Updated Sat, Mar 22, 2014 7:30 pm
It was an eighth inning to forget at Bob Wren Stadium on Saturday, as the Ohio Bobcats bullpen was lit up for a combined six runs.
The eighth inning was littered with mistakes, as three Ohio relievers walked three batters and gave up four singles and a double before they could retire the side. The six-run eighth inning gave the Chippewas enough of a lead to lock up a comfortable 10-2 victory.
“Lack of poise, It’s no more complicated than that, lack of poise. Late in games when its 2-2 you have to have poise,” head coach Rob Smith said when asked about the 8th inning collapse. “It means you don’t hit the lead-off batter, it means you don’t balk with the bases loaded. “
The game was tied at two runs heading into the eighth inning before Central Michigan’s offense exploded. Jeremy Cronk takes the loss for Ohio, as he let five of the first six batters reach base to start the eighth inning. The Chippewas had 11 batters step into the batters’ box over the course of the 8th inning.
Chippewa pitcher Pat Kaminska threw a gem of a game for Central Michigan. Kaminska continually attacked the zone and had only thrown 75 pitches through six innings. Kaminska had also only given up two hits before he gave up two earned runs in the seventh. Kaminska picks up his fourth win (4-1) on the year and gave up only six hits and two earned runs in eight full innings on Saturday.
Jeremy Rudnicki was named as Ohio’s starter for Saturday’s game and pitched a strong six innings. Rudnicki gave up six hits and four walks, but only allowed two of those runners to cross the plate successfully. Rudnicki will receive a no decision for his outing since he did not pitch in the eighth. However, Rudnicki can’t take all the credit for his early success, as his defense continually converted difficult plays.
John Adryan was one of those that saved Rudnicki on a few occasions. He made a multitude of plays at third base that allowed the Bobcats to keep it competitive early. Right off the bat in the first inning, Adryan tagged out a runner caught between third and home, saving a run. In the fourth he had a ball lined at him, but maintained his composure and made an impressive catch that prevented at least a double. He once again wowed fans in the seventh, as he made a fantastic diving stop to turn a 5-4-3 double play to save another run.
“John played well. You know, he is getting better at third base and he is continuing to improve,” said Smith. “So, hopefully he is a player that will continue to develop and gives us someone who can help us in the process of building this program.”
His defensive stops weren’t his only contributions, however. When Ohio climbed the initial two-run deficit, Adryan was responsible for the first run with a smoked RBI double. He finished the day 2-for-4 from the plate.
The seventh inning was the only time the ‘Cats were able to advance a runner past second base.