Baseball: Bats Come Alive As ‘Cats Dismantle Dayton

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Right fielder Jensen Painter went 2-3 with two home runs, and catcher Kyle Dean added a grand slam as Ohio beat Dayton 7-2. It was the fourth win as many tries for the Bobcats, coming on the heels of a six game losing streak.

“The guys were getting fatigued a bit,” said manager Joe Carbone of the streak. “We needed a little bit of a break, and we got that.”

Leading off the second inning, Jensen Painter took a Tommy Konrad hanging curve to deep left field for his 13th home run of the year.  Painter wasn’t done. In the bottom of the fourth, he launched his second homer of the game to almost the exact same spot as the first.

“He hadn’t swung the bat well for a while,” said Carbone. “He’s worked really hard to do some mechanical things to get better. Hopefully it carries into this weekend.”

Carbone went to his bullpen after the fourth inning, despite a shut out performance from Tyler Backstrom. In the sixth, reliever Sean Kennedy allowed a pair of singles with one out, and both runners took an extra a base on a play at third. With runners on second and third, CJ Gillman’s RBI single brought home the first Dayton runner of the night. Zach Stewart reached on a fielder’s choice and pushed across another run to tie the game at two.

Ohio answered right back in the bottom of the frame. A Ryan Madsen double and walks by Dan Schmidt and Ian Mezlak loaded the bases for catcher Kyle Dean. With one swing of the bat, Dean turned a back and forth game into a rout, as his grand slam brought in four runs to give the Bobcats a 6-2 lead.

“Mainly I just tried to put it in play,” said Dean of his first grand slam. “I just wanted to keep it out of the double play.”

The Bobcats added one more in the bottom of the seventh when Tyler Wells scored on a double steal. With Wells on third and Painter on first, Painter attempted to steal second. As the Bobcat right fielder was caught in the rundown, Wells snuck down the third base line and beat a throw home to put Ohio up 7-2.

“I didn’t write it in the sand, but yes,” said Carbone when asked if he had called the double steal.

Ohio (27-25) will begin its final series of the regular season on Friday at 6 at Bob Wren Stadium, Carbone’s final three home games as Ohio’s manager.