Photo Credit: Nick Ursini/WOUB

Ohio Swept by Butler in Saturday Doubleheader

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Game 1

For the second game in a row, Ohio Baseball (11-10) lost a one-run thriller to the Butler Bulldogs (15-7) 7-6 on Saturday afternoon at Bob Wren Stadium.

Bobcats starter Michael Klein worked around a one out single and prevented Butler from getting on the board early. In Ohio’s half of the first inning, Ty Black drew a walk but the Bobcats were unable to bring him around to score.

Ohio’s left fielder Evan Bourn laced a ball to the gap in right center field and Connor Callery, who was on first, took off at the crack of the bat. Unfortunately for Callery, the ball was caught by Butler’s right fielder and he was doubled up before he could get back to first base.

Butler got on the board first in the top of the third inning when Tyler Houston drilled a solo home run to left field. Klein was able to avoid further damage and got out of the top of the third inning with Ohio trailing 1-0.

With one out in the top of the fourth inning, Butler’s Duncan Hewitt connected with a ball and sent it to deep left field. Bourn appeared to have a beat on the ball but came up just short of snagging it. The play resulted in a solo home run for Hewitt and extended their lead to 2-0 over Ohio.

Spencer Ibarra recorded Ohio’s first in hit in the top of the fourth inning. It was a struggle for the Bobcats for to get a hit off Butler starter Ryan Pepiot, who went six and one-third strong innings, only giving up two hits.

Butler’s Houston hit his second solo home run of the afternoon to put the Bulldogs up 3-0. Houston was the majority of the Bulldogs’ offense, accounting for four hits, three homers and six RBIs.

Ohio entered the eighth inning down 7-2 before they mounted a rally of their own. It started when the Bobcats loaded the bases with only one out. Pinch hitter Nick Bredeson grounded a ball up the middle and Butler was unable to get an out at any base, allowing one run to score. Ohio now trailed 7-3.

The rally continued when Devon Garcia roped an opposite field double, which brought home two more runs. Ohio now only trailed Butler by two runs, 7-5. A groundout by Rudy Rott plated Ohio’s fourth run of the inning and trimmed the Bulldogs lead to just one run, 7-6. However the rally stalled there and the Bobcats headed to the final inning needing at least one run to stay in the game.

Butler reliever David Ottavio made quick work of Ohio in the bottom of the ninth inning to seal the one-run win for the Bulldogs.

Game 2

For the third straight game, The Butler Bulldogs (16-7) edged out Ohio (11-11) by one run, this time by a score of 5-4.

Southpaw Butch Baird got the start for Ohio and threw seven innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs while striking out five batters.

Ohio jumped on Butler starter Connor Mitchell with two runs in the first inning.

Nick Bredeson reached base on a throwing error. Rudy Rott singled to set Ohio up with runners on first and second with no outs. After a Spencer Ibarra ground out, Michael Klein laced a single down the left field line, scoring Bredeson and Rott.

The Bobcats added another run in the fourth inning. Tyler Finkler walked and then advanced to second on a passed ball. He then stole third and scored after the throw down went into left field.

Butler began the rally in the top of the sixth after Tyler Houston launched his fourth home run of the afternoon to cut the lead to 3-1.

Ten of Butler’s 12 runs this weekend were from a home run.

Ohio coach Rob Smith was just as stunned as the fans at Bob Wren were after watching Houston’s performance at the plate.

“What Tyler Houston did, I’ve been in Division I baseball for 18 years and I’ve never seen anything like that. I’ve never seen anyone have a day like that, ever,” he said.

Butler tied it up in the top half of the seventh, but the Bobcats came right back and added one run in the bottom half of the seventh.

Finkler singled up the middle. Tony Giannini laid down a bunt, sending Finkler to second and Connor Callery singled home Finkler.

Jake Roehn came in for Ohio in the eighth inning trying to record a six-out save. Roehn breezed through the eighth inning, but could not close out Butler in the ninth.

A walk and a fielder’s choice recorded Butler’s fourth and fifth run.

Ohio got the tying run to second base but could not score as the ‘Cats dropped their fourth straight game.

Callery led all Ohio batters, going 2-for-4 at the plate with one RBI.

The Bobcats hit the road Tuesday as they travel to Columbus to take on The Ohio State Buckeyes (9-14). First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.