Ohio Baseball: ‘Cats Drop Heartbreaker to Ohio State< < Back to
ATHENS, OH — One strike.
That was how close Ohio was to beating Ohio State for the first time since 1990 and ending an 11-game losing streak to the Buckeyes. That was how close the Bobcats were to their biggest win of the season.
Ohio State first baseman Conner Pohl sent that strike to center field for a game-tying single and the next Buckeye to the plate doubled to left-center to score two more and what could have been a huge win for a young Bobcat team turned into a crushing loss with two swings of the bat.
Ohio (8-22) fell to Ohio State (17-16) 10-8 in a hard fought game Tuesday night at Bob Wren Stadium.
“We had our closer on the mound, we had a one-run lead, we had our best guy that has saved games all year. Ohio State wasn’t interested in losing the game. We were trying like hell to win the game,” Bobcat head coach Rob Smith said. “They just happened to get a two-out, two-strike hit. That’s how baseball goes.”
However, the finish was just the most dramatic moment in a long list of them during the entire game.
Ohio State kicked off the scoring early in the game when Nolan Clegg sent a high fly ball out to right field in the top of the third. What would have normally been a pop-out turned into a two-run home run when the ball got caught up in a strong wind. The Buckeyes added another run on a Brent Todys RBI single in the next inning to extend their lead to 3-0.
The Bobcat bats woke up in the bottom of the fourth. Rudy Rott led off the inning with a single up the middle and the next two ‘Cats reached base to load them with no outs.
Treyben Funderburg hit a ball to third base that ate up the third baseman to get Ohio on the board while keeping the bases loaded for Cole Revels.
Revels cleared the bases when he got a hold of a pitch that landed over the right field fence for a grand slam. The Bobcats grabbed their first lead of the game, leading 5-3 after four innings.
“I can’t say enough about Cole Revels. What he did tonight, 5 RBIs. That’s a lot in a game like this,” Smith said. “He was a man tonight, there’s no doubt about it.”
Ohio would add two more runs in the fifth thanks to a Rott homer and Trevor Hafner’s baserunning.
The 7-3 lead would hold behind Bobcat starting pitcher Joe Rock’s solid night on the mound. The freshman, despite giving up three runs, was strong all through his 6 ⅔ innings. He kept the Buckeyes off the scoreboard after his team took the lead.
“He was outstanding. He showed why he’s one of our best young arms,” Smith said. “He’s got a big bright future for us.”
After scoring on a passed ball in the top of the seventh, Ohio State came back to tie the game in the eighth inning when Todys ripped a three-run home run to left field off of Eamon Horwedel to tie the game at seven.
The Bobcats came back in the bottom have of that inning to retake the lead when Revels singled to center field to score Michael Richardson from second base with two outs.
The Bobcats 8-7 lead would hold for the first two outs of the ninth before the Buckeyes flipped the script.
“Every loss hurts. Obviously, to have an opportunity to beat Ohio State, it’s disappointing when you’re one strike away,” Smith said. “They’re a good team and they showed why.”
Ohio will take the field again on Friday when Toledo pays a visit to Bob Wren Stadium for a three-game series. The first game between the Bobcats and Rockets is set to start at 6 p.m.