Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Baseball Column: Shawnee State was an important win for Ohio

It had been 404 days since Ohio won a midweek game, but it broke the streak on Tuesday with a win over Shawnee State. Ohio’s last midweek win before Tuesday was March 16, 2022, against Marshall, a 6-3 victory at home. 

There were a few similarities between Tuesday’s win and the Marshall win, one being that a relief pitcher earned their first win of the season. Mitchel Hemmen, who had been a starter for Ohio, earned his first decision of the season on Tuesday. 

Midweek games have been a constant roadblock for Ohio. It doesn’t matter if it is a Tuesday or a Wednesday, Ohio has trouble pulling off a win. 

Part of that is because the Bobcats use the middle of the week as a way to dust off a few arms. It’s a test for the bullpen, and it’s been tough to pass. The Bobcats have started four different arms in their five midweek games this season. 

Ohio has used as few as four arms and as many as nine arms in a midweek game this season. It used nine against Kentucky, the first midweek game of the season and the second Power Five opponent Ohio saw. In that game, the longest outing was two innings. 

Against Shawnee State, Ohio used its fewest arms in a midweek game all season. Hemmen’s four-inning outing was the longest of any pitcher on Tuesday. Although Hemmen gave up the home run that gave Shawnee State its two runs, it was still a solid outing. He tied Hudson Boncal for the most strikeouts of the night with three.  

Braxton Kelly, who is second in the Mid-American Conference in saves, started the game for the Bobcats. It was a way for Kelly to see some mound time before this weekend’s series against Kent State because he wasn’t able to get in against Indiana. The move was smart, as it gave Kelly a different look to stay fresh. 

On the flip side, the Bobcats leveraged their speed on Tuesday, which they haven’t used to its fullest extent this season. A.J. Rausch led the way with three stolen bases, while Billy Adams and Nick Dolan each had two. Cole Williams and Alec Patino also had a bag to their name. 

Part of the extra base running was because the Bears’ battery wasn’t aggressive toward base runners. The Bobcats were close to getting thrown out a couple of times, but they still snagged the most bags they had in a game all season. Before Tuesday, the most bases the Bobcats had stolen in a game was five. The Bobcats hadn’t stolen more than five bases in a game since at least 2015. 

With Kent State on the horizon and a four-way tie for first place in the MAC, it’s important that Ohio has figured a few things out. The Indiana series may not have been what Ohio wanted, but Shawnee State provided a great stepping stone for Ohio for a few reasons. 

Billy Adams got more time on the field since returning from his injury, the bullpen got a little more confidence, and the Bobcats got to test some new offensive strategies. It may have been a win 404 days in the making, but it was worth it. 

It doesn’t matter if Shawnee State is an NAIA school. Baseball is baseball, and Ohio played good baseball on Tuesday. 


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH