With two outs and the tying run on third base in the ninth inning, Ohio pitcher Seth Streich fell behind in the count 3-1. As he had done all game, Streich reared back and came up with the out he needed.
In a must-win game for the Bobcats, Streich threw a complete-game shutout as Ohio defeated Akron 1-0 yesterday.
“In the eighth inning, coach came up to me and said ‘Do you want it?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, lets do it,’” Streich said. “When you’re throwing the way I did today you’re only thinking about getting back on that mound. I just tried to go out and be a bulldog like coach has been preaching all year.”
After Akron’s Samuel Trecaso led off the ninth with a single, he was thrown out at second base on a bunt attempt by Brandon White. A fielder’s choice and a passed ball allowed White to reach third, but that’s as far as he would get.
With two outs and the winning run at the plate, Streich (W, 2-6) recorded his seventh strike out of the day to end the game. He allowed only four hits, walked two batters and threw 121 pitches.
With the tying run only 90-feet away in the ninth, coach Joe Carbone said he had no thoughts of relieving Streich.
“He gutted it out and gave us a chance to win,” Carbone said. “He made some plays around the mound that kept us in the game. He’s an outstanding athlete, and he did a great job for us today.”
With only one weekend of Mid-American Conference play remaining, Ohio (22-26, 7-15 MAC) needed yesterday’s win against Akron (14-33, 6-16 MAC) in order to stay in contention for a spot in the conference tournament. The Bobcats sit 2.5 games behind eighth-place Bowling Green.
Ohio’s only run of the game came on a two-out solo home run off the bat of Bryan Barnes in the sixth inning.
“I had two strikes on me so I was just trying to get a pitch that I could handle and he threw one thigh-high, middle-in,” Barnes said. “I was able to get around on it and put the barrel on it and it went over the fence.”
After Ohio failed to score on so many previous opportunities, Carbone said he was surprised by the two-out home run.
“I gave him the home run sign on that 2-2 pitch,” Carbone joked. “We squandered some other scoring opportunities, so I’m glad he did it. It was a big hit.”
In order to qualify for the tournament Ohio will need to win next week’s series against rival Miami, and hope for some help as well.
“We’re still alive until we’re mathematically eliminated, that’s why they play the games,” Carbone said. “I’m glad that they’re going to have the opportunity to play for something next weekend.”