Ohio watched its Mid-American Conference record fall to 1-3 Friday evening as it fell to Western Michigan 12-9 in the series opener. Connor Sitz picked up the loss in three innings of work on the mound for the Bobcats.
Ohio's overall record falls to 13-10.
The game started off with both starting pitchers struggling mightily to find some kind of rhythm. Sitz began the game by throwing his first pitch into the hip of Western Michigan lead-off hitter. Western Michigan followed with back-to-back hits, which led to a pair of runs in the first inning.
Ohio went on the offensive quickly in the bottom of the frame, getting timely run-scoring hits from Jake Madsen and Cody Gaertner before a bases-loaded double by John Adryan gave the Bobcats a 4-2 lead. Ohio send nine men to the plate in the first inning.
The second inning yielded more of the same, as the Broncos continued to pound Sitz for base hits, tying the game back up with three runs in the inning. Mitch Longo stepped up and answered for the Bobcats in the bottom of the inning, mashing his third home run of the season to regain the lead 7-5.
That was the last glimpse of the lead that Ohio would get Sitz exited the game for Ohio one batter into the fourth inning, giving way to Christian Botter, who allowed the Broncos to take an 8-7 lead.
Western Michigan added single runs off Spencer Sapp, Corey Wells and Jake Miller the rest of the way, while the Broncos' bullpen pitched lights out baseball in keeping the Ohio offense in check. The Bobcats would muster just two runs in the final seven innings after accumulating seven in the first two.
Garrett Black finished as the only Bobcat with multiple hits in the game, going 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. Meanwhile, Western Michigan saw three different players put together three-hit performances off Ohio's pitching staff, led by a 4-for-4, three RBI performance by Nick Vogelmeier.
Ohio's bullpen has now pitched 18.2 innings in three games this week.
Ohio will be back in action against Western Michigan Saturday at 3:00p.m.