While the Major League Baseball playoffs are now underway, the Ohio baseball team hosted its own fall classic Saturday, welcoming former players to compete in the alumni game at Bob Wren Stadium.
Players and coaches on both sides spent time before the game catching up with one another and talking baseball.
When the first pitch was delivered, however, the Bobcats wasted little time, scoring seven runs in the first inning en route to a 15-4 victory over the alumni.
Senior catcher Kyle Dean led the Bobcats at the plate, finishing 3-for-3 with a triple, home run and a pair of runs batted in.
“Once the game started, we were in game mode,” Dean said. “They put up a two-spot in the top of the first and we had to respond. It was just another game for us. It was really fun to see some old players. I knew just about everyone on the team, so it was nice to see how they’re doing in life.”
The Bobcats’ starting lineup went to work early, putting seven of its first eight hitters on base to begin the game.
The biggest blows of the first inning came on three consecutive extra base hits, including doubles by outfielders John Adryan, a sophomore, and Tyler Wells, a junior, and a triple by Dean.
Alumni pitchers then retired eight consecutive batters before Dean came to the plate again in the fourth and crushed a solo home run down the line in left field.
Although each starter was replaced, the Bobcats continued to swing hot bats in the late innings. At the end of the day, Ohio had scored its 15 runs on 14 hits that included two doubles, two triples, and a home run. Alumni pitchers also walked seven batters.
The alumni side was coached by Steve Swisher, a former All-American at Ohio and the only Bobcat to ever be selected in the first round of the MLB draft, by the Chicago White Sox. Swisher played nine seasons in the major leagues, and made one all-star team. His son, Nick, is currently an outfielder for the Cleveland Indians.
Swisher was ecstatic for the opportunity to come back to his old college stomping grounds for the first time in 25 years.
“It’s a different experience for me, because I spent many years at the highest level of professional baseball,” Swisher said. “Coming back here and meeting these guys, I don’t know them, and they don’t know me. But, we’re on the same team. And we’re all trying to do the same thing in restoring the great tradition of Ohio University baseball we had here in the ‘70s. Whatever I can do to help with that, I’m happy to do it.”