An OU baseball player steps to the plate during a game
[Nick Ursini | WOUB]

Ohio Rally Not Enough to Beat Butler

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Ohio Baseball (11-9) rallied back in the bottom of the ninth on Friday against the Butler Bulldogs (14-7) but ultimately fell short in extra innings by the final score of 4-3 at Bob Wren Stadium.

Down by one with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Ohio had one final chance to either tie or win the game. Spencer Ibarra delivered that one clutch, timely hit the Bobcats had been looking for all game. Ibarra slapped an RBI single that tied the game and forced extra innings.

After both teams went scoreless in the tenth inning, Butler capitalized on an error by Ohio and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch that was supposed to be a pitch out.

“(The pitch) was supposed to be a pitch out that he didn’t execute, there was confusion on it,” Ohio coach Rob Smith said following the loss. “We felt like they were going to try to do a suicide squeeze bunt play so we were trying to defend that.”

The Bobcats were not able to respond in the bottom of the eleventh inning and fell to the Bulldogs 4-3.

Ohio’s starting pitcher, Gerry Salisbury, began the game by hitting the first batter he faced, and that hit by pitch ended up leading to an RBI double by Garrett Christman, which put Butler up 1-0 early.

In the bottom of the second inning Ohio loaded the bases and threatened to tie the game or even take the lead, but Devin Garcia flew out to right field and left the bases loaded.

That missed opportunity came back to bite Ohio because in the top of the third inning, Butler center fielder Tyler Houston blasted a solo home run to deep left center field, which extended the Bulldogs lead to 2-0 over the Bobcats.

Salisbury sat down Butler in order in the fourth and fifth inning to keep the Bobcats in the game. Ohio’s only problem was that they were not able to come up with that one timely hit to get their first run across home plate.

“We had opportunities,” Smith said. “It wasn’t like he just dominated us, we had three different scenarios I think with runners in scoring position and the problem was when those situations came up (Schank) out-competed us.  It’s not more complicated than that.”

However, that changed in the bottom of the fifth inning when catcher Nick Bredeson came through with an RBI single that cut Butler’s lead to 2-1. Rudy Rott then blooped a single down the left field line and stretched it into a double when Chris Maranto misplayed the ball in left field.

Ohio then missed a golden opportunity when Ibarra grounded out to the second baseman with runners on second and third. This left the score at 2-1 in favor of Butler.

Butler quickly responded in the top of the sixth inning when designated hitter Jordan Lucio ripped an RBI single to center field to put Butler up 3-1.

Bredeson again came through for Ohio in the bottom of the seventh when he laid down a nice sacrifice bunt to score Ty Black from third. The Bobcats now only trailed 3-2 heading into the final two innings.

Jeff Schank, the starting pitcher for Butler went eight innings and was not dominant, but still did enough to prevent Ohio from taking the lead while he was on the mound.

Ohio will be back at it on Saturday with a double header against Butler. Sunday’s scheduled game was pushed up a day due to weather concerns. The first game will begin at 1 p.m. at Bob Wren.