Bobcats drop first game of doubleheader

Mitch Longo came into the first game of the doubleheader on a six-game hit streak, and when he stepped to the plate to lead off the ninth inning he was 0-3, obviously something had to give. Longo launched a single and seemed to be the spark the Bobcats needed for a potential two-run comeback. 

However, the next two batters flew out and John Adryan battled for eight pitches, but ultimately struck out. The Western Michigan Broncos (11-12) took a 4-2 victory over Jake Rudnicki and the Ohio Bobcats (5-18). 

This is the first loss charged to Rudnicki this season, despite it being a strong outing for the freshman star. He threw 102 pitches in eight innings, striking out four, walking two, hitting two, and giving up seven hits and four runs. Of his 102 pitches, he had 66 strikes and seemed to be set to come out in the ninth had the Bobcats managed to tie or take the lead. Through all the adversity, the Bobcats never had a reliever warming up in the bullpen. 

Western Michigan started Chad Mayle for the first game of the doubleheader, and he came in with a 2.97 ERA and 2-2 record. Earning the win, he pitched for 7 2/3 innings, throwing 105 pitches and getting 12 groundouts along with 5 strikeouts, only needing 2 fly-outs. He also gave up an unusual play, balking in the fourth inning. No runs would come from it, however. 

Once again, the Bobcats found themselves struggling with driving in runs. Until the eighth inning, the Bobcats left the bases loaded in the fifth and runners on the corners in the fourth. Despite this, among Bobcats with an at-bat in the game, only Tyler Wells and Austin Rieman failed to get a hit. Wells made up for it with an RBI on a groundout, bringing in the hot bat of the game, Jake Madsen. 

Madsen went 3-5 in the first game, and continued his ironman streak to 128 straight games started. He was also able to help the Rudnicki keep the game in check at times, providing key defensive plays, including what would be a top-ten diving stop to get a groundout in the seventh inning. 

The biggest play of the game came in the eighth inning from designated hitter Taylor Emody, as the Broncos changed pitchers just before his at bat. With two outs and a runner on third, he blasted a fast ball up to the center field wall, bouncing back over the center fielder and giving him a stand-up double. 

The Bobcats were unable to score another run after that, but did outhit the Broncos 12-7 in the game. They played them again directly following the first game.

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