Updated Sun, Mar 3, 2013 4:37 pm
Ohio entered Sunday night’s matchup with the University of Massachusetts Minutemen looking to rebound from Saturday’s 3-0 shutout loss to Rhode Island. Despite getting 10 hits, Ohio (1-7) was unable to hold of the Minutemen (1-2) in a 7-6 slugfest.
Connor Sitz (0-2, 7.00 E.R.A.) made his second start of the season for the ‘Cats, lasting just four innings. He struggled with control and gave up six runs — five earned — on eight hits. UMass struck early, going up 4-0 through the first two innings.
Ohio’s offense looked better after being held to two-hits in their previous game, but the pitching once again proved an issue. Ohio went through four pitchers in the game, giving up a combined 12 hits.
The ‘Cats battled back from their early deficit to score four runs in the bottom of the fourth and take a 6-4 lead on three doubles from Dan Schmidt, Nick Squires and Tyler Wells. But it wasn’t enough. Sitz was roughed up for two quick runs in the top of the fifth inning before being replaced by Logan Cozart.
The game remained tied at 6 until the top of the ninth inning. Brett Barber gave up a double to UMass right fielder Jeff Cavanaro to start the inning off. Cavanaro scored following an error by Schmidt at shortstop, his third error on the game.
Jordan Pace closed out the ninth for the Minutemen, retiring the ‘Cats 1-2-3.
With the loss Ohio drops its third straight game as it struggles to establish consistency on offense and defense. The young Ohio team returns to action Tuesday and Wednesday against the High Point Panthers in High Point, N.C.