After Ohio baseball coach Rob Smith announced his retirement from coaching on Jan. 21, longtime assistant Craig Moore was elevated to interim head coach. Moore knows what type of talent the Bobcats have more than anyone and it’ll be on him to transform that potential into a winning ball club. 

The 2021 Ohio Baseball season begins this weekend with a three-game series at Radford.

Despite starting last season 3-1, the Bobcats ended the year on a sour note. Losing 11 straight, and then having the rest of the season canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic, ended the Bobcats’ season at 3-12. Ohio never got a chance to play any of its Mid-American Conference opponents. 

Luckily for the Bobcats, they won’t have to wait 15 games before they play at Bob Wren Stadium. Last season, Ohio played one game at home,  a 3-2 loss to Marshall. That was the last 2020 game the Bobcats played. 

This season, Ohio returns home as early as Feb. 26 against Morehead State and then has a five-game homestand to open March. Homefield advantage early in the season could be exactly what Ohio needs to carry some momentum into MAC play. 

Ohio’s team is young and eager to improve this season under Moore, but bumps in the road are expected. The Bobcats were projected to finish seventh in the MAC Coaches Poll. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, if they struggle at all in MAC play, their hopes for the postseason will instantly go down the drain. 

Due to COVID-19, the MAC Tournament is canceled this season. The team with the best conference record will represent the MAC in the NCAA Tournament. 

The NCAA Regionals take place June 4-6 followed by the NCAA Super Regionals the following weekend, June 11-14. The 2021 College World Series is set for June 19-30 in Omaha, Nebraska.

If Ohio wants to make it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017, it’ll have to beat tough teams like Central Michigan (March 26-28), Kent State (April 30- May 2) and Miami (May 7-9) in four game series. Ohio has not won the MAC regular season title since 1997.  

@JL_Kirven 

jk810916@ohio.edu