Baseball: Rudy Rott named 2018 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year

Baseball: Rudy Rott named 2018 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year

 

Ohio’s Rudy Rott catches a ball during the Bobcats’ game against Northern Illinois on March 31. (FILE)

 

Ohio junior first baseman Rudy Rott was named the 2018 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year on Tuesday.

Rott is the third player in program history to win the award; Mitch Longo won in 2015, and Marc Krauss won in 2009.

Along with being named the MAC Player of the Year, Rott was also named to the All-MAC First Team as well as All-MAC Defensive Team.

Rott is coming off the best season of his college career. He posted career highs in batting average (.355), home runs (15), hits (76), runs (48) and walks (30).

He led the Bobcats in batting average, hits, home runs and RBIs. Rott led the MAC in hits, and he finished tied for first in the conference for home runs with Miami’s Ross Haffey.

In addition to his success at the plate, Rott also had one of his best seasons defensively. Rott had a career-high .996 fielding percentage, only tallying two errors on the season. He also had the best fielding percentage of any infielder on Ohio.

 

Advertisements

Baseball: Ohio to play against Central Michigan in final series of regular season

Baseball: Ohio to play against Central Michigan in final series of regular season

 

Ohio second baseman Aaron Levy tags Northern Illinois’ Samuel Vega during a doubleheader on March 31. (FILE)

 

Ohio will play its last series of the regular season this weekend after coming off a series loss against Western Michigan.

The Bobcats will play on the road against Central Michigan. First pitch is slated for 3:05 p.m. on Thursday.

Ohio (21-29, 9-15 Mid-American Conference) is ranked eighth in the MAC, and the conference championship begins May 23 in Avon. The top six teams make it to the championship, and Western Michigan currently holds the sixth spot. Toledo is currently in seventh.

Thursday

Game time: 3:05 p.m.

Probable pitchers: Gerry Salisbury (4-6, 5.13 ERA) vs. Dazon Cole (1-6, 5.35 ERA)

Friday

Game time: 3:05 p.m.

Probable pitchers: Michael Klein (4-1, 4.98 ERA) vs. Michael Brettell (5-6, 4.48 ERA)

Saturday

Game time: 2:05 p.m.

Probable pitchers: Derek Carr (1-1, 3.90 ERA) vs. Logan Buczkowski (2-1, 6.90 ERA)

The Central Michigan report

Central Michigan lost its last weekend series against Miami, and defeated Michigan State on Tuesday in a non-conference game.

The Chippewas are in fourth place, but they can still move around in the standings during this last weekend of the regular season.

Eastern Michigan is in fifth place, and the Broncos are sixth. Central Michigan and Western Michigan both have 11 losses – the Broncos just have 11 wins compared to the Chippewas’ 13.

The Chippewas are a better hitting team than the Bobcats. Ohio is batting .257, and the Chippewas are batting .271. The Bobcats have a solid pitching staff, though. They have an ERA of 4.21 for conference play and have allowed 229 hits.

How to stream

The games will be broadcast on WOUB 1340 AM throughout the series. Central Michigan’s website will have a stream for viewers to watch the game, but a subscription is required.

 

Baseball: Ohio loses weekend series against Western Michigan

Baseball: Ohio loses weekend series against Western Michigan

 

Ohio second baseman Aaron Levy tags Northern Illinois’ Samuel Vega during a doubleheader on March 31. (FILE)

 

Ohio lost its home series against Western Michigan over the weekend, losing the rubber match 10-6 on Sunday.

After scoring eight runs in its series last weekend against Ball State, Ohio scored 22 runs against the Broncos. The Bobcats batted .242 against Ball State; they batted .269 against Western Michigan.

The Bobcats will end their regular season with a road series this weekend against Central Michigan. The top six teams in the Mid-American Conference will play in the conference’s championship, which begins May 23 in Avon.

Friday

The Bobcats entered the series on a six-game losing streak, and that streak continued in the first game of the series. Ohio lost 7-6 against the Broncos, allowing the go-ahead run in the ninth inning.

Gerry Salisbury got the start, allowing four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings of work. Salisbury threw four of the team’s six strikeouts. Five other pitchers threw in the loss, and the Bobcats’ pitching staff gave up 12 hits.

