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Ohio infielder, Nick Dolan (1), moves as the ball moves past him during a game against Kent State at Bob Wren Stadium, March 16, 2024, in Athens.

Baseball: Ohio swept by Western Michigan after a shutout loss

Ohio (8-19, 4-11 Mid-American Conference) was defeated 7-0 Sunday against Western Michigan (15-13, 8-4 MAC). Sunday’s shutout loss was the seventh straight loss for Ohio and marked back-to-back sweeps at the hands of Ball State and Western Michigan. 

Ohio’s offense once again went dormant, tallying only four hits on a day where it was shutout by a trio of Western Michigan pitchers. The Broncos pitchers only threw a total of 85 pitches throughout all nine innings Sunday. The pitch count of 85 was an improvement from Saturday's count of 69, but Ohio is still not getting good at-bats on offense. 

Junior Blake Gaskey got the start on the mound for Ohio and gave a solid performance in his time in the game.

Gaskey held Western Michigan scoreless through his first four innings of work and was able to get out of some jams by striking out the Western Michigan batters. 

“Blake, early on, had to work out some damage. They had some traffic on the bases and things like that,” said Ohio coach Craig Moore. “He worked around it early, you know, gave our offense an opportunity to try to maybe get the lead and get on top. We just (weren’t) able to get anything going with the bats today”

Gaskey’s pitching gave Ohio a golden opportunity for its offense to score some runs and give it the lead for the first time in the series. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, they were held without a baserunner until the fourth inning, where freshman shortstop JR Nelson finally gave Ohio some life with a single. 

Ohio wasn’t able to bring Nelson home after getting on base, entering the fifth inning tied with a Western Michigan team that was putting the ball in play, but unable to bring runners around home. 

That was until CJ Richmond stepped up to the plate in the top of the fifth inning. Gaskey’s pitch was just a little too high and Richmond took advantage, sending the ball over the right field wall for a two-run home run to break the tie and give Western Michigan the lead. 

“The one inning there, he left a pitch up in the zone and the kid took advantage of it,” Moore said. 

The Broncos would create another run before the end of the fifth inning, giving Ohio a 3-0 deficit going into the second half of the game. The next two times the Bobcats came up to bat, they went 1-2-3, not even putting a runner on base or in scoring position.  

The seventh inning was a golden opportunity for Ohio. Bryce Smith, Trenton Neuer and Pauly Mancino were able to combine to load the bases for Jackson Cauthron with two outs and a chance to take the lead. After a good at-bat that made the pitcher work, Cauthron ultimately flew out to left field, and the 0 on the scoreboard for Ohio went unchanged. 

Western Michigan would go on to add 4 more runs to its lead before Ohio’s last chance to take the lead in the bottom of the ninth. Things failed to change for Ohio, and the game ended in a 7-0 shutout.

Northern Kentucky comes to Athens on Tuesday to play a nonconference game against Ohio, and things will need to change if Ohio wants to snap its losing streak. 


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