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Photo: Kaleb Carter

No-Hitter Advances Ohio to MAC Championship

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Defense wins championships, and Junior Connor Sitz pushed Ohio to the MAC Championship, throwing the first no-hitter in MAC Championship history and first in Ohio history since 1996. Ohio took the game over Bowling Green 6-0 and now advances to the MAC Championship for the first time since 1997.

Pitching for Ohio has been on a roller coaster ride throughout the regular season. The tournament proved to be a different story. The ‘Cats have two errors, nine hits, 16 strikeouts, and a combined ERA of 0.67. Compare that to the regular season combined ERA of 4.14; it seems that Ohio found their groove at the perfect time.

Going into ninth, Sitz had four strikeouts and five walks. Three outs separated Ohio from the championship. Two groundouts later, Sitz was one out away from clinching a no-hitter. Sophomore Greg Basalyga for the Falcons was up at the plate, and Sitz increased his stat line to five strikeouts to clinch the no-hitter and the game for Ohio.

The ‘Cats got on the board early in the second inning with a single to right field from Manny DeJesus with Ty Black and Nate Squires in scoring position. Black and Squires crossed home to put Ohio up 2-0. Ohio’s bats stayed hot throughout the third and fourth innings, racking up 3 more runs to give the ‘Cats a 5-0 advantage.

MAC Player of the Year Mitch Longo lived up to that honor with a leadoff solo home run the sixth inning to put the final run on the board for the ‘ Cats.

Ohio is now 35-19 overall and continues on to the MAC Championship after being picked to finish last in the MAC at the start of the season. The ‘Cats currently have the best win turnaround in the NCAA at plus-24. They will take on the winner of the Ball State and Akron game on Sunday, May 24 at noon.