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.

 

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NBA Playoffs: An update on the second full week of the postseason

NBA Playoffs: An update on the second full week of the postseason

Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland where the Cavaliers play. (photo via Wikimedia Commons user Erik Drost)

 

With the NBA playoffs in its second full week of play, multiple series are showing why they were intriguing heading into the postseason.

The New Orleans Pelicans swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round and shocked the NBA world, but other series have been just as surprising.

The Washington Wizards tied their series with the Toronto Raptors at 2-2 after being down 2-0, and the Utah Jazz extended their series lead to 3-1 on Monday over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

As the playoffs continue, here’s an update on the games that will be played Wednesday:

No. 1 Toronto Raptors vs No. 8 Washington Wizards

Series info: The series is tied at 2-2, and the Wizards have won the last two games. The Wizards defeated the Raptors 106-98 in Game 4.

Game 5 date and time: The Raptors will play the Wizards at home Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The rundown: Yeah, so the Raptors are in trouble. The Raptors won the first two games of the series. But since then, John Wall and Bradley Beal have shown why they have the potential to be a problem for opponents in the playoffs. In the past two games, Wall and Beal have combined for 114 points, which is 50 percent of the Wizards’ total points in the past two games. Wall and Beal are the Wizards’ best players, so the pair’s production has been necessary for the team to win. With Wall’s speed and ability to drive to the hoop, the floor opens for Beal to shoot and other players to get buckets. Still, if the Raptors can slow down Wall and Beal — or even just one of them — they’ll have a good chance at winning Game 5.

No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers vs No. 5 Indiana Pacers

Series info: The series is tied at 2-2 after the Cavaliers defeated the Pacers 104-100 in Game 4.

Game 5 date and time: The Cavaliers will play the Pacers at home Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The rundown: Man, this series has been something else. While the Cavaliers have stayed in games because of solid defense, they are lacking a consistent contributor on offense who isn’t named LeBron James. During Game 2, when the Cavs were down 1-0 in the series, James scored 46 points in the 100-97 win. James scored nearly half of the Cavs’ points, and Cleveland’s next highest scorer was Kevin Love — scoring 15 points in Game 2. The Pacers have played quality defense on the Cavs, forcing them to make bad decisions in key situations during the second half. The second half is where the Cavs’ offense has faltered in the past two games. The Pacers are playing good defense, but the Cavs are also lacking ball and player movement. Indiana has not fully relinquished momentum to Cleveland, even after the Cavs’ Game 4 win. The Pacers have played better than the Cavs for the most part. James has simply played so well that the Cavs have somehow won two games. For Cleveland to take hold of this series, they’ll need to win Game 5.

No. 1 Houston Rockets vs No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves

Series info: The Rockets lead the series 3-1 after defeating the Timberwolves 119-100 in Game 4.

Game 5 date and time: The Rockets will play the Timberwolves at home Wednesday at 9:30 p.m.

The rundown: OK, so this series is over. Though the Timberwolves won Game 3, the Rockets showed why they’re the top seed in the West with a win in Game 4. The Rockets outscored the Timberwolves 50-20 in the third quarter of Game 4 on Monday night. James Harden scored 36 points, and four other players scored in double figures. The Timberwolves simply can’t match the Rockets’ offense, which is one of the best in the league. The Rockets’ offense is predicated on shooting — and making — a bunch of threes. And if they can’t get a three, they’re going to look to get a layup. They shot 43 3-pointers in Game 4, and they shot 37.2 percent from the 3-point line. With the Rockets heading back home, expect them to win Game 5 and move on to the next round.

No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder vs No. 5 Utah Jazz

Series info: The Jazz lead the series 3-1 after defeating the Thunder 113-96 in Game 4.

Game 5 date and time: The Thunder will play the Jazz at home Wednesday at 9:30 p.m.

