Updated Fri, Apr 5, 2013 10:18 pm
Despite carrying a 5-4 lead going into the eighth inning, the Ohio Bobcats (5-23) fell to MAC opponent Kent State (13-14) by a final score of 6-5 on Friday after a game-winning two-run inside-the-park home run by T.J. Sutton.
Ohio center fielder Tyler Wells dove in an attempt to catch Sutton’s line drive into the outfield, but missed the ball as Kent State’s George Roberts made his way from second base to home in addition to Sutton scoring. Roberts and Sutton’s runs gave the Golden Flashes a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth.
The Bobcats had only one inning to make up the one-run deficit, but Kent State pitcher Brian Clark relieved the first three batters to earn the save.
Ohio established its lead with an offensively driven fifth inning. Nate Squires made a sacrifice bunt to move runners Kyle Dean and Ben Otto both into scoring position. Nick Squires then doubled to right to drive in Dean and Otto to tie the game 3-3. Cody Gaertner then singled to center field to drive Nick Squires in for the 4-3 lead.
Gaertner was eventually thrown out at second base on a fielder’s choice, but Jake Madsen eventually made his way to scoring position off of a throwing error by Kent State. The Golden Flashes committed three errors over the course of the game. Gaertner scored on Wells’ RBI single and gave Ohio a 5-3 lead.
Ohio pitcher Brett Barber was awarded the loss, making his record on the season 1-2. Barber came into the game in relief of starter Jake Miller.
Miller was struck in the hand by the ball on a hit by Kent State’s George Roberts on what became a two-run RBI double that gave the Golden Flashes a 3-1 lead at the time. Miller had to be taken out of the game after pitching 2.1 innings, allowing five hits and striking out one batter.
Kent State’s ace Taylor Williams struck out seven batters, giving him MAC-leading 52nd strikeouts on the season. After pitching six innings and allowing four earned runs, Williams was replaced by Josh Pierce. Pierce went on to record one strikeout and the win.
Ohio will take on Kent State in the second game of their weekend series on Saturday at Schoonover Stadium in Kent, Oh. at 1 p.m.