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Baseball: 'Cats must play catch-up in contest against Miami

As if this weekend’s series against Miami didn’t pose enough of a challenge, things just became a little more difficult for the Bobcats.

With only one weekend of Mid-American Conference play remaining, Ohio must jump two steps into eighth place in order to qualify for the conference tournament.

At 9-15, Ohio currently sits in tenth place and 1.5 games behind eighth-place •Bowling Green.  Unfortunately for the Bobcats, the Falcons’ game against league-leading Kent State on Sunday was rained out and will not be made up, giving the them that extra half-game over Ohio.

“It’s disappointing because Kent State is the best team, but if it gets rained out then it gets rained out, there’s nothing we can do about it,” said coach Joe Carbone. “Basically instead of being one game behind, we’re two games behind. It makes it more difficult.”

Carbone said he has no plans of petitioning to the league for the game be made up, and that league rules state that conference tournament placement will be decided by winning percentage and will not account for total games played.

Ninth-place Ball State also had a game canceled earlier this season and now sits a half-game ahead of Ohio instead of tied with the Bobcats had they lost that game.

Ward, Emody missing from lineup

Despite being two of Ohio’s most productive offensive players, third baseman Dan Ward and first baseman Taylor Emody didn’t appear in Ohio’s lineup in the second and third games of the Bobcats’ series versus Akron this past weekend.

Ward leads the team in both home runs and RBIs and hit a pinch-hit home run in Saturday’s game.

Lately, both have been struggling at the plate, and Carbone said that is the reason why the freshmen were left off his lineup card.

“They’re not being patient and they’re chasing balls out of the zone,” Carbone said. “Guys aren’t entitled to positions. Everyone wants to play. Sometimes when you’re struggling, it’s better to take one step back before you take two steps forward. They just need to get their minds cleared and get back to basics.”

Replacing Emody at first base was sophomore Chandler Geller, who recorded three hits in six at-bats in the two games he started.

With the team in need of at least two wins this weekend, Carbone said he is unsure who will start at the positions.

Preparing for Miami

Coming off back-to-back MAC series wins for the first time all season, Carbone said his team feels good heading into the final weekend.

“We will play with confidence this weekend, but that doesn’t guarantee a win,” he said. “We don’t play smart all the time but not many college teams do. We just need to go out, play hard, and get after them.”

On the practice agenda for this week, Carbone said the same things as always: hitting, defense and fundamentals.

ro137807@ohiou.edu

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