The rundown: The Thunder were down 58-52 at halftime against the Jazz on Wednesday, but the Jazz gained separation in the third quarter. They started the quarter on a 7-0 run, and then with under two minutes left in the quarter, they jumped out to an 87-66 lead. Further, the Jazz have shown why they’re one of the most underrated teams in this year’s playoffs. Rookie phenom Donovan Mitchell has averaged 27.5 points per game in this postseason. Along with Mitchell’s continued success, the Jazz are also receiving contributions from other players such as Ricky Rubio, Joe Ingles and Derrick Favors. Mitchell led Utah in scoring in Game 4 with 33 points, but five other players scored in double figures. The Thunder didn’t shoot well in Game 4 as they hit 39.3 percent from the field and 19.2 percent from the 3-point line. Paul George led the team with 32 points in Game 4, and Russell Westbrook scored 29 points. But Westbrook also shot 10-of-25 from the field. For the Thunder to avoid elimination Wednesday, they’ll need to shoot better. And they’ll also need to contain Mitchell, one of the best players in this year’s playoffs.

Baseball: Ohio defeats Kent State 6-4 in series finale, wins second MAC series of the season

Baseball: Ohio defeats Kent State 6-4 in series finale, wins second MAC series of the season

 

Ohio’s Devon Garcia swings during the Bobcats’ game against Marshall on Wednesday. (FILE)

 

Ohio won two of three games in its weekend road series against Kent State. The Bobcats won the series finale 6-4 on Sunday, winning their second Mid-American Conference series of the season.

With about a month left until the MAC Championship, the Bobcats have four conference series left on the schedule. They’ll play Dayton on the road Tuesday, and their next conference series will be this weekend on the road against Miami.

Friday

The Bobcats have been in an offensive slump recently, and that continued in the first game of the series. Ohio tallied three hits in its 5-3 loss against Kent State to open the series.

Ohio didn’t score until the ninth inning and didn’t have a hit until the seventh. Rudy Rott hit a triple to right field to break up the no-hitter, but the Bobcats’ next three batters struck out to end the threat.

No player on the team finished with more than one hit — Rott, Michael Klein and Tanner Piechnick each had a hit.

Klein helped the Bobcats score in the ninth. He hit a triple to right field, which scored Piechnick and Dan McCauley. Klein also scored because of an error from Golden Flashes second baseman Greg Lewandoski.

Derek Carr got the start on the mound, and he allowed three earned runs in 2 2/3 innings of work. Three of the Bobcats’ bullpen pitchers threw as well. Cory Blessing and Kenny Ogg gave up a combined six hits and two earned runs. Eddie Kutt threw four strikeouts, the most of any Ohio pitcher Friday.

Saturday

The Bobcats entered Saturday’s game on a four-game losing streak, but they snapped it with a 5-3 win in 12 innings. After totaling three hits Friday, the Bobcats tallied nine hits Saturday. That’s the most hits they’ve had since they had 11 in their April 14 win against Eastern Michigan.

In the top of the 12th inning, Klein hit an RBI double down the left field line, which drove in Rott and Piechnick. Klein’s double put Ohio ahead 5-3, and Kent State didn’t score off Eddie Kutt in the bottom half of the inning. The save was the first of Kutt’s career.

The Bobcats were down 3-2 heading into the eighth inning. In the top of the seventh, the Bobcats scored two runs. Ryan Sargent helped drive in one as he was hit by a pitch with bases loaded, scoring Klein. Dan McCauley drew a walk with bases loaded, scoring Trevor Hafner. Ohio tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the eighth when Piechnick scored off a sacrifice fly from Hafner.

Klein’s RBI double is what the Bobcats’ offense will need more of. Ohio has struggled to score with runners in scoring position. With Klein doing that in extra innings to help win the game, that can serve as a boost to Ohio’s offense.

While the Bobcats produced more on offense, the pitching staff and Ohio’s defense held Kent State scoreless from the seventh inning until the end of the game.

Gerry Salisbury got the start, striking out seven and giving up three earned runs. Jake Roehn, Brett Manis, Nick Kamrada and Kutt contributed from the bullpen. The group combined for zero earned runs. Kamrada got his first win of the season.

Sunday

The Bobcats were down 4-0 heading into the seventh inning against the Golden Flashes, but they scored five runs in the seventh to take the lead. Ohio scored an insurance run in the eighth to win the game 6-4.

