St. Bonaventure Spoils Ohio’s Home Opener

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The late inning defensive play from the Bobcats cost them dearly as a wild throw allowed the St. Bonaventure Bonnies to score a run from second base on a ball hit in the infield. The run gave the Bonnies a one run lead and enough room to pull out a 6-4 victory Friday night over the ‘Cats.

Ohio had a chance to even up the game in the bottom of the ninth when Jake Madsen came to the plate with runners on first and second. With the tying run on first, Madsen grounded into a game-ending double play.

“I want to see us play better later in the game,” Ohio head coach Rob Smith. “I thought we broke down starting in the seventh inning. With what I felt was a routine play, in a tie ball game. We broke down defensively.”

After the game, Smith spent upwards of 20 minutes expressing his frustration with the final result.

St. Bonaventure pitcher Steven Klimek got the start, but it was short-lived. Before he could even record an out in the third inning, Klimek threw back-to-back wild pitches before exiting the game with the trainer. At that point the ‘Cats had done some damage, scoring four runs in the two innings he had pitched.

That’s when Connor Grey entered for the Bonnies and took over. Grey shut down the Bobcats’ lumber, giving up only two hits and zero runs in the six innings he pitched.

Ohio’s four runs came through Smith’s signature style of small ball. Klimek walked in a runner with the bases loaded before the ‘Cats tacked on two more runs via a sacrifice fly and a sacrifice bunt.

Jake Roehn was given the starting nod for the Bobcats, but never truly found his groove. Roehn threw 5 2/3 innings, giving up nine hits while being charged with four runs.

“He really had to grind threw it tonight; he wasn’t super sharp,” Smith said. “He didn’t pitch real clean baseball, but he grinded.”

The ‘Cats have three more games against St. Bonaventure, two of which are Saturday in a doubleheader. Smith mentioned what he would like to see his team improve on going forward.

“We had too many fly ball outs. We had 14 fly ball outs,” he said. “On a night like this you have to challenge their defense.”

Ohio drops to 4-10 with the loss, but will have three more games against the Bonnies to seek redemption. The ‘Cats have a doubleheader against the Bonnies on Saturday followed by one final stint on Sunday afternoon.