ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio baseball program will host its annual fall intersquad scrimmage -- Wren Fest -- next Wednesday (Sept. 27) at Bob Wren Stadium.
Wren Fest, which features free admission, is slated to get underway at 6 p.m. ET, with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. ET. The first 250 fans in attendance will receive free food from Sonic. Prizes will be given away all game long. New to Wren Fest this year will be the opportunity for fans to purchase beer.
"It's always nice to have an opportunity to bring people in the community and alumni and people who follow the program out during a fall scrimmage situation," said sixth-year head coach Rob Smith. "It allows them to see us for the first time and certainly gives our guys a little bit of excitement as well. You get out in front of some people, and it gives a little bit more life to a normal Wednesday night scrimmage."
The Bobcats are coming off of a 2017 campaign in which they finished with 31 wins -- including 11 in Mid-American Conference play, which placed Ohio fifth in the overall league standings. Under the direction of Smith, No. 5-seeded Ohio capped an improbable league postseason run by defeating No. 3-seeded Eastern Michigan, 7-4, to clinch the 2017 MAC Championship title on May 28 at Sprenger Stadium in Avon, Ohio. Ohio earned its third MAC tournament title (1997, 2015, '17) with the victory. The Bobcats opened 2017 MAC Championship play by beating No. 4-seeded Ball State, 4-3, on May 24. Ohio then advanced to the winner's bracket final thanks to a late-night 5-3 win over No. 1-seeded Kent State the following day. The Bobcats eliminated the Golden Flashes with a 7-2 victory on May 27, marking the fourth time in five tries Ohio emerged victorious over MAC regular season champion Kent State in 2017. After missing the national postseason tournament 17 years in a row, Ohio punched its second NCAA Regional ticket in the last three years as the MAC's automatic bid with the victory over Eastern Michigan, advancing to the 2017 NCAA Championship Lexington Regional. The No. 4 regionally-seeded Bobcats fell to No. 1 regionally-seeded Kentucky, 6-4, on June 4, then dropped an 11-2 decision to No. 2 regionally-seeded Indiana the following day.
Smith has led Ohio to two MAC tournament titles and two NCAA Championship appearances over the the last three years. Ohio had made just two NCAA tournament appearance in the 43 seasons prior to the 2015 campaign.
Among the returners from last year's championship team are a pair of 2017 First Team All-MAC selections in redshirt senior infielder/right-handed pitcher Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Jake Roehn (Sandwich, Ill.) and a MAC All-Defensive Team selection in junior infielder Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.).