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Alex Finney (15) watches an at-bat from the dugout against Miami on April 14, 2023, at Bob Wren Stadium. | Photo by Ashley Beach 

Baseball: Promising start to the season ends in disappointment for Ohio

As of April 27, Ohio was a part of a four-way tie for first place in the Mid-American Conference. From that day, Ohio lost 10 of its last 12 conference games and fell from a potential No. 1 seed to not even earning a spot in the four team playoff. 

Things started to go downhill for Ohio in a series against Kent State where it was outscored by a combined score of 26-10 over a three game series including a 13-4 loss. Ohio lost all three games to Kent State. 

All year Ohio ranked towards the bottom of the MAC in its pitching yet near the top of the conference in hitting and offense. Ohio finished ninth out of eleven MAC teams in team ERA with a 7.60, ahead of only Western Michigan and Northern Illinois. Ohio did, however, have fewer strikeouts at the plate than any other team in the league and ranked fifth in team batting average at .279. 

Looking back at last year's team, which had 29 wins and made it to the MAC tournament, this year's team had a higher ERA and a lower batting average. 

Despite a disappointing fifth place result, Ohio’s season was full of both positives and negatives. 

One thing Bobcat fans were fortunate to watch this season was senior closer Braxton Kelly, who broke into the top 10 all time for saves in a season with six. The 2023 season was also responsible for one of the more memorable moments in recent history during a comeback against Miami where Ohio hit a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning to overcome a seven run deficit. 

Alec Patino put forth a great year offensively with a team leading .325 batting average as well as a team leading 48 RBI. Jacob Tate led the team with a 4.08 ERA and had 41 strikeouts which was second to only Luke Olson who had 48. 

The 2023 season wrapped up head coach Craig Moore’s second year at the helm following his interim season in 2021. Moore moved to 76-79 as a head coach (includes interim year). 

In 2023, the Bobcats featured a team that was relatively inexperienced at the D1 level. Next year, Ohio will have a little bit more experience as they look to improve upon a season where it did not achieve all that it wanted. 


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