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Ohio catcher J.R. Reynolds makes contact May 4 at Bob Wren Stadium. Ohio beat Youngstown State 5-4 after 12 innings of play. Ohio will host rival Miami in a doubleheader tomorrow and play their rivals again Saturday. (Alex Goodlett | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

Baseball: Bobcats blast rival RedHawks before must-win weekend series

Forget their North Face jackets or popped collars. The thing that Joe Carbone dislikes about Miami the most is its mascot.

“It’s a RedHawk, but there’s no such thing as a red hawk,” Carbone said. “There is a red-tailed hawk, but there’s no such thing as a red hawk. So basically, their mascot is named after a species that doesn’t exist.”

Carbone’s comment about the mascot came in preparation for Ohio’s annual “what we don’t like about Miami” discussion, scheduled to take place before today’s practice in preparation for this weekend’s three-game series against the RedHawks.

“It’s just a fun thing, but we all have something we don’t like,” Carbone said. “They’re our rivals so we definitely want to beat them. We want to beat everybody, but we want to beat them more.”

Today’s talk is the culmination of the entire week of anti-Miami events, including what Carbone refers to as “hit the chicken,” in which batters take aim at a picture of Miami’s RedHawk during batting practice.

For junior pitcher Brent Choban, finding one thing he dislikes about Miami may be most difficult.

“I really don’t like anything about Miami,” Choban said. “They have a couple kids I used to play against and when I woke up this morning I had texts from them saying they’re going to beat us.

“So the rivalry for me started from playing with those kids before coming here and it just makes it that much better.”

The RedHawks stand between the Bobcats and a berth for the Mid-American Conference tournament.

Ohio is currently 1.5 games behind eighth-place Bowling Green and must win at least two games this weekend if it has any hope for   the postseason.

“I don’t really know the rivalry yet, but they’re what’s keeping us from getting in the MAC tournament,” freshman shortstop Garrett Black said. “So I guess I hate them because they’re what’s in our way right now.”

Ohio’s seniors have never missed the MAC tournament, and Carbone said he is expecting them to step up and lead this weekend as they have all year.

“All the seniors have been great. They’ve stayed positive, they’ve been loyal and they’ve ensured that everyone behaves,” Carbone said. “I have no doubts that this weekend senior leadership will be there just like it has been the whole year.”

Up Next:

Miami (31-22, 17-7 MAC) at Ohio (25-26, 9-15 MAC)

TOMORROW

3 p.m. doubleheader

SATURDAY

3 p.m.

LAST THREE

5/22/10: Miami 16, OHIO 9

5/21/10: Miami 7, OHIO 3

5/20/10: Miami 8, OHIO 1

ro137807@ohiou.edu

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