Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Baseball: Everything you need to know for Ohio’s 2024 season

Ohio enters the 2024 season with a roster loaded with new talent. The team will be looking to improve upon a 19-30 finish to the 2023 season, which saw the team come up just a few games short of qualifying for the Mid-American Conference tournament. 

“Kind of a disappointing finish to (last) season, I think that has motivated the returners,” Ohio Coach Craig Moore said. “That’s kind of been their fuel for the majority of the year … the fact that we did not finish the way that we wanted to finish, and we are going to work to finish the season right this year.”

The team will return just 22 players with 19 newcomers on the 2024 roster. 

Of the 19 new players, 9 are true freshmen. A couple of those freshmen have stood out to Moore so far in camp and will look to make an impact right away. 

Positional players JR Nelson and Pauly Mancino are two freshmen whom Moore expects to make a splash.

Nelson, a freshman out of Illinois, is expected to be Ohio’s shortstop to start the season. Mancino, a freshman out of Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, has shown well enough in the preseason to tally some innings in the outfield from the start. 

Ohio will also look to a few freshmen and transfers for help for its pitching staff, who will be looking to take a step forward in 2024. 

Ohio’s downfall at the end of last season was its inability to stop teams from scoring. This season, the pitching staff is looking to recoup from a 7.60 combined ERA last season. 

“This year we have some more options and some more depth than what we’ve had in the past,” Moore said. “That’s another exciting thing about the plan that we’re putting together here for our pitching staff.”

Moore has cited transfer players like Blake Gaskey and Tim Knapschaefer as guys who could make an immediate impact to start the season. 

Knapschaefer is a graduate student who played at Ohio Northern University last season where he posted a 4.63 ERA over 11 starts. Gaskey is a junior from Southeastern Community College who posted a 5.49 ERA over 23 career starts in his two-year collegiate career. 

Freshman Jack Geiser out of Medina is another option for Ohio in terms of new pitchers. 

Of Ohio’s returning players both Luke Olson and Jacob Tate will be the leaders of the inexperienced pitching staff. Olson and Tate led Ohio in innings pitched.

This group of pitchers will be looking to replace the 2023 departures of Braxton Kelly, the team leader in saves, and Brendan Roder, who led the team in ERA for the 2022 season (among pitchers with at least one inning pitched per game). 

Notable position players who are returning for Ohio include fifth-year utility player Alex Finney, senior outfielder Gideon Antle, senior utility player Cole Williams and redshirt junior infielder Nick Dolan. 

Ohio will be losing its top two players in terms of batting average from last season in both Alec Patino and Mason Minzey. Will Sturek, the team's leader in home runs from 2023 is also no longer with the team. 

Earlier in the week on Tuesday, Ohio was ranked 5th in the MAC Coaches Preseason poll, a projection that puts Ohio right where it finished in last year's conference standings. 

“It wasn’t a real shock about where we were at,“ Moore said. "But again, it's not where you start, it's where you finish. You play 10 weeks of conference baseball and then you finish up where you want to finish and that’s in Avon at the tournament.”



Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH