Updated Sun, Mar 30, 2014 9:21 pm
Ohio had a chance to tie the game in the top of the ninth with Mitch Longo on second base and John Adryan at the plate with two outs. Adryan fought off a couple pitches to get to a full count before striking out for the third time, giving game one of Sunday’s doubleheader to Western Michigan, 4-2.
The eighth inning gave the ‘Cats a lot of momentum that they seemed to have been missing in the first seven innings. The inning was led off by whom other than Jake Madsen, who singled to left field. Then John Adryan cracked a double off of the center field wall to put runners on second and third with no outs. Tyler Wells proceeded to dribble an RBI groundout to second, scoring Madsen. Taylor Emody then stepped to the plate and doubled off of Bronco pitcher Gabe Berman, who had just come on in relief. This brought the ‘Cats within two runs, but that is as close as they would get.
Madsen looks to have found his rhythm in the series with the Broncos, as he hit three consecutive singles to finish 3-for-5. That puts him at 5-for-10 in two games against Western Michigan with two runs and an RBI.
Ohio stranded 10 runners on base but left all of those runners on base in just four combined innings. The fifth and sixth innings were really tough for the ‘Cats, as they left the bases loaded in each frame.
Kurt Hoekstra came up to the plate to lead off the fifth inning with a 2-0 lead in the Broncos’ favor. Hoekstra was hit by the first pitch thrown by Jake Rudnicki, but it was a call that drew a lot of criticism from Ohio coach Rob Smith. Despite the protest, Hoekstra took first and came around two batters later on an RBI single from Brett Sunde. That run gave the Broncos a 3-0 lead, which would eventually be enough for the victory.
Rudnicki threw eight full innings for Ohio and gave up four runs – enough to be charged with the loss. He allowed seven hits, four walks, and struck out four on his way to his first complete game of the season.
Chad Mayle picked up his third win of the season after throwing 7 2/3 innings, while only allowing two runs. He fanned five Ohio batters before Berman came in to pick up a four-out save, his fourth save of the season.
The Broncos’ starting pitcher in game two is Keegan Akin, who is 2-0 with a 2.93 ERA on the season.
Connor Sitz takes the mound in game two for the ‘Cats. He will be looking for his first win, as he currently sits on an 0-5 record with a 4.32 ERA. The loss drops Ohio to 5-18 on the year.