A familiar problem reared its head as the Ohio Bobcats swept their series with the Akron Zips, winning the final game 3-2.
Alex Loftin (3-3) pitched eight solid innings for the Zips, giving up just two earned runs, only to see the effort go for naught because of the team’s anemic offense.
Much of the credit for that goes to Bobcats pitcher Seth Streich, who scattered eight hits over nine innings to earn the win Sunday afternoon. Streich might have had a shutout if not for his three throwing errors that led to Zips runs.
“It’s wasted if we’re not going out and trying,” said assistant coach Fred Worth, who filled in for coach Rick Rembielak, who was away on family business. “I thought our guys battled and put in some good swings. [Streich] threw really well. He threw 94 or 95 [miles per hour]. I wouldn’t say wasted. Their guy just pitched a little bit better.”
For the first time in the series, it looked as if things might play out differently for the Zips as they got out of the first inning without giving up a run for the first time all weekend. That quickly changed in the second inning, as the Bobcats scored two runs.
A Dan Schmidt single gave his team two men on. Then Doug Holmes stepped up to the plate and hit a shot to right field, scoring teammate Cody Gaertner and giving Ohio a 1-0 lead. Right fielder Darius Washington tried to nail him at the plate, but the throw sailed to the backstop.
Loftin saw Schmidt trying to take third and attempted to throw him out, only to have his toss get past the third baseman into left field, allowing Schmidt to score and giving the Bobcats a 2-0 lead.
Two innings later, the Zips finally were able to get on the scoreboard when a Jared Turocy sacrifice fly brought Brady Stewart home.
They tied the score in the bottom of the sixth inning after Matt Rembielak, who had singled, scored on what was to be a sacrifice bunt. However, Ohio’s Streich committed a throwing error.
Behind Loftin, the Zips held the game tied until the eighth inning, when a walk, sacrifice bunt and base hit by the Bobcats’ Ethan Newton brought Ian Mezlak home for the winning run.
Drama had been the highlight of the previous two games and Sunday’s was no exception, but it didn’t come from the players.
Before the ninth inning, Worth paid a visit to the mound, and soon the home plate and first base umpires joined him. Some jawing took place and Worth was asked to leave the game. He wouldn’t say whether it was a tactic to allow reliever Danny Fawcett to warm up or to fire up the team.
“I guess the first base umpire took exception to me being on the mound. I’m not real sure. You’ll have to ask him,” he said.
Whatever the motivation, it didn’t work, as the Zips couldn’t muster the offense for a comeback.
“I know when you only score two runs, it seems like the offense is struggling, but I was not unhappy with their performance today,” he said.