Home » Sports » Baseball » Baseball: Weekday games provide opportunity for struggling Buckeyes

Baseball: Weekday games provide opportunity for struggling Buckeyes

Ohio State junior infielder Conner Pohl (39) dives to third base during the game against Hawaii on March 23. Ohio State won 7-5. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

The Ohio State baseball team has an opportunity to flip the script and end recent woes when it plays Ohio schools this week.

Ohio State (16-16, 2-4 Big Ten) will hit the road to play Ohio (8-21, 3-6 MAC) Tuesday. The Buckeyes then return home for a Wednesday bout against Dayton (17-13-1, 7-2 Atlantic 10).

Ohio State enters its next game on a five-game skid, its second-longest losing streak this season. Along this stretch, the Buckeyes have been outscored 42-18 and dropped four games at home.

Ohio has struggled throughout the year, but the Bobcats have improved their numbers in conference play.

The team’s .230 batting average is not impressive. Ohio’s offensive leader is senior first baseman Rudy Rott, who hits .336, and is the only Bobcat to hit above .300. With 26 RBI, Rott has 16 more than any other player on the team.

Ohio has a pair of relief pitchers who offer stability to the pitching staff.

Sophomore pitcher Brett Manis holds the only four saves for the Bobcats this season. His ERA of 2.37 is second-lowest on the team.

The best ERA of 2.16 belongs to sophomore pitcher Edward Klutt, who has made a team-high 15 appearances.

Wednesday, Ohio State will try to end its troubles at home when it welcomes a red-hot Dayton team that has won nine of its past 11 games, including three shutout victories.

Pitcher Justin Longbrake has made 12 appearances in relief for the Flyers. The junior holds a 3.14 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.4. Opponents are only hitting .135 against Longbrake.

Offensively, the Flyers are extremely aggressive on the base paths, having stolen 70 bags on 86 attempts. Dayton has four players with at least 10 steals on the season.

Sophomore third baseman Riley Tirotta succeeds on 90.9 percent of his steals, while also leading the team with 21 RBI.

Ohio State will take on Ohio at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The home game against Dayton will follow at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday.