The air was cold in Athens Friday night, but the Bobcats’ bats were red-hot.
Ohio collected 21 hits over its 12-2 and 5-2 wins against Purdue Fort Wayne on Friday. Aaron Levy and Spencer Harbert led the charge for the Bobcats with three hits each over the course of the day.
The offense opened up in the bottom of the second in game one. Ohio picked up a trio of singles to load the bases for Isaiah Peterson’s at-bat. Peterson was then hit-by-pitch to begin the early scoring run for the Bobcats. Michael Richardson sent a sac-fly to left for one RBI, then Harry Witwer-Dukes followed him with two RBIs of his own and Sebastian Fabik earned one on a double to left.
The cap of the rally was a two-run home run by Minzey. The Bobcats were sitting pretty, leaving the second up 8-0.
The Bobcats pitching staff also came to play. Joe Rock was electric in his ninth start of the season. Rock threw a complete game with a season-high 14 strikeouts. He also only allowed two hits and one walk over seven innings.
“He came out today with a different energy,” catcher Mason Minzey said. “He came in, was able to throw strikes and locate his off-speed. He did a phenomenal job.”
Ohio went on to capture the win 12-2 after a few more hits.
Game two was similar for the Bobcats. Fort Wayne struck first in the top of the first on a two-run long ball to left by Aaron Chapman. However, Ohio dug deep and opened the bottom of the first with a leadoff home run by Peterson to get the bobcats on the board.
Ohio tied the game in the bottom of the second on a solo home run by Harbert. The lead became the Bobcats’ after Tanner Piechnick sent a double into the left center wall in the fourth for the go-ahead run. Ohio added another run in the eight as well, securing the win.
The Bobcats were able to hold the Mastodons to two runs for the entirety of the game. Starter Braxton Kelly and his reliever, Edward Kutt IV, held down the mound for the Bobcats. The two only allowed a single walk in their shared appearance.
Interim head coach Craig Moore was happy with his team’s success at the plate and its ability to work the count. The Bobcats were able to get through six Fort Wayne pitchers, compared to the three they used.
“I think the confidence with the offense is getting to the point where I expected it to be at this time of the year,” Moore said.
The Bobcats have a quick turnaround before their next game Saturday morning. Ohio will take on the Mastodons for the final matchup of the weekend at 11 a.m. Moore plans to walk the team through a modified warmup to ease the troubles of having to play again so soon.
“We’ll be a little lighter with our pregame work tomorrow because of the quick turn around,” Moore said, “But we’ll have our guys ready to go.”