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Trenton Neuer (33) hits the ball at the game against Northern Kentucky University, April 9, 2024, at Bob Wren Stadium in Athens.

Baseball: Ohio can’t find cohesion, falls in eighth straight game

Ohio (8-20, 4-11 Mid-American Conference) was looking to reconcile back-to-back weekend sweeps when Northern Kentucky (21-11, 10-2 Horizon League) came to Bob Wren on Tuesday night. Though the Bobcats featured heightened performances on offense and an overall efficient night from the pitching staff, they still did not do enough to take down the Norse and snap what is now an eight-game losing streak. 

Landon Price was a highlight of an overall disappointing 11-8 loss for Ohio. Making his first career start, Price left the score tied at the end of his outing, which spanned the first three innings. 

Ohio was able to take a lead in the bottom of the second inning, which is something that it was unable to do even once against Western Michigan last weekend. After a one-out walk from AJ Rausch, Nick Dolan stepped up to the plate with two outs and launched a home run over the right-field fence. 

After a couple of weakly hit singles in the third, Northern Kentucky was able to plate its second run of the evening to make the game tied after three innings. In the fourth, freshman Ethan Stewart trotted out to the mound for Ohio, making his first career appearance. 

After working the first batter of the inning into a quick two-strike count, Stewart hit the batter in the arm, which awarded him first base. On the next play, a groundball was hit to second base, which looked to have all the makings of a routine double play until the ball trickled into the outfield underneath the glove of second baseman Alex Finney. 

All of a sudden, what could have been an easy two outs turned into runners in scoring position with nobody out. 

The nightmare inning was far from over after back-to-back mistakes from Ohio. Though Stewart was able to get the third batter of the inning to pop it up to shallow right field, the Norse were able to manufacture a run via a double steal that saw the runner from third come home. 

After another runner reached base via a walk, Stewart was able to record a strikeout to get the second out of the inning. When Northern Kentucky's Treyvin Moss lined a ball to left field, it appeared as if Stewart would escape the inning, having surrendered only 1 run. That was until the ball was dropped by left fielder AJ Rausch, allowing 2 more runs to score. The ensuing batter was intentionally walked to bring up Jake Paulick who launched a ball over the fence for a 3-run home run. 

Stewart only allowed one hit in the entirety of his outing; however, after two errors and a couple of walks, Northern Kentucky was able to score 6 total runs, having tallied only that one hit. 

What was a 2-2 tie quickly inflated to an 8-2 deficit, and Ohio was playing catchup for the remainder of the game, a role that it played rather well. The offense seemed to have found its spark after Ohio was able to record a couple of base runners in the fourth and fifth while cutting the deficit back to just 3. 

As soon as Ohio had found a spark of momentum, it was seemingly snuffed out immediately by an electric Northern Kentucky offense. With Luke Borer on the mound for his second inning of work, the Norse were able to get some traffic on the base paths for the five-hole hitter, Mitch Wood. Wood lined a ball into the outfield that brought home a couple of runs, extending his team’s lead to 11-5. 

Though Ohio was able to get across a couple of runs late in the game, it wasn’t enough to make up for its early mistakes. In the trenches of one of its longest losing streaks in the tenure of Ohio Coach Craig Moore, the team is seeking to regain its confidence before the season is too far gone. 

“It’s not easy to stay positive and not have a self-doubt a little bit when you’re going through a streak like this,” Moore said. “As a coaching staff, we’re just going to continue to be positive with our guys and continue to work with them, we’re not going to bury them.”


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