Bobcats look to match last season’s win total with win at Wildcats on Tuesday.
As Ohio (10-6) has made its way through its non-conference schedule to open the season, it has been given a plethora of opportunities to see how they compare with a few nationally renowned programs.
Sixteen games into that schedule, the results of those matchups have been positive for the Bobcats. They challenged Georgia Tech to a 12-inning showdown in February before taking on regional qualifier Siena in a three-game set last weekend, when Ohio dropped two of three close games.
On Tuesday, the Bobcats will continue that string of contests with national powers when they head to Lexington, Kentucky, for a single-game matchup against the Wildcats (13-6, 0-3 Southeastern Conference). First pitch for the game is set to take place at 4 p.m.
Ohio will begin the game with a shot at matching last season’s total 11 wins in just its 17th game of the season. It is unknown if the Bobcats will march out one of their three front-line starting pitchers, who have a combined record of 6-3, or go with a mix of several different pitchers, similar to the setup they had in their game against Georgia Tech.
The Bobcats are coming off a weekend in which their high-powered offense was brought a little closer back to earth. The team managed just 11 runs in three games against Siena after entering the series with the NCAA’s third-most prolific offense, 8.5 runs per game..
Despite being slowed down by the Saints, Ohio’s offensive numbers remain impressive. The team has maintained a batting average of .310 to this point in the season, led by Tyler Wells’ average of .392. Mitch Longo and Manny DeJesus have each compiled the team’s second-best average of .375 this season.
The Wildcats’ season has been a bit of a rollercoaster, similar to the Bobcats’, with an 11-game winning streak following a three-game skid in the first part of the season. South Carolina swept Kentucky this weekend in the Wildcats’ first SEC series of the season. Kentucky has a perfect 5-0 record at home this season, though.
The Wildcats’ offense was stifled by the Gamecocks’ pitching staff this weekend, but they still enter Tuesday’s game with a .293 batting average, with the same number of home runs as the Bobcats (7) and just 12 fewer RBIs.
Ohio’s trip to Kentucky will be the last one before it starts Mid-American Conference play this weekend at Central Michigan. The Bobcats have already far outperformed their record entering MAC play from a season ago, when the team welcomed Central Michigan to Athens with a 4-13 record.