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Members of the Ohio baseball team in the dugout during a game against Toledo at Bob Wren Stadium, April 27, 2024, in Athens.

Baseball: Ohio wins first of three-game series against Toledo

Ohio (13-24, 8-14 Mid-American Conference) hosted Toledo (19-23 overall, 12-10 MAC) for the first game of a three-game series over the weekend, winning 6-3. Ohio came into the game hot after winning their last two games, most recently against an above .500 Morehead State team. 

As the season winds down, Ohio is just three-and-a-half games out of the MAC tournament and has a chance to sneak in with the remainder of their series against Toledo, two games against a lackluster Marshall team and a three-game series against last-placed Akron.

Ohio infielder, Bryce Smith (12), catches the ball as Toledo outfielder/infielder, Garret Pike (19), slides back into first base during a game against Toledo at Bob Wren Stadium, April 27, 2024, in Athens.

Dillon Masters took the mound for the Bobcats to start the game. Toledo got to him early, scoring 2 runs in the first inning. 

Ohio’s offense would be silent until the third inning, where fifth-year Alex Finney hit a single to left field, scoring both freshman Pauly Mancino and junior Nick Dolan after reaching first base via a hit into center field. 

Masters held Toledo to 2 runs until he was taken out at the beginning of the sixth inning with a final stat line of 5.0 innings pitched, 2 runs, three hits, three walks and three strikeouts.

“(Masters) grinded out the start,” said Ohio coach Craig Moore. “Didn’t get off to the greatest start … but he stuck with it.”

Junior Tyler Peck was brought in to continue to limit Toledo’s offense. However, Peck could not keep Toledo’s offense silent as he allowed a run to score in his first inning pitching from a sacrifice fly to center field. 

In the bottom of the sixth inning, senior Gideon Antle started the inning with a bang, hitting a double to left field. The next two batters could not follow up Gideon’s start, both earning Toledo outs, but getting Antle to third in the process. Junior AJ Rausch finally hit Antle in with a single to center field, tying up the game at 3 runs. 

“Our biggest thing is just get the job done early,” said Rausch. “Hunt hittable pitches and that first was a hittable pitch.”

Ohio outfielder/right hand pitcher, Pauly Mancino (5), after throwing the ball during a game against Toledo at Bob Wren Stadium, April 27, 2024, in Athens.

Ohio would perform a perfect hit-and-run as freshman Caleb Karll singled right-center field, which moved Rausch to third base in prime scoring position. Rausch scored later in the inning on a passed ball by Toledo, giving Ohio the lead for the first time in the game. 

Ohio got insurance runs in the eighth inning after Rausch and Karll scored. Rausch scored from a throwing error by the catcher and Karll scored on an RBI double to left-center field from Dolan.

“Just making contact, doing anything I can to put the ball in play,” Dolan said. “Put pressure on (the defense).”

Ohio left hand pitcher, Adam Beery (38), pitches during a game against Toledo at Bob Wren Stadium, April 27, 2024, in Athens.

Senior Luke Olson finished the game for Ohio and held Toledo to 3 runs giving Olson his second-consecutive save.

Peck was credited with the win.

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