MUNCIE, Ind. – After splitting two games with Miami last weekend, the Ohio Baseball team (16-27, 10-10 MAC) will hit the road to face Ball State (30-17, 14-5 MAC) this weekend. Ohio will start the series at the Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex on Friday at 3 p.m., will continue at 1 p.m. on Saturday and will wrap the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.
All games this weekend will be called by 'Voice of the Bobcats' Russ Eisenstein on WOUB 1340 FM and OhioBobcats.com. The entire series will be streamed on the Ball State website.
PROBABLE PITCHERS AND LINKS
FRIDAY | 3 p.m.: RHP Edward Kutt IV (3-3, 2.79 ERA) vs. RHP Drey Jameson (4-3, 3.18 ERA)
SATURDAY | 1 p.m.: RHP Jack Liberatore (6-4, 3.48 ERA) vs RHP John Baker (6-1, 1.80 ERA)
SUNDAY | 1 p.m.: RHP Kenny Ogg (3-6, 4.88) vs TBD
SEVENTH SAVE AND JUST ONE HIT ALLOWED
Sophomore LHP Brett Manis tossed 3.0 innings, allowed just one hit and fanned five batters for his seventh save of the season in Ohio's 4-3 win over Miami on Saturday. Redshirt freshman RHP Jack Liberatore picked up his sixth win of the season after pitching 6.0 innings. Liberatore struck out a career-high nine batters in the win and allowed three earned runs.
NATIONAL AND MAC RANKINGS
Sophomore LHP Brett Manis leads the MAC and is No. 77 in the nation with seven saves this season. Manis is 0-1 with a 3.45 ERA in 31.1 innings pitched this season. Manis has fanned 39 batters and has a .218 batting average against.
Rudy Rott is fifth in the MAC and No. 114 in the country in batting average at .354 this season. Rudy Rott also sits in the top-10 in the MAC, as he is tied for third the home run eight and is third in slugging percentage at .591. Rott is seventh in doubles with 15 and fifth in batting average at .354.
Edward Kutt IV is fourth in the league and No. 128 in the nation in ERA at 2.79.
COMING UP TO THE HITS RECORD
Rudy Rott is second all-time in career hits at Ohio with 270. Rott is 16 hits away from tying the all-time record that is currently held by Jake Madsen at 286.
MAC ONLY STATS
Ohio has five batters hitting over .300 in MAC play this season. Rudy Rott is hitting.400 while three batters – Michael Richardson (.366), Nathan Mallott (.350), Aaron Levy (.307) are hitting over .300.
Rott is fifth in the league in conference batting average,and is in second in conference play home runs with five.
Rudy Rott has currently reached base in 20-straight games, the longest on the team this season. Aaron Levy is currently on an 13 game on-base streak. Michael Richardson has also had a 15-game reached base streak earlier this season.
Ohio has had a player record a multi-hit game 83 times this season, and Rudy Rott leads the way with 19. Rott has 13 two-hit games and six three-hit games. Trevor Hafner has recorded 10 total multi-hit games, with eight two-hit games and two three-hit games.
OGG DOES IT AGAIN
Coming off a complete game last weekend, Senior RHP Kenny Oggtossed 8.0 innings of shutout baseball in Ohio's 1-0 win over Kent State on Sunday. Ogg struck out five batters and allowed just five hits and two walks. Ogg was the game's winner, improving to 3-6 this season.
Sophomore LHP Brett Manis earned his sixth save of the season after closing the door in the ninth. Ogg allowed one hit and struck out one batter, the final out of the game.
A COUPLE FIRSTS IN THE WIN OVER YSU
Freshman Matt Brosky earned his first career win as Ohio took down Youngstown State on Tuesday, 3-2. Freshman RHP Braxton Kelly grabbed his first career save after shutting the door on YSU in the ninth. Kelly struckout two batters and faced the minimum.
Ohio moved into fifth place in the Mid-American Conference standings after a sweep of Eastern Michigan last weekend. The Bobcats took the first game on Friday, 6-1 and won two games on Sunday, 8-2 and 6-3.
