Last time the Bobcats’ scoring reached double digits, coach Joe Carbone gave more credit to the wind blowing through Bob Wren Stadium than Ohio’s hitters.
Yesterday at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio, the Bobcats reaffirmed their previous offensive output by walloping Cleveland State 16-8.
After snapping their six-game losing streak, the Bobcats (17-20) have won two of three by scoring a total of 33 runs along the way.
Never one for undeserved praise, Carbone had nothing but good things to say about the offense after the game.
“We swung the bats pretty well today,” Carbone said. “Everybody came in there, and they had some good cuts and they hit the ball hard. We did a good job (last night).”
Carbone was serious when he said everybody came in there. Because of an early lead, 13 Bobcats, including five reserves, combined for 18 hits.
Adam Gecewich, Bryan Barnes, Jensen Painter, Dan Ward and Garrett Black all had at least two RBIs, and eight Bobcats had multi-hit games.
The Bobcats put up five runs in the first inning with home runs from Painter and Gecewich.
The lead stretched to 9-0 in the third inning, when a combination of RBI singles from Dan Ward and Bryan Barnes, a throwing error from the Vikings’ third baseman and wild pitch brought home four more.
Faced with a nine-run deficit, the Vikings, who Carbone said before the game were an aggressive base running team, were forced to be more conservative. Cleveland State was 0-for-2 in steal attempts.
“It takes the edge off,” Carbone said about the early lead. “They’re a running team, and even though they did try to steal a few times, it kind of shut their running game down a little bit because they can’t get too aggressive. So that helped.”
Ohio added runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth innings. But with a 16-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, the Bobcats came close to giving the game away.
Two walks followed by two wild pitches scored Cleveland State’s fourth run of the game. After a single, an error by Garrett Black at shortstop and a walk, Ohio’s lead was at 16-6.
Ryan Burgett came on with the bases loaded and hit the batter, bringing home another run. He walked the next hitter to cut the Bobcats’ lead down to eight. Marck Paliotto relieved Burgett and struck out the last Viking to end Cleveland State’s two-out rally.
“Up until two outs in the ninth, we did a good job,” Carbone said. “Swung the bats well, played good defense, ran the bases very well — we hustled. We played very well for eight and two-thirds innings.”