Opening play in the Mid-American Conference, the Ohio Bobcats baseball team (4-14) fell to the Central Michigan Chippewas 6-3 in the first game of their weekend series Friday night.
The Bobcats started Jake Roehn on the mound, and the game took an immediate downhill turn after allowing two hits in the first inning and one run to score. He threw 23 pitches in that inning, but wouldn’t throw more than 18 in an inning after that.
Things got scary for Roehn in the third inning, when on what would be the final out, a line-drive was hit right back at him and bounced off his left leg. The ball went to Jake Madsen at first base for an out, but Roehn tossed his glove in pain and was limping off the field. He would return the next inning, getting the first two batters faced out, but giving up two runs after.
“I don’t think it [affected him],” coach Rob Smith said. “I mean, he got the first two guys out pretty easily, so I think he was fine. Just had the hit-by-pitch and walk, and then he gave up the hit. I think he was fine, and he looked fine on the first two outs. So I wouldn’t attribute that to any kind of issues there, he opted to go out and he’s fine.”
He threw 68 pitches in 3 2-3 innings, allowing five hits, five runs, two walks and striking out two on his way to receiving a loss. He was replaced by Nick Nauracy who pitched 1 2-3 innings, allowing just four hits and striking out a lone batter. Many others came in in relief as well with only one run being added by the Chippewas.
While the third inning was scary for Roehn, it also became a spark for the bats of the Bobcats and was a fearsome turning point for Jordan Foley, the pitcher for the Chippewas. Foley had thrown just 21 pitches through his first two innings pitched, but would end up throwing 33 pitches in just the third inning.
This included a bases loaded, 13-pitch at-bat for Jordan Adryan who was walked to drive in a run. Adryan would finish the game 2-for-3, proving to be a driving force behind the offense in the evening’s contest.
“I thought John did a good job,” Smith said. “He was swinging the bat relatively well, so we’re hoping he can stay hot.”
However, aside from him, only Chandler Geller seemed to have any luck, batting right after Adryan he was 2-for-2 before being switched out when a left-handed pitcher came in to pitch.
“We knew if they went to their bullpen, which is heavy with left handers, that Austin Reiman would hit in that situation,” Smith said.
The three runs in the third inning would be all the Bobcats could manage, as Foley and Adam Aldred held them off the rest of the way. The Bobcats would finish with nine hits while the Chippewas had 11 in the game.
Ohio faces off with Central Michigan again throughout the weekend, on Saturday at 3 p.m. and on Sunday at 1 p.m., both at Bob Wren Stadium in their first series of Mid-American Conference play.