Ohio was down 5-3 heading into the seventh inning. Rudy Rott hit a two-run home run in the third, and Tony Giannini hit an RBI single to drive in Tanner Piechnick for a run in the sixth. The Bobcats scored three runs in the seventh, as Rott hit an RBI single to drive in Sebastian Fabik for the first run of the inning.

After Rott’s RBI, Piechnick reached on a fielder’s choice to drive in Trevor Hafner. Rott scored the final run of the inning as Giannini reached on a fielder’s choice.

The Bobcats led 6-5 heading into the eighth inning, but they lost the lead as they gave up two runs in the eighth and ninth innings. Ohio finished the game with eight hits; Rott and Devon Garcia led the team in hits with two each.

Saturday

The Bobcats snapped their seven-game losing streak with a 10-7 win to even the series. Ohio’s 10 runs were the most it has scored since tallying 15 on April 6 at Toledo.

Michael Klein got the start and picked up his fourth win of the season. Klein allowed three earned runs and seven hits over five innings. Eddie Kutt and Kenny Ogg also pitched. Kutt earned his second save of the season.

Ohio was down 4-2 heading into the fifth inning, but it scored five runs in the fifth to take a 7-4 lead.

Evan Bourn hit a three-run home run in the inning for his third of the season. The Bobcats scored two more runs in the sixth, but the Broncos stormed back with a three-run seventh.

The Bobcats led 9-7 heading into the eighth inning, and Rott hit a home run to left field to extend Ohio’s lead. Rott hit two home runs in this series, and he leads the Bobcats with 15 home runs on the season. Ohio tallied 13 hits Saturday, and Rott and Ryan Sargent led the team with three each.

Sunday

The Bobcats gave up five runs in the seventh inning, losing 10-6 against the Broncos in the series’ rubber match.

Derek Carr got the start on the mound for his fifth start of the season. Carr gave up two earned runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings of work. Six other pitchers threw for the Bobcats; the pitching staff gave up 14 hits.

Ohio led 6-4 heading into the seventh inning, and it scored four of its runs in the first. Piechnick hit a three-run home run in the first inning, and Giannini hit an RBI triple to left center that brought in Klein for a run. Piechnick’s home run was his eighth of the season.

The seventh inning was where the game was lost for Ohio. The Bobcats gave up five runs, and they could never recover. The Broncos scored another run in the ninth to increase the lead to 10-6.

The Bobcats finished the game with seven hits, the fewest of the series. Piechnick led the team with two hits and three RBIs.

 

Baseball: Ohio will play Western Michigan this weekend in must-win series

The Mid-American Conference Championship is two weeks away, but Ohio’s chances of playing in the tournament are looking meek.

The Bobcats are on a five-game losing streak, and they have two conference series left in the regular season. The Bobcats are ranked eighth in the MAC. The top six teams in the conference play in the tournament.

Still, Ohio has a chance to remain in contention for a spot in the tournament this weekend. The Bobcats will host Western Michigan in their last home series of the regular season. The Broncos are ranked seventh in the MAC, and Toledo is ranked sixth.

Ohio was swept last weekend at home against Ball State. The Bobcats totaled eight runs in the series, the second-lowest number of runs they’ve had in a conference series this season.

In the past six conference games, the Bobcats haven’t hit the ball well. They’ve posted a batting average of .208, and they have totaled 72 strikeouts. Their season batting average against conference opponents is .243.

Along with hitting struggles, the Bobcats’ pitching staff has also allowed 30 earned runs in the past six conference games. Ohio gave up 15 runs in its loss during the second game of the Ball State series.

That’s the most runs the the Bobcats have allowed against any team this season.

The Bobcats’ weekend pitching rotation has struggled with injuries this season. Michael Klein has missed some time because of a tweaked elbow. He has started pitching again recently. Klein threw 4 2/3 innings in the series finale against Ball State. He gave up four earned runs in Ohio’s 11-6 loss.

Butch Baird has also missed some time because of an injury, but he returned in the second game of the Ball State series; he threw 2/3 of an inning and gave up one earned run.

With only two conference series left, the Bobcats don’t have much room for error. This weekend’s series is the most important series of the season for Ohio. If it wins this series, it’ll remain in contention for a spot in the tournament.

