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A glove and hat rest on the Bobcats' dugout at Bob Wren Stadium on March 11, 2023.

Baseball: Takeaways from Ohio's first week of Mid-American Conference play

Ohio got its first week of Mid-American Conference play out of the way last weekend, and with it came a few lessons. Not everything was roses for the fresh team, however, Ohio did craft a series win over Bowling Green to end the weekend 2-1. Ohio currently sits tied for third place in the MAC. 

Here are a few takeaways: 

Transfer takeoff 

The Bobcats are loaded with talented transfers this season. Gideon Antle had five hits and two RBI over the weekend, and Alec Patino had four hits and five RBI. The two have been a large addition to the Bobcats’ lineup already. Antle provides nice pop to the latter half of the lineup and Patino rounds out the strong middle portion. 

Ohio’s got a few new faces on the mound, too. All three of its starters against Bowling Green were junior college transfers at the beginning of the season. Luke Olson, a candidate for Ohio’s Friday slot, threw the longest outing of an Ohio pitcher thus far this season. Olson allowed four runs (two earned), four hits and struck out seven over seven innings. 

Mitchel Hemmen and Trent Spoon were Ohio’s starters on Saturday, and although neither was credited with wins, they still had good outings. The offense helped the two out. Spoon has the second-best ERA of pitchers who have met the one-inning-per-game requirement, and Hemmen has the best ERA of any pitcher who has thrown eight or more innings. However, Hemmen has yet to meet the inning-per-game requirement for it to count statistically. 

Ohio’s winning pitcher in Saturday’s first game, Dillon Masters, is also a transfer. Masters threw three scoreless innings for the win. 

Breakout freshman

Billy Adams is the only freshman to see regular playing time so far, and there’s a good reason. Adams plays like a seasoned veteran. From jumping plays at second base, to knocking timely hits, Adams is the complete package. 

Adams had six hits and four RBIs on Saturday alone. He brought extra power to the end chunk of Ohio’s lineup. Adams also knocked in the first run in Ohio’s sixth-inning rally in game two. The freshman is one to watch the rest of conference play. 

The bats are back 

For a minute it seemed as if Ohio had used up all its offensive power in its 27-run game against Navy in mid-February. However, Ohio’s back to its old ways. 

The Bobcats had the best batting average in the MAC at the end of the 2022 season. They were consistent at the plate and that behavior is slowly returning for the 2023 season. Over the weekend, the Bobcats outhit the Falcons 34-18. 

Not every hit was an extra-base hit either. Only six of Ohio’s 34 hits were for more than a single base. Ohio does small ball well and will need that when facing tougher pitching. 

Hot bats will be a key to a successful conference slate. There’s no stopping the Bobcats when they put the ball in play. 

Nobody’s perfect 

The Bobcats were far from perfect, and that is to be expected. There were a few errors and mental lapses in their game last weekend. Unfortunately, Ohio does have to face some heavy hitters early in MAC play, but it will be fine after the rebound it had against Bowling Green. 


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