[Hailey Hollinger | WOUB]

Ohio Baseball opens weekend with strong offensive showing against Kent State

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – The Ohio Bobcats baseball team (8-6, 2-1) defeated its MAC rival Kent State Golden Flashes (5-7, 1-2) at Bob Wren Stadium by a final score of 9-4 on Friday.

Ohio ace Edward Kutt IV had a solid outing in this one as he gave up three earned runs and collected seven strikeouts through six and two-thirds innings of work. The right-hander was very good his first two times going through the Golden Flashes’ lineup thanks to a high volume of strikes.

Kutt was relieved by southpaw Brett Manis, who inherited a 4-3 lead and found himself in multiple jams in the latter innings of the game. Manis did a fantastic job limiting the damage for the Bobcats including an escape of an eighth inning, bases loaded jam with no outs as he only allowed one run on a sacrifice fly. The reliever got the win after getting a five-run cushion entering the ninth after the Bobcat offense surged to five runs in the eighth inning.

Ohio took full advantage of Kent State’s bullpen in the eighth inning as the five-run explosion from the Bobcat offense was the deciding factor in the victory. Michael Richardson catalyzed the inning with a one out, go-ahead home run to put Ohio up 5-4 in the fourth inning. Later in the inning, Bobcat right fielder AJ Rausch provided the highlight of the game as a line drive to center field snuck by a diving Collin Mathews, leading to a two-run, inside the park home run to make the Bobcats’ lead 7-4. Ohio would go on to finish the inning off with two more runs thanks to RBI hits from Isiah Peterson and Colin Kasperbauer.

Ohio's AJ Rausch in his homerun trot following his homerun in the fourth inning against Kent State on March 18, 2022.
Ohio’s AJ Rausch in his homerun trot following his homerun in the fourth inning against Kent State on March 18, 2022.

Rausch was the leader at the plate for the Bobcats in the victory as he put together a monster statline, going 3-4 with five RBI’s, two home runs and a missile of a double off the left field wall. Rausch is happy with the production he’s been able to contribute at the plate and thanks consistent hard work for his success.

“The work we put in the cages and at practice,” Rausch said. “Our hitting philosophy is to compete and give the best that you can. That’s what I’ve been doing and it’s paying off.”

All nine of Ohio’s runs came in the fourth and eighth innings. The team finished the day with 12 hits and five walks.

“The plan was to be ready to hit fastballs. The guys did that,” Moore said. “The offense stayed with the plan that Coach McGuire had penciled in for them and they responded late in the game when we needed to.”

Max Rippl earned the loss for the Golden Flashes on the mound. Kent State’s offense was lead by Justin Miknis, who collected two hits that drove in two runs.

The Bobcats will continue to host their series against the Golden Flashes in a two game doubleheader on Saturday followed by a finale of the four game series on Sunday.