Ohio Baseball: Bobcats Come From Behind to Defeat EMU in Series Opener< < Back to
ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — It takes nine innings to win a baseball game. It wasn’t the prettiest of starts for Ohio on Friday evening, but all that matters is the final score.
Despite some ups and downs, Ohio (12-11) opened up a four-game set with Eastern Michigan (8-14) with a 6-3 victory.
Ohio’s ace Joe Rock, with several MLB scouts in attendance, got his seventh start of the season for the Bobcats and faced some rough spots throughout the evening. The Bobcats also committed four errors behind him.
“[Rock] kind of worked really, really hard through those six innings,” Ohio interim head coach Craig Moore said. “The defense didn’t play real well behind him either. He battled through it and that’s what you got to do as a number one [starter]. When you don’t have your best stuff, you just have to continue to fight and battle and compete.”
Rock allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings of work. He also walked three batters and struck out four.
The Bobcats trailed 3-1 heading into the sixth inning and were dominated by EMU’s starter Davis Feldman.
Ohio came alive in the sixth. Mason Minzey doubled home two runs to even the score at three. Minzey’s double came after an earlier at-bat where he grounded into a double play to end a scoring threat.
“It was good to see Mason kind of flush that at-bat out and come up with that big hit,” Moore said. “He’s starting to get into a rhythm over there at the plate.”
The Bobcats added another run in the sixth and plated two additional runs in the seventh.
“[The batters] stuck with the game,” Moore said. “[Eastern Michigan] gave us some opportunities just like we gave them their opportunities to score runs, but you still got to take advantage of those opportunities. I thought that they stuck with the game and we got a couple big hits when we needed them.”
After Ohio took a 6-3 advantage in the seventh, it was all up to relievers Edward Kutt IV and Brett Manis.
Kutt dominated in his two innings of relief — striking out four batters without allowing a baserunner. Kutt continues his solid season in relief — posting a 3.42 ERA in 26 inning over 11 appearances.
“That’s what he does,” Moore said. “He comes into big-game situations and you know what you’re going to get with him. He’s going to throw strikes and he’s just going to keep hitters off balance. We have all the confidence in the world in Eddie when he has the ball. As long as we make plays behind him, we’re in very, very good positions to win those games when we have a lead.”
Brett Manis came in for the ninth inning and secured his third save of the season.
Ohio and Eastern Michigan will battle not only each other on Saturday, but the weather conditions as well. With storms forecasted, the Bobcats and Eagles’ doubleheader was moved up to 11 a.m.in hopes of getting both games in.