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Ohio University freshman pitcher, Jake Roehn, is congratulated by his team after pitching a no-hitter in the fifth inning during their game against Western Michigan University on March 28, 2014. The Bobcats are currently 6-0 after a second straight sweep against Longwood this weekend. 

Bobcats winning streak reaches six for first time since 2009

Sitz and Rudnicki provide solid outings while Wells comes through with a pair of home runs.

Ohio couldn’t have been expected to keep up the torrid pace its offense set last weekend. Thanks to its pitching, however, there was no need for it.

Ohio swept Longwood by scores of 6-4, 13-2 and 7-6 this weekend in Georgia. Right-handed pitchers Jake Rudnicki, a sophomore, and Connor Sitz, a junior, each provided strong starts en route to earning wins in the first two games, while junior right-hander Jake Miller earned a win Sunday after two innings of relief.

“It’s obviously very exciting,” coach Rob Smith said. “The guys are enjoying themselves, and they’re having a great start. There’s a lot of good energy and positive vibes around the team.”

Ohio is now 6-0 for the first time since 1965 and has won six consecutive for the first time since 2009. It finished last season with 11 wins overall.

Longwood got the scoring started early on Friday, as in RBI single in the first gave it its first and only lead of the game. The Bobcats recovered quickly in the bottom of the inning, scoring two runs on RBIs by senior Jake Madsen and redshirt junior Cody Gaertner.

Ohio continued this pattern of response in the fifth inning, when it answered a game-tying solo home run by Longwood with a pair of RBI doubles by junior Manny DeJesus and sophomore Mitch Longo, followed by a second RBI groundout by Madsen.

Longwood scored a pair of runs off sophomore Christian Botter in the seventh inning, before sophomore Ty Black added an RBI single to give the Bobcats their final run of the game.

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Rudnicki (1-0) earned his first win of the season in the game by allowing just two runs in five innings of work on six hits, walking four and striking out five.

Ohio had an offensive explosion Saturday reminiscent of its dominant weekend at UNC-Asheville. It started the game with a three-run first, and then was quieted temporarily before getting busy again in the fifth inning with a nine-run outburst, led by two-run singles by sophomore Connor Callery and DeJesus.

Mitch Longo finished Saturday’s game with three RBIs, while Gaertner and redshirt senior Kyle Dean each finished with two RBIs. Sitz (2-0) put together another strong outing, throwing six innings and allowing just two runs on nine hits.

“(Sitz) is doing a really good job of being able to locate a couple different pitches,” Smith said. “His fastball and changeup were really solid this weekend, and his slider looked really, really good. He’s 100 percent healthy now, which wasn’t the case last season, so things are different.”

Sunday morning got interesting quickly, with the two teams combining for 11 runs in the first inning and a half. Longwood got to the Bobcats’ left-handed starter Evan Geist early, scoring three runs in both the first and second innings and running Geist from the game.

It could have been a fast track to the end of Ohio’s losing streak, if not for a five-run first by the Bobcats, powered by a three-run homer by senior Tyler Wells. Wells came through again with a game-tying sacrifice fly in the third, and then again in the eighth inning with a go-ahead home run to finish the game with a pair of bombs and five RBIs.

Ohio’s bullpen was lights out Sunday morning, with a collective of five pitchers pitching seven innings of two-hit shutout baseball to end a weekend of solid pitching for the staff.

The Bobcats will take its undefeated record on the road once again next weekend, as it prepares to face Georgia State in three games before one game against Georgia Tech. Ohio will be in search of its first seven-game win streak since 2005.


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