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Luke Borer (16) pitches the ball at the game against Northern Kentucky University, April 9, 2024, at Bob Wren Stadium, in Athens.

Baseball Column: Ohio is close to putting it together despite losing streak

After the final out during Tuesday night’s nonconference matchup with Northern Kentucky, the scoreboard read 11-8 in favor of the Norse. Ohio had just lost its eighth straight game, and body language and energy from the Ohio dugout seemed to be at an all-time low. 

No one expected or wanted Ohio to be at the point it’s at this season, having tallied eight straight losses, being most likely out of MAC contention, and sporting an overall sour mood.

Despite all of these struggles, Ohio still has the pieces to get it together and save its season. 

Time and time again, it has been one aspect of the game that costs Ohio a victory in the end. In the first half of the year, it was typically the starting pitching that was unable to get the job done and give the offense a chance to take the lead. 

However, in some games, the starting pitcher will give the Bobcats a productive outing, keeping the game in the distance for the offense to take the lead. When that has happened, the bats have gone cold, and the relievers that came into the game would eventually give up a string of hits or a home run that would blow the game open and take Ohio out of contention. 

Tuesday, it was the defense that gave way for Northern Kentucky to take a commanding lead. After starting pitcher Landon Price gave Ohio three solid innings of action, the offense was able to come through with 2 runs in the first three innings, tying the game at 2 apiece going into the fourth inning. 

Price was pulled in favor of Ethan Stewart, a freshman pitcher who then made his first appearance in a game for Ohio. Stewart had a decent outing despite only being on the bump for one inning of the game. In Stewart’s inning of action 6 runs were scored, yet none of those 6 runs were earned, with defensive errors costing Ohio big time. 

“We had a play we didn’t make,” said Ohio Head Coach Craig Moore. “It led to instead of just 1 run that inning it led to 5 more runs after that and a six spot.”

An error from second baseman Alex Finney on a groundball easily could have been a double play, instead the inning went on and another costly error from left fielder AJ Rausch allowed more runs to score. 

“If we make a play behind (Ethan Stewart) he probably just gives up 1 run that inning instead of the six spot,” Moore said. 

Those 5 preventable runs turned out to be the game's turning point. Ohio’s offense was solid on Tuesday, scoring 8 runs and actually outhitting Northern Kentucky. The lineup is dangerous, and every spot can provide Ohio with some juice off the bat, Nick Dolan for example, started the scoring for Ohio with a 2-run home run that soared over the left-field wall. 

Every player who had three at-bats or more on Tuesday recorded a hit as well, showing the versatility of the Ohio lineup. 

The Bobcats seem to have just been off in certain areas of the game when others are on, and if they can find a little bit of consistency, the eight-game losing streak will be snapped soon. 


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