[Hailey Hollinger | WOUB]

Ohio completes its first series sweep with two wins against Eastern Michigan

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – Ohio (10-14, 8-4 MAC) completed its first series sweep of the season against Eastern Michigan (11-13, 4-8 MAC) on Sunday.

The Bobcats found themselves down three runs in the bottom of the first inning after giving up a two-run shot by Josh Kross and a solo shot by Darren Kraft.

Ohio was able to score two of its own after Mason Minzey hit a home run of his own driving in AJ Rausch to cut the lead 3-2.

The bats then went cold for Ohio, it couldn’t seem to string hits together when it needed to. In the process, Ohio gave up another run in the fourth inning when Kraft hit an RBI single through the left side of the infield to make it 4-2.

In the sixth inning is when the bats got hot at the right time and the Bobcats were able to bring the ducks on the pond home.

Will Sturek bunted to the pitcher which he threw over the first basemen’s head and out of play to score Alec Patino. The bases were loaded when Alex Finney stepped to the plate, and he drove in two with a single down the left field line.

Nick Dolan then singled through the left side scoring Cole Williams. Patino was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Finney, and Minzey worked a walk that scored Dolan all in a six run sixth inning as the Bobcats to an 8-4 lead.

Jacob Tate pitches the ball against Eastern Michigan
Jacob Tate pitches the ball against Eastern Michigan [Jacob Motta | WOUB]
Jacob Tate threw 4.2 innings of relief giving up just four hits and striking out three in what was a gem on the mound. He didn’t allow an earned run and Ohio took game one with a 8-4 victory.

Tate isn’t afraid to come out of the bullpen while his team is down and knows that there is always a job to do when he steps on the field.

“I think coming in and not being afraid of what could happen,” Tate said. “Just being able to throw strikes and get your team back in the game. The last thing we want is someone to come in and give up a bunch of runs, that deflates the momentum that we have.”

In game two, the Bobcats got out to an early lead when Minzey hit his second home run of the day, again in the first inning, to take a 1-0 lead.

In the third inning, Patino stepped up to the plate with Rausch on third and hit a sacrifice fly to right field that brought Rausch home making it 2-0 Bobcats.

The Eagles came soaring back in the third inning when Kyle Schroedle ripped a double down the left field line that plated two runs. Kraft then hit a double of his own trading places with Schroedle, and Ohio trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning.

Colin Kasperbauer singled and advanced his way to third off of a passed ball and fielder’s choice and would then score on an overthrow from the catcher back to the pitcher that reached the outfield grass to tie the game.

Flash forward to the sixth inning for the Bobcats, Finney steps to the plate with two runners on base and blasts a three-run shot over the left field wall to put the Bobcats back in the lead 6-3.

The Eagles would score one final run in the top of the eighth inning with an RBI double from Cory Taylor but could not rally all the way back.

Kelly Braxton came in to close the game for the Bobcats in the top of the ninth inning and gave up one hit and closed the game out for a 6-4 victory.

Head coach Craig Moore knows that the team getting their first series sweep is going to give them confidence going further into the season.

“You only get opportunities so many times in this position where you have a chance to sweep an opponent and I wanted them to understand that,” Moore said. “In terms of building off of this and moving forward it gives our guys the confidence that we can be a team that can put three straight games together and come out with wins.”

The Bobcats look to ride the momentum of the series sweep into Tuesday when they take on Morehead State at Bob Wren Stadium at 5:00 p.m.