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Ohio outfielder Isaiah Peterson (5) watches as the ball flies over the center field wall and Toledo scores two runs off a home run on Friday, April 8, 2022, at Bob Wren Stadium.

Baseball: Ohio falls to Morehead State after eighth-inning collapse

Ohio left the top of the eighth inning with pure, unwavering confidence. It had built up an eight-run lead over Morehead State throughout Tuesday’s game at Allen Field, and it was within reach of a massive road win.

However, confidence can only carry Ohio so far.

Morehead State hit a grand slam off pitcher Colin Sells to spark an offensive burst in the bottom of the eighth inning. The energy surged through Morehead State’s lineup, as it later hit another grand slam and solo home run off of Braxton Kelly to complete a nine-run comeback. 

The Eagles sent the Bobcats packing with a painful 13-12 loss to start their brief nonconference stint. 

However, Ohio put up a decent effort against Morehead State despite granting some of its main starters rest days. 

Mason Minzey was moved to the designated hitter role to allow him rest from behind the plate. The move proved fruitful for the Bobcats because it granted Wes Lug a spot in the lineup. Lug went 3-for-4 in just his second start of the season. The freshman contributed two singles, a double and an RBI to help power Ohio’s offense.

The rest of the Bobcats’ power lie in the hands of Spencer Harbert and Nick Dolan. Harbert, who leads the Bobcats in home runs, hit his eighth of the season in the top of the seventh inning. His two-run shot increased his RBI total to three on the day, as he picked up one in the third after grounding into a double play. 

Dolan hit his first home run of the game in the top of the second inning to score both Lug and himself. He later hit a three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning to set up Ohio’s eight-run lead. Dolan is now tied with fellow redshirt freshman A.J. Rausch for the third-most home runs for Ohio this season. 

The Bobcats once again utilized a pitching carousel. Aside from starter Tyler Peck, they brought in five pitchers in an attempt to fend off the Eagles on Tuesday. Peck earned his first start as a Bobcat and lasted two innings. He turned the ball over to another freshman Zach Weber, who also only lasted two innings. Peck and Weber each allowed just one run to the Eagles. 

Luke Borer was the final pitcher Ohio threw onto the mound before it lost control of the game. Borer lasted another two innings in which he allowed two hits and two runs. 

The Bobcats have continuously struggled with pitching this season, and Tuesday’s loss was no different. When the Bobcats found a trusted reliever, they had to move him to fill a void in the starting rotation. The Bobcats constantly need to test the waters with their relievers. However, this will not be sustainable in the long run.  

Late innings are where Ohio either succeeds or falls flat. It fell flat Tuesday. Ohio needs to flatten the bumps in its pitching if it is going to secure a spot in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. Its offense cannot carry it through each game. 

@ashleybeachy_

ab026319@ohio.edu

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