Updated Fri, Feb 28, 2014 11:31 pm
Freshman Jake Roehn has not had an ideal beginning to his career for the Ohio Bobcats, carrying a 7.36 ERA through his first two starts.
The odds didn’t appear to be any better for his third start, either. On Friday he had the task of going up against the Georgia Southern Eagles, a 7-1 team that has scored 84 runs in its first eight games with a .359 collective batting average.
But this time, Roehn finally showed the potential the Bobcats’ coaching staff recruited him for, shutting down that potent Eagles offense and leading Ohio to a 3-2 victory.
Roehn pitched six innings of four-hit, one-run baseball, while striking out a career-high nine Eagles batters while walking just two batters along the way. The bullpen allowed just one run and one hit in the three innings of relief.
Big win for the program tonight. Really proud of their poise and effort!
— Rob Smith (@CoachSmith29) March 1, 2014
Ohio’s offense was also facing a tall task in the game; Georgia Southern pitcher Sam Howard had not given up a run over 12 innings pitched in his first two starts.
But the Bobcats (3-4) were up to the task Friday, jumping on Howard early. Ohio scored all three of its runs while he was on the mound, doubling his season hits-against total with eight base hits in the game.
It started in the second inning, when whom else but Mitch Longo led off with a double down the left-field line. Longo scored during the next Ohio at-bat on a fielding error by the Eagles’ shortstop, taking a 1-0 lead. Longo finished the game a perfect 4 for 4 at the plate, raising his season batting average to .535.
The third inning began just like the second for Ohio, though this time it was Scott White leading off with a double to left field. He scored from third base when Jake Madsen grounded into a double play two batters later, giving Ohio a 2-0 advantage.
Two innings later, Ohio tacked on its third and final run, when Tyler Wells lined a single up the middle of the field to score White from second base and give Ohio a 3-0 lead.
After the Eagles (7-2) picked up two runs in the middle innings, they made the game very interesting in their final at-bat in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Freshman closer Corey Wells walked the first two Eagles to come to the plate, forcing Smith to relieve him with Jeremy Cronk with two men on and no outs. Cronk got the first batter he faced to ground into a double play, advancing the tying run to third base with two outs. Then, after intentionally walking the next hitter, Cronk forced Eagle Chase Griffin to fly out to right field, closing the game for his first save as a Bobcat.
Ohio returns on Saturday for a matchup with the Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Cougars (1-6), with first pitch set for 12:30 p.m.