TOLEDO — For the second weekend in a row, the Ohio baseball team had to settle for a conference split.
Toledo won the final two games of a four-game series to salvage a split against the Bobcats over the weekend.
Ohio cruised in Friday’s opener, 13-2, before winning the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, 11-6.
The Rockets recovered to win the second game on Saturday, 6-5, before ending the series with a comeback 7-6 win on Easter Sunday.
Ohio’s record stands at 11-11 overall, and 5-7 in the Mid-American Conference.
The Bobcats are still searching for their first conference series win of the season, but they’ve won all three series openers thanks to the efforts of pitcher Joe Rock.
He improved to 4-1 on the season, and 3-0 in the MAC, after Friday’s 13-2 win. He pitched all eight innings of the game, allowing just one earned run on seven hits. He struck out seven without walking a batter.
Ohio trailed 1-0 before scoring single runs in four straight innings to lead 4-1 after six. The Bobcats tacked on two in the seventh and seven more in the eighth to blow the game open.
Isaiah Peterson capped off the scoring with an eighth-inning grand slam.
Ohio had 14 hits. Trevor Hafner was 3 for 3 with three runs scored and a walk, while Harry Witwer-Dukes, Sebastian Fabik and Trevor Lukkes each had two-hit games.
The Bobcats’ bats remained hot in Saturday’s first game, hitting five home runs out of Toledo’s Scott Park.
Remarkably, Ohio hit four home runs in a row in the first inning. Michael Richardson hit a one-out single, then Witwer-Dukes followed with a two-run shot.
Fabik, Hafner and Mason Minze followed with solo shots, giving the Bobcats a 5-0 lead after back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs.
Fabik later added a solo shot in the sixth inning.
Logan Jones benefitted from the run support. He got the win, pitching four innings of the seven-inning game. He allowed two runs on five hits with four strikeouts.
Edward Kutt IV pitched the final three innings for his fourth save of the season. He allowed four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts.
There were a total of seven home runs in the game, as Toledo’s Chris Meyers and Marcus Strother also added home runs.
Kyle Jones (0-5) took the loss for the Rockets. Despite giving up four home runs in the opening inning, he was able to last four complete innings, giving up six runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts.
Toledo won the final two games thanks to one-run wins.
Ohio led 4-2 in the second game on Saturday before Toledo tied the game with two in the fifth. Ohio went back ahead 5-4, only to see Toledo score two more runs in the bottom of the sixth for the 6-5 win.
Hafner and Spencer Herbert each hit home runs for Ohio, with Meyers, Mason Sykes and Danny O’Reilly adding home runs for Toledo.
The Bobcats scored four runs in the top of the fifth on Sunday to lead 4-1. Toledo promptly tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on O’Reilly’s three-run home run.
Hafner’s seventh-inning double put Ohio back ahead 5-4, but Toledo scored three runs in the seventh inning. O’Reilly’s second home run of the game was a two-run shot that gave Toledo a 7-5 lead.
Peterson hit a solo home run in the top of the eighth to bring Ohio within 7-6, but the ‘Cats would get no closer.
Toledo’s record stands at 6-19 and 4-8 in the MAC after the weekend.
Ohio sits in seventh place out of 11 teams after three MAC weekend series.
The Bobcats are scheduled to host Eastern Michigan this weekend in a four-game series, with the first game beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday.