After giving up 24 runs in the first game of the doubleheader with 7 errors, the Ohio Bobcats (4-12) had to focus on one thing entering the second game: get back to basics.
“You just have to continue to work on your skills,” coach Rob Smith said. “Some of the errors today, obviously, were very routine. I don’t know what you’re going to do much differently than that. I think that’s unfortunate that that happened and you just hope that you don’t see something like that again, ever, the rest of the year. It was certainly disappointing and downright embarrassing at some respects at times. I don’t know if that’s a thing you work on, really to be honest. If you’re playing at this level, you’re a division one player, I don’t think you expect to see those types of things happen.”
While they would drop the second game 14-3, the Bobcats only had two errors in that contest and held it close for the first four innings. Connor Sitz got the start on the mound and held St. Bonaventure to just one run in the first four innings, but gave up three in the fifth.
He was pulled after throwing 80 pitches in five innings, allowing four runs while managing two strikeouts and no walks.
“He was good for the first four, and obviously they got to him a little bit in the fifth,” Smith said. “He just left a couple pitches up, didn’t execute quite as well as we’d like late in the count. It kind of got him and knocked him out of the game. I would’ve liked to see our bullpen pitch a little better, they were a little bit disappointing, you know, for me. In terms of some of the things they’ve been doing previously. You know, we just have to regroup, bounce back, and get back to work here in the next couple of days.”
It was an opposite story for St. Bonaventure, who saw their starter Asa Johnson pitch eight innings and allow only one earned run and two total. He walked three, struck out one, and gave up eight hits. Facing 36 batters, he threw 113 pitches forcing 13 groundouts and 9 flyouts.
The Bobcats turned to their bullpen often over the doubleheader, using 15 pitchers in the two games. Despite the frequent changing, none seemed to find their mark as Joel Rosencrance, Tyler Bell, and Dylan Dunn all hit home runs in the contests.
“There’s a lot of things you have to examine after a weekend, both positive and negative and we’ll definitely take a look at those after we get through today and let the sting of it get by,” Smith said. “We’ll regroup tomorrow and take a look at the things we saw this weekend out of individual players and as a team. Then we’ll assess and we’ll just try to get better.”
Nick Nauracy saw his first struggles of the season, as well. After going eight innings without allowing a run against, he entered the second game of the doubleheader to open the sixth walking two and hitting another batter before finally being pulled. Two runs were scored off of him.
“It was one of those days today, and we just have to swallow it and stay positive and get back to work and see if we can continue to get better,” Smith said. “We have conference coming up here a week from now, so really that’s what you gear up for, that’s what you hope to see your guys compete in. Fortunately for us this wasn’t a conference weekend and if this is as bad as we’re going to play, which I have to believe it’s going to be, that it didn’t occur on a conference weekend.”
The Bobcats faced a big scare late in the second game. Mitch Longo went diving for a fly ball and appeared to roll on his wrist. Coach Smith said they think he jammed it as he immediately clutched his arm, but he’ll be checked more thoroughly later.
St. Bonaventure found great success this weekend, entering the Saturday stint with 28 runs scored total in 10 games and exiting with 38 in two games. The Bobcats will instead be looking to get better heading into conference play against Central Michigan next weekend following a game against Xavier on Tuesday.