The wind was whipping through Bob Wren Stadium as the Bobcats played the finale of a four-game series against Central Michigan (10-8, 2-2 Mid-American Conference) on Sunday afternoon. Players’ hats were flying across the field, and the ball was flying off the Chippewas’ bats. Ohio dropped the game 14-3, but walked away with a series split, their first with the Chippewas since interim head coach Craig Moore joined Ohio’s staff in 2012.
Sophomore transfer Jacob Tate threw his second start for the Bobcats (9-9, 3-5 MAC). He gave a quality start despite giving up five runs through four innings, throwing seven strikeouts and allowing a walk.
Coach Moore was pleased with his starter and was happy to see the end result, despite giving up runs.
“The strikeouts, that’s good to see,” Moore said. “We need to see another pitcher besides Joe (Rock) that has the ability to strike out a lineup.”
Defensive missteps were what set the Bobcats behind while Tate was on the mound. Central Michigan gained its first run on an error by shortstop Joe Weisenseel that could have resulted in a double play. After that, Ohio allowed the Chippewas to score in each of the first three innings. Although they were down, the Bobcats came out swinging to try and keep the game close.
Sebastian Fabik put the Bobcats in the game with an RBI double in the bottom of the second. Trevor Hafner followed his lead with a single to center field to score Fabik. The game was now tied up at 2-2 and things were looking up for the Bobcats.
Central Michigan soon put a stop to Ohio’s attempts at taking the lead. Chase Rollin sent a three-run homerun over the right-center wall, putting the Chippewas up by three runs in the top of the third. Central Michigan scored eight runs in four innings, putting them up 10-2.
Fabik would pick up his second RBI of the day in the bottom of the sixth in an attempt to chop down the Chippewas’ lead. His sacrifice fly to right tacked on another run and was a glimmer of hope for the Bobcats as they tried to dig themselves out of their hole.
But Ohio was unable to get the ball rolling and Central Michigan kept producing. The Bobcats’ offense went down in four or fewer batters in seven innings. This disparity showed in the hits column as Ohio ended the day with four hits compared to Central Michigan’s 18.
Heading into next weekend, the Bobcats are packing their bags and getting ready for a road series at Toledo. Ohio is going to have to adjust to a different opponent while also adjusting to the change in playing surface at Scott Park.
“Playing on the different types of surface, of their natural surface,” Moore said. “We’ll have to prepare our guys a little bit during practice.”
The Bobcats will begin their four-game series with Toledo on April 2.