After being swept in a three-game series on the road by Northern Illinois, the Bobcats return home Tuesday to play their largest non-conference game of the season against Ohio State.
Ohio (8-21, 3-6 MAC) wants to bounce back after its offensive collapse against Northern Illinois. The Bobcats scored just nine runs in that series despite scoring 12 runs in each of the last three games against Bowling Green and Morehead State.
In recent history, Ohio has played the Buckeyes in each of the last five seasons. Ohio State has won all five with a combined score of 31-13, and the Buckeyes have shut out the Bobcats in the last two games. The two teams have met 125 times all time, Ohio State has won 85 of those.
While Ohio State may seem like a heavy favorite, the Buckeyes have had their own struggles this season as well.
Ohio State is 16-16 so far this year and has dropped its last five games. Last season when the two teams faced off in Columbus, the Buckeyes were 20-10.
Ohio State’s losing streak has been heavily due to the number of runs it has given up. In the last four games, the Buckeyes have given up 39 runs and have only scored 16.
Will Pfennig for Ohio State is tasked with stopping this scoring. He will be making his second start of the season. Joe Rock is the expected starter for the Bobcats. Rock had his best outing of the season last week against Morehead State when he pitched five innings without allowing an earned run.
For Ohio to win, it will need to take advantage of an inexperienced starter early, and Rock will need to pitch like he did last week.