Baseball: Ohio's offense will need to show improvement in series against Kent State this weekend

 

Ohio’s Derek Carr pitches during Ohio’s game against Eastern Michigan on April 13. The Bobcats beat the Eagles in their first game of a double header. (BLAKE NISSEN | FILE)

 

Ohio has to find a way to score runs this weekend.

The Bobcats lost their third straight game Wednesday, as they fell 7-6 against Marshall. After Michael Klein hit a grand slam in the first inning, the Bobcats didn’t score from the second inning through the seventh. Ohio is struggling on offense right now, and it hasn’t been hitting well when runners are in scoring position.

The Bobcats will play Kent State on the road this weekend, the first game slated for Friday at 4 p.m. The Golden Flashes are the best team in the Mid-American Conference, and with the Bobcats tied for sixth in the conference, this is a series that could be the turning point for the season.

“I mean ultimately we gotta pick up a win, if not two there this weekend,” coach Rob Smith said after the Marshall game.

The Bobcats have played four MAC series this season, and they’ve won one of them. That series win came against Northern Illinois, when the Bobcats defeated the Huskies 12-4 April 1 in the series finale.

Since then, the Bobcats’ offense hasn’t performed well. After the Marshall game, Smith said the Bobcats haven’t recently strung together quality at-bats, particularly when runners are in scoring position. He also said the Bobcats’ at-bats in certain situations aren’t planned well, which is causing their bad at-bats.

The Bobcats drew seven walks in Wednesday’s game, but they only totaled six hits. Two of the Bobcats’ runs came off bases-loaded walks from Devon Garcia and Rudy Rott.

The Bobcats are capable of drawing multiple walks, but it’s about taking advantage of them. When the Bobcats scored a season-high 15 runs in a 15-4 win against Toledo, they drew a season-high 12 walks.

Kent State has a good pitching staff. The Golden Flashes have an ERA of 3.88, and they’ve allowed 119 walks, the fewest number allowed in the MAC.

In the Bobcats’ last three games, the Bobcats have had a batting average of .200. They have a .269 average on the season, which shows they’re capable of hitting well. If Ohio can recapture the offense it had to begin the season, it should fare well against Kent State this weekend.

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