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Ohio senior Spencer Harbert (4) fouls a ball off during an at bat against Toledo at Bob Wren Stadium.

Baseball: Ohio falls to Toledo 11-8

Ohio had the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth and with only one out on the board. All it needed was one swift swing of the bat to earn its second walk-off victory of the weekend. 

The Bobcats had two chances to make that dream a reality. 

Isaiah Peterson stepped into the box first. Peterson worked the count as the anxiety rose in Bob Wren Stadium. But the rush was over as soon as it began. Peterson struck out swinging and walked back to the dugout empty handed. 

A.J. Rausch then stepped into the box for Ohio’s final opportunity to get runs on the board. He made contact and the ball flew straight to right field. As the ball traveled further into the outfield, the tension rose once again. But visions of a victory faded away as Toledo’s right fielder wrapped his glove around the ball for the final out of the game. There were no heroics and no celebration for Ohio in its 11-8 loss to Toledo on Saturday evening. 

However, it wasn’t a game that was lost late. Toledo remained in control from the second inning on. 

The Rockets stomped on the Bobcats as soon as they could. After not scoring in the first, the Rockets scored in the next four consecutive innings. Toledo scored four runs in both the third and fifth innings, and it stifled any chance of a comeback for Ohio. 

“We didn’t start off well defensively in the middle part of the game,” Ohio coach Craig Moore said. “We didn’t get the pitching execution we needed in terms of holding the lead.” 

Toledo ran wild against starter Hudson Boncal and reliever Colin Sells. The two gave up a combined 11 runs, and both were only on the mound for four and one-third innings combined. Neither were able to create a rhythm on the mound. Toledo marched to the beat of its own drum. 

It was a difficult task to keep Toledo off the base paths, but Ohio’s next two relievers did so with ease. Adam Beery and Luke Borer allowed no hits and no runs over the final four and two-thirds innings. 

Borer’s outing was the first of his collegiate career. The redshirt freshman showed no fear against the Toledo batters and handled the situation with finesse. Borer only allowed two batters to reach base after a walk and a hit-by-pitch. Borer struck out two of the 10 batters he faced and played with the composure of a veteran reliever. Borer wanted to attack the strike zone and he knew what to do to keep himself in the game. 

“Deep breathing,” Borer said. “In a moment like that, your heart rate can pick up and you can kinda get away from yourself.” 

Borer found success using his fastball to draw fly and ground balls. He trusted his defense behind him and did all he could to give Ohio have a chance to win. 

But there was nothing more Borer could do. The Bobcats had more hits than the Rockets but couldn’t squeeze out a victory in the bottom of the ninth. The Bobcats were one hit away from another walk-off win. But Saturday was a new day, and the story did not end the same. 

@ashleybeachy_ 

ab026319@ohio.edu 

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