Ohio’s Historic Season Comes to a Close

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24 hours after the first pitch was tossed, the Ohio baseball team couldn’t find a way to bounce back against Wright State. The 8-3 loss ends the Bobcats first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1997.

The game resumed Sunday morning, following two innings played on Saturday. Both Connor Sitz and Jesse Scholtens returned to hill, but Scholtens got the better of the Bobcat batters. He finished with eight complete innings of work, allowing just two runs on eight hits. The ‘Cats were able to battle against Scholtens; however, the Raiders defense kept the junior starting pitcher in the game.

The first major defensive save for the Raiders came in the fourth inning when Kyle Dean stepped to the plate with two outs and a runner on first. Dean smashed the first pitch down the third base line only to watch it get speared by an outstanding leaping effort by Raiders third baseman, John Brodner. Wright State center fielder Mark Fowler also caught spectator’s eyes, by diving to rob the Bobcats of another hit in the seventh. The ‘Cats stranded nine runners on base, stranding at least one runner on base in every inning except for the ninth.

Not only was Fowler impactful on the defensive side, he also tallied three hits off of three different Bobcat pitchers. His first at-bat came on Saturday when he belted a two-run home run off of Jake Rudnicki in the second inning. Sunday was no different, as Fowler crushed an RBI double in the fifth off of Connor Sitz before eventually singling off of Logan Cozart in the sixth.

Defensively, miscues hurt Ohio. They were charged with two errors allowing three unearned runs to score. However, clutch saves by both Garrett and Ty Black kept the ‘Cats dreams alive through seven innings. Ohio allowed the leadoff batter to get on base six times forcing every pitcher to throw out of the stretch. Out of the six leadoff runners, two of them eventually came around to score. The ‘Cats also walked six Raiders, allowing Wright State even more room to work with offensively.

Logan Cozart saw his impressive streak end as well as he allowed his first earned run in his last 29.2 innings of work. He finished the game pitching 4.2 innings, allowing five hits, and giving up two earned runs. He finished the season with an astounding 1.67 ERA. Head coach Rob Smith even got emotional in the press conference after the game calling Cozart, “a warrior and a massive reason this thing has flipped.”

“I’ve been a part of some good teams,” said Coach Smith after the game, “but, I’m not sure I’ve been a part of a team that’s as special as this.”

Jake Madsen, Logan Cozart, Garrett Black, Tyler Wells, Kyle Dean, Spencer Sapp, and Tirey Burch all played in their final game dawning the green and white uniform. Ohio will also lose four more seniors opening up a total of 11 roster spots to be filled next season.  Following the game, Jake Madsen had few words to describe Ohio’s historic run but, “for my senior year, it’s been pretty special.”

Ohio ends the year with a record of 36-21 ending the season with 25 more wins than they had just a year ago. It is also the second highest win total in program history. The ‘Cats went from being predicted to finish in last in the Mid-American Conference to a regional appearance all over the span of a single season. For the Bobcats they will have to wait until next year to see if they can once again make something good happen.