Baseball: Ohio drops series against Miami over weekend, loses series finale Sunday 4-2

Baseball: Ohio drops series against Miami over weekend, loses series finale Sunday 4-2

 

Ohio’s Aaron Levy swings the bat during Ohio’s game against Eastern Michigan on April 13. The Bobcats beat the Eagles 5-4 in their first game of a doubleheader. (FILE)

 

Ohio was coming off a series win against Kent State when it played Miami this weekend. The Golden Flashes and the Redhawks are two of the best teams in the Mid-American Conference.

But the Bobcats didn’t win their series against the Redhawks, another top-tier team in the MAC. Ohio lost two of three games as it fell 4-2 on Sunday in the series finale. With the series loss, the Bobcats are two games below .500 in the MAC and drop to 20-23 on the season.

The Bobcats’ next series will be at home over the weekend against Ball State, with Friday’s first pitch slated for 6 p.m.

Friday 

The Bobcats were down 3-1 headed into the fifth inning after Miami scored three runs in the bottom of the third, but Ohio came back to win 4-3 in the first game of the series.

Eddie Kutt got the start on the mound, and he gave up three earned runs in three innings of work. Kutt gave up eight hits and tallied two strikeouts in the outing. Cory Blessing came in relief, and he struck out a career-high eight batters in his third win of the season. Jake Roehn, the Bobcats’ all-time saves leader, got his seventh save of the season.

Trevor Hafner drew a walk to begin the rally in the fifth. After advancing to second on a balk, Hafner then advanced to third on a groundout to first from Rudy Rott.

Hafner scored from third as Tanner Piechnick drove him in with a groundout to third. The Bobcats took the lead in the seventh inning when Dan McCauley hit an RBI triple to right center; Piechnick and Rott scored on McCauley’s RBI.

The Bobcats held onto the lead, and they finished with seven hits. Rott led the team in hits with two, and Piechnick and McCauley each had two RBIs.

Saturday

The Bobcats led 1-0 after the second inning, but from there the Redhawks dominated. Ohio lost 6-1 in the second game of the series as Miami scored six unanswered runs after the second inning.

Ohio’s lone run came from Tony Giannini, who scored from third after Sebastian Fabik was caught stealing; Fabik was thrown out at second. While the Bobcats only scored one run, they did tally six hits. Giannini and Devon Garcia led the team in hits with two each.

The Bobcats drew five walks, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities.

What’s been important for the Bobcats’ pitching staff is their ability to not give up a lot of walks. That continued Saturday as the Bobcats’ pitching staff allowed two walks.

Gerry Salisbury got the start on the mound, and he gave up nine hits and three earned runs in his fifth loss of the season. Salisbury threw six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Salisbury leads the team in strikeouts with 53, and he has an ERA of 4.50. Nick Kamrada and Logan Jacik contributed from the bullpen, and Kamrada gave up one earned run on two hits.

Sunday

The Bobcats were down 3-1 heading into the eighth inning. The Bobcats scored one run in the eighth, but couldn’t regain the lead. The Bobcats lost 4-2 in the series finale.

With two outs in the top of the eighth, Fabik hit an RBI single to right field. McCauley scored off Fabik’s hit, and Garcia advanced to second. The Bobcats couldn’t continue to cut into the lead, though. Hafner reached on a fielder’s choice, and Fabik was thrown out at second to end the inning.

The Bobcats finished the game with three hits, the fewest number of hits they totaled in the series.

Rott, McCauley and Fabik each had a hit. Rott homered to right field in the first, earning his ninth home run of the season.

Michael Klein got the start in the series finale, and he gave up one earned run in 4 1/3 innings. Klein also threw five strikeouts. He has been recovering from a tweaked elbow. The last time he pitched was April 18 at home against Marshall.

Along with Klein, four pitchers contributed from the bullpen: Kutt, Blessing, Roehn and Kenny Ogg. The pitching staff gave up a combined eight hits and three walks.

 

Baseball: Tanner Piechnick is one of Ohio’s most important hitters

Baseball: Tanner Piechnick is one of Ohio's most important hitters

 

Ohio freshman catcher Tanner Piechnick steps up to the plate during Ohio’s game against Dayton on April 4. (FILE)

 

Tanner Piechnick didn’t start playing left field until the end of last season.

Before then, Piechnick’s natural position was catcher, the position he has played for most of his career. This season, though, Piechnick has played in left field more often.

That’s because coach Rob Smith wants to have Piechnick in the lineup. Piechnick has been one of Ohio’s best hitters this season, and Smith has used him primarily in the fourth spot.

