Photo Cred: Karli Bell

Ohio Opens Home Schedule with Win

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A solid game on both sides of the field was enough for the Ohio Bobcats to beat the Shawnee State Bears 9-1 in Ohio’s home opener on Thursday. Shawnee State had multiple opportunities to capitalize but they kept leaving runners on base.

The defense was strong for the Green and White after making six substitutions in the field and using six pitchers. Redshirt junior pitcher Cory Blessing (1-1) started the game for Ohio and allowed zero hits or runs. He also had three strikeouts and was awarded the win.

The Bobcats hosted their first home of the year after a 14-game road trip. In the bottom of the first, Ohio took full advantage of the pitches coming their way. Redshirt junior catcher Nick Bredeson got on base and senior center fielder Spencer Ibarra got in the box and hit a home run over the right-center field wall and gave the Bobcats an early 2-0 lead.

The bats stayed hot for Ohio as junior outfielder Tony Giannini singled into left field. Connor Callery, Ohio’s senior third baseman, plopped one into right field for a single and then senior second baseman, Mateus Vakuda hit a rocket down the left field line. His hit brought in both Giannini and Callery and it was back to the top of the order for the Bobcats. A single up the middle by Bredeson brought in Vakuda. Ohio was up on the scoreboard at the end of the second inning, 5-0. to put the Bobcats ahead 5-0.

A pitching change for the Green and White brought in redshirt sophomore Nick Kamrada. A quick hit followed a sacrifice pop out gave the Bears their first, and only, run of the game.

A pitching change followed by Shawnee State but still, the bats were hot for the Bobcats. A single for redshirt junior DH Michael Klein started off the third inning then after a couple batters later, the bases were loaded for Callery. A sacrifice fly out to right field brings in a RBI and leaves runners on first and third. Giannini, on first, stole second leaving two players in scoring position. A ground out left them both on the bases but the Bobcats increased the lead to 6-1.

In the fifth inning, Giannini got on base for the Bobcats, stole second and made his way to third. Callery then popped up in the infield but communication problems for the Bears caused the ball to drop and Giannini snuck by and scored. Vakuda was up again and another shot to the left field wall brought Callery home from first. Vakuda had himself a double and later scored on a hit from senior shortstop Tyler Finkler. That was the final run for the Bobcats and put them ahead 9-1.

The Bobcats will be staying home at Bob Wren Stadium and taking on the Siena Saints (3-10) on Saturday at 1 p.m.

“They are always a scrappy team,” Ohio head coach Rob Smith said. “They’re going to come in, they’re going to compete. We know we’re going to have to play good baseball to get a series from them.”