COMPLETE GAME FOR OGG AND FOUR BOMBS
Senior RHP Kenny Ogg went all nine innings in Ohio's 6-3 win to close the series out. Ogg threw the complete game in 111 pitches, striking out six batters. Ogg allowed three earned runs and walked just two batters. Ogg's complete game was his first of the season and he's fanned 43 batters, one behind Liberatore.
KUTT IV GREAT AGAIN
Sophomore Edward Kutt IV earned the Friday start for the second-straight week and was dominant once again. Kutt IV allowed just one earned run in 8.0 innings pitched. Kutt IV fanned six batters. Kutt IV improved to 3-1 overall in the win and has a team-best 1.64 ERA. He has fanned 42 batters this season and has allowed just nine earned runs in 49.1 total innings.
LIBERATORE WAS GREAT TOO AS OHIO TOOK THE SERIES AGAINST TOLEDO
Redshirt freshman Jack Liberatore (Greensburg, Pa.) tossed 7.2 shutout innings while allowing just five batters to reach base. Liberatore did not walk one batter and fanned a career-high eight while improving to 4-4.
FIRST CAREER HOME RUN IS A GRAND SLAM
Cole Revels (Charlotte, N.C.) hit his first career home run in Ohio's 10-8 loss to Ohio State on Tuesday. The home run was a grand slam and gave Ohio the lead. Revels ended the day career-high give RBI, going 2-for-4 with a home run and a single.
Senior INF Rudy Rott(Holmen, Wis.) also had a home run in the game and was 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and one RBI.
GOOD OFFENSIVE SERIES AGAINST NIU FOR RUDY ROTT
Rudy Rott was phenomenal in Ohio's series against NIU. Rott hit an impressive .615 (8-for-13) with two doubles, one home run and five RBI. Rott had a slugging percentage of 1.000 and an on base percentage of .643. Rott scored one run and had 13 total bases.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore INF Aaron Levy (Cincinnati, Ohio) earned Mid-American Conference Player of the Week honors on April 1 for his efforts in Ohio Baseball's (7-18, 3-3 MAC) series win over Bowling Green.
Levy hit a team best .545 over the weekend, helping the Bobcats score 27 runs in Ohio's first series win this season. The Bobcats put up 12 runs on both Saturday and Sunday. Levy drove in four RBI and scored six runs. Levy had an impressive .667 on-base percentage after putting a double, home run and four singles while adding four walks. Levy had a 10 total bases, one behind the team-best of 11 from redshirt freshman OF Trevor Lukkes (Tustin, Calif.).
The Cincinnati native was 3-for-5 with a double and one RBI in Ohio's 12-4 win on Sunday. On Saturday, Levy reached base four times after walking three times and a single. Levy scored one run and knocked in one RBI in the 12-2 victory over the Falcons. Levy went deep in the series opener and brought home two RBI.
Levy is hitting a team-best .467 in conference play this season with five RBI and 11 total bases. Levy's slugging percentage is .733 and he's scored three runs during MAC play. Levy his hitting .227 in 23 games this season and has 10 total RBI, the second most on the team.
WALK OFF GRAND SLAM
The Bobcats found themselves down 11-7 in the ninth inning of the second game of the series against Central Michigan. After Rott singled to cut the lead to 11-8, Tanner Piechnick hit a walk-off grand slam to win the game for Ohio, 12-11.
Freshman RHP Braxton Kelly (Ulysses, Ky.) earned his first collegiate win after tossing the ninth. He pitched 1.0 innings and allowed two runs to score.
Ohio finished the series against CMU 1-2.
GOOD WAY TO GET YOUR FIRST WIN
Redshirt freshman Jack Liberatore (Greensburg, Pa.) was phenomenal in the second game of the doubleheader against USC Upstate where Ohio earned its second win of the season in a 2-1 win over the Spartans. Liberatore tossed 7.0 innings of shutout baseball allowed just five runners to reach base. Liberatore earned his first win of his collegiate career and improved to 1-1 this season. Liberatore's season ERA is an impressive 1.15 ERA, the best among Bobcat starters. The Greensburg, Pa. native has allowed just two runs in 15.2 innings and allowed just 18 runners to reach base while striking out 14 batters this season.
