Ohio was swept in the Mid-American Conference for the first time over the weekend by Kent State. The Bobcats were outmatched by a high-powered offense along with a couple of great pitching performances from the Golden Flashes.
The Bobcats tried something different with the pitching staff in hopes to receive a better result out of their starters over the weekend. Dillon Masters started the game on Friday, in a spot where ace Luke Olson has been all year. Masters, who is usually seen out of the bullpen, pitched fairly well with four innings of two-run baseball.
Olson was still not seen following the 6-1 loss on Friday. Zach Weber took the mound on Saturday in what ended up being Ohio’s worst game of the weekend. Weber gave up eight runs in his 2 and ⅔ innings appearance en route to Ohio’s 13-4 loss.
On Sunday, Ohio received its third loss of the weekend with Olson on the mound. The offense finally came alive during the Sunday game, where it put up five runs, however, those weren’t enough to recoup from Kent State’s six-run inning in the first. Olson was unable to make it through the first inning after that. He recorded one out before being relieved by Braxton Kelly.
Ohio went on to lose Sunday's game 5-7 despite bringing the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth.
The Bobcats were only able to score 10 runs through three games over the weekend compared to the Golden Flashes’ 26.
Billy Adams was one of the bright spots in the Ohio lineup over the weekend. Adams was the only member of the offense who was able to tally a hit in each of the three games. The freshman infielder, who recently returned from injury, was also able to deliver a three-hit performance on Saturday that included two RBIs.
Jacob Tate gave Ohio every chance it needed to come back and win the game on Sunday with five shutout innings in relief for Kelly. The offense was unable to score a single run while Tate was on the mound and ended up losing by two.
Ben Cruikshank pitched particularly well for Kent State on Friday with seven shutout innings where the right-handed pitcher allowed only four hits while also picking up nine strikeouts. With Cruikshank on the mound to start the game, the Bobcats were unable to pick up their first run of the game until the ninth inning.
Despite the run differential throughout the series, Ohio had its opportunities to win. Entering the seventh inning of Saturday and Sunday’s game the team was only down by two runs, they just couldn’t deliver.
Ohio entered the weekend in a four-way tie for first place in the MAC, now, Ohio has lost control of the conference and fallen to fifth place as Kent State surged to alone in first place.