Baseball: Ohio Northern (10-13 Overall) at Bluffton (13-12 Overall)

Baseball: Ohio Northern (10-13 Overall) at Bluffton (13-12 Overall)

Thursday, April 11, 2019, 4:30 p.m. — Memorial Field, Bluffton, Ohio

Thursday's Preview: The Ohio Northern Polar Bears break from conference play Thursday afternoon when they travel to area-rival Bluffton for a single nonconference affair ... Game time is slated for 4:30 p.m. at Memorial Field in Bluffton ... Thursday's game will serve as the first game in a recently-added home-and-home series with the Beavers ... The second contest is slated for next Wednesday, April 17 at Wander Field at 4:30 p.m. ... ONU enters the contest sporting a 10-13 overall record after dropping 4-3 and 9-1 contests to Baldwin Wallace in an Ohio Athletic Conference twinbill on Tuesday ... Junior Phil Buckingham led the Polar Bear offense with two RBI and a home run during Tuesday's doubleheader ... Meanwhile, senior Luke Klinehoffer and sophomore Matthew Burkett added a team-high three hits and one RBI each ... Through 23 games, sophomore infielder Michael Rocco leads the Polar Bears and the OAC with an impressive .450 batting average ... In addition, he tops the team with 36 hits and six stolen bases, stands second with 16 runs scored, and sits third with 14 RBI ... Klinehoffer leads the team with 17 runs scored and sits second on the team in batting average (.354), hits (35), and RBI (15) ... He ranks second in career doubles all-time at ONU with 43 and ninth all-time in career base hits with 169 ... Classmate Caleb Thomas leads ONU with two home runs and 16 RBI  ... On the mound, junior Jack Schaller leads the team with three wins and a 2.33 ERA (minimum 10 innings) in 19.1 innings ... Klinehoffer and junior Troy Wagner also have multiple victories on the mound, recording two wins each ... Junior Nate Bye paces the team with 25 strikeouts in a team-high 30.0 innings ... Bluffton enters the nonconference matchup with a 13-12 overall record ... The Beavers are coming off a 5-0 victory over Olivet (Mich.) Tuesday evening on the road ... Sophomore middle infielder Jaxon Rogan currently leads the team with a .328 batting average ... Meanwhile, senior outfielder Colin Gregory tops the team with nine home runs, 26 RBI, 28 runs scored, and 28 hits on a .295 batting average ... On the mound, senior Dante D'Andrea owns a 4-3 overall record with three saves in 10 relief appearances while junior Cam Clark and freshman Carson Curnette each have two victories.

Ohio Northern Batting Leaders:

  Batting Ave.        Hits       Runs       RBIs  
1. Rocco .450   1. Rocco 36   1. Klinehoffer 17   1. Thomas 16
2. Klinehoffer .354   2.  Klinehoffer 35   2.  Rocco 16   2.  Klinehoffer 15
3. Thwaits .339   3.  P. Buckingham 27   3.  P. Buckingham 15   3.  Rocco 14

Ohio Northern Pitching Leaders:

  Wins       ERA (Min. 10 Inn.)       Strikeouts       Saves  
1. Schaller 3   1. Buda 1.80   1. Bye 25   1. Wagner 1
2.  Wagner 2   2.  Schaller 2.33   2. Mohr 20     Johnson
  Klinehoffer   3.  Wagner 3.00   3. Wagner 14     Mohr  1

All-Time Series Notes: The Polar Bears hold a 76-35 all-time series advantage over Bluffton ... Last season, ONU defeated the Beavers 10-3 on the road in their lone season matchup.

ONU Head Coach Gene Stechschulte: Stechschulte is in his eighth season leading the Ohio Northern baseball program with a 169-128 record, a .569 win percentage.