[Reese Thompson | WOUB]

Minzey’s walk-off homer leads Ohio Baseball past Toledo on Friday

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – It took extra innings on Friday as the Ohio Bobcats (12-12, 6-7 MAC) took down the Toledo Rockets (13-15, 7-9) in walk-off fashion to take the first game of the weekend series.

Ohio's Eddie Kutt prepares to throw a pitch in the Bobcats' game against Toledo on April 8, 2022.
Ohio’s Edward Kutt IV prepares to throw a pitch in the Bobcats’ game against Toledo on April 8, 2022.

Ohio ace Edward Kutt IV got the Friday start for the Bobcats. After getting roughed up in the first inning, giving up three runs on four hits and a walk, Kutt was sensational.

He didn’t give up a single run in his next six complete innings, as he pounded the strike zone, allowing a clean defensive performance to do great work behind him. In seven complete innings of work, Kutt’s stat line for the day included nine strikeouts and four walks. In total he gave up seven hits allowing three earned runs, all of which came in the first inning.

Toledo’s Kyle Jones was also very good in his outing against the Bobcats. Jones dominated the Ohio lineup for six innings until Ohio was able to get to him in the seventh. He finished the day with eight strikeouts and only one walk after giving up seven hits and five earned runs through six and two-thirds innings of work.

Although Kutt was stellar for the Bobcats throughout most of this game, the Ohio bats were mostly stagnant until the seventh inning as they only scored one run up to this point in the game, which also occurred in the first inning.

The seventh inning scoring was kicked off by shortstop Nate Dolan with a two-run RBI double to left center field to tie the game. Ohio was then able to take the lead after Isaiah Peterson drove Dolan in from second with a single to right field of his own. Ohio’s last run of the inning came by way of a Toledo wild pitch where Peterson was able to score from third base.

After the Bobcats took a two-run lead into the ninth inning, Toledo third baseman Mason Sykes erased the deficit with one swing of the bat as he sent a two-run moonshot over the left field wall to force this one into extra innings.

This game stayed tied at five a piece going into the bottom of the tenth after Ohio reliever was able to escape a bases loaded jam in the top of the inning.

Ohio's Mason Minzey (10) prepares to celebrate with his team as he approaches home plate following a walk-off homerun against Toledo on April 9, 2022.
Ohio’s Mason Minzey (10) prepares to celebrate with his team as he approaches home plate following a walk-off homerun against Toledo on April 9, 2022.

But with one out in the bottom of the tenth inning, Ohio catcher Mason Minzey was able to come up with the biggest swing in a long time for the Bobcats as he destroyed a walk off home run off the scoreboard in left center field. This heroic swing snapped Ohio’s four game losing streak heading into the series against Toledo.

“I just wanted to be able to get a good pitch to hit,” Minzey said. “I just got my pitch and was able to hit it out.”

Minzey also had an RBI double in the first inning of this one. Other offensive leaders for the Bobcats included two-hit performances from Isaiah Peterson, Alex Finney, Cael Baker and Nate Dolan.

Ohio head coach Craig Moore was pleased that his squad was able to snap their four-game losing streak on Friday.

“I told the guys we can finally breathe,” Moore said.“It was a huge walk off win for us to start the series to set the tone for the series headed into tomorrow and Sunday.”

Ohio will look to build upon its success against the Rockets in their MAC series as they will take them on in Bob Wren in a Saturday twin bill followed by a standalone game on Sunday to cap off the series.