Behind another stellar pitching performance from Joe Rock and timely hitting, the Ohio Bobcats preserved home advantage against the Bowling Green Falcons 2-1 to begin their shifted four-game series.
The Bobcats' last series against Marshall was canceled due to contact tracing of COVID-19 in the 'Cats’ roster.
The Bobcats’ (7-4) bats took a while to liven up, but Joe Rock handled the load for the majority of the game. Rock covered six innings while only allowing one earned run and striking out seven batters in the process.
The pitching performance was emphatic for both sides, as Bowling Green's Tyler Hays held off the Bobcats’ offense for six innings of his work.
Even though the Bobcats trailed 1-0 heading into the home half of the seventh, the 'Cats picked up their offense as soon as the Falcons (2-9) made a pitching change.
Sebastian Fabik got the offense rolling with just the third hit of the ball game for the 'Cats. A failed pickoff attempt allowed Fabik to move up to third with no one out. It didn't take much time for Mason Minzey to drive Fabik home to tie the game at one.
When the Bobcats taste blood, they tend to emphasize their offensive attack, but today, they used a different tactic, small ball.
After Minzey's single, Treyben Funderburg pinch-hit for Aaron Levy. One would think Funderburg would be put in to hit, but the play called was designed for him to bunt Minzey over to second with only one out in the inning.
The Bobcats continued to change the lineup in the inning as Michael Richardson was brought in to pinch-hit. This time, he got the green light to swing the bat. The pinch-hit and bunting strategy played out perfectly for Ohio, as Richardson singled, bringing home Minzey and, ultimately, sealing the game for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats push their home record to 6-1 on the season and look to continue their success throughout the weekend series that pushes over to Monday.