Updated Mon, Mar 24, 2014 10:52 am
Connor Sitz just can’t catch a break.
Sitz came into Ohio’s series finale with Central Michigan on Sunday with a disappointing 0-4 record. However, the record is a bit deceiving because Sitz has pitched better than the record shows.
Unfortunately for Sitz, he has been the recipient of poor run support from his offense, as Ohio (4-16, 0-3 MAC) has scored just six runs spanning his three starts.
Sunday was no different, as Sitz pitched a season-best seven innings and allowed four runs on 10 hits, which wasn’t enough as the Central Michigan Chippewas defeated Ohio 4-2 on a cold Sunday afternoon, resulting in a conference-opening sweep for the Chippewas (13-10, 3-0 MAC).
Even with the loss, Sitz isn’t hanging his head.
“It’s a good building point, for myself,” Sitz said. “I struggled a little bit today [with the weather], but I was able to work through it and keep the team in the game.”
Even though the Chippewas’ starting pitcher Nick Deeg kept Ohio’s offense quiet for most of the game, the Bobcats had a chance to make some noise in the ninth inning. Deeg struck out eight Ohio batters, and allowed just the two runs on seven hits over eight innings of work.
After three-straight singles by Jake Madsen, Mitch Longo, and Taylor Emody, the Bobcats found themselves with the bases loaded, no outs, and the winning run stepping up to the plate in Garrett Black.
But Black struck out looking after seeing just four pitches, shifting the spotlight to Chandler Geller, who grounded into a fielder’s choice to the second baseman, scoring Madsen. That left Ohio with runners on first and third base with two men out, and Scott White coming to the plate as the last hope for Ohio.
Instead, White hit a soft ground ball right back to the pitcher, who threw the ball to first for the last out, ending Ohio’s threat and the game.
“It’s disappointing we got swept,” Ohio coach Rob Smith said, “because we competed well. Central Michigan’s pitching staff was just really good and kept us in check pretty well.”
Madsen and Longo combined for six of Ohio’s seven total hits in the game, after collecting just three hits combined in the first two games of the series. Longo’s three hits sent his batting average back over the .400 mark for the season, which is the fourth-best in the MAC.