Photo Credit: Nick Ursini/WOUB

Bobcats Eliminate Kent State, Advance to MAC Championship

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For the second time in the past three years, the Ohio Bobcats have a chance to win the Mid-American Conference after defeating Kent State 7-2. Their second win over the Golden Flashes in the tournament and four of their last five games.

Senior Tom Colletti pitched a three-hit complete game to propel the Bobcats. Colletti striking out a career-high nine in nine innings of work on the mound. He gave up two runs one of which was earned on three hits and four walks. He retired the side in five innings and no-hit the Golden Flashes over the first four frames. Colletti improved to 4-3 on the season.
Ohio grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the third.

Tyler Finkler hit a one-out single to center, and senior center fielder Spencer Ibarra followed by drawing a walk. Finkler then stole third to put runners on the corners. After Ty Black drew a walk.

Rudy Rott knocked a two-RBI single up the middle to score both Finkler and Ibarra.
Kent State sophomore catcher Pete Schuler broke up Colletti’s no-hit bid in the home half of the fifth by smashing a one-out solo shot to right to cut Ohio’s lead to 2-1.
The Bobcats responded by adding a third run to their total in the ensuing frame.

Senior third baseman Connor Callery was hit by a pitch to lead things off, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior right fielder Tony Giannini and to third on a single to center by senior catcher Anthony Mrosla. Callery then dove across the plate to make it 3-1 in favor of Ohio after sophomore center fielder Devon Garcia successfully executed a squeeze bunt.
Ohio kept adding to its advantage with a two-run top of the seventh. Black got it going by leading off to center with a single.

One out later, Black hit a ground-rule double to left to put a pair of Bobcats in scoring position. Black then raced home on a wild pitch, and redshirt junior designated hitter Michael Klein made it 5-1 in favor of Ohio when he scored on a base hit back up the middle by Callery.
The Golden Flashes made it a three-run game in the bottom half of the seventh, though. Redshirt junior center fielder Mason Mamarella led off with a walk, then moved up to second on a wild pitch one out later. One out later, Mamarella scored on an Ohio error and a fielder’s choice that put senior second baseman Dom Iero on base. Colletti escaped further damage, though, when he got sophomore third baseman Josh Hollander to ground out to short to end the inning.
After Colletti retired Kent State in order in the bottom of the eighth, Ohio’s bats broke the game open with two more runs in the top of the ninth.

Rott hit a one-out single back up the middle to set up a two-run home run to left by Klein; that gave the Bobcats a 7-2 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, Mamarella led off with a walk and redshirt senior right fielder Luke Burch singled through the right side to put runners on the corners for the Golden Flashes. Colletti struck out both junior first baseman Dylan Rosa and Schuler swinging, though, for the first two outs. Iero loaded the bases for Kent State by drawing a walk, but Colletti sealed the trip to the championship game for the Bobcats by getting redshirt junior pinch hitter Reilly Hawkins to strike out swinging.
Klein powered Ohio’s bats in the victory with a 3-for-4 performance that included a double, a home run, a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored. The contest marked his 15th multi-hit effort of the year and ninth multi-RBI performance.

Rott singled twice, drove in two runs and scored another. He has tallied 19 multi-hit games, which is tied for second on the team, and nine multi-RBI contests, which is tied with Klein for second on the squad.
Mrosla went 2-for-5.
Junior right-handed starting pitcher Zach Willeman took the loss on the mound for Kent State, falling to 6-5 on the season. He struck out one while permitting two earned runs on four hits and three walks over five innings. Sophomore left-hander Connor Wollersheim threw two innings of relief, allowing three earned runs on four hits and a walk. He fanned one. Freshman righty Zach Schultz surrendered two earned runs on three hits in two innings. He struck out one.

Ohio now turns their attention to Eastern Michigan.
Ohio is against 1-4 against Eastern Michigan all-time in MAC tournament play and has never met either team in the championship game.

The Bobcats were swept by Eastern Michigan in the 2017 regular season, The Eagles recorded wins of 8-2 (April 14), 12-9 (April 15) and 12-11 (April 16) over Ohio.