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Ohio's Jake Miller pitches against Bowling Green on April 10, 2015. Ohio lost 4-2. 

Baseball notebook: Rott impresses at first base, Ohio moves Marshall game to Wednesday

Ohio's game with Marshall has moved from April to Wednesday.

Many of us will never get handed the task of succeeding someone with the title of “best ever."

That’s exactly what freshman Rudy Rott is being challenged with in the 2016 season, though. And if his performances this season are any indication, he doesn’t feel much pressure.

“(Jake Madsen) was a great player here, and I can't go out and match his hit record this year," Rott said. "I'm just trying to do the best job that I can here and trying to stay relaxed. It's easy to stay relaxed around these guys."

Rott has appeared in all 11 of Ohio’s games this season, starting 10 of those and making nine of those starts at first base. Even a casual follower of the team could identify first base as the position last occupied by Madsen, who graduated last season as the all-time hits leader at Ohio after starting all four years.

Rott must go a long way to reach Madsen’s massive numbers, but he hardly could have gotten off to a better start. His batting average of .368 is second on the team and his slugging mark of .605 sits third. He’s got three doubles and two home runs, and has already been hit by pitches four times.

He began the year batting sixth in the Ohio order, but has slowly moved his way up to hitting in the third spot for the last two games of the team’s series against Wofford.

Rott played catcher as well as pitched in high school, batting .580 as a senior while compiling a 6-0 record and holding a 1.14 ERA.

While Ohio has a couple of players on its roster it can use both at the plate and on the mound, such as Michael Klein and Connor McMann, that doesn't seem to be the plan so far for Rott.

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The freshman is a third-generation baseball star. His grandfather, Rudy, was a minor league pitcher for the Orlando Senators and DeLand Red Hats, and his father, also named Rudy, was a two-way athlete at Milton College, playing baseball and football.

"I never got to meet my grandpa," Rott said. "But my dad is pretty excited for me and always talks about what my grandpa would say and think. It's pretty exciting, and my whole family's taking it all in stride."

Thundering Forward

Ohio has moved its planned single-game road trip to Marshall from April 20 to Wednesday. The team was told there was a chance of the switch happening Monday, and had it confirmed Tuesday.

Marshall (4-5) began the season on a rough stretch, but will enter Wednesday after a three-game sweep of Lehigh at home.

Ohio swept Marshall in two games in 2015.


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