With Dan McCauley playing catcher and Piechnick in left field, Smith can have two solid hitters in the lineup.

“Dan McCauley has been doing a great job behind the plate, so we’re going to try to get ‘em both in the game,” Smith said, referring to McCauley and Piechnick, after the Bobcats’ 7-6 loss against Marshall.

“And right now, it’s probably best to have Tanner play left.”

Piechnick said he has gotten more comfortable playing in left field, as he’s been able to read more fly balls.

Still, the reason he has switched positions is because of his hitting prowess.

Last season during his freshman year, Piechnick batted .258, had 66 at-bats and tallied 17 hits. This season, though, his at-bat totals have doubled, and he has 42 hits. He also has six home runs this season — he didn’t hit any home runs last season.

Throughout Mid-American Conference play, Piechnick has been successful at the plate. He’s batted .397 in MAC play so far, the highest of any qualifying player in the Bobcats’ lineup.

“I think I just stopped trying to do too much and just tried to relax a little bit more,” Piechnick said of his play in conference games.

What Piechnick has done especially well is help drive in runs. Piechnick is fifth on the team in RBIs (19) and is tied for second with Aaron Levy in runs scored (28).

When the Bobcats played Eastern Michigan on April 14, Piechnick hit a two-run home run to left field in the bottom of the third to put Ohio up 4-2. The ball had some lift to it as it sailed over the left field wall.

“We see it all the time in (batting practice),” Smith said after the Bobcats’ doubleheader against Eastern Michigan. “He’s got some power. When he puts a good swing on it and finds the barrel, it’s good. It’s a good swing.”

While Piechnick has done well offensively, his growth in the outfield hasn’t been anything to ignore, either.

Piechnick has six errors this season, and he has a fielding percentage of .937. Though his natural position is catcher, Piechnick said he is happy wherever he’s playing.

The Ohio offense has recently been in a slump, so Piechnick and other elite hitters in the lineup will be looked upon to continue to produce. Piechnick is in the outfield instead of behind the plate now, but he’s in a different role for a reason.

The Bobcats simply need him in the lineup.

 

Baseball: Ohio loses 6-3 on the road against Dayton in midweek game

Baseball: Ohio loses 6-3 on the road against Dayton in midweek game

 

Ohio’s Ty Black slides into second base during the Bobcats’ game against Butler on March 24. (FILE)

 

Ohio gave up five runs in the bottom of the third inning Tuesday in its 6-3 road loss against Dayton.

The Bobcats scored two runs in the top of the ninth as they tried to cut the lead. Ohio was down 6-1 heading into the ninth inning, its only run from Aaron Levy; Levy scored off a sacrifice fly from Rudy Rott in the top of the second.

In the top of the ninth with two outs, Rott hit an RBI single to left center, and Sebastian Fabik scored. After Rott’s RBI single, Tanner Piechnick advanced to second after reaching on an error from Flyers right fielder Connor Wilson. Rott scored as Piechnick reached on the error.

With Piechnick on second, Michael Klein came up to bat, but he struck out for the final out of the game. The Bobcats finished the game with five hits, and Rott led the team with two.

Redshirt freshman pitcher Cole Shinsky got the start on the mound, his fifth start of the season. Shinsky gave up three earned runs and five hits in two innings of work. Nick Kamrada came in to relieve Shinsky, and he gave up two earned runs and two hits in two innings.

Along with Shinsky and Kamrada, Logan Jacik, Derek Carr and Alex Kuster threw as well. Jacik gave up two hits and struck out four batters, the most any Bobcats pitcher threw against the Flyers.

The Bobcats’ pitching staff allowed nine hits, but their two walks were important. Coach Rob Smith stressed not allowing free bases. Smith wants his pitchers to make opposing batters work, and that’s what Ohio’s pitchers have done.

During the Kent State series, the Bobcats allowed 13 total walks, and when Ohio played Eastern Michigan, it allowed eight total walks.

Still, the Bobcats’ offense is still working to return to their previous form. The Bobcats didn’t score a run against the Flyers from the third inning through the eighth inning. They went through a hitting lull near the end as they didn’t tally a hit from the fifth inning through the eighth inning.

The Bobcats will play Miami on the road this weekend, with first pitch on Friday slated for 5 p.m. Ohio is tied for sixth in the Mid-American Conference with Ball State, and the Redhawks are ranked second in the MAC behind Kent State.