Ohio Looks For First Conference Win Against Broncos

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Not much is going right for the Ohio Bobcats this season.

The Bobcats (4-17, 0-3 MAC) are currently on a nine-game losing streak, have struggled to get any sort of offense going, and have a bullpen that has struggled to keep opposing hitters off the bases. During the losing streak, the Bobcats have given up an average of 10.4 runs per game, while their own offense is only averaging 2.8 runs per game. 

The only form of consistency that Ohio has had so far has been centerfielder Mitch Longo, who is currently third in the MAC with a .429 batting average and leads the team with seven doubles and 11 runs scored.

The latest defeat for Ohio came on Wednesday, as Youngstown State came to Athens, Ohio, and left with an 11-4 victory. In the game, the Bobcats’ pitching staff struggled with its control yet again, issuing 10 walks to YSU batters, along with allowing the 11 runs on 11 hits.

“This losing streak will continue if we continue to walk batters at the rate we’re going,” Ohio coach Rob Smith said after the game.

Smith and his team hope to get on track as they another chance to end the streak this weekend, with a three-game series against conference foe Western Michigan (10-11, 1-2 MAC) in Athens beginning on Friday.

The series was originally scheduled to be played at Western Michigan’s home field, but was moved to Athens because of potential bad weather in the Kalamazoo, Mich., area.

The Broncos have a solid starting pitching trio in Keegan Akin, Chad Mayle and Steve Laudicina, as they have a collective 6-4 record with a 3.10 ERA, while each have crossed the 30-inning plateau this season. The staff as a whole has been a huge plus for the Broncos as well, as the 13 players have allowed double-digit runs just three times this season.

Offensively, the Broncos are average at best. Coming into the series with Ohio, the Broncos have averaged 4.6 runs per game, while holding a .269 team batting average. Much like Ohio, the Broncos have struggled to find consistency throughout the season and have scored double-digit runs in just three of the 21 games so far.

The series starts off on Friday with the game beginning at 6 p.m. at Bob Wren Stadium. The series continues on Saturday at 3 p.m., and then wraps up on Sunday with the first pitch set for 1 p.m.

Probable Pitching Matchup:

Friday: LHP Keegan Akin (2-0, 2.93 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Roehn (1-3, 4.88 ERA)

Saturday: RHP Chad Mayle (2-2, 2.97 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Rudnicki (2-0, 3.24 ERA)

Sunday: LHP Steve Laudicina (2-2, 3.40 ERA) vs. RHP Connor Sitz (0-5, 4.32 ERA)