Rott helped the Bobcats score their first two runs in the seventh. Rott hit a two-RBI double to right field, which brought in Sebastian Fabik and Tony Giannini. Hafner then scored after Piechnick got to first on an error.

Devon Garcia drew a walk with bases loaded, scoring Rott to tie the game at 4. Then, Piechnick scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball. In the eighth, Giannini scored off a Rott sacrifice fly.

The seventh inning was a sign of a resurgent offense for Ohio. The Bobcats tallied nine hits in their 5-3 win Saturday, and they totaled nine hits again Sunday. Rott and Giannini led the Bobcats in hits with two each.

Along with the offense playing well, the pitching staff threw well again, too. The Bobcats didn’t give up a run from the sixth inning until the end of the game.

Blessing got the start, and he gave up one earned run and one hit in 3 1/3 innings of work. Manis and Ogg also pitched. Ogg threw five innings and tallied three strikeouts.

For now, this is the Bobcats’ most important win of the season. The Golden Flashes are one of the best teams in the MAC. The Bobcats winning the series shows they can compete with some of the top-tier teams in the conference.

 

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

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.

Baseball: Ohio’s offensive slump continues, Bobcats lose to Marshall 7-6

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Aaron Levy hit a fly ball to left field at Bob Wren Stadium. The Bobcats only needed one more run to tie the game and send it into the extra innings.

Levy’s fly ball was caught for the game’s final out, and Ohio couldn’t continue the boost it got on offense in the bottom of the eighth. The Bobcats lost 7-6 at home Wednesday against Marshall, dropping their third straight game.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Bobcats were down 7-4. They hadn’t scored since the first inning, when Michael Klein hit a grand slam. The Bobcats benefited from the four walks they drew in that first inning. But as the game went on, they didn’t drive in runners who were in scoring position.

“I mean, hitting’s hard,” Klein said. “They’re not trying to give up runs, so they’re throwing their best stuff. But yeah, we can battle down, try to get that clutch hit because that’s how you win ball games.”

With one out in the eighth, Devon Garcia was at the plate with the bases loaded. Garcia drew a walk on his at-bat, and Levy scored from third.

After Evan Bourn struck out, Ohio had two outs – and bases were still loaded. Rudy Rott drew a walk, and Tony Giannini scored from third. After Rott’s walk, Tanner Piechnick was at the plate with a chance to help tie the game for Ohio or give it the lead. Piechnick’s fly ball was caught in left field, though, and that was the end of the inning.

From the second inning through the seventh inning, the Bobcats didn’t score. And in that same span, the Bobcats only had three hits. Levy was the only player who tallied more than one hit for the Bobcats; the team had a total of six hits.

The Bobcats have been struggling on offense recently, and coach Rob Smith wants his team to have better approaches at the plate.

“Our at-bats in certain situations aren’t well planned in some ways I think,” Smith said. “And it’s causing us to have bad at-bats.”

Before its offensive slump, Ohio was one of the better hitting teams in the MAC. The Bobcats prided themselves on being aggressive, particularly early in the count. Pitchers try to throw strikes early in the count, so the Bobcats were looking to be just as aggressive.

The Bobcats drew a season-high 12 walks against Toledo on April 6. The Bobcats won that game 15-4 and scored the most runs they’ve had in a game this season.

While the Bobcats have been able to draw walks, the key going forward will be taking advantage of them more consistently.

“We just need to be better at getting them in when they’re giving us those free bases,” Klein said.

NBA Playoffs: How the first round of the playoffs has gone so far

NBA Playoffs: How the first round of the playoffs has gone so far

 

Oracle Arena, the home arena of the Golden State Warriors. (photo via Flickr Creative Commons user Guillaume Meunier)

 

The NBA playoffs started last weekend, and so far, the league’s postseason has been filled with intriguing matchups.

NBA fans have been following the Philadelphia 76ers, which are seemingly the NBA’s next great team. They have watched the Golden State Warriors show why they’re still the best team in the league, even with Stephen Curry sidelined with an MCL sprain.

As the first round continues, watching elite teams potentially crumble will be part of the intrigue. The playoffs have arrived, and while the postseason is not like the upset-laden March Madness, NBA fans look forward to this time of year every season.

