Updated Thu, Feb 27, 2014 9:41 pm
Four-consecutive weeks of 10-plus hour bus rides can grow old on anyone.
But when the reward at the end of the long trips is getting to play baseball in weather with temperatures reaching 70-degrees, you can’t complain too much.
That is exactly what head coach Rob Smith and his Ohio Bobcats squad will do this weekend, as the ‘Cats leave the frigid weather in Athens for the warm weather of Georgia to take part in a three-team tournament with Georgia Southern and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
During the weekend, Smith won’t be paying much attention to the wins or losses his team gathers this weekend, instead he just wants his team to continue playing with the effort that has been there for the first six games.
“I was pleased with the energy this past weekend [at UNC-Wilmington],” Smith said, “The effort is there, but we’re just slow with wrapping our head around the approach we want to have.”
Smith and the Bobcats will have a tough test to begin the series, as they get a crack at the Georgia Southern Eagles on Friday evening.
Ohio will have its hands full with the Eagles (7-1), who come at teams with their superb offense and tough pitching rotation. Through their first eight games, the Eagles have outscored the opponents 84-28, including two games where they scored 18 and 23 runs.
The Bobcats’ opponent on Saturday, the SIU-Edwardsville Cougars, are at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to the Eagles.
Much like Ohio, the Cougars have started the season slow (1-6), as they have struggled to find consistency amongst their lineup and pitching staff, which has a collective 9.00 ERA heading into the weekend.
Ohio’s game with the Eagles on Friday is set to begin at 6 p.m., and the two teams will meet again on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Meanwhile, the Bobcats and Cougars will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, with freshman pitcher Gerry Salisbury making his first career start for Ohio.
Projected Pitchers for Ohio:
Friday: RHP Jake Roehn (0-1, 7.36 ERA)
Saturday: LHP Gerry Salisbury (0-1, 0.00 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Connor Sitz (0-2, 4.05 ERA)