[Jack Demmler | WOUB]

Bobcats split doubleheader, win series against Miami

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Eight hours. 10 home runs. 19 innings. 39 runs. 43 hits. 

It was quite a busy day at Bob Wren Stadium. Ohio and Miami were ready for the twin bill after a crazy Ohio comeback Friday night. The long ball played a big part in game one as the two teams combined for nine of them.  

The first one came in Ohio’s very first at bat of the day. AJ Rausch jacked a ball to left field, tying the game up at one. Some small ball added on to that home run put the Bobcats up 3-1.  

Miami answered, and it was angry. Mashing baseballs was the only thing on Miami’s mind. Its next six runs came by home run, five solo shots and a two-run bomb.  

Being down five plus runs headed into the eighth was familiar territory for the Bobcats. They scored seven runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 10-8 lead. Nick Dolan started the scoring with a sacrifice fly. Alec Patino followed it up with a two-run single. Mason Minzey said “goodbye, baseball” with a three-run blast to left field. Will Sturek added an inside the park home run for some insurance. 

“We’ve been seeing (the resilience) for the last month, to be honest with you,” head coach Craig Moore said. “This is what our team is about. They don’t give up until the last out.”

That insurance was not enough to secure the win, however. An RBI double brought the game to within one run. With the bases loaded, Kelly Braxton walked in the tying run, then gave up the eventual game winning two run single. The Bobcats, unfortunately, couldn’t pull a magical ninth out of their hat, losing 12-10. 

After an hour and a half delay due to weather, game two was underway.  

“I don’t think it really factored into anything negative. I think it might have been more of a positive. It gave our guys a chance to get rested up. It let them get off their feet, sit down and get something to eat,” Moore said. 

There was a little bit of truth in that, but it took a little while to see it.  

Cole Williams slides into the plate against Miami
Cole Williams (8) slides into the plate against Miami [Kevin Casey | WOUB]
The RedHawks started game two the same way they finished game one, the long ball. They added two more in the second, which means, for the third straight game against Miami, the Bobcats were in a sizeable hole.  

This one didn’t last long. By the fourth inning, due to some great situational hitting, Ohio had a 5-4 lead. Dolan drove in two runs on a double and Rausch knocked in his second RBI of the game. Minzey used a sacrifice fly to drive in run number five.  

In the fifth, Trevor Lukkes tore the cover off the baseball. He knew it was gone as soon as it hit his bat. That gave the Bobcats a 7-4 lead.  

After three and two-thirds of really solid work, Hudson Boncal found himself in some trouble in the seventh as he loaded the bases. Miami made him pay as Cooper Weiss smacked a three-run double to the left field corner. That tied the game at seven apiece.  

Dillon Masters came in to relieve Boncal and was brilliant. Masters finished his outing pitching three and a third, tossing four Ks, and only allowing two baserunners, neither of which were hits.  

“If you’re not telling yourself you’re a dawg out there…you’ve got to tell yourself you’re the best player on the field at all times,” Masters said. 

That left it up to the offense. They needed someone to be a hero if they wanted a series win. Lucky for them, one of the hottest hitters in the lineup was up to the dish with runners in scoring position.   

In the bottom of the 10th, Alec Patino came up to the dish with runners on first and third. The junior first baseman, who was batting .358 headed into the game, delivered. He lined one to left field, giving the Bobcats the game and the series.

“I was on deck talking with my hitting coach, Coach Kirby,” Patino said. “He was asking ‘what do you think? He’s probably coming with the slider, make sure you’re on time.’ I just told him ‘You know what, I’m just going to go two strike approach and see if I can just get my hands behind something’.” 

Patino was next level in the series against Miami. He finished .500 with 8 hits in 16 at bats, adding five RBIs.  

With the win in game two, Ohio moves to 15-17 overall and 13-5 in the Mid-American Conference. With the series win, it’s won five of six conference series with four straight series victories. Ohio next travels to Bloomington, Indiana for a three game weekend series.