Updated Thu, May 24, 2012 8:35 pm
Both the Ohio and Buffalo baseball teams faced elimination from the Mid-American Conference tournament when they faced off Thursday afternoon. Yet, it was Buffalo who survived and advanced, and the Bulls did so in a 6-5 walk-off win.
“I don’t know what else we could have done,” Ohio head coach Joe Carbone said. “We played hard and we battled.”
The Bobcats got on the board first in the top of the second with an RBI single from freshman Logan Cozart. Cozart also had a two run homer in the top of the sixth. He finished 2-for-4 for the day with three RBI. Cozart is part of the strong freshmen class that have made up a large part of the starting line-up this season and will continue to do so in the future. Two other contributors from the freshmen class were Tyler Wells and Jake Madsen. Wells went 2-for-4 with a RBI and a solo home run that helped force the game into extra innings. Madsen was 1-for-4 with an RBI in the top of the fifth to help Ohio come back from behind.This season the team started five freshmen out of eight position players and was the youngest team in the tournament.
“These guys in a year or two will be an outstanding bunch of players." Carbone said. “These freshmen are championship caliber ball players. I feel like in a year or two they will be knocking on the door. “
The game came down to a close finish after Wells’ homerun sent the game into a tenth inning. Ohio could not find the offense at the right moment though and Buffalo took advantage in the bottom of the tenth. The Bulls put runners on first and second after Matt Pollock was hit by a pitch from Seth Streich and Jason Knazler hit a single. Alex Baldock wrapped it up for Buffalo with a pop fly to center field that Ohio couldn’t get the glove on.
Yet, in his final season as Ohio head coach, Joe Carbone is proud of his team’s efforts.
“I think our guys went out there and played really well,” Carbone said. “We feel badly about the two losses, but we were right there in the ball game the whole way.”
The Bobcats finish this season 16-12 in conference play and 28-29 overall. Carbone is retiring after 24 years, and is proud of the program he is leaving behind.
“I know this, my assistants and myself, Bill Toadvine and Andrew See, we gave it 100 percent everyday, 365 days out of the year,” Carbone said. “We are very proud of the young men that have played for us and proud of what they have accomplished. We are proud of the program and proud of what we represent at Ohio University.”