Last week, the Bobcats kicked off their Mid-American Conference schedule exactly how they wanted to.
The slumping offense that previously found it difficult to drive in runs seemingly forgot all about its struggles, scoring 23 combined runs in a three-game sweep of Ball State. It was the first time the Bobcats swept its first MAC series.
But this weekend against Central Michigan, all of Bobcats' struggled reappeared as they found themselves on the losing side of a sweep.
The Bobcats (15-15, 3-3 MAC) yet again couldn’t drive in runs when they needed them.
Ohio dropped both games of Saturday’s doubleheader, including the first game in 13 innings, where Ohio just couldn’t drive in runners, as it went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
On Sunday, the Bobcats continued the ugly trend, going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Some questionable decision making on Sunday afternoon didn’t help their cause.
In the seventh inning, Tony Giannini was thrown out trying to move to third base on an RBI groundout.
The base running mistake cost the team an out and a base runner. When the Bobcats are struggling to score runs, they desperately need both.
“Mental mistake, in my opinion,” coach Rob Smith said. “He was trying to make something happen. It was not understanding the situation. Down 4-1, you’ve got to have baserunners. Whether you’re on 3rd or 2nd is really irrelevant.”
Then in the eighth inning, Rudy Rott came to the plate with the bases loaded and just one man out.
On his own whim, according to Smith, Rott bunted.
A run did score, but it cost the Bobcats a possible game-changing hit and an opportunity to possibly cut into CMU’s lead.
Rott struggled over the weekend, although he did hit his first home run of the season on Saturday. The sophomore went 3-for-12 over the weekend.
“We’ve just got to stick with it as a whole, whether it’s me or anybody else,” Rott said. “If we put together good at-bats, balls are going to fall. You’ve got to stick with it, stay as positive as you can. It sucks when balls aren’t falling and things aren’t going well.”
After Sunday’s loss, Smith held a team meeting in left field to talk about the struggles.
The team just came off a sweep, but the Bobcats are still on a decent track.
What did Smith say to his team? Even after a demoralizing weekend, maybe not all hope is lost.
“I tell them we’re 3-3,” he said. “We’re sitting at .500 and we’re still 25 percent of the way to our goal of reaching the conference tournament.”