Season Review: Baseball posts fourth consecutive winning season in 2017

Season Review: Baseball posts fourth consecutive winning season in 2017

By Caleb Scott

ADA — The Ohio Northern baseball team posted its fourth consecutive winning season during the 2017 campaign under sixth-year head coach Gene Stechschulte.

The Polar Bears finished the season 21-19 overall and 7-11 in the Ohio Athletic Conference.

Over the last four seasons, Northern has posted the second most wins in program history, tallying 100 victories and falling just three short of the all-time record.

Nothern saw five athletes named to the All-Ohio Athletic Conference teams as juniors T.J. Storer (Loveland/Moeller), Jordan Bostater (Bryan) and Brandon Kasberg (Mentor), sophomore Luke Klinehoffer (Zanesville/John Glenn) and freshman Jack Schaller (Bowling Green) all earned All-Conference accolades.

Storer, a First Team Preseason All-American as a relief pitcher, was named First Team All-OAC as a relief pitcher.

The junior closer led the conference and currently leads the nation with 14 saves.

The mark is a single-season record at Ohio Northern, while Storer also owns the career saves record at Northern with 27 career saves.

Storer led the pitching staff with a 1.69 ERA and currently owns the lowest all-time career ERA in Polar Bear history.

Storer was recognized both regionally and nationally for his efforts as a closer as he was named First Team All-Mideast Region by both D3Baseball.com and Rawlings/ABCA.

The junior was then named a Second Team All-American by D3Baseball.com as a relief pitcher.

Bostater was named Second Team All-OAC for the second time in his career.

The first baseman led the team offensively with a .326 batting average and 27 RBI. 

Bostater also ranked second on the team in hits (44) and doubles (8).

Kasberg earns his first career All-OAC honor in 2017.

The junior was named Honorable Mention All-OAC at the shortstop position.

Kasberg was tied for second on the team with 44 hits and was tied for first place on the team with 28 runs scored.

Klinehoffer was named Honorable Mention All-OAC and earned his first all-conference honor.

The sophomore led the team with 47 hits and had a team-best 16 doubles.

His 16 doubles are the tied for second best all-time at ONU in a single season.

Klinehoffer also ranked second on the team with a .301 batting average.

Schaller was named Honorable Mention All-OAC as a pitcher and garnered his first career all-conference accolade.

The freshman was tied for first on the team with four wins on the mound and led the pitching staff with 45 K's, while posting a 3.04 ERA.

Schaller also pitched a team-high 53.1 innings.

Northern also saw six athletes named Academic All-OAC in 2017.

Senior Zach Foster (Wayne/Elmwood), Kasberg, and sophomores Caleb Thomas (Strongsville), Austin Frey (Peoria, Az./Sunrise Mountain), Adam Wilson (Maineville/Archbishop Moeller) and Jackson Buda (Norton) all earned the honors.

The Polar Bears opened the season with their annual Spring Break trip to Florida, where they competed in the RussMatt Invitational.

Northern posted a 6-4 record during the trip, before opening the Northern portion and winning two games in a 3-game series at Thomas More (Ky.).

After dropping a hard-fought 12-11 decision at Trine (Ind.), the Polar Bears opened the home-portion of the schedule with a close 6-5 loss to Anderson (Ind.).

ONU would open OAC play at Wander Field with a twinbill against No. 20-ranked Otterbein on Mar. 25 before battling Defiance and Denison in non-conference contests.

Northern posted an 11-7 record in April, including a 7-7 mark in the OAC to help seal the fourth straight winning season for ONU baseball.

The Polar Bears won their second straight Senior Day twinbill as they swept Capital on Apr. 30.

Ohio Northern would close the season out winning six of eight games.