In the game of baseball, scoring 15 runs provides an assured victory more times than not. It was not the case for the Ohio Bobcats on Tuesday night.
Thanks in large part to an 11-run third inning, Ohio (3-16) fell to Youngstown State 20-15, Tuesday night, at a windy Bob Wren Stadium.
“We just didn’t make plays early in the game and it led to too many runs. We were just careless with the baseball.” Ohio head coach Rob Smith said.
After claiming a 6-2 lead through two innings of play, things appeared to be going smoothly for the Bobcats. It looked as though Ohio could improve its 1-7 home record with continued steady play.
However, things spun out of control in a hurry for the Bobcats as they surrendered 11 runs in the third. A combination of poor pitching from losing pitcher Nick Plys (1.2 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 3BB) and Ryan Ferrell (1.1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, K) as well as a few miscues in the field was ultimately Ohio’s downfall.
“That big inning in the third had absolutely nothing to do with the wind,” Smith said, “That was everything with us not making plays, guys making mistakes on routine plays that they should make.”
While the defensive side of the ball was a night to forget for Ohio, offensively the bats impressed for the Bobcats. Among the best offensive players came in the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 hole hitters; Cody Gaertner, Jake Madsen and Scott White.
The three players combined to go 10-13, seven RBIs and 10 runs. Gaertner was the most impressive on the night, as he was perfect from the plate at 3-3, including two walks and a hit by pitch. Gaertner was also productive in terms of runs scored, crossing the plate five times and driving in four runs, two of which came on a first inning home run.
Smith was pleased with Gaertner’s performance.
“[He had a] great day, obviously in the 3-0 count, that’s how you swing in a positive count when he hit that home run and I was very pleased with his approach at the plate,” Smith said, “He’s a good player and he plays hard. He exemplifies the way I wished all of our players played and if we continue to develop the players in our program to play with that kind of intensity and certainly as we recruit to find more players, he’s a good model to follow.”
For Youngstown State, reliever Erik Okleson (2 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) picked up the win on what was a forgettable night as far as pitching performances are concerned.
The Bobcats will stay at home this weekend as they host Toledo for a three-game set, beginning on Friday. With just three wins on the season, Ohio will have a chance to start fresh as conference play begins.