Rain kept the Ohio baseball team off the base paths earlier in the week. Yesterday, it was Central Michigan’s pitching.
After splitting the first two games of the series, a dominant pitching performance by Jake Sabol silenced Ohio’s bats Sunday as the Chippewas defeated the Bobcats 9-0.
Sabol threw a complete-game shutout and allowed six hits and one walk.
“He’s the best pitcher we’ve faced all year. He pitched a great game,” coach Joe Carbone said. “He’s an outstanding college pitcher and he was better than we were today.”
On paper, the Bobcats (14-13, 2-4 Mid-American Conference) seemed to have the advantage coming into the game. Starting pitcher Jason Moulton had a 2.79 ERA compared to Sabol’s 5.68. But the Chippewas ( 12-17, 2-4 MAC) chased Moulton out of the game after only 4 2/3 innings.
The Chippewas scored in each of the first six innings to a 7-0 lead. Meanwhile, Ohio batters struggled to get anything going as Sabol continued to dominate.
“Their pitcher threw well, but I think it was mostly our fault,” third baseman Dan Ward said. “We struggled to capitalize on opportunities and when that happens it’s usually on us.”
Fielding errors hindered the Chippewas all weekend, and three more Central Michigan errors yesterday added to the few hits the Bobcats could muster.
But each time the Bobcats threatened to score, Sabol made a pitch to get out of the inning.
“He’s got a 90-mile-per-hour fastball, a good sinker, a good slider and a good changeup,” Carbone said. “You can see how good of a pitcher someone is by the actions of your hitters. We would get a hit here and there but he made pitches when he had to make pitches.”
After using five pitchers in both the pervious two games, Ohio went to the bullpen three times.
“It’s all about the matchups,” Ward said. “Lefty on lefty or righty on righty, we’re just trying to make it harder to hit.”
After Moulton was pulled from the game in the fifth inning, Ohio used three more pitchers who combined for four more earned runs.