Sunday, Mar. 4 - Sunday, Mar. 11, 2018 - RussMatt Invitational, Aurburndale, Florida
Preview: The Ohio Northern baseball team will kick off its 2018 campaign during its annual Spring Break trip in Florida ... The Polar Bears will compete in the RussMatt Invitational in Auburndale, Fla. for the third consecutive season to kick off the season ... Northern 10-game slate in Florida will begin on Sunday with a double-header against Nebraska Wesleyan ... The Polar Bears will also face Wentworth (Mass.) and Mt. St. Joseph in double header action ... Ohio Northern will also meet Albion (Mich.), Aurora (Ill.), RIT (N.Y.) and Nichols (Mass.) during the trip ... A year after finishing 21-19 overall for its fourth consecutive winning season, and posting a 7-11 record in the OAC and finishing seventh in the conference standings, Northern is primed to be a contender in the OAC race this season under seventh-year head coach Gene Stechschulte ... Northern welcomes back a deep roster from a season ago that boasts experience ... The pitching staff, led by 2-time All-American T.J. Storer, welcomes back seven letter winners ... ONU will look to Storer and juniors Austin Frey, Jackson Buda, and Blake Lester, and sophomores Jack Schaller, Josh Mohr, Troy Wagner, Tommy Fleser, Nate Bye and Devin Johnson to carry the load on the mound ... The infield welcomes back seniors and 3-time letter winners Jordan Bostater, Brandon Kasberg, and Hayden Shenefield and juniors Caleb Thomas, and Luke Klinehoffer ... Bostater, Northern's RBI leader for two consecutive seasons and the 2017 batting average leader (.326) for Ohio Northern returns to the lineup as a member of ONU's 100-hit club and .300 batting average club ... Kasberg was tied with Bostater for second on the team a season ago with 44 hits and was tied for first on the team with 28 runs scored ... Klinehoffer returns in 2018 after a solid sophomore campaign ... The junior led the team in 2017 in hits (47), doubles (16), runs scored (28), walks (14), slugging percentage (.436) and total bases (68) ... The catching duties will be handled by senior Kyle Schlade who appeared in 36 contests a season ago, starting in 35 games ... Seniors Dan Barna and Jason Burkett will look to lead the outfield in 2018 ... Barna returns after appearing in 38 of Northern's 40-game slate in 2017 ... The senior was fourth on the team a season ago with 25 hits ... Burkett also returns in 2018 after starting in 35 games for ONU primarily in the outfield ... His seven stolen bases led the team last year ... The senior will also appear in the pitching rotation for Northern in 2018.
Returning Batting Leaders 2017 Stats
Returning Pitching Leaders 2017 Stats
Series Notes: Northern will compete in the RussMatt Invitational for the third consecutive season ... The Polar Bears posted a 4-4 record in the invitational in 2016 and went 6-4 a season ago.
ONU head coach Gene Stechschulte: Stechschulte in his seventh season at ONU with an overall record of 132-100, a winning percentage of .569.