Updated Mon, Apr 28, 2014 5:56 pm
Before the weekend series with Eastern Michigan, the Ohio baseball squad had left the friendly confines of Bob Wren Stadium with a victory just once in 15 games.
On Friday night, it appeared early on that Ohio would add another loss in front of their home fans, as the scoreboard showed a 4-2 deficit and a struggling Ohio offense in the sixth inning.
However, when the seventh inning rolled around, things began to change into the Bobcats favor.
The Bobcats crossed the plate three times in the seventh and five times in the eighth to vault themselves into the lead, a lead they would hold on their way to a 10-8 victory over the Eagles.
It was a rare comeback victory for the ‘Cats, winning for just the first time this season while trailing after six innings. They were 0-26 this season when trailing after six before Friday.
After a leadoff single by Garrett Black in that seventh inning — his fourth hit of the game — Jake Madsen (via error), Tyler Wells (hit-by-pitch), John Adryan (RBI-single), and Taylor Emody (walk, RBI) all reached base safely in consecutive at-bats. At the end of the sequence, the ‘Cats found themselves leading the Eagles 5-4.
Then, after Ohio (7-31, 3-13 Mid-American Conference) pitcher Logan Cozart retired the Eagles in order in the top of the eighth, the ‘Cats came to bat in the eighth looking to play add-on.
After just four batters, the Bobcats had the bases loaded with just one out, and Wells was at the plate. With the count at 2-2, Wells — who was hitless at the time — ripped a two-run double into left field and jumped Ohio’s lead to 7-4 over the Eagles.
But the ‘Cats weren’t done.
After Adryan was hit with a pitch, Emody looped an RBI single into center field, scoring Madsen from third and setting Ohio up with another bases-loaded situation. And over the next two at-bats, Ohio added runs on wild pitches by EMU pitchers in each of the next two at-bats to get to its 10 run final.
Cozart began the ninth inning on the mound for Ohio, but he walked the first two batters of the inning before being pulled for Corey Wells. Wells promptly walked his first batter to load the bases with no outs. And just three pitches later EMU’s John Montgomery smacked a bases-clearing triple to right center field, cutting Ohio’s lead to 10-7 with nobody out.
After adding another run a few batters later, EMU (14-25, 2-14 MAC) had the tying run at first base with only one out, and Lee Longo — the older brother of Ohio outfielder Mitch Longo — at the plate. But Ohio’s Jake Miller induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the game and secure the win for Ohio.
“I would’ve liked to have seen us close out the game better,” Ohio coach Rob Smith sad after the game. “A win is a win, but [Eastern Michigan] rolls in here tomorrow with some momentum now. [We] knock out that ninth inning and they walk away pretty disappointed that they let a lead slip away.”
Ohio will take on the Eagles a second time in as many days Saturday at 3 p.m.