Ohio scores four in 13th to
eliminate Bowling Green
By Phil Stanton
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – The pressure kept building as
each inning passed.
It took 13 innings before No. 6 Ohio prevailed
over No. 3 Bowling Green 7-3 Friday morning in an elimination
game in the 2008 Mid-American Conference Tournament at VA
The Bobcats (29-29) had a 3-2 lead heading to the
bottom of the ninth. After OU starter Matt Smith got a groundout
to start the inning, pinch-hitter Brandon McFarland belted a
homer to right, his third, to force extra innings.
Both teams threatened in the extra frames. OU had
the bases loaded and none out in the 10th before Nick
Cantrell came in and got a fielder’s choice, a strikeout and a
groundout to keep the Bobcats off the board. BGSU had a runner
picked off first after a leadoff single in the bottom of the
frame. OU had a leadoff single off the pitcher’s foot in the 11th.
The runner moved to third but was stranded.
OU finally broke through in the 13th.
Brandon Besl ripped a leadoff double high off the wall in left.
He moved to third on a groundout to second and broke the tie on
a single by Chris Klimko. Gauntlett Eldemire and Zach Hartle had
singles that enabled Klimko to score an insurance run. Zach Keen
hit a come-backer to Cantrell, who caught Eldemire between third
and home. He threw to catcher Travis Owens, who ran Eldemire
back to third. Owens tagged Hartle, who was standing on third,
and tagged Eldemire. The third base umpire called it a double
play to end the inning. OU head coach Joe Carbone immediately
questioned the call. After the umpires conferred, Eldemire was
called out and Hartle stayed at third, bringing protests from
BGSU skipper Danny Schmitz. Matt Stiffler then hit a line drive
off the second baseman’s glove that allowed Hartle and Keen to
score to make it 7-3.
Adam Goodpasture retired the side in the bottom
of the 13th to secure the win. Goodpasture (6-2)
worked the final four innings with two hits, no walks and one
After six scoreless innings, Ohio erupted for
three in the top of the seventh. Matt Stiffler had a leadoff
double and moved to third on a base hit by Jeremie Rehak. Marc
Krauss walked to load the bases. Besl and Robert Maddox III had
consecutive sacrifice flies and Klimko added an RBI double as
the Bobcats took a 3-0 lead.
BGSU answered with a pair in the bottom of the
frame on a two-out, two-run single by Andrew Foster.
Both starters were outstanding. Matt Smith went
8.1 innings for OU with nine hits, three runs, two walks and
five strikeouts. Kevin Leady worked 6.2 innings for the Falcons
with four hits, three runs, two walks and four strikeouts.
Ohio beat Bowling Green for the first time in
five tries this season. The Bobcats will face No. 2 Eastern
Michigan in Friday's third game. OU must beat the Eagles twice
to advance to the MAC Championship Game.