Ohio got a giant influx of offense late in Friday afternoon's season-opener at UNC-Asheville and overcame a 5-3 eighth inning deficit to defeat the Bulldogs 16-9. Tom Colletti earned the win for the Bobcats, allowing just one run in the eight inning before the offensive explosion.
Ohio starting pitcher Jake Rudnicki lasted just two innings, giving up five runs, three earned, on four hits and four walks.
Following Rudnicki's exit, Christian Botter paced the Bobcats nicely for four innings, giving up no runs and allowing Ohio's offense to sneak back into the game. By the time of Botter's exit, Ohio had narrowed its deficit to 5-3.
The Bobcats got their offense into full swing in the eighth inning, when an RBI-single by Tyler Wells and 2-run single by Ty Black gave Ohio a 6-5 lead.
After surrendering the tying run in the bottom of the eighth, Ohio got another boost from its offense, this time to the tune of a 10-run injection into the scoreboard that turned the game from nail-biter to rout in minutes.
Wells led the way for the Bobcats with a 3-for-3 afternoon, with two RBIs and two runs scored. Mitch Longo and Black each finished with a pair of hits with three RBIs.
Cody Gaertner and Tyler Finkler each finished with two-hit performances as well, while Manny DeJesus notched a pair of RBIs in his Ohio debut.
Ohio plays UNC-Asheville in a doubleheader on Saturday, with the first game beginning at 11:30am. Connor Sitz and Evan Geist are expected to start on the mound for the Bobcats.