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Ohio pitcher Braxton Kelley pitches the final three outs against EMU to clinch the sweep of the Eagles on Sunday, April 2, 2023.

Baseball: Ohio sweeps doubleheader over Eastern Michigan

After a thrilling comeback victory on Saturday, Ohio had all the momentum it needed going into Sunday’s doubleheader against Eastern Michigan. The Bobcats swept the doubleheader and the series, completing its first sweep of the season. 

“It means a ton,“ head coach Craig Moore said. "Just from a confidence standpoint, knowing that we can put three good quality games together back-to-back-to-back."

In game one, Ohio gave up a pair of home runs in the first inning that put it down 3-0 early. However, Ohio’s offense was able to respond with a two-run home run from Mason Minzey. 

During game two, Minzey put another ball over the fence in the first inning that gave the Bobcats an early 1-0 lead. 

“Yesterday we got off to a slow start,” Minzey said. “Today coming out and being able to compete and put runs up early was huge.” 

On Saturday, Ohio was unable to score until the fifth inning and had to pull off a large comeback to get the win. Today, behind Minzey, the Bobcats were able to get out on top early. 

“We talked about getting off to a fast start,” Moore said. “To score early in the game and put that momentum in the dugout, it puts some doubt in the opposition.”

After getting out to quick starts in both games of the doubleheader, it was the bullpen that really locked it down to propel the Bobcats to victory. 

In game one, Jacob Tate entered the game in the fifth inning in relief of starter Mitchel Hemmen. Tate inherited a four-run deficit and was tasked with stopping the Eagle’s high-powered offense. The lefty did just that. 

Tate finished the game from the fifth, pitching 4.2 innings and allowing only four hits and no runs through his appearance. 

“It’s about coming in and not being afraid of what could happen,” Tate said. “Just need to come in and throw strikes to get your team back in the game.”

In game two, Hudson Boncal came in with the game tied and delivered three no-hit innings, allowing the offense to plate a couple more runs to win the game. 

“[The bullpen] was outstanding,” Moore said. “They were giving our offense a chance to chip away and get back into the game and get the lead. Those guys down there in the pen, [Braxton Kelly] especially, did an awesome job.”

Kelly stepped up in Saturday's game as well as game two of Sunday’s doubleheader. The reliever stepped into a closing role during these two games and recorded two saves while being seemingly unhittable.  

While the bullpen was the standout unit from the doubleheader, the offense cannot go unrecognized. The unit is coming together to become one of the most lethal offenses in the Mid-American Conference. 

“We’ve got one of the best offenses in the conference,” Minzey said. “Once everyone is on board and ready to compete every single day we’re a dangerous lineup."


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