By Christopher Jones – [email protected] – Staff Writer | Feb. 18, 2015 |
The UNC Asheville Bulldogs men’s baseball team hosted the Ohio University Bobcats Friday night. The game was the first game of the season and first of a three game series between the two teams.
Corey Randall, UNCA junior, and Jake Rudnicki, Ohio University sophomore, were opening pitchers. Randall pitched six innings, only allowing five hits and six runs in his start. Rudnicki pitched two innings, allowing four hits, three walks and three runs.
Ohio University defeated UNCA 16 to 9. Ohio University pitcher Tom Colleti picked up the win for the Bobcats.
“We played well in the last part of the game, I’m proud of them for keeping at it, and hope not to wait until the last two innings to come alive and start scoring runs,” said Craig Moore, Ohio University asst. coach.
It was a cold, breezy night for baseball with temperature below freezing, but it didn’t stop the bats from heating up. UNCA and Ohio University combined for 25 runs in the game.
“The weather didn’t affect us at all and that’s not an excuse, we both play in the same weather conditions tonight and in the cold weather, but we have to do a better job,” said UNCA head coach Scott Friedholm.
UNCA got off to a hot start to open the game, with Kyle Carruthers, sophomore centerfielder, collecting an inside park homerun in the first inning.
The Bulldogs had a 5-0 lead after three innings, but the Bobcats cut the lead to 5-3 when they scored two runs in the fourth and one run in the fifth.
The game was scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings, but in the eighth inning the bats came alive for the Bobcats.
Ohio University scored three runs in the eighth inning to take the lead, but UNCA scored one in the eighth to tie it back up 6-6. Ohio University took back the lead for good by scoring 10 runs in the final inning. UNCA tried to make a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, with Ohio sophomore Justin Woods hitting a three run home run to bring it within seven runs.
“Not happy with the way it started, they came at us hard in the beginning; to our guys’ credit they stuck with the game and battled back, so it was good to see. We walked eight guys tonight and we have to lower that,” said Rob Smith, Ohio University men’s baseball head coach. “We have to play a little cleaner baseball, but it was our first time in a live game since October, so I’ll give our guys some slack and we’ll come out tomorrow and play better,” Smith said.