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Ohio baseball players walk onto the field after they win their second game against Central Michigan at Bob Wren Stadium, March 23, 2024, in Athens.

Baseball: Ohio falls in final game against Central Michigan

Ohio came into the weekend's final game looking to take the series against Central Michigan. After losing the first game and winning the second game in a doubleheader on Saturday, Ohio looked to carry momentum into Sunday. 

The Bobcats did not produce a run until the sixth inning during Sunday’s game, which ultimately led to a 7-2 defeat. 

Junior Blake Gaskey took the start for the final game of the series. In the first inning, he gave up 2 runs. The real damage came in the second inning, where he would walk the bases loaded with two outs. Freshman Mikey Murphy from Central Michigan would clear the bases with a three-RBI double down the left field line, setting the score 5-0. Gaskey would get out of the inning two batters later.

Ohio had an opportunity to score in the first inning. The bases were loaded with two outs when junior Nick Dolan was at the plate. Dolan struck out looking to end the inning with no runs scored.

Going into the top of the third inning, Ohio was down 5-0. The team had another opportunity to score when the bases were loaded with two outs. Dolan would be at the plate again for this opportunity but could not get any runs out of it as he would hit a pop-fly to right field, where it was caught and ended the inning.

Zach Weber came in to relieve Gaskey. In the five innings he pitched, Weber only allowed one run, giving the offense a prime comeback opportunity. 

The first run Ohio scored came in the sixth inning when sophomore Billy Adams scored on a wild pitch after freshman Pauly Mancino singled to right field, moving Adams to third base.

The only other run Ohio scored came in the seventh inning when junior AJ Rausch walked as the leadoff batter. Rausch was moved to third base after a single to right field by graduate student Bryce Smith. Dolan scored Rausch after a sacrifice fly to right field.

Ohio catcher, Jackson Cauthron (24), after making it to first base during a game against Central Michigan at Bob Wren Stadium, March 23, 2024, in Athens.

“They got a three-run double with two outs, we had bases loaded two times with two outs and we didn't get a big hit,” Ohio coach Craig Moore said. “Their pitcher was doing a good job of keeping us off balance a little bit. He had a good breaking ball and he was able to locate it. 

Weber would be taken out of the game in the bottom of the eighth. His final stat line was five innings pitched, four hits, 1 earned run, three walks and six strikeouts. 

“He gave us five innings, quality innings,” Moore said. “He gave us an opportunity to stay in the game with the offense to give us a chance to come back.” 

Junior Hudson Boncal would come in to finish the game on the mound for Ohio, only allowing one hit and no runs.

In the top of the ninth, down 5, Ohio could not produce any runs. They had two runners on base but could not capitalize on the opportunity and would lose the game 7-2, which also signified a series loss, two games to one.

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