Ohio wins midweek matchup with Eastern Kentucky

The offense came alive for the Ohio Bobcats (7-24) at Bob Wren Stadium on Tuesday night. In the midweek matchup against the Eastern Michigan Colonels (9-20), Ohio recorded a 10-3 win.

So far this season, the Bobcats have struggled in their midweek games. On April 2, they lost to Xavier 15-10. On March 19, they fell to Youngstown 20-15.

“I thought we played a good game tonight. This was certainly the best midweek game I think we’ve played for the most part,” head coach Rob Smith said. “The guys came out and played with good energy, played hard.”

An offensive explosion came for the Bobcats in the third inning, after heading into the frame with a 2-0 lead. They added five runs in the inning before all was said and done.

The inning got started when Colonel relief pitcher, who came on to pitch for starter Cameron Langfels in the first inning, hit J.R. Reynolds with a pitch. Jake Madsen advanced him on a ball drilled into right field. Tyler Wells, who had had a sacrifice fly earlier in the game to score the Bobcats’ first run, again used a fly ball—this time to deep center—to bring home Reynolds.

Cody Gaertner, Dan Schmidt and Ben Otto each added runs for Ohio on the inning. The fifth and final run of the inning came when Nick Bozman came on in relief for Austin Rexroat. His first pitch was wild, sailing over catcher Steve Ferraro’s head, which was enough to bring home John Adryan.

The offense wasn’t the only thing working for Ohio. The pitching staff played a crucial role in keeping the score down, the key challenge in previous midweek matchups. Brett Barber, usually a closer, got his first season start for the Bobcats on Tuesday. He pitched 1.1 innings and was credited with the win. Ryan Ferrell, Nick Plys, Brad Przebieda, Marck Paliotto and Logan Cozart each made appearances on the mound.

“Certainly our hitters have done what they’ve done the last several midweek games and finally we got a good effort on the mound—a clean effort on the mound, which led to us keeping the score down,” Smith said.

Eastern Michigan was unable to post runs until the fourth inning, after leaving the bases loaded in the second.

In the top of the fourth, the Colonels plated three runs on two doubles off the bats of Shaun Ball and Alex Hughes and a pair of singles from Matt Phipps and Austin Grisham.

While Ohio’s hurlers were putting up zeroes, the Bobcat offense was wrecking havoc on Eastern Kentucky’s pitching staff. The Colonels sent eight men to the mound on Tuesday.

Ohio collected 15 hits, with five players having multi-hit games. Gaertner and Schmidt each had three RBI; Wells had two.

The early offensive help was important for the pitching staff.

“It was important to us to get ahead in the game and we knew that in order to do that, we had to put up a couple of zeroes and we knew we’d score some runs tonight,” said Smith. “I felt confident that we could do that but we just had some of our midweek games where we’d give up three, four runs, maybe five in the first two innings and it just sets a bad tone, so we flipped it tonight.”

For the first time this season, the Bobcats came out on top of a lopsided midweek affair.

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