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Ohio outfielder, Pauly Mancino (5), prepares to bat the ball during a game against Western Michigan at Bob Wren Stadium, April 5, 2024, in Athens.

Baseball: Ohio falls in extra innings to Western Michigan

Ohio (8-17 overall, 4-9 Mid-American Conference) hosted Western Michigan (13-13 overall, 6-4 MAC) in a close battle in the first game of the series, which went into extra innings. After being swept by Ball State last series, Ohio is looking to turn things around this weekend against Western Michigan.

Though the Bobcats put up an impressive effort against one of the MAC’s best teams, they eventually fell 6-5 after 12 innings. 

Members of the Ohio baseball team stand for the National Anthem before a game against Western Michigan at Bob Wren Stadium, April 5, 2024, in Athens.

Junior Dillon Masters was the starting pitcher for the Bobcats in the series opener. Masters didn’t get off to an ideal start, giving up a home run in the first inning to Western Michigan’s Cade Sullivan. 

Masters would quickly turn a rough start around, not giving up another run until the fourth inning while allowing only 4 runs in the six innings he pitched. Masters kept the game from getting out of control, never allowing more than 1 run to score in an inning, allowing Ohio’s offense to stay in the game.

Junior Nick Dolan shined in the game for Ohio, getting two hits and scoring three times, accounting for more than half of Ohio’s runs. 

Dolan also played a pivotal role on defense, making a couple of great throws from third base on a myriad of bunt attempts and close plays from the Broncos. 

“Nick’s getting settled into the lineup a little bit,” Ohio coach Craig Moore said. “It’s good to see him kind of build upon some past successes.” 

Senior Gideon Antle also helped Ohio offensively, going 2-4 with two RBIs, scoring Dolan both times and stealing second base twice to put himself in scoring position.

In the seventh inning, Masters was replaced with senior Luke Olson. Masters’ final stat line was 6.0 innings pitched, nine hits, 4 earned runs, four walks and two strikeouts. He would also leave the game with over 100 total pitches. Olson helped suppress Western Michigan’s offense, only allowing 1 run in two innings pitched.

Ohio took the lead in the seventh when Antle singled to center field to score Dolan, making the score 5-4. However, the lead was short-lived, as Western Michigan scored in the eighth to tie the game. Neither Ohio nor Western Michigan scored again by the end of the ninth inning, moving the game into extra innings.

Both offenses were slow in extra innings, with neither team’s pitching allowing much room for the other to score. Western Michigan broke the tie in the top of the twelfth inning after junior Tyler Peck, who came in to relieve junior Zach Weber, allowed the bases to be loaded. Peck nearly escaped the jam but ultimately walked Western Michigan’s Greg Budig to score the go-ahead run. 

Ohio did not score a run in the bottom of the 12th inning after nobody was able to get on base. Ohio was only able to get one runner on base in the three extra innings. Peck was credited with the loss.

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