Updated Sat, Feb 22, 2014 8:57 pm
In 2013, coach Rob Smith’s Ohio squad struggled defensively, predominantly the left side of the infield, which produced 43 of the teams’ 79 total errors. So when the Bobcats began training for this season, defense was one of the focal points of improvement for Smith and his staff.
Four games into the 2014 season, and the Bobcats defense still appears to be an Achilles heel, as the Bobcats have committed five errors through the first four games, including one again the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks that cost them the game.
With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Seahawks had their first scoring threat since the fourth inning, with a runner on second base with two outs. However, it appeared as if the Bobcats would escape unscathed yet again, as third baseman Tirey Burch had a ball hit to him that was going to be the third out.
Instead, Burch couldn’t come up with the ball cleanly, and the runner scored from second base, giving the Seahawks their first lead of the game at 4-3. It was also a lead they would never relinquish as the Bobcats fell to the Seahawks by a score of 6-3.
The Bobcats (1-3), took the early advantage when Anthony Winters and Tyler Finkler scored off of a bunt by Chandler Geller, putting Ohio up 2-0 in the third inning.
After the Seahawks got a run back in the bottom of the inning, Ohio struck again in the fourth inning, as freshman standout Mitch Longo singled through the left side of the infield, scoring Taylor Emody and putting Ohio up 3-1 over the Seahawks. Longo now has a team-high six RBI’s in his first four career games at Ohio.
The Seahawks answered right back again in the bottom of the inning, after a two-RBI triple by Casey Golden tied the game at 3-3. After taking a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning, the Seahawks added to their lead in the eighth, on RBI-singles by Golden and Gavin Stupienski increased UNC-Wilmington’s lead to the final of 6-3.
Jake Miller got the start on the mound for Ohio, giving up three runs on two hits, with three strikeouts over 4.0 innings pitched, a much better start for Miller after giving up six runs in his season debut. One area of concern, though was the six walks that Miller allowed against the Seahawks on Saturday.
Ohio returns on Sunday with one more game against Liberty and UNC-Wilmington, with first pitch with the Liberty at approximately 10 a.m. and then against UNC-Wilmington at approximately 2 p.m.