Ohio drops second game of doubleheader

After defeating Toledo (9-12, 2-1 MAC) 9-3 in the first game of a doubleheader, the Ohio Bobcats (4-18, 1-2 MAC) dropped the second game to the Rockets by the score of 5-2.

“The reality of it is that we actually played better in the second game than we did the first game,” head coach Rob Smith said. “That’s kind of baseball sometimes. You play well and lose and play marginal and can find a way to win a game and that’s kind of what today was.

The game got off to a good start for the Bobcats who posted two early runs in the second inning.

To lead off the inning, Scott White roped a single into left field. Brice Nikithser brought White home on a double off the center field wall. Toledo starting pitcher, Ryan Wilkinson, hit back-to-back batters to load the bases. A fielder’s choice brought Nikithser home.

After the second inning, Wilkinson, who pitched a complete game for the Rockets, silenced Ohio’s bats.

“We’re used to normally facing the harder-throwing guys so he came in and he was throwing maybe low 80s and just with a bunch of off-speed and it had us a little off guard,” Tyler Wells said. “We were getting out in front of a lot of things and just popping everything up, which you can’t do versus guys like this. You’ve got to keep the ball on the ground. He just beat us today.”

Connor Sitz began the game on the mound with three solid innings, but a three-run fourth inning proved to be too much for the Bobcats to overcome.

James Miglin opened up the fourth inning for the Rockets with a double down the left field line and came home on a single to center field from Wes White. The difference maker came when Ryan Callahan drilled a ball over the left field fence for two runs, giving Toledo the 3-2 lead.

That was all the Rockets would need, but they added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

Sitz went 4.1 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. He was charged with the loss. Brett Barber pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless relief on five hits. Logan Cozart allowed one run in an inning of relief on a hit and a pair of walks. Ryan Farrell recorded the final three outs for the Bobcats, allowing no runs on one hit.

“Overall, we just didn’t hit the ball the second game and that’s what really hurt us,” Wells said.

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