Edward Kutt IV came off the mound to a huge reception from both his teammates and the fans in attendance at Bob Wren Stadium after he struck out the last batter of the inning with two runners in scoring position.
This was a welcome reception for the sophomore pitcher who has spent most of his Ohio career in the bullpen.
“I just try to do my part,” Kutt said. “If I can, (I) lead by example.”
He was overshadowed some by the offensive power of the Bobcats, but his performance was no joke.
Kutt was masterful in his second start— only the fourth of his career — of the season against Toledo on Friday night. The sophomore pitcher led the Bobcats to an easy 16-5 series-opening victory as the offense exploded.
Kutt is quickly emerging as one of Ohio’s best pitchers, and he will be an instrumental member of the push for a spot in the Mid-American Conference tournament.
“He was outstanding,” coach Rob Smith said.
In his three prior career starts, he had only given up six earned runs in 10 1/3 innings. Friday night was his best yet.
Kutt pitched eight innings and only gave up one run, which was unearned. He also only gave up one hit after the first inning.
It didn’t matter much how he pitched after a strong third inning for the Bobcats. Nick Mallott hit a double with the bases loaded that scored all three and gave Ohio five runs, which would be more than enough.
There was one thing that made Kutt as good as he was against the Rockets: efficiency.
Kutt had no problem shredding through Toledo’s lineup for most of the game. He threw 104 pitches compared to 216 from the Rocket’s pitchers in eight innings. His pitching totals averaged to 13 pitches per inning. This efficiency allowed him to pitch the most innings in one game of his career.
“I felt like my arm is in good shape,” Kutt said.
He’s right. There was one “mechanical thing” which came when Kutt put the first two batters in scoring position to lead off the inning. He quickly shook this off and struck out two of the next three that came to the plate.
Perhaps the most impressive statistic for Kutt was that in eight innings, he only walked one batter. That walk came against the first batter of the eighth inning, which was due to the “mechanical error” that he fixed soon after. Kutt consistently pounded the strike zone by throwing 73 strikes.
To avoid the rain on Sunday, the series finale between Ohio and Toledo has been moved to Saturday, which means that the Bobcats will play their second doubleheader of the season.
Jack Liberatore (3-4, 2.95 ERA) will be Ohio’s starter for the first game that starts at 1 p.m., and Kenny Ogg (1-6, 6.20 ERA) will take the mound in the second game that will start shortly after the conclusion of the first.