For the second straight day at Bob Wren Stadium, Ohio took on Central Michigan in a climate that is just about as far from “baseball weather” that one can possibly get.
Unlike game one, however, Ohio was able to come away victorious in this one over Mid-American Conference opponent Central Michigan, something that Ohio has not done since 2021 when Craig Moore was still just the interim head coach of the team.
“Last year at their place we didn’t fair very well,“ Moore said. “To bounce back after a loss last night was a great response by our players and our team."
This game was full of offensive firepower and frequent scoring that kept the game close till the very end. Ohio came out on top 11-7 on the back of a five-RBI day from junior Cole Williams.
“I think we finally put it all together today,” Williams said. “I think our offense is one of the best offenses in the MAC and all our guys one through nine really put it together.”
Williams’ five RBIs came via two home runs, the first came in the second inning, a three-run home run that gave Ohio the crucial early lead that they were looking for.
Mitchel Hemmen started on the mound for the Bobcats. The junior put forth a pretty good performance, only allowing two runs through four innings of work. Hemmen was able to hold on to the lead produced by the offense in the early innings.
The defending MAC champion Chippewas were never going to go down easy though. They were able to capitalize on some big mistakes by the Bobcats accompanied by some good offense to really stay in this game until the end.
Ohio once again struggled with errors, committing two errors that both resulted in runs for Central Michigan. A crucial error was charged to pitcher Jacob Tate, who overthrew first base on a bunt from Central Michigan’s Jacob Donnahue. The misfire allowed two runs to score and cut the lead to only one for Ohio.
Central Michigan kept inching back but as soon as they got close, Ohio had an answer.
“Our guys are resilient, they’re not gonna give up,” Moore said. “That’s the standard of our program, we play till the very end.”
The biggest at-bat of the game came from Ohio shortstop *Billy Adams. In the bottom of the seventh, the Bobcats had a one-run lead with bases loaded and two outs. Adams battled in an 0-2 count to deliver a two-RBI single that extended Ohio’s lead to three.
A big part of the Bobcats' fight till the very end was thanks to the right arm of Braxton Kelly.
Kelly came into relief in the seventh inning and pitched back-to-back scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth that gave the Bobcats the boost that they needed to pull away and end the game.
After the eighth inning, Kelly jumped off the mound in a fit of excitement after striking out Central Michigan’s Cole Prout. That was the point where Ohio knew it had won. In the bottom of the eighth, the Bobcats rode the energy from Kelly and scored two much-needed insurance runs that sealed the win.
“I always get fired up, especially when my teammates are fired up with me,” Kelly said. “There’s nothing like it in that moment, especially when you have momentum on your side.”