Photo Cred: Karli Bell

Ohio Opens MAC Play with Win

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Spring weather can always be unpredictable and for the second consecutive weekend it has caused Ohio to play a Saturday doubleheader. Unlike last weekend, the Bobcats started off the weekend strong by beating Ball State 6-4 to open Mid-American Conference play.

Ohio’s offense struck in the top half of the first inning when Michael Klein doubled to left field to score Spencer Ibarra who had reached base earlier in the inning with a double of his own. Quickly Ohio was ahead 1-0.

Tyler Finkler then singled to right field, which brought around Klein to score and put the Bobcats ahead 2-0.

Gerry Salisbury, who was surely pleased with the quick start for Ohio’s offense, made sure to keep it that way as he worked around a leadoff single and was able to induce with a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. The double play ball was Salisbury’s best friend in the early innings as he induced another one in the second inning to keep the score 2-0 in favor of the green and white.

The two teams would trade scoreless half innings until the fifth inning when an Ibarra double to right field put Ohio up 3-0.

Salisbury’s shutout came to an end in the bottom half of the inning when Ball State’s Colin Brockhouse homered to right field. This would be the only damage the Cardinals would do in the inning and Ohio still held onto a 3-1 lead going into the sixth inning.

After allowing the first two batters to reach base in the bottom of the sixth inning, Salisbury was pulled and reliever Cory Blessing was brought into the game. Blessing then gave up a single, however an error in center field allowed not only the two base runners to score but also the batter. Just like that the Cardinals led 4-3.

It took until the top of the eighth inning for Ohio to respond and they responded in a big way, Ibarra and Klein each recorded an RBI single to put the Bobcats up 5-4. A throwing error by Ball State plated another run for Ohio and put them up 6-4.

The Bobcats would take that two-run lead into the final inning, when closer Jake Roehn would enter the game and make quick work of the Cardinals of the ninth inning to secure the 6-4 victory for Ohio.