For the second consecutive night, errors proved to be costly for the Ohio Bobcats (7-26, 3-8) and they fell to the Akron Zips (8-24, 5-6), by a final of 11-8, in ten innings, Saturday afternoon, at Bob Wren Stadium.
After what appeared to be a harmless start to the tenth inning – a single followed by a pop up – an error by shortstop Dan Schmidt allowed a 6-4-3 double play opportunity to go by the wayside and an Akron rally was started. Brett Barber, the eventual losing pitcher, allowed two walks and a single from the eventual losing pitcher, which proved to be the nail in the coffin for the Bobcats.
“If you are going to win games, conference games, close games, extra-inning games, one run games, you’ve got to be able to defend.” Ohio head coach Rob Smith said. “We let our free bases get away from us, especially in that last inning with the two walks and the error, that was kind of a tough error on Dan, but nonetheless it was an error.”
Although a similar result, Ohio’s strengths and struggles couldn’t have been in more contrast between the first two games of the series. While Friday featured some exceptional pitching with a lack of offense, Saturday proved to be the exact opposite.
After trailing 6-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, Ohio was able to rally for five runs with two outs to tie the game. The Bobcats were seemingly lifeless offensively through five innings against Akron starter John Valek, however, they finally broke through by being patient at the plate.
Dan Schmidt recorded a key two-RBI double into the left-center gap with the bases loaded to provide the first runs of the inning. From there, Nate Squires followed with a two-RBI single and Ben Otto wrapped up the frame win an RBI single.
“It was a good job by our offense, they had some plate discipline, they drew a few walks, and they came up with some big hits,” Smith said. “You hope that you put yourself in a position to win a game, we did that today and just weren’t able to come up with a [win].
Ohio starter Marck Paliotto pitched five innings, allowed six hits, five earned runs, five walks and recorded three strikeouts.
Offensively, Nate Squires had the best game of any Bobcat. He recording three hits and two runs batted in. Squires has now reached base in 12 consecutive games for Ohio.
Ohio and Akron will conclude their three-game series tomorrow afternoon at Bob Wren Stadium, as the Bobcats try to salvage a game from the Zips. If today was any indication that offense might be picking up in the series, one look at the pitching situation would strengthen that argument.
“We’re going to have to be offensive tomorrow, because we’re down basically to two, maybe three pitchers that will be available.” Smith said.
Connor Sitz will get the start for the Bobcats, first pitch is scheduled for 1 P.M.