Photo Credit: Nick Ursini/WOUB

Ohio Faces Ball State in Mid-American Conference Opener

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The Ohio Bobcats (11-12) travel to Muncie, Ind. to face the Ball State Cardinals (11-14) this weekend for a three-game series to open up Mid-American Conference play.

For Ohio, they currently are on a five-game losing streak. They have not lost five-straight games since 2014 and the losing continued on Tuesday when they fell to Ohio State, 3-0.

The Bobcats have not gotten the productivity from the bats that Ohio needs to win games.

Coach Rob Smith expressed his frustration but hopes his team can hit the reset button this weekend.

“We’re going to keep practicing it and getting better and that’s all you can do,’ he said. “We need to take advantage of run-scoring opportunities, it’s pretty simple.”

Smith also noted that no significant changes will be made to his lineup this weekend. “We’re still trying to find players that can give us a spark. Players who are playing on a consistent basis need to elevate their game.”

As for Ball State, the Cardinals are also on a five-game losing streak. They opened MAC play this past weekend by getting swept by Kent State and also lost to Butler 7-3 on Tuesday, a team that Ohio has faced five times this season.

Sean Kennedy leads Ball State in hitting with a .301 batting average with 28 hits, five doubles and 11 RBIs.

BJ Butler has predominately been the Cardinal’s number one pitcher this season.

Butler has a 2-3 record on the mound, a 1.31 ERA, with 35 hits surrendered, while striking out 36 batters and allowing 11 walks.

Ball State was picked to finished on top of the MAC West Division with five first place votes.

Last year, the Cardinals took two of three from Ohio in Muncie.

“We have to go in there with the mindset that we are going to win a series,” Smith said. “That’s what we have to do, they’re beatable. We have to go in there and play a good game.”

First pitch for Friday’s game is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday are scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch.