Baseball: Ohio Sneaks Out a Win Against Akron

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The Ohio Bobcats escaped another close game with Akron on Saturday, pulling out a 9-8 victory over the Zips. 

With the win, Ohio locked up the series against the Zips with one game left to play Sunday in which the Bobcats will go for the sweep.
Jason Moulton wrapped up his fifth win of the season while Brett Barber snagged his team-leading sixth save. Moulton (5-3) allowed only two runs in five and a third innings of work.
Moulton needed much help from the bullpen to finish off the game when he left in the sixth. 
It appeared as if it would be smooth sailing for the Bobcats to end the contest in style, but Akron never let up. The Zips scored six of their eight runs in the final two innings of play.
Sophomore right-hander Tyler Stage entered the game in the seventh. 
The young pitcher received an unexpected burst of energy from the seemingly stagnant Akron squad in the form of four eighth-inning runs. Marck Paliotto and Brett Barber got the ‘Cats out of the inning with a three-run cushion.
All that stood between Ohio and a series victory were three outs, which did not come easy for Barber. 
Akron was within one before Ohio recorded a single out in the inning. A passed ball followed by a single and a hit batter loaded the bases for the Zips with none out. 
Barber then balked in a run as the situation turned dim for the Bobcats. After scoring one more on a fielder’s choice groundout to Ian Mezlak, Akron failed to plate another run in the inning.
Ohio’s offense sputtered toward the end of the game, but one rather unconventional run in the eighth inning aided Barber’s save effort. 
The ‘Cats had two runners on base with two outs. Jake Madsen singled with two outs. Jensen Painter then reached first on an error, advancing Madsen to third. 
Then, on an attempt at a stolen base, Akron caught Painter in the rundown. However, Painter allowed enough time for Madsen to sneak home to score what turned out to be the winning run.
That was Ohio’s only run in the final five innings of the contest. But after going up 8-2 in the fourth inning, it did not seem as if the ‘Cats would be in need of much offense down the stretch. 
Cody Gaertner brought in two runs on a two-out double in the fourth to give Ohio the six-run lead. Gaertner finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Ian Mezlak put what seemed at the time to be the exclamation point on the Ohio victory in the third inning with a two-run homerun over the center field wall. 
Mezlak drove in designated hitter Scott White after White singled on the previous at-bat. Mezlak’s homer was just one hit in a big day for the freshman in which he went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs.
Ethan Newton scalded a double up the middle to lead off the contest, one of two for the senior. That hit got Ohio off on the right foot. 
Painter, Gaertner and Dan Schmidt each had an RBI in the opening inning. Madsen also added an RBI of his own in the second.
Ohio (25-25) returns to the .500 mark and improves its conference record to 14-9. The Bobcats continue to fight for a higher seed in the conference tournament as they go for the series sweep tomorrow at 1:00 P.M.