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Ohio Univesity redshirt junior infielder, Garrett Black, slides home for a run in the fourth inning. Ohio University defeated Western Michigan University 5-3 at Bob Wren Stadium on Friday, March 28, 2014.

Bobcats hope for good weather, good fortune at Morehead State

Ohio will face Morehead State in final game of its season-opening road trip

For everything that has gone in Ohio’s favor throughout the first 13 games of this season, it would be hard to imagine anything other than a positive takeaway from the team’s season-opening, month-long road trip.

That being said, ending the trip with yet another win certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Weather permitting, Ohio (9-4) will take on Morehead State (8-4) on the Eagles’ home field in Kentucky Tuesday at 3:00p.m. Morehead is forecasted for a 100 percent chance of rain throughout the day.

The Bobcats enter the game coming off a weekend sweep of the University of Illinois at Chicago, a team Ohio scheduled in the middle of last week after weather eliminated chances of playing its originally scheduled series at Norfolk State. In the series, Ohio received strong pitching performances from starters Connor Sitz and Evan Geist, and pulled together a nine-run inning in one of the wins.

As of Sunday, Bobcats head coach Rob Smith had yet to decide on who his starting pitcher would be against Morehead State.

After a season in which its starters shined and its bullpen floundered, the tables have slightly turned in the first 13 games of the 2015 season. The bullpen has been the saving grace of the pitching staff so far this year, posting a 3.64 ERA while the starters have accumulated an ERA of 6.27.

With the starters having their shares of struggles, the team has needed offense to get the majority of its nine wins this season, and they’ve gotten that offense in surplus. The Bobcats carry a team batting average of .328 into Tuesday night’s matchup, which is good for first place in the Mid-American Conference.

One of the most significant pieces of Ohio’s spark of offense has been an influx of power early in the season. With seven home runs, the Bobcats have already reached the same number of round-trippers the team hit throughout the entire 2014 season, and is on pace to more than double their runs scored from a season ago.

If one looks for a single player who has provided this jump-start to Ohio’s offense, he or she would have their work cut out for them. Six players have already reached double-digits in RBIs, while seven hitters have retained a batting average over .300 (minimum 20 at bats).

It’s a set of hitters that could be a good match for a Morehead State pitching staff that has more than held its own in its first 12 games. The group has compiled a modest 3.64 ERA, and is coming off a series against Tennessee Tech in which the team won two out of three games.

Should the game be played as scheduled, it will be Morehead State’s first game of the season at its home ballpark, where it went 13-8 a year ago.


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