One year after eventual MLB draftees Gauntlett Eldemire, Robert Maddox and Jerod Yakubik led the team in many categories, three freshmen have spearheaded the Bobcats’ offense.
Taylor Emody, Garrett Black and Dan Ward have combined for about one-third of Ohio’s run production, compiling 56 of the team’s 175 RBIs and 59 of 196 runs scored.
“They’re real good talents, but they still have a long way to go,” coach Joe Carbone said. “Right now their ability is carrying them, but they still have to get down the fundamentals.”
These three freshmen also have played a big role in Ohio’s recent offensive outburst. During the Bobcats’ six-game losing streak last week, Ohio averaged only two runs per game, but during the past three games, the Bobcats have pushed that total to 11 per game.
In those three games, the trio has combined for 18 hits and 15 RBIs.
“They’re doing pretty good for freshmen, and they’ll only get better once they get all the fundamentals down,” Carbone said.
Despite the recent success at the plate, Carbone said the team still needs to work on its consistency.
Four times this season has Ohio followed up a six-run-or-more performance with three runs or fewer in the next game.
“The biggest key to success in any area is consistency,” Carbone said. “Hitting comes and goes, but consistency comes from fundamentals and experience. Guys who have seen a lot of pitches and taken a lot of swings are the ones that will be consistent.
”I was talking to (former Ohio player) Marc Krauss, and he said his swing was a little out of whack right now, and he’s got to get it back to where it needs to be. He has a feel that his swing is out of whack whereas we have guys whose swings are totally out of whack, and they’ll think its pretty good. It just comes with experience.”
Carbone said the team is also focused on showing more patience at the plate.
Against Cleveland State Wednesday, Carbone said his team did a good job reading pitches but that midweek pitching is not as good as what they will see in the Mid-American Conference and at Bowling Green this weekend.
“We try to let them know before the game, ‘This guy throws strikes, get out there and be ready because he’ll be bringing it,’ or, ‘This guy has a history of walking people so be patient,’” Carbone said. “We just try to give them a heads up.”