Baseball: Ohio Northern (8-7 Overall) at #27 Denison (14-2 Overall)

Baseball: Ohio Northern (8-7 Overall) at #27 Denison (14-2 Overall)

Thursday, March 28, 2019, 5 p.m. — Big Red Field, Granville, Ohio

Thursday's Game Preview: The Ohio Northern baseball program returns to the diamond this evening with a single nonconference contest at No. 27-ranked Denison ... First pitch is set for 5 p.m. at Big Red Field in Granville ... The Polar Bears enter the affair sporting an 8-7 overall record ... On Wednesday evening, Northern recorded 18 total hits and shutout nonconference foe Thomas More (Ky.) 9-0 in their 2019 home opener at Wander Field ... Sophomore outfielder Krue Thwaits led the offensive showcase with a four-for-four performance at the plate, which included two RBI and a run scored ... Classmate Michael Rocco produced a team-high three RBI after going three-for-five ... In addition, sophomore Will Davis tallied two RBI, two runs scored, and two hits Wednesday evening ... On the mound, junior Troy Wagner earned his second win this season after tossing 6.1 scoreless innings and surrendering just two hits ... Through 15 games, Rocco paces the team and sits second in the Ohio Athletic Conference with a .451 batting average, just two points off the top spot ... He also sits second on the team in hits (23), runs scored (13), and RBI (12) ... Senior Luke Klinehoffer bests the team with 25 hits and 14 runs scored while ranking second in batting average (.403) and RBI (12) ... His 39 career doubles rank third all-time at ONU while his .357 career batting average sits ninth ... Meanwhile, classmate Caleb Thomas leads ONU with 13 RBI and two home runs ... On the mound, Wagner and junior Jack Schaller lead the team with two victories each, which ties for fifth in the conference ... Meanwhile, Wagner ranks eighth among qualifying OAC pitchers with a 2.45 ERA ... Junior Nate Bye owns a team-high 21 strikeouts this season ... Denison enters the contest with a 14-2 overall record and four-game winning streak ... The Big Red were ranked 27th in the third American Baseball Coaches Association Poll, released on Tuesday ... DU is coming off a 10-1 victory over John Carroll on Wednesday ... Sophomore infielder Max Lahn paces the team with a .500 batting average, 29 hits, 20 runs scored, and 12 doubles this season ... Meanwhile, junior Will Krushena leads the program with 24 RBI ... On the mound, senior right-handed pitcher Danny Brackman owns a team-best 4-1 overall record, having posted a 3.16 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 31.1 innings.

Ohio Northern Batting Leaders:

  Batting Ave.        Hits       Runs       RBIs  
1. Rocco .451   1. Klinehoffer 25   1. Klinehoffer 14   1. Thomas 13
2. Klinehoffer .403   2. Rocco 23   2.  Rocco 13   2. Klinehoffer 12
3. Burkett .400   3.  Burkett 18   3.  Thwaits 11     Rocco 12

Ohio Northern Pitching Leaders:

  Wins       ERA (Min. 5 Inn.)       Strikeouts       Saves  
1. Schaller 2   1. Schaller 1.93   1. Bye 21   1. Wagner 1
  Wagner 2   2.  Wagner 2.45   2. Mohr 10     Johnson
3.  4 Tied W/    3.  Mohr 3.21     Wagner 10        

Series Notes: Denison currently leads the all-time series 9-8 over the Polar Bears ... The two teams last met in the 2017 campaign when Denison claimed an 8-1 victory at Wander Field.

ONU Head Coach Gene Stechschulte: Stechschulte is in his eighth season leading the Ohio Northern baseball program with a 167-122 record, a .578 win percentage.