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Ohio’s Jake Madsen hits the ball during the Bobcats’ game against Eastern Michigan at Bob Wren Stadium. Ohio lost Friday’s game 9-7. Madsen extended his hitting streak to 20 games by reaching base in all three games of the series. (Brien Vincent | Staff Photographer)

Baseball: Bobcats take 2 against Eagles

The Bobcats’ bats were as lively as ever this weekend as they picked up their first series win of the conference season.

Ohio (13-14, 3-3 Mid-American Conference) took two of three games from Eastern Michigan in a series that featured a more aggressive offense rather than stellar pitching.

The Eagles (10-17, 3-3 MAC) have one of the worst team-earned run averages in the MAC and allow almost seven runs per contest. But in Friday night’s game, pitcher Steve Weber kept the Bobcat offense in check as the Eagles opened a 7-1 lead through five innings.

The Bobcats then exploded for six more runs before the end of the eighth inning, but the Eagles plated two more runners and claimed a 9-7 victory.

“We weren’t being aggressive on the fastball,” Ohio head coach Joe Carbone said. “We were looking too much. Weber did a better job than our hitters did.”

Saturday afternoon was more of a pitchers’ duel. The Eagles made the first noise in the top of the first, but Ohio starter Jason Moulton shut them out for the next five innings.

For most of his outing, Moulton did not have a lot of run support, but he was able to attack the zone and get hitters out.

“It doesn’t really change the game too much,” Moulton said. “No matter what, you just come out and make quality pitches, and that’s pretty much what I came out and did.”

Newton’s two-out triple in the seventh and subsequent run on the wild pitch secured the lead for Ohio.

Carbone noted the importance of Newton making the turn to his normal production.

“We need Ethan to get on base for us. He always played great defense for us,” Carbone said. “If we get him going, get him on base a little more and swinging the bat, he is a real offensive force for us.”

The Bobcats scored five runs in the eighth inning to secure the victory and to even the series.

After giving up four runs in the first inning of the rubber match on Sunday, Ohio responded with five runs of its own. Jensen Painter laced a single down the line to plate Newton. Ian Mezlak and Dan Schmidt both notched two-run doubles to take the lead 5-4.

“That was big for our confidence,” Carbone said. “That was big for this whole team in terms of what we need to do to mature and grow up.”  

Painter hit a home run over the left-field fence to break a 6-6 tie. Ohio took a 9-6 lead before Eastern Michigan took two back in the top of the fifth.

Relief pitcher Brett Barber provided relief and saved the 10-9 victory. He allowed three hits in his four innings of work.

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