Baseball: Ohio Drops Series Opener Against Miami

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Ohio fell short in the weekend home opener against archrival Miami (OH) Thursday evening.

In a day that the Bobcats (27-26, 15-10 MAC) struggled to piece together hits, Miami used a wild sixth inning to grab a 5-2 victory at Bob Wren Stadium.

The two teams entered the sixth tied 2-2, but Miami (27-26, 11-14 MAC) first baseman Kevin Bower led off with a single to kickstart the action. After a sacrifice bunt, Ohio starter Brent Choban (7-5) hit a batter and then walked Dan Walsh to load the bases with one out.

Choban committed a balk on a pickoff move to first base, bringing home a Miami run to give them a 3-2 lead. Miami catcher Max Andresen would finish off the damage with a two-run single to put his team up 5-2. Andresen had a huge day at the plate from the ninth spot in the order, finishing 3-4 with two RBI’s and a run scored.

Ohio struggled to create any scoring opportunities from the fifth inning on. Ohio did load the bases in the sixth, but Jake Madsen popped out to end the rally.

Miami’s bullpen combined for 3.1 innings of scoreless work, surrendering just three hits.

Choban worked 6.2 innings, allowing eight hits and five earned runs, while striking out five Miami batters. Tyler Backstrom pitched two scoreless innings in relief, recording three strikeouts.

Ohio’s two runs came off of a pair of sac flys, one in the second and one in the third. Ian Mezlak put the Bobcats up 1-0 with his second inning RBI, and third baseman Dan Schmidt evened things up at 2-2 in the third inning with his sac fly.

Ohio is looking to send Head Coach Joe Carbone out with a strong weekend in his last games he will coach at Bob Wren Stadium. Carbone will retire at the season’s end.

“We want to send him out on top,” Choban said after the game. “We want to play well and win this weekend for him.”

The Bobcats will have to win Friday and Saturday’s games to take the series. First pitch for Friday is set for 6 PM.