Ohio Baseball defeats Marshall behind late offensive surge< < Back to
ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Two things aren’t always nice early on in a baseball season: the weather and the hitting.
Luckily the weather was a perfect 67 degrees with partly cloudy skies on Wednesday, which was perfect for some baseball. The offense, however, wasn’t pretty for the Bobcats early in their matchup against Marshall as it registered just one hit through the first four innings.
The message in the dugout was simple.
“Keep playing the game,” head coach Craig Moore said.
Spencer Harbert stepped into the batter’s box leading off the fifth inning knowing the Bobcats needed a spark.
Harbert provided that spark with a solo homerun over the wall in left to tie the game at one.
Ohio’s bats woke up and rallied the Bobcats (7-6) to a 6-3 victory over their rival Marshall (10-7-1). The win marks the Bobcats’ first win over the Thundering Herd since the 2017 season.
“I think (the homerun) was something that just got us started and then we kind of rolled,” Harbert said. “I just tried to get the job done for the team and really do my job in the middle of the order and that is to drive in runs.”
Ohio took the lead in the seventh inning thanks to an error on a Harrison Johnson bunt. Johnson reached third on the throwing error, scoring two runs for the Bobcats.
Johnson later scored off an AJ Rausch double to extend Ohio’s lead to 4-1.
After the Thundering Herd countered with two runs in the top of the eighth, Johnson put some insurance runs on the board for Ohio in the bottom of the inning as he singled home two runs.
“It felt really good. I know we needed it,” Johnson said. “Coach Moore talks about momentum and we needed that momentum swing just to get us into that ninth inning.”
Brett Manis took the mound in the ninth and closed out the victory. Manis was the eighth Bobcat to pitch in the game.
“We planned to do that on Monday when we met as a staff,” Moore said. “With just playing two games last Friday and not being able to play over the weekend to finish that series, we felt like we needed to get some guys out there.”
Brenden Roder got the start for OU and lasted just two innings, surrendering one run on two hits. Freshmen Hudson Boncal, Zach Weber and Adam Beery then pitched a combined three scoreless innings in relief for the Bobcats.
Veteran arms Eamon Horwedel and Colin Sells also threw scoreless outings while Chace Harris picked up his first win of the season.
The Bobcats return to MAC play Friday as they welcome in Kent State. The Bobcats and Golden Flashes open up a pivotal four-game series.
“Kent’s very talented,” Moore said. “They’re going to be talented on the mound. They’re going to be talented position-wise. Our guys are going to have to bring energy and be ready to go.”
First pitch Friday is scheduled for 5 p.m. from Bob Wren Stadium.