May 24, 2008


Ohio scores four in 13th to eliminate Bowling Green


By Phil Stanton Co-Founder


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 Memorial Stadium.


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 strikeout.


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.