Ohio Outfielder Trevor Lukkes at the plate against the Bowling Green Falcons on Saturday March, 30th 2019. PHOTO: Nick Mullens/WOUB

Ohio Baseball: Bats power Bobcats past Bowling Green

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ATHENS, Ohio – Ohio head coach Rob Smith said earlier in the week that it was imperative his team wins its series against Bowling Green.  After the Falcons defeated the Bobcats Friday, the two teams hit the field at Bob Wren Stadium a little earlier than expected Saturday.  The game was originally scheduled for 3 p.m. but was moved to 11 a.m. due to the chance of thunderstorms later in the day.

The earlier game time did not affect Ohio (6-18, 2-3 MAC) at all as its 13 hits led the Bobcats to a 12-2 rout of Bowling Green (9-13, 4-1 MAC).

“This was, by a lot, our best offensive effort,” Ohio head coach Rob Smith said.  “I don’t think we’ve had as complete as an offensive day as we did today.  We continued scoring throughout the game, found different ways to score.”

Ohio started the game off with back-to-back first inning homers – Rudy Rott drilled a two-run homer to left and Tanner Piechnick followed with a solo homer.  The three first inning runs provided a cushion for Ohio starter Jack Liberatore.

“My hitters did a great job in that first inning, going out and having good at-bats,” Liberatore said.  “Once I got out there, it was just about getting ahead for me and throwing strikes and trying to command all my pitches for strikes.”

Liberatore (3-3) threw five innings, giving up one run on five hits while striking out six batters.

“He’s just consistent,” Smith said of Liberatore.  “You know what you’re going to get out of him.  His floor has elevated in terms of what his worst day is going to look like.  Obviously, he’s shown his best days.  He’s very competitive.  He stays within himself.  He makes the team feel like every time he pitches, we got a chance to win.”

The game was close until the fourth inning, when Bowling Green’s starter Tyler Hayes was pulled after allowing two straight hits.  Griffin Parrill relieved Hayes and walked Trevor Lukkes to load the bases.  Parrill then walked Levy to score a run and followed that up with a wild pitch to score Trevor Hafner from third base to make the score 6-1.

Trevor Lukkes added two more runs in the sixth with a homerun to left.

Ohio added four runs in the eighth inning.  Piechnick and Michael Richardson walked with the bases loaded.  Treyben Funderburg then singled home Rott, which resulted in Jack Coney scoring on a throwing error.

Lukkes went 3-for-4 with a homer and a walk.  Rudy Rott was 2-for-4 with 3 RBI.  Ohio scored 12 runs, ten were earned.

Ohio goes for the series win Sunday when they face Bowling Green in the rubber match of the series.  The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. from Bob Wren Stadium.