KENT — For the first time all season, the Ohio University baseball team lost a conference game with ace Joe Rock on the mound.
However, the Bobcats were able to recover from the rare setback.
Ohio won the final two games of a four-game set, splitting a Mid-American Conference series at Kent State over the weekend.
Kent State won Friday’s game 3-2, then won the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, 10-4.
Ohio came back to win the second game of the twin bill 12-6, then gained the split with a convincing 12-1 Sunday win.
The Bobcats are 22-15 on the season, having won six of their last eight games. They are 13-11 in the MAC.
Winning the final two games allowed Ohio to move ahead of Kent State in the MAC standings. The Flashes are 19-20 overall, and 12-12 in the MAC.
Ohio led Friday’s opener 2-1 before Kent State scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh on Eric Wentz’s two-run home run.
It put a no-decision on Rock, who pitched six innings and left with a lead. He allowed one earned run on four hits, striking out eight and walking four.
Edward Kutt IV took the loss to fall to 3-3. He allowed the two runs on Wentz’s homer, working an inning.
Ohio’s Isaiah Peterson led the game off with a solo home run, and Ohio eventually went ahead 2-1 on Aaron Levy’s RBI double in the sixth.
The Bobcats led Saturday’s opening game 3-2 before Kent State took over in the bottom of the fourth.
The Flashes scored three runs in that fourth, then four more in the fifth to go ahead 9-4.
Sam Thompson was 3 for 3 with a home run, three RBIs and a run for Kent State.
Ben Carew also hit a solo home run in the first for Kent State.
Ohio had nine hits, with Treyben Funderburg going 2 for 3 with a double and run.
Kelly Braxton (1-2) took the loss for Ohio, pitching 4 1-3 innings and giving up nine earned runs on six hits and five walks.
Collin Romel won for Kent State in 4 2-3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and four strikeouts.
Ohio recovered by scoring 24 runs over the last two games.
It started with the 12-6 win in Saturday’s second game.
The game was tied at 4-4 before the Bobcats scored three in the fifth and five in the sixth.
Sebastian Fabik’s home run gave Ohio a 7-4 lead in the fifth. Harry Witwer-Dukes hit a two-run double in the sixth for a 12-6 advantage.
Ohio only had nine hits, but three left the park.
Levy’s two-run home run tied the game at 2-2 in the second. Peterson hit a solo shot in the third for a 3-2 advantage.
Logan Jones (3-2) got the win for Ohio, going four innings of the seven-inning contest. He allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits and just one walk. He struck out five.
Colin Sells (2-3 of an inning) and Brett Manis (2 1-3 innings) combined to get the final three innings out of the bullpen. Manis earned his fifth save of the season, not allowing a run.
Jack Kartsonas (1-4) was the losing pitcher, giving up five earned runs in four innings. He gave up just four hits, but two were home runs.
Cam Touchette was 3 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs for Kent State.
Ohio rolled in Sunday’s finale, 12-1.
The Bobcats’ lead stood at 1-0 before scoring in four straight innings. They scored three in the fourth, one in the fifth then two runs in each the sixth and seventh innings.
Ohio added three runs in the top of the ninth for good measure.
Levy had two home runs a double for Ohio, going 4 for 5 with four RBIs and four runs.
Both of his home runs were two-run blasts, the first making it 9-1 in the seventh. The second gave Ohio an 11-1 lead in the ninth.
Hafner followed with another home run in the ninth for the 12-1 lead.
Spencer Harbert was 2 for 4 with four RBIs for the Bobcats, while Fabik was 2 for 4 with three runs, an RBI and a walk.
Kutt IV gave Ohio eight strong innings on the mound to improve to 6-3. He gave up one earned run on eight hits without walking a batter. He struck out 10.
Chace Harris worked a scoreless ninth for Ohio.
Richie Dell (1-3) took the loss when he gave up five runs — two being earned — in five innings of work. He gave up five hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
Wentz was 3 for 4 for Kent State.
There are four conference weekends left for the Bobcats. They return home this weekend to host Miami.
Friday’s first game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. A Saturday doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m., while Sunday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.