There was a lot on Ohio’s mind as it traveled to Toledo. A devastating loss against Morehead State on Tuesday uncovered a lot of Ohio’s issues, and it wasn’t quite sure what would happen against Toledo. However, rather than let painful memories drag on, Ohio posted a series sweep.
The Bobcats (13-15, 11-4 MAC) hadn’t tallied back-to-back series sweeps in the MAC since 2010. Their three wins against the Rockets shoved any doubts the Bobcats had into their back pockets and put them at their best start through 15 conference games since 2012. The sweep was also the Bobcats’ first against the Rockets since at least 2005.
Ohio had a good thing going at Toledo (14-16, 6-9 MAC). Here’s how it went down:
If Ohio needed any indicator that it still had the mojo to win, Friday was it. Luke Olson threw a complete-game shutout to defeat Toledo 6-0 for his third win of the season. Olson dazzled on the mound. He struck out seven batters and gave up a mere two hits.
The Bobcats retired the Rockets in order in seven of nine innings, and only saw four batters in each of the other two innings. Friday was one of the Bobcats’ best defensive games all season.
Seven different Bobcats collected hits against the Rockets, and two of them had home runs. Nick Dolan’s two-run blast in the third allowed the Bobcats to jump on the board first and Alec Patino’s solo home run put an exclamation point on the afternoon.
Ohio did not dismantle Toledo on Saturday the way it had the day before. Toledo stacked up an early lead and Ohio was left to once again scrap for a win. However, Ohio found itself in comfortable territory. It put up six runs on seven hits in the ninth inning to take an 8-7 victory.
The rally started with singles by A.J. Rausch and Mason Minzey. Rausch scored the first run on a double by Will Sturek, which led to a pitching change for Toledo. Colin Kasperbauer snagged the first hit from the new pitcher to score Minzey and put another runner on base for Alex Finney. Finney’s single led to another RBI, and then an RBI single for Cole Williams.
The Rockets managed to collect a second out by getting Williams at second on a grounder by Trevor Lukkes, however, another run scored. Lukkes’ fielder’s choice tied the game and kept the Bobcats alive for a little while longer.
Lukkes advanced to second on a single by Dolan and scored the winning run on an error by Troy Sudbrook, who was trying to get Rausch at first.
The win could not have happened without Jacob Tate and Braxton Kelly’s strong relief appearances. Tate struck out five batters to seal the win and Kelly put up zeros in the ninth inning for the save.
Sunday is usually when Ohio loses its steam. However, that was not the case at Scott Park, where Ohio snatched the series with a 5-2 victory.
Trent Spoon looked the best he has all season in his two-hit, six-inning appearance. Spoon hadn’t allowed fewer than three runs since Feb. 26 at Western Kentucky. The outing was his longest of the season, as well. His second-longest was five innings, also on Feb. 26.
Ohio backed Spoon with an evenly-dispersed offensive performance. It scored in four different innings, with only one of those having more than one run. Ohio scored two runs in the fifth on a home run by Patino, his sixth of the season.
The Rockets gained energy in the ninth inning and put two runners on base with one out. However, the Bobcats squashed their hopes. Kelly came and forced a ground ball that Kasperbauer turned into a double play for Kelly’s fifth save of the season.
Sunday’s victory secured Ohio’s spot as the No. 3 team in the MAC, just behind Kent State.