ATHENS, Ohio -
A five-run inning in the bottom of the fifth was enough to fuel the Ohio Baseball (11-13) team to victory as the Bobcats defeated Otterbein 11-5 Wednesday night at Bob Wren Stadium to snap its three-game losing streak.
Freshman Jake Madsen (Cincinnati, Ohio) extended his hitting streak to 17 games on a 2-for-5 effort, giving him a team-leading 37 hits on the season, while senior Jensen Painter (Willshire, Ohio) blasted two home runs on 2-for-5 hitting and four RBI. Freshman Tyler Wells (Lexington, Ky.) also saw success on the night, going 2-for-5 with his first triple of the season.
Brett Barber (Hurricane, W. Va) pitched an imposing game, picking up his second win of the season. The junior pitched 8.2 innings, only giving up five hits, three runs and tallying five strikeouts.
Otterbein jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to a RBI double from Sean Kettering and a RBI single from Thomas Linder. Barber took over the mound for freshman Nick Plys (Parma, Ohio) and helped force a double play to boost the Bobcats out of a jam. The Bobcat infield would add to its solid defense with another double play to hold the Cardinals scoreless in the next inning.
Senior Ethan Newton (Norfolk, Va.) put the `Cats on a roll with a double to right field in the bottom of the third and Wells sent another ball to left center field, bringing home two runs and knotting things up at two apiece. Madsen added to the hitting affair with a single of his own, driving home Wells and giving Ohio the 3-2 lead to round out the third inning.
After the Ohio infield squandered Otterbein's chance to tie the game with a runner on third base in fourth inning, sophomore Kyle Dean (Athens, Ohio) capitalized on a Cardinal outfield error with a double and freshman Ian Mezlak (Lorain, Ohio) was able to bring him home with a sacrifice out to push Ohio's lead to 4-2. Otterbein responded in the top of the fifth, however, with a triple from Greg Moomaw that rallied two runs to tie the score 4-4.
The Wells-Painter show was in full effect in the bottom of the fifth inning as Wells clobbered a triple to right center field and Painter lined one over the fence for his ninth homerun of the season to help Ohio regain the lead 6-4. The Bobcats kept up the hot bat with another triple from Mezlak, only the sixth for Ohio this season, and a double from sophomore Garrett Black (Lima, Ohio) to add three more runs and make it 9-4 Bobcats. Mezlak, Wells, Madsen and junior Tyler Backstrom (Columbus, Ohio) all recorded runs in the inning.
The Cardinals answered Ohio's surge with a homerun from Billy Harkenrider to begin the seventh inning and cut Ohio's lead to 9-5, but that would be the Cardinals final offensive threat as Barber continued to control play from the mound. Ohio kept its foot on the gas late in the game as Painter added another homerun in the bottom of the eighth, driving in two more runs to make the score final at 11-5.
Ohio takes a day off before returning to action on Friday, Mar. 30 as the Bobcats welcome Mid-American Conference foe Eastern Michigan. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.