The Mid-American Conference Championship is two weeks away, but Ohio’s chances of playing in the tournament are looking meek.
The Bobcats are on a five-game losing streak, and they have two conference series left in the regular season. The Bobcats are ranked eighth in the MAC. The top six teams in the conference play in the tournament.
Still, Ohio has a chance to remain in contention for a spot in the tournament this weekend. The Bobcats will host Western Michigan in their last home series of the regular season. The Broncos are ranked seventh in the MAC, and Toledo is ranked sixth.
Ohio was swept last weekend at home against Ball State. The Bobcats totaled eight runs in the series, the second-lowest number of runs they’ve had in a conference series this season.
In the past six conference games, the Bobcats haven’t hit the ball well. They’ve posted a batting average of .208, and they have totaled 72 strikeouts. Their season batting average against conference opponents is .243.
Along with hitting struggles, the Bobcats’ pitching staff has also allowed 30 earned runs in the past six conference games. Ohio gave up 15 runs in its loss during the second game of the Ball State series.
That’s the most runs the the Bobcats have allowed against any team this season.
The Bobcats’ weekend pitching rotation has struggled with injuries this season. Michael Klein has missed some time because of a tweaked elbow. He has started pitching again recently. Klein threw 4 2/3 innings in the series finale against Ball State. He gave up four earned runs in Ohio’s 11-6 loss.
Butch Baird has also missed some time because of an injury, but he returned in the second game of the Ball State series; he threw 2/3 of an inning and gave up one earned run.
With only two conference series left, the Bobcats don’t have much room for error. This weekend’s series is the most important series of the season for Ohio. If it wins this series, it’ll remain in contention for a spot in the tournament.