It was like climbing up a steep mountain for interim head coach Craig Moore’s Bobcats Monday afternoon in the finale of a four-game series against Bowling Green (5-9, 3-1 MAC).
Ohio gave the ball to Eamon Horwedel to start the game in hopes of splitting the series with the Falcons, but Bowling Green had other plans. Ohio fell 11-5 in another sound loss to the Falcons.
In the first at-bat of the game, Tyler Ross knocked a single to left to start the battering by the Falcons. Horwedel issued back-to-back walks to fill the base paths for a Kyle Gurney single that scored one run and kept the bases full.
The Bobcats (7-7, 1-3 Mid-American Conference) were already wounded and the no-outs grand slam by Adam Fallon twisted the knife even further. The score was 6-0 as Ohio stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the first, but it went down 1-2-3 to end the inning. However, there was still eight more frames to go and a chance the Bobcats could come back.
It would not be until the bottom of the seventh that Ohio put a run on the board. A trio of singles loaded the bases for an RBI single by Michael Richardson to start the scoring rally. Ohio would score again off of a Spencer Harbert single to score Isaiah Peterson and Harry Witwer-Dukes, bringing the score to 7-3.
Bowling Green had a lot to say about Ohio’s attempted comeback. The Falcons put up four runs in the top of the eighth to expand their lead to 11-3. The Bobcats presented a last-ditch effort to cut down the lead with two more runs in the bottom of the ninth, but the Falcons came out on top.
“I’ve been in this game a long time and I’ve seen a lot of weird things happen when you get down early,” Moore said. “I thought we did a good job with staying with the game. Our dugout had energy still.”
Offensive woes are not new to the Bobcats and is something they have struggled with so far this season. On Monday, Ohio went 4-16 with runners in scoring position and left 13 on base. These runners could have been the difference between a series split compared to a series loss for Ohio’s opening week of MAC play.
“That’s something we’ve been dealing with the whole season up to this point and it continued today” Moore said. “It’s about getting guys to get a little more to our plan, our approach that we want.”
Ohio has just under a week to fix its issues before it faces another conference opponent for a weekend series. The Bobcats will play Central Michigan for a four-game stretch starting March 26 at Bob Wren Stadium.