-handed reliever Cam Opp locked down the victory by earning his first save of the year.
Titus and Walden both doubled and singled twice to lead Army at the plate. Siriani finished the contest 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Senior southpaw starting pitcher Tyler Giovinco struck out seven over seven innings of work en route to the win. He improved to 3-1 on the year.
Fabik led Ohio's hitters with a 2-for-5 effort that included a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Sargent, Hafner and Funderburg all recorded a pair of hits.
Senior right-handed starting pitcher Kenny Ogg (Indianapolis, Ind.) took the loss on the mound for Ohio, falling to 1-3 on the season. He struck out two over five innings. Junior lefty Nick Byrnes (Cincinnati, Ohio), redshirt senior right-hander Nick Kamrada (Grand Ledge, Mich.), redshirt junior left-hander Tony Iero (North Canton, Ohio), sophomore righty Chace Harris (New Marshfield, Ohio) and sophomore righty Edward Kutt IV (Westlake, Calif.) combined to toss three scoreless innings of relief for the Bobcats.
Ohio and Army will meet again on Saturday (March 16) in a 2 p.m. ET matchup at Bob Wren Stadium. Freshman lefty Joe Rock (Aliquippa, Pa.) is scheduled to make the start on the mound for the Bobcats and oppose senior right-hander Sam Messina of the Black Knights.