After watching his team lose countless games in the final innings this season, Joe Carbone and his team finally felt the joy of stealing a win from their opponent.
With the game tied at four heading into the final inning, catcher Trace Voshell worked a leadoff walk. Three more Bobcats reached base in the inning, eventually plating two runs and securing yesterday’s 6-4 win.
“Our guys came out very focused today and played hard,” Carbone said. “Buffalo has three or four hitters in their lineup that really swing the bat well.”
After splitting the first two games of the series, the win gave Ohio only its second Mid-American Conference series win of the season.
In both Friday’s and yesterday’s wins, Ethan Newton and Kory Burkhart catalyzed the Bobcat offense.
The two leadoff men combined for five hits and four of Ohio’s six runs in the win on yesterday, as well as five hits and four runs in the 14-12 win Friday.
“When those guys get on base, we usually score runs,” Carbone said. “Our offense is a lot better when they find ways to get on.”
In Saturday’s 7-5 loss to the Bulls, Newton and Burkhart went a combined 0-10 and scored no runs, further proving the pair’s importance to the team.
While Newton and Burkhart powered the Bobcat offense during the weekend, Ryan Burgett took charge with his pitching.
After relieving starter Matt Robin of his duties in the fifth inning, Burgett pitched 4.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits without walking a batter.
Carbone complemented his pitcher’s effort, pointing to how far he’s come since trying out for the team as a walk-on four years ago.
"He did a great job and gave us a chance to win,” Carbone said. “… He hasn’t gotten a chance to pitch a lot, but he’s worked hard and made himself better and has become very effective for us this year.”
Friday’s game against the Bulls marked the second straight extra-inning game after playing 13 innings against Youngstown State last Wednesday. The Bobcats took down the Bulls in 12 Friday.
Despite back-to-back extra-inning games, Carbone said fatigue did not play a factor in the loss Saturday.
“It’s not like we’re working in the coal mines. We’re just playing a baseball game,” Carbone said. “We wish we would have won the third, but we had some tough luck.”