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Ohio University second baseman Michael Richardson (No. 8) hitting the ball pitched from Kent State at Bob Wren Stadium in Athens, Ohio on March 18, 2022.

Baseball: Offense powers Ohio to win against Kent State 9-4

Ohio (8-6, 2-1 Mid-American Conference) took on Kent State (5-7, 1-2 MAC) Friday afternoon. The Bobcats prevailed late as eighth inning heroics gave them a 9-4 victory.

Edward Kutt IV got the start for Ohio today and pitched six and two-thirds innings. He allowed three runs and six hits, while also adding seven strikeouts. Kutt had a clean game going into the top of the fifth inning, but an RBI-single that inning and then a two-run home run in the next inning chased him out of the game not long after. Fifth year senior Brett Manis came in to relieve Kutt, and gave up one run in two and one-thirds innings. Manis struck out four and secured the win.

Although the offense for the Bobcats primarily came from the long ball, the scoring was started by senior catcher Mason Minzey. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Minzey doubled home senior Colin Kasperbauer after he singled to lead off that half inning. After a walk to transfer graduate student Cael Baker, AJ Rausch obliterated a three-run home run over the left field fence.

"I knew this was going to be a big game. Last week got cut short because of weather," redshirt freshman Rausch said when discussing his performance. "Everybody just wanted to give their best and I was just going up to the box and competing. So that's what I did today and got two big hits."

The offense from Rausch did not stop there. In the bottom of the eighth inning, a misplayed line drive by the center fielder gave Rausch his second home run of the day, this time being an inside-the-park home run. Rausch battled the whole at bat as the home run was hit on the 12th pitch of that at bat.

"He's been swinging well for us and getting good at bats, so he earned it today," Ohio head coach Craig Moore said when discussing the offensive production from Rausch.

Redshirt senior Michael Richardson also added a line-drive home run in the eighth inning to add to the Bobcats' total. The solo shot was Richardson's first of the year. The last run that inning — and the day — was on fifth year senior Isaiah Peterson's RBI-triple, which brought home redshirt junior Xavier Haendiges.

Kent State did not retaliate in the top of the ninth, which ended as a three up and three down inning that included two strikeouts. Manis earned his second win of the year for his efforts and improved his record to 2-1.

The Bobcats will look to continue their win streak at Bob Wren Stadium against the Golden Flashes again tomorrow. The first game will start at 12 p.m. with the second game of the doubleheader starting 40 minutes after the finish of the first game.


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