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Wes Lug celebrates a grand slam against Miami on Friday, April 14 at Bob Wren Stadium. | Photo by Ashley Beach

Baseball: Wes Lug's first career home run leads Ohio to win over Miami

Wes Lug isn’t usually in Ohio’s lineup. The sophomore has had a few spot starts and goes into games during the later innings, but that’s about it. However, Lug got his first start at Bob Wren Stadium on Friday — and his first career home run. 

Lug hit a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the eighth to beat Miami.  

“I just wanted to wanted to contribute to the team I didn't know it was gonna be this big,” Lug said.

Ohio entered the bottom of the eighth, hoping it could complete another comeback. It was down seven runs and tensions were high. Ohio didn’t want to fall victim to its rival. 

The Bobcats' emotions rang through. Visions of happiness, worry and focus were painted on their faces as the first out of the inning was rung up — a strikeout looking on Will Sturek. The Bobcats didn’t agree with the call, but they didn’t let it get to them. 

Wes Lug(23) hit a homerun at the OHIO vs Miami University baseball game on April 14, 2023.

As Miami warmed up its new pitcher, Ohio devised a plan. Colin Kasperbauer was at the plate, Alex Finney was on deck and Cole Williams was in the hole. Ohio knew that it had a chance to continue the rally with those bats up next.

Kasperbauer knocked an RBI to bring Miami’s lead down to three runs, while Finney and Williams found their way onto the basepaths. The Bobcats still only had one out on the board, and it was time for Lug to step into the box. 

Lug walked up to the plate and took a deep breath. He simply needed to hit the ball and follow coach Kirby McGuire's plan during the call to the bullpen.  

The worry from before trickled in when Lug went down in the count 1-2. Three white jerseys stood on the basepaths waiting to be sent home. It was Lug’s time to prove that his presence in the lineup was worth it. 

Ohio had faith in the young slugger, too. During Lug’s at-bat, encouragement poured from its dugout. Ohio wanted to stay alive and it knew Lug had the power to bring in a run.  

“Actually, at third base, Kirby called it,” Kasperbauer said. “He was like ‘Wes might get into one here’ and next pitch, it got up and got out of here. I'm so happy for Wes. He's a stud and he deserves to play.” 


Wes Lug greets his teammates at home plate after hitting a grand slam on Friday, April 14 at Bob Wren Stadium | Photo by Ashley Beach

The ball made contact with the barrel of Lug’s bat and sailed over the left field wall. His adrenaline took over as he rounded the bases and headed toward his teammates at home plate. 

Bob Wren Stadium roared with excitement as Williams, Finney and Kasperbauer hugged Lug. The entire dugout met the four of them at the baseline and exchanged high-fives. All of the previous doubts had washed away. Ohio had just earned its go-ahead run over Miami.

The Bobcats capped the inning off at 10 runs and earned three strike outs in the ninth to slam the door on the RedHawks. 

At the beginning of the night, Lug was excited to even be in the starting lineup. It was a special moment in its own right. However, now, the bottom of the eighth against Miami will forever be etched in his memory.

“It was just one of the best baseball experiences ever,” Lug said. 


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