Updated Sat, Apr 13, 2013 2:35 am
It took an extra inning of play, but Akron made plays when it needed them, beating Ohio Baseball, 4-2.
The Zips jumped out to a quick lead in the top of the first when centerfielder Devan Ahart reached on a fielder’s choice with a man on first and third, scoring shortstop Matt Rembielak.
Akron pitcher JT Brubaker subdued the Bobcat offense until the bottom of the third where he gave up two hits and a walk to start off the frame. Catcher Cody Gaertner hit an RBI single with the bases loaded, scoring Nate Squires from third.
After a brief conference with manager Rick Rembielak and catcher Brady Stewart, Brubaker settled down and forced three straight outs to get out of the jam.
The Zips came right back when right fielder Joey Havrilak ripped a standup triple to the warning track during the top of the fourth. Left fielder Jared Turocy finished the job with an RBI during the next at-bat, putting Akron back into the lead 2-1.
The Bobcats waited until the bottom of the sixth to tie the game back up. With Scott White on second, Ben Otto ripped a screaming line drive down the left field line, scoring White and tying the game at 2-2.
With both teams changing pitchers in the seventh and ninth innings, pitchers took control of the game. Both Akron and Ohio only managed to muster up one hit in the final three frames of regulation.
Akron opened the flood gates during the top of the tenth, scoring two runs off RBI singles by Rembielak and Daulton Mosbarger.
Akron pitcher Samuel Trecaso closed the bottom of the tenth without allowing a hit, but he needed the heroic effort of a diving catch by Devan Ahart to close out the game.
Akron’s 10th inning rally was spurred by a Dan Schmidt fielding error.
Ohio coach Rob Smith was disappointed in his team’s extra inning performance.
“I’ve told these guys from the beginning that if you want to be a championship team, it starts with defense,” Smith said. “Tonight was another example of that where the game was decided by routine plays.”
Ohio’s bright spot on the evening was the performance of starting pitcher Jake Miller. The freshman chalked up nine strikeouts and only gave up two walks.
“That’s Jake, he’s a competitor. I appreciate how he competes,” Smith said. “He’s going to be a good pitcher in this league, I’m convinced.”
The win improves Akron’s record to 7-23 (4-6) while the Bobcats drop to 7-25 (3-7.) The two teams will meet again on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Bob Wren Stadium.