AKRON — For the first time in nearly two months, Ohio dropped a Mid-American Conference baseball series.
The Bobcats lost three out of four games at Akron over the weekend.
The Zips are in last place in the conference standings, but won the first two games of the series before taking the finale on Sunday.
Akron won the first game, 4-2, then won the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, 3-1.
Ohio won the night cap of the twin bill 4-0, but lost to Akron 9-8 on Sunday.
The Bobcats fell to 25-20 overall and 16-16 in the MAC. The Zips improved to 14-32 overall and 8-28 in the MAC.
Akron opened the series by becoming the first conference team to hang a loss on Ohio ace Joe Rock.
Rock had a 1-0 lead before giving up four runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Akron tied the game at 1-1 on Brad Goulet’s RBI single, then went ahead 3-1 on Connor Regan’s double to right field. A final run came across on Justin Barr’s RBI ground out.
Rock went the full eight innings despite the loss, striking out six without walking a batter. The four runs were all earned, as Akron collected seven hits against him.
Akron’s Anthony Fett was able to win the duel with Rock. His complete game led the Zips as he struck out two and walked one. He held Ohio to six hits, and Akron was clean in the field behind him.
Ohio scored on solo home runs by Joe Weisenseel in the third inning, and Sebastian Fabik in the ninth inning.
Akron’s pitching led the way again in the 3-1 win in the second game of the series. Taed Heydinger pitched a complete game in the seven-inning contest.
Heydinger allowed one run on four hits, one walk and four strikeouts.
Edward Kutt IV would have matched Heydinger if not for the fourth inning, when the Zips scored all three of their runs.
The game was scoreless before Akron scored on a wild pitch in the third, followed by Cam Tily’s RBI single to center.
The Zips went ahead 3-0 on Austin Domer’s sacrifice fly to center.
Ohio’s lone run came on Harry Witwer-Dukes’ RBI single in the sixth inning.
The Bobcats’ win in the series was courtesy of Chace Harris and Brett Manis combining for a two-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory.
Harris was the winning pitcher, as he went 5 2-3 scoreless, allowing two singles, two walks and a hit batter. He stuck out six batters.
Manis worked the final 1 1-3 of relief without allowing a hit or walk. He struck out two.
The Bobcats scored in the top of the first inning when Trevor Hafner’s single plated Witwer-Dukes.
The score remained 1-0 until Treyben Funderburg sent a three-run home run to left field in the seventh, giving Ohio a 4-0 cushion.
Ohio enjoyed its best offensive day of the series in Sunday’s finale, but it wasn’t enough to salvage a split.
Akron scored in the bottom of the eighth inning on Jerry Reinhart’s RBI double for a 9-8 lead.
Akron’s Mark Meyer pitched the final two innings to get the win. He allowed an unearned run on three hits.
Ohio led 4-3 after the top of the fourth after Isaiah Peterson’s RBI single.
The Zips tied the game in the bottom of the fourth, then scored four more runs in the fifth to take an 8-4 lead. The final two runs came across on Domer’s two-run single to center.
The Bobcats rallied, as Peterson hit another RBI single in the sixth, then Aaron Levy hitting a two-run home run in the seventh.
Ohio tied the game at 8-8 after Witwer-Dukes scored Michael Richardson with a single.
Colin Sells took the loss for the Bobcats despite working the final three innings. He only gave up one run on two hits without walking a batter. He struck out two.
The Bobcats play at home for the final time this season when they welcome Ball State to Bob Wren Stadium this weekend. Friday’s opener is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., with a Saturday doubleheader getting underway at 1 p.m.
Sunday’s finale is scheduled for 1 p.m.