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Ohio University first baseman redshirt junior, Taylor Emody, is tagged out at first by a Western Michigan University player. Ohio University defeated Western Michigan University 5-3 at Bob Wren Stadium on Friday, March 28, 2014. 

Schedule change leads Bobcats on the road to face Longwood

Ohio is looking to keep its bats hot as it hits road for second weekend of season.

As temperatures in Athens are dipping into the negatives on a nightly basis, many students would probably give an arm and a leg for a trip south this weekend.

The Ohio baseball team (3-0) has just that luxury, as a mid-week schedule change has led the team to Marietta, Georgia, for a three game set against Longwood, with game one starting Friday at 5 p.m., and games two and three both being played at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The team was originally scheduled to face Belmont, Middle Tennessee and Libscomb this weekend in Tennessee, but was forced to cancel because of winter weather.

Ohio is entering the series coming off an opening weekend sweep of North Carolina-Asheville, in which it scored double digit runs in all three games and accumulated a total of 51 hits.

Jake Madsen will lead the offense into this weekend coming fresh off of a Mid-American Conference Player of the Week nod, an honor he earned with by going 7-for-14 in UNC-Asheville with four runs scored and five runs batted in.

Madsen wasn’t the only one to enjoy success in the lineup last weekend, as four different players finished just behind him with four RBIs, while Tyler Wells proved to be an impossible out, collecting five hits in six at bats. The offense posted a cumulative batting average of .411.

The pitching staff will be led by MAC Pitcher of the Week Connor Sitz, who paced the rotation last Saturday with five innings of one run baseball. Ohio’s bullpen was very much a wild card for most of the weekend, with some guys standing out and eating through innings while others struggled to miss bats.

The Bobcats will hope for the consistency of their pitching to catch up with the dominance of their offense when they begin play against Longwood, who enters the weekend after dropping two of its first three games.

Longwood defeated Tennessee Tech 8-2 in their first game before dropping both games of a doubleheader last Saturday. Longwood batted .275 as a team in the series but, like Ohio, struggled to find consistency in its bullpen. Its one win came on the back of a solid start by Aaron Myers, who yielded just one run on four hits in 6.1 innings of work.

Although the temperatures won’t quite reach 40 degrees in Marietta on Friday, it will still be an upgrade over the conditions of its previous host spot in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where a winter storm warning is in place until Saturday.

A win for the Bobcats Friday would give them their first four-game win streak since May 2012. Ohio hasn’t won five straight games since 2010.

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