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Ohio outfielder, Gideon Antle (18), runs to first base during a game against Morehead State at Bob Wren Stadium, April 23, 2024, in Athens.

Baseball: Pitching, defense championed Ohio's win over Morehead State

For the first time all season, Ohio has gone back-to-back games allowing no more than two runs. Tuesday night against Morehead State, Ohio’s pitching and defense led the team to a 4-2 victory. 

“It’s always good to win on a Tuesday, get some momentum,” Ohio Coach Craig Moore said. “We’re 1-0 on the week right now. We’ll come back tomorrow and Thursday, have some big workouts and get ready for Toledo on Friday.”

The defensive spark was lit by Adam Beery, a junior making his first career start after spending his entire career in the bullpen. Beery started the Bobcats out on the right foot with back-to-back scoreless innings. 

Beery surrendered his first run of the game in the third inning but pitched well to get out of a jam by forcing a double play with runners on base. After surrendering a run in the top half of the third, Ohio responded quickly with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning. 

Ohio outfielder, Gideon Antle (18), in the outfield during a game against Morehead State at Bob Wren Stadium, April 23, 2024, in Athens.

In the third, JR Nelson got the rally started with a hard-hit single through the infield, which was followed up by another single from Alex Finney. With two men on base, Ohio brought its most prolific hitter to the plate in Gideon Antle. The Bobcats' center fielder lined a ball over the center field fence for a three-run home run, cementing a lead for Ohio that it would not surrender. 

“(Leading off) I really want to get a hit for my guys, that first at-bat is huge,” Nelson said. “There’s a lot of energy in the park and in the dugout so getting that first hit is big for morale.”

The underlying storyline of the night was the pitching and defense on both sides, but that isn’t to take away from a productive day at the plate for the Ohio offense. Nelson and Antle led the way with two hits a piece with Antle leading all hitters with three RBI in the game. As a team, Ohio tallied 8 total hits and also a couple of hard-hit outs. 

In the fourth, Ohio and Morehead State scored a run, but that was the end of the scoring for the night. The innings that followed were dominated by an Ohio bullpen that could not be stopped. 

Three different pitchers combined for five shutout innings by the Ohio bullpen, the most impressive was a two-inning save by veteran Luke Olson. Coming in to defend a slim 2-run lead in the eighth inning, Olson faced seven total batters, six of which went down via the strikeout. 

“It feels great; Morehead is a team that beat us earlier in the season,” Olson said. “The coaching staff said that we wanted to win, so I figured we should keep things going in the right direction.”

On March 12, Ohio took on Morehead State on the road, where it surrendered a total of 20 runs in a blowout loss. This Tuesday night, the entire pitching staff returned in a big way against the same offense. Nonetheless, Moore believes home-field advantage played a big role in the team’s ability to bounce back against the Eagles. 

Ohio left hand pitcher, Adam Beery (38), pitches during a game against Morehead State at Bob Wren Stadium, April 23, 2024, in Athens.

“They’re a different ball club on the road than they are at home,” Moore said. “They play to their field, there’s a little bit different style of field in most parks. They are a little bit of a different team on the road if you look at the batting averages and how they hit.”

Ohio will be back at home this weekend when it takes on Toledo in a critical Mid-American Conference matchup.


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