The scoreboard only showed nine runs for Northern Illinois. Like the Bobcats, the Bob Wren board couldn’t contain Northern Illinois and only had the ability to display those nine runs. In actuality, the Huskies had scored 19.
Propelled by a 10-run fifth inning, the Huskies became too much for Ohio to overcome in the Bobcats’ 19-10 loss.
Despite scoring the most runs in a conference game all season, the Bobcats were denied by poor pitching in their attempt for their first Mid-American Conference series win of the year.
“When you score 10 runs, you should win the game,” third baseman Dan Ward said. “We were seeing the ball well at the plate, but 19 runs is not acceptable. Our fielders went cold and we kept switching pitchers. A 45-minute inning will take it out of you.”
Jason Moulton started the game slow, allowing four runs in the first inning, but then seemed to settle down in the next three innings.
Back-to-back home runs from Taylor Emody and Ward in the bottom of the first tied the game at four. Two more Ohio runs in the second, and three in the third built a 9-4 Bobcat lead heading into the fifth inning.
But four singles, a double, an error, a walk, a hit batsman and a grand slam turned into a 10-run inning, and Ohio found itself trailing 14-9.
The offensive outburst could have been avoided if second baseman Bryan Barnes turned a groundball double play to end the inning.
“We’ve got to make that play,” coach Joe Carbone said. “One out, slow ground ball to the bag, Barnes has got to make that play. He makes it 99 times out of 100 but he didn’t make it there.”
“But after that we didn’t have anyone make a pitch or make a play to get us out of a jam. When things get tough, someone’s got to make a play. We did it in the first game, but not in the second.”
After allowing the first four runs in the fifth inning, Moulton appeared as if he had reached his limit, but Carbone elected to keep him in the game. The next batter singled, driving in two runs and giving the Huskies the lead.
The same situation occurred in the previous game with starter Brent Choban.
Ahead 6-0 in the top of the eighth, Choban loaded the bases with one out. The next batter doubled to center, scoring all three runners and pulling the Huskies within three.
“Those are our pitchers. Our relief pitchers have been walking too many guys,” Carbone said. “Moulton was wild today so we had to get him out of there. We’re going longer with our starters this year than we ever have because our relievers still aren’t doing a good job throwing strikes.”
The 19 runs were the most Ohio has allowed since it allowed 21 runs against Bowling Green on April 23, 2010.