No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers vs No. 5 Indiana Pacers

Who is leading the series: The Pacers lead 1-0.

Game 1 score: The Pacers defeated the Cavaliers 98-80.

Game 2 date and time: The Cavs will play the Pacers at home Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The rundown: The Pacers have given the Cavs fits all season. Indiana won the regular season series 3-1, and the Cavs haven’t been able to keep up with the Pacers’ quickness. The Pacers are a fast, athletic and solid defensive team. And well, the Cavs are not any of those things. They’ve been one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA all season. While better defense will be necessary, the Cavs also were held to 80 points. LeBron James scored 24 points, but coach Tyronn Lue said he needs to be more aggressive at the beginning of the game. James didn’t score his first points until there was under two minutes left in the first quarter. The Cavs succeed because of James’ ability to find open teammates for jump shots. Still, for the Cavs to win this series, James will need to be as aggressive on offense as possible from the start of every game.

No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers vs No. 6 Miami Heat

Who is leading the series: The series is tied 1-1.

Game 1 score: The 76ers defeated the Heat 130-103.

Game 2 score: The Heat defeated the 76ers 113-103.

Game 3 date and time: The Heat will play the Sixers at home Thursday at 7 p.m.

The rundown: After a Game 1 win, the Sixers proved why they’re one of the best up-and-coming teams in the NBA. Ben Simmons, a LeBron-like point forward, showed his playmaking skills as he scored 17 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had 14 assists. Simmons, along with Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz, is one of the Sixers’ best players. Embiid is currently sidelined with a facial injury, and Fultz has shown his potential after being out for most of the season because of a shoulder injury. But after the Sixers showed the NBA what they’re capable of, Dwyane Wade showed the league he can still hoop. Wade scored 28 points off the bench Monday night in the Heat’s 113-103 win. With the series tied 1-1, both teams have showed why they’re capable of moving on to the next round. Overall, this series is probably going to be one of the best in the first round.

No. 1 Houston Rockets vs No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves

Who is leading the series: The Rockets lead the series 1-0.

Game 1 score: The Rockets defeated the Timberwolves 104-101.

Game 2 date and time: The Rockets will play the Timberwolves at home Wednesday at 9:30 p.m.

The rundown: The Rockets have the league’s best regular season record, but whether they’re the best team is debatable. After starting the fourth quarter with a 76-72 lead, the Rockets needed to gain some cushion. They went on a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter and held on for the win. James Harden, one of the NBA’s elite scorers, scored 44 points. The Rockets’ offense is based on quality shooting, but Houston shot 27 percent from the 3-point line. Having bad shooting nights is a reason the Rockets could have more competition in the playoffs. Defenses intensify in the postseason, and easy shots are harder to come by. Still, if the Rockets shoot well enough, they’re going to either sweep the Timberwolves or win this series in five games.

No. 2 Golden State Warriors vs No. 7 San Antonio Spurs

Who is leading the series: The Warriors lead the series 2-0.

Game 1 score: The Warriors defeated the Spurs 113-92.

Game 2 score: The Warriors defeated the Spurs 116-101.

Game 3 date and time: The Spurs will play the Warriors at home Thursday at 9:30 p.m.

The rundown: Look, the Golden State Warriors are the best team in the NBA. Yes, the Houston Rockets had the league’s best record in the regular season. And yes, Steph Curry is currently out with an MCL sprain. But even without Curry, the Warriors are still one of the most dominant teams in this decade. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, two top-10 players, have led the Warriors so far. Durant has averaged 28 points per game in two games, and Thompson has averaged 20 points per game. Draymond Green allows the Warriors to play as fast as they do. Green can defend in the post, and he can defend guards on the perimeter. The Spurs really don’t have much they can do besides play hard — and they do that. The Warriors are still very talented, even without Curry. A sweep is likely in this one.

No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder vs No. 5 Utah Jazz

Who is leading the series: The Thunder lead the series 1-0.

Game 1 score: The Thunder defeated the Jazz 116-108.

Game 2 date and time: The Thunder will play the Jazz at home Wednesday at 8 p.m.

