Ohio Baseball Bounces Back, Defeats Kent State

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After letting the game slip away the night before, the Ohio Bobcats (6-23, 3-5) came from behind on Saturday to defeat Kent State by a score of 6-3. 

One of Ohio’s problems all season long has been inconsistency from their starting pitching, but they got a solid start from senior LHP Marck Paliotto, going 7.1 innings and only giving up two runs on six hits and three walks.

Kent State (13-15, 5-3) scored the first runs of the game, picking up two in the fourth inning. Ohio answered in the top of the fifth, tying the game at two on a two-RBI single by sophomore Jake Madsen.

The Bobcats’ big inning came in the top of the seventh. After two quick outs from senior Dan Schmidt and sophomore Tyler Wells, the Bobcats used some two-out magic to jump on the defending MAC champ Golden Flashes.

Junior Kyle Dean and senior Ben Otto came up with back-to-back singles, followed by a walk from sophomore Brice Nikitsher to load the bases. Then freshmen Nate and Nick Squires were hit on consecutive pitches, scoring two runs and putting Ohio on top, 4-2.  Sophomore Cody Gaertner then drew a bases-loaded walk, pushing the Ohio lead to 5-2.

The Bobcats added insurance runs inn the top of the eighth inning, as Wells led off the inning with a shot down the left field line for a double. Dean stepped to the plate with one out, and singled up the middle of the field, scoring Wells from second giving the Bobcats a key run to increase their lead to 6-2.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Kent State threatened the Bobcats lead by getting the bases loaded with one out against Paliotto. Ohio coach Rob Smith went to relief pitcher Logan Cozart in a key situation for the Bobcats.

Cozart gave up a sacrifice fly to designated hitter Tommy Monnot, cutting the Bobcats lead to 6-3, which left runners on second and third with two outs and the tying run at the plate. But Cozart didn’t budge, getting Alex Miklos to fly out to Nikitsher to end the inning.

Madsen led Ohio offensively, collecting two hits and two RBIs, adding to his team-high of 22 RBIs on the season.

One of the few blemishes about Ohio’s play on Saturday was leaving 16 men on base, including leaving the bases loaded four times.

The Bobcats hit the field again on Sunday for the rubber game against Kent State at Schoonover Field. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.