DAYTON, Ohio – The Ohio Baseball team (2-8) will travel to Dayton, Ohio to face Dayton, Wright State and Canisius this weekend. Ohio will face Dayton on Friday, March 8 at 3 p.m., Wright State in a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon and Canisius on Sunday at 11 a.m. Sunday's game with the Griffins will be played at Wright State.
Friday's game with Dayton will be streamed live on Dayton's website and live stats will be available. Live stats will be available for Saturday's doubleheader at Wright State. No live stats will be available for Sunday's game against Canisius.
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 enters 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 he's hitting a team best .325 (13-of-40) with a team high 23 total bases. Rott has four doubles and two home runs so far this season with a team-high eight RBI. Rott has scored three runs and a .364 on-base percentage. Rott has swiped two bases season.
DON'T FORGET TANNER
Ohio returns senior DH Tanner Piechnick (Canonsburg, Pa.) to the lineup, who earned All-MAC Second Team recognition last season. Last season's honors were the first in his career. Piechnick ranked second on the team in slugging percentage (.484), doubles (12), home runs (8) and runs scored (48) behind Rott while ranking third in hits (51) and RBIs (28), setting career highs in every category. Piechnick ranked second on the squad with 15 multi-hit games
In conference play, Piechnick ranked second on the squad in batting average (.305), slugging percentage (.533), on-base percentage (.373), hits (36), doubles (7), home runs (5), RBIs (20) and runs scored (22).
The Bobcats have hit four home runs this season. Rott had one against USC Upstate, and Ohio hit three home runs in the Bobcats' series with Cal Baptist last week. Freshman Zyon Avery (Indianapolis, Ind.) hit his first career home run, while Rott and redshirt sophomore Dan McCauley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) also hit one home run each.
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 Wednesday (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.
Dayton is 1-6-1 this season, after being swept by No. 1 Vanderbilt and No. 9 Georgia. Dayton has a win over Seton Hall, 2-1, and tied Fairleigh Dickinson, 3-3. UD will face Purdue Fort Wayne before the weekend series. Dayton is led by Jay Curtis, who is hitting .296 with five RBI. Mitchell Garrity has an on-base percentage of .441 for the Flyers.
SCOUTING WRIGHT STATE
Wright State is 4-4 and has an RPI of No. 32. WSU has a ranked wins over No. 10 Ole Miss, No. 19 Oklahoma State and No. 9 East Carolina. WSU is led by Seth Gray at the plate and leads the Horizon League with a .429 batting average. Zane Collins is already a two-time Horizon League pitcher of the week after being the pitcher of record in wins over Ole Miss and East Carolina.
Canisius is 3-7 this season, with a win over NC Central and two over Charlotte. Most recently, Canisius was swept by Kentucky. William leads the way for the Griffins with a. .343 batting average and Mike Steffan is hitting .314.
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).
After the series in Dayton, Ohio will head right back to the University of Dayton to take on the Flyers in a midweek game on Wednesday, March 13. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.