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Ohio University center fielder Isaiah Peterson (5) advancing to third after Ohio University third baseman Colin Kaspebauer (2) hit a single to left center min the bottom of the 7th at Bob Wren Stadium in Athens Ohio on March 18th, 2022.

Baseball: Ohio splits doubleheader slugfest with Kent State

Ohio continued its four-game series against Kent State with a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. The air in Bob Wren Stadium was cold, but the bats stayed hot while both teams combined for 49 runs between both games.

Although the Bobcats (9-7) suffered a loss in the first half of the doubleheader, they rebounded and outlasted the Golden Flashes (6-8) in the second game of the afternoon.

Game 1

Kent State put pitcher Braxton Kelly to work early in the day. After a double by Justin Kirby, Kent State capitalized on an error and got off to a quick one-run lead in the top of the first inning. After a three-up, three-down inning from Ohio, Kent State poured on three more runs in the second, capped off by a triple from Kirby.

The Bobcats were down but not out. They responded with six runs of their own in the bottom of the second. Singles by Mason Minzey and Michael Richardson followed by a walk from Cael Baker loaded the bases. A.J. Rausch and Xavier Haendiges took advantage of the opportunity, and they both singled to bring in runs.

Isaiah Peterson didn't want the scoring to stop, and he doubled to add two more runs. The scoring only ended after Colin Kasperbauer hit a single into right field and brought Peterson home to provide the Bobcats a two-run lead.

The game continued to go back and forth as Kent State responded with a two-run home run in the next inning. The game remained tied for another three innings until Kent State broke the deadlock. It scored eight combined runs in the sixth and seventh innings to take a late lead that Ohio could not match. Ohio mustered just one run after Minzey doubled in the bottom of the seventh to bring home Spencer Harbert.

The hits were there for Ohio, but it could not keep up with Kent State's explosive offense and suffered a 14-7 loss.

Game 2

Even after a combined 21 runs in the first game, Ohio and Kent State's offensive barrage didn't slow down. Kent State scored four runs off of pitcher Jacob Tate in the first inning, but Ohio kept on its heels. A groundout by Harbert gave Peterson time to score, and a two-run home run by Minzey cut Kent State's lead to a single run.

Peterson earned his second hit of the game after launching a moonshot home run in the second inning to score both himself and Haendiges in the second inning.

Ohio's bats fell silent for two innings, and Kent State picked up another two runs to retake the lead. The drought didn't last, however. Ohio exploded for five runs in the fifth inning. After Harbert scored off a single by Minzey, Will Sturek walked to put two men on as Rausch came to the plate. Rausch cranked a double to center field and advanced to third base while Sturek and Minzey tacked on two more runs. Haendiges closed out Ohio's scoring barrage by tripling to left field and scoring Rausch.

"The offense did an outstanding job today," Ohio coach Craig Moore said after the game. "They've done it all weekend. We still got one more game to go and we're looking forward to them coming out tomorrow."

The Bobcats never fell behind again. Minzey smashed his second home run of the day in the sixth inning to add insurance to the Bobcats' lead, and four more runs in the seventh inning provided additional cushioning. The Golden Flashes tied the game after scoring five runs in the top of the seventh inning, but the Bobcats made a pitching change. Chace Harris was brought in to relieve Hudson Boncal, and Harris got the two outs necessary to end the inning.

A run in the top and bottom of the eighth for both teams capped off the scoring, and the Golden Flashes went down in order to end the game. The Bobcats came away with a 16-12 victory and their highest-scoring game of the season.

"I'll be completely honest, not just Kent State but in my college career, this is probably the most explosive game offensively I have seen," Peterson said.

@officialelij

ej358918@ohio.edu

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