The rundown: The Thunder have always had the potential to be a problem for opponents, particularly in the playoffs. They showed why they’re going to continue to be a problem on Sunday in their Game 1 win. Paul George scored 36 points, showing why his self-proclaimed “Playoff P” nickname is legit. Along with George, the scoring ability of Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony only adds to what the Thunder can do on offense. Westbrook scored 29 points, and Anthony had 15. Still, while the Thunder’s offensive potential might finally come to fruition in the playoffs, the Jazz have a chance in this series. Donovan Mitchell, a Rookie of the Year candidate, has had a great year. Mitchell scored 27 points in his playoff debut. Six other players scored in double figures, too, so Mitchell wasn’t carrying a huge load. Mitchell suffered a foot contusion in Game 1, though. Whether Mitchell will play in Game 2 remains to be seen, but for the Jazz to compete in this series, they’ll need Mitchell’s playmaking and scoring prowess.

 

 

Baseball: 3 things to watch for ahead of Ohio’s back-to-back, mid-week games against Marshall

Baseball: 3 things to watch for ahead of Ohio's back-to-back, mid-week games against Marshall

 

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 will play two non-conference games this week, and both are against the same team: Marshall.

The Bobcats will travel to Huntington, West Virginia, on Tuesday to play the Thundering Herd, with first pitch set for 3 p.m. The Bobcats will then return to Athens to play the Thundering Herd on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Ohio is coming off a 4-3 loss against Eastern Michigan. The Bobcats lost the series against the Eagles, dropping their third MAC series of the season.

Offense consistency

For about the past week, the Bobcats’ offense hasn’t been consistent. After notching 35 hits and 23 runs in the Northern Illinois series, the Bobcats haven’t been able to string together solid offensive performances.

During the first game of the Toledo series, Ohio had a season-high 15 runs. But in the final two games of the series, the Bobcats combined for three runs.

The Bobcats have also had games in which they have multiple hitless innings. During the series finale against the Eagles, the Bobcats didn’t have a hit in four innings — and they didn’t score until the bottom of the eighth.

Still, coach Rob Smith said he thought the Bobcats’ energy and effort was good against the Eagles.

The Bobcats have a batting average of .274 on the season, but since MAC play began, they’ve had a batting average of .268. That’s not a big drop, but it’s one that shows the slight dip in the Bobcats’ offensive output.

If the Bobcats can bring consistency back to their offense, then they’ll be in position to win more games.

The bullpen has performed well

With two of the Bobcats’ starting pitchers recently being hampered by injuries, the team’s bullpen has had to throw more.

Michael Klein is recovering from a tweaked elbow, but he is making progress in returning to his starting pitching duties. Klein started in the series finale against the Eagles, his first start since March 24. Butch Baird, the Bobcats’ Sunday starter, has an injury, which is why he didn’t pitch against the Eagles. Even with two of the Bobcats’ weekend starters trying to get healthy, the bullpen has taken pride in having to produce more on the mound.

“It sucks ’cause obviously they’re two really good starters for us that are down,” closer Jake Roehn said after the series finale Saturday. “But we definitely have guys that are stepping up and are doing a really good job.”

Eddie Kutt, Cory Blessing and Kenny Ogg are just some of the pitchers who have thrown well for the Bobcats’ bullpen. Each have pitched at least 20 innings, and Ogg leads the trio in ERA (3.54).

Along with the bullpen, Derek Carr started three games during Klein’s recovery. Carr has allowed nine hits and two earned runs in his three starts. Smith said after the series finale against the Eagles that Klein is still not fully healthy. Klein threw two innings and allowed one earned run in his start Saturday.

The MAC standings and push to the championship

The Bobcats (17-17, 5-7 MAC) have five MAC series left this season, and they are currently tied for sixth with Ball State.

Only the top six teams in the conference make it to the MAC Championship, so each of the remaining conference games will be important. For Ohio, the two non-conference games against Marshall are a chance to improve on offense.

The Bobcats will need as much offensive output as possible in this weekend’s series against Kent State (22-10, 9-3 MAC), the top team in the conference. The Golden Flashes have five players who are batting .300 or higher.