Baseball: Painter Blasts Ohio Past Otterbein

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The Ohio men’s baseball team earned its 11th win of the season as it took down Otterbein 11-5.

“I thought we beat a good team,” Ohio head coach Joe Carbone said. “That’s a quality team. [It] doesn’t matter what division they are in.”

Otterbein struck early, with two runs in the second off a double by Sean Kettering and an RBI single by Thomas Linder. But after a scoreless second inning for both teams, Ohio came back in the third, taking a 3-2 lead. A double by Ethan Newton and a hit out to left center field by freshmen Tyler Wells tied it all up at two. Jake Madsen followed up with a RBI single to bring Wells in and put the ‘Cats on top. All three players went 2-5 for the night, and Wells had his first triple of the season in the bottom of the fifth. Madsen extended his hitting streak to 17 games.

Offense continued for Ohio with a sacrifice fly by Ian Mezlak that brought in Kyle Dean in the bottom of the fourth, pushing Ohio further in front. Yet, the Cardinals rallied in the top of the fifth to tie things back up at four after a double by Greg Moomaw to bring in Billy Harkenrider and Kevin Castle. The ‘Cats answered with an offensive fury in the bottom of the fifth, fueled by a Jensen Painter home run. Painter finished the game with two homers, totaling 10 for the season, and was 2-5 on the night with four RBI.  The senior has reached base in every game this season.

“It’s pretty much just having a good approach and a good mental game," Painter said about his performance so far this season. “I take a game one pitch at a time.”

Also recording runs in the inning were Mezlak, Wells, Madsen and junior Tyler Backstrom.

“We had a bunch of guys that came up and swung the bat well,” Carbone said. “I see us improving. “

Ohio scored two more runs to finish it out in the bottom of the eighth off the second home run by Painter. With the help of Brett Barber on the mound, Ohio held off Otterbein advances, despite a home run in the seventh by Harkenrider. After Nick Plys came out after only pitching 0.1 of an inning, Barber pitched 8.2 innings, while giving up five hits, three runs, and collecting five strike outs.  Dominic Poretta got the loss for the Penguins after 4.2 innings, while giving up eight hits and eight runs.

“Brett Barber gave us a real shot in the arm throwing strikes in relief,” Carbone said.

The Bobcats will be back on the field in Bob Wren Stadium on Friday Mar. 30 to kick off a three-game series against conference opponent Eastern Michigan.  First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and the two teams will meet again Mar. 31 at 3:00 p.m. and Apr. 1 at 1 p.m.