Ohio baseball fist bump
Photo: Logan Riely

Ohio Overcomes Deficit to Defeat W. Michigan

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Ohio sophomore pitcher Jake Rudnicki hasn’t had the kind of season he had in mind to begin 2015. Going into Saturday’s game, Rudnicki had appeared in nine games so far–starting eight of them–with an ERA of 10.58.

On Saturday, however, Rudnicki pitched his best game of the season–in relief. Following starter Tom Colletti, who allowed five runs in three innings, Rudnicki gave Ohio four scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and struck out five batters.

That was just what Ohio’s bats needed, as the ‘Cats erased the early 5-0 deficit to defeat Western Michigan 7-5 in game two of the weekend series.

Ohio (14-10, 2-3 Mid-American Conference) finally reached the score column in the fourth inning, when Mitch Longo scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Tyler Wells for his team-leading 25th RBI of the season.

After picking up another run in the fifth, Ohio came out swinging in the seventh inning. With runners on first and second, Longo smacked a single up the middle scoring Tyler Finkler from second to cut the deficit to 5-3.

Jake Madsen then followed Longo with a double to right field, scoring Garrett Black to make it a 5-4 game. Later in the inning, Longo would come across to score on a wild pitch to tie the game at 5-5.

Then in the eighth inning, Ty Black and David Hamlett both scored on an error to give Ohio the 7-5 lead, one they would not relinquish as Logan Cozart closed the door for the win.

Longo led Ohio offensively, recording four hits and scoring twice. Cozart picked up his second win of the season, throwing two scoreless innings and struck out three batters.

Ohio and Western Michigan (9-13, 2-3 MAC) will meet up for the final game of the weekend series on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.