Photo Cred: Karli Bell

Ohio Offense Hot to Start 2017 Season

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Opening Day has finally arrived and Ohio Baseball officially kicked off the season as the Bobcats traveled to Lexington, S.C. to take on La Salle. After falling behind in the second inning, Ohio used two five-run innings to take control of the game and beat the Explorers 10-2.

Ohio senior Gerry Salisbury made his second straight Opening Day start as the starting pitcher for the ‘Cats. Salisbury walked a batter in the first but the Bobcats converted a 1-6-3 double play and prevented the Explorers from scoring that inning.

In the second though, La Salle led off with a single from sophomore third baseman Kevin McGowan. Connor Hinchliffe walked and La Salle put the first run on the board thanks to a Ben Faso hit. Ryan Guckin then added a single of his own that put the Bobcats in a 2-0 hole.

Salisbury remained persistent though and limited the amount of contact the Explorers made with the ball, striking out two batters in the third. It was not until the fourth inning when the Bobcats went on a hitting spree.

In the fourth, Ohio senior center fielder Spencer Ibarra was walked which was followed by back to back singles from first baseman Rudy Rott and designated hitter Michael Klein. The Bobcats managed to put a run on the board to make it 2-1 and Ohio added four more runs in the frame to take a 5-2 lead.

Salisbury struck out a batter in the sixth but gave up a single before he was relieved by sophomore Kenny Oggs. Tom Colletti took over in the seventh. In his 5.1 innings, Salisbury allowed only the two early runs while striking out eight to earn his first win in his first start of the year.

With Ohio at the plate in the bottom of the seventh, Ibarra and Ty Black were able to get on base and Klein nailed a three-run home run to left field. The Bobcats added two more runs after Klein’s homer to take a 10-2 lead. Klein finished the day 3-for-3 at the plate with the homer, four RBI and a walk.

Cory Blessing was brought in to pitch for Ohio in the eighth and freshman Nick Byrnes closed out the game.

Ohio will continue their weekend series with a doubleheader against LaSalle on Saturday at 11 a.m. followed by a game against Butler at 3 p.m.