Ohio won a thriller versus Eastern Michigan on Saturday night at Bob Wren Stadium in the first of a three-game weekend series.
The Bobcats battled from being down 6-1 to come back and win the game 7-6. Ohio moved to 8-14 on the year with a decent 6-4 record in Mid-American Conference play after the evening.
Luke Olson started the game for the Bobcats. The junior got hit around by the Eagles but was still able to make it through five innings before being relieved by Colin Sells in the sixth. Olson allowed five earned runs on seven hits including three home runs.
The turning point for the Bobcats came in the seventh inning where the team strung together hit after hit to put up four runs, propelling the team into the lead at 7-6.
“The beginning of (the seventh) was the turning point,” junior Gideon Antle said. “You could just feel the inning was being built with the double and a walk. We knew we were gonna get to that guy in that inning.”
The seventh kicked off with a walk by Mason Minzey which set the tone. Later, Colin Kasperbauer came through with a single that set up two runners to be on base for Cole Williams, one of Ohio’s hottest hitters.
Williams lined a triple off the left field wall that scored both Minzey and Kasperbauer.
At that point, the Bobcats had cut the Eagles' lead from three runs to one. The Ohio bench roared back to life and sparked hope after an abysmal offensive performance to start.
Antle delivered one of the biggest at-bats of the night following the triple by Williams. Antle lined a single into right field that scored Williams to tie the game for Ohio.
Antle’s major impact didn’t stop there. After a single by Alex Finney, Eastern Michigan’s Luke Russo let a pitch get away from him and the ball rolled into the backstop. As it bounced off the wall up the third baseline, Antle bolted from second to third base and all the way home before Eastern Michigan could gather the wild pitch.
“I wasn’t gonna stop,” Antle said. “I got a big secondary and the ball kicked away … I figured I might as well try to take home here. It was a huge play.”
After Ohio took the lead, Braxton Kelly came in and shut the door on the Eagles' hopes of coming back. Kelly came in and stuck out the side in order during the top of the eighth inning and put Ohio in a position to win.
“I didn’t expect it to go that well,” Kelly said. “That one was a big inning, it was important for us to put up a zero after those four runs.”
Ohio’s offense went down quietly in the eighth but Kelly came out of the dugout with confidence ahead of the ninth. Kelly wanted three outs and the win.
“I just wanted to be aggressive and attack,” Kelly said. “Just pitch my game and get outs to try and get off the field.”
Kelly struck out two more in the ninth on the way to Ohio coming up victorious.
“Coach Moore always preaches to us ‘stick with it, it’ll always reward you’,” Kelly said. “That’s what we did today.”