Ohio baseball high fiving
Photo: Logan Riely

Back-to-Back Home Runs Seals Ohio Win in Extras

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Ohio needed reliable pitching, and they have gotten it thus far in the Mid-American Conference tournament. But, with the bats a little bit quieter than usual, Jake Madsen crushed a home run giving the Bobcats a 2-1 lead in the top of the 11th inning. The ‘Cats weren’t done there, as Cody Gaertner and Ty Black crushed two more solo home runs,sealing Ohio’s 4-1 victory over Western Michigan in the Mid-American Conference tournament.

However, none of the ‘Cats batters would have had a chance if it wasn’t for Mitch Longo’s falling down catch in center field in the bottom of the 10th inning. Western Michigan had two runners on base when, what-could-have-been, Mitchell Ho’s game-winning hit was taken away by Longo as he fell to the ground on the warning track.

But, not to be forgotten was Ohio’s pitching. Following a complete game yesterday, Jake Rudnicki and Logan Cozart combined to give up just one run, which came in the first inning.

Jake Rudnicki pitched an outstanding five innings giving up only three hits on 92 pitches. Rudnicki, whose season ERA was over 6.00, only allowed one run through his five innings of work. That one run came in the first inning after Grant Miller scored on a Rudnicki wild pitch. Miller only got on base after getting hit by Rudnicki earlier in the inning.

Logan Cozart got the nod in the sixth inning and picked up right where Rudnicki left off, getting out of a jam. Drew Farmer, the Broncos pinch-hitter, was thrown out from right field by Tyler Wells as Farmer tried to extend his right field single into a double. Cozart proceeded to get the next batter to groundout stranding the Broncos runner at third base. The eighth was even smoother as Cozart struck out two of the three batters he faced. Cozart continued to roll all the way through the 11th inning, eventually picking up the win. He finished the game giving up only two hits and three walks, while tallying two strikeouts in six innings of work. Following the six innings of scoreless baseball, Cozart’s ERA is now down to 1.44 which is the eighth best mark in the nation as of May 21st.

The ‘Cats knocked in their first run of the day when Ty Black singled to left field on a 2-1 count. Black also drew a walk in the 7th inning but was stranded at second base before eventually homering in the 11th.

Ohio is now 34-19 overall and continues, to look like one of the hottest teams to recently emerge on the collegiate baseball scene. As of now, Ohio has the best win turnaround in the country at plus-23. The ‘Cats will get a day off before taking on the winner of Bowling Green and Western Michigan at 9:30am on Saturday.