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Ohio baseball player Carson Denham (27) steps to throw a pitch during a game against Youngstown State at Bob Wren Stadium, March 5, 2024, in Athens.

Baseball: Ohio falls in high scoring battle with Northern Kentucky

In a mid-week matchup, Ohio traveled to Highland Heights, Kentucky, to face off against Northern Kentucky. Ohio is coming off a series win against Kent State last weekend, winning the first two games but losing the third. Northern Kentucky has been hot lately, winning its last seven games. 

Freshman Trey Barkman made his second appearance and first start of the season against Northern Kentucky. Barkman had trouble finding the strike zone, allowing the first five batters to reach first via walk or hit by pitch. 

Barkman was unable to record an out before being replaced by graduate student Carson Denham. Northern Kentucky scored 8 runs in the first inning, with only 4 of those runs being credited as earned.

After scoring 1 run in the first inning, Ohio was still down 7 going into the second. Ohio responded with a good second inning to get within striking distance of Northern Kentucky. With help from a sacrifice fly from freshman JR Nelson and senior Gideon Antle hitting a 3-run home run, the score was 5-8.

Senior Luke Olson would replace Denham in the fourth inning. Denham would leave the game after 3.0 IP, 4 runs, 0 earned runs, seven hits, one walk and one strikeout. After a home run in his first inning of pitching, Olson would have two consecutive three-up, three down innings before the seventh, where he would surrender the lead after giving up 4 runs.

In the top of the sixth inning, with two runners on base, junior Taylor Gill, who replaced junior Nick Dolan, hit a three-run home run, scoring freshman Caleb Karll and fifth-year Alex Finney, cutting Northern Kentucky’s lead down to one.

Ohio was down going into the seventh inning, 9-10. The inning started very well, with a single to center field by freshman JR Nelson, followed by Antle getting hit by a pitch, and Finney walking to load the bases. Junior Jackson Cauthron was up to bat next. He narrowly got the ball past the first baseman down the line, scoring both Nelson and Antle while Finney was able to move to third base. The next at-bat, graduate student Trenton Neuer grounded out to the shortstop, scoring Finney. Ohio regained the lead 12-10.

While Ohio’s offense was quiet the rest of the game after the seventh inning, Northern Kentucky’s offense began to heat up again after two scoreless innings. It would score 4 runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, regaining the lead 14-12.

To start the bottom of the eighth inning, Ohio would replace Olson with junior Patrick Straub, who would only be able to get one out, giving up 4 earned runs, before sophomore Landon Price would come in to try to stop the bleeding. He would let two runs score, with both being attributed to Straub.

Down 18-12, Ohio would only be able to score 1 run in the ninth inning, losing 18-13. Luke Olson would be credited with the loss. 

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