Rob Smith is in his seventh season as the head coach of the Ohio baseball program in 2019. The Bobcats have won two Mid-American Conference tournament titles and have made two NCAA Championship appearances during his time at Ohio. Ohio had made just two NCAA tournament appearance in the 43 seasons prior to the 2015 campaign.
Senior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) was named to the 2019 Collegiate Baeball All-America Third team in December. Rott was the 2018 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, an All-MAC First Team member and made the All-MAC Defensive Team. In 2016, Rott was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.
Rott led the Bobcats in batting average (.355), slugging percentage (.654), on-base percentage (.440), hits (76), doubles (15), home runs (15), walks (30), RBIs (50) and runs scored (48) last season, setting or tying career highs in every category. He also tied for the team lead with two triples. Rott tied for the MAC lead in hits and home runs and ranked second in slugging percentage and RBIs, third in batting average and fifth in runs scored. His 140 total bases were good for a conference-high, ranked 17th in the nation and tied him for the 10th-most in a single season in Ohio history. He led Ohio with 24 multi-hit games – including a team-high eight with at least three hits – and also led the Bobcats with 15 multi-RBI games.
In conference play, Rott sported a team-best .333 batting average, a team-best .620 slugging percentage and a team-best .498 on-base percentage. He tallied a team-high 36 hits -- including a team-high eight doubles and seven home runs -- to go along with a team-high 27 RBIs and 24 runs scored.
RUDY THIS SEASON
So far this season for Rott is hitting .354 (58-of-164) with 15 doubles and eight home runs so far this season with a team-high of 32 RBI. Rott has scored 25 runs and has a .432 on-base percentage. Rott has swiped five bases season.
OHIO PICKED SIXTH IN MAC
Ohio Baseball team has been selected sixth in the 2019 Mid-American Conference Baseball Preseason Poll, the league announced on Feb. 13. The poll was voted on by the league's 10 head coaches.
The Bobcats earned 49 votes and was selected in front of Eastern Michigan (45), Western Michigan (42), Northern Illinois (29) and Bowling Green. NIU received one vote to win the conference this season.
Selected in front of Ohio was Kent State (98), Ball State (88), Miami (78), Central Michigan (53) and Toledo (51). Kent State received eight votes to win the league, while Miami received one vote for first place.
FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON
Ohio earned the first win of the season during game two of the three game series with Wofford. Ohio won the game, 6-2, and freshman LHP Joe Rock (Aliquippa, Pa.) earned his first win of his collegiate career after coming in during the fourth inning and tossing 2.2 innings. Rock gave up two earned runs while striking out three batters. Rock faced 13 batters and walked just one.
SCOUTING BALL STATE
Ball State is 30-17 this season and is in second place in the MAC at 14-5. BSU is currently on a two-game slide, falling to NIU and Purdue. Ball State has won every MAC series so far this season.
Aaron Simpson leads the team in batting average at .343 and is ninth in the MAC> Ross Messina is second in the league in doubles with 18. John Baker, BSU's Saturday starter, is No. 18 in the nation in ERA with a 1.8.
WELCOME TO OHIO
Ohio is welcoming 10 to the team this season. Ohio has eight true freshman - RHP Matt Brosky (Strongsville, Ohio) INF Ryan Strittmather (Vermillion, Ohio), C/INF Zyon Avery (Indianapolis, Ind.), RHP Braxton Kelly (Ulysses, Ky.), LHP Joe Rock (Aliquippa, Pa.), INF Evan Fromwiller (Aurora, Ohio), INF/RHP Colin Sells (Lancaster, Ohio), INF Xavier Haendiges (Salem, Ind.) and RHP Eamon Horwedel (Ann Arbor, Mich.) Ohio has one Junior college transfer, redshirt sophomore Michael Richardson (Cambridge, Maryland/Harford Community College). The Bobcats have one transfer from a four-year school, junior INF Joe Weisenseel (Strongsville, Ohio/Penn State).