Baseball: Ohio Northern (7-3 Overall) at Defiance (7-3-1 Overall)

Baseball: Ohio Northern (7-3 Overall) at Defiance (7-3-1 Overall)

Thursday, March 21, 2019, 7 p.m. — Defiance High School, Defiance, Ohio

Thursday's Game Preview: The Ohio Northern baseball program returns to the road Thursday evening to battle area-rival Defiance in a single game at Defiance High School ... First pitch is set for 7 p.m. ... The contest was originally scheduled for a 4 p.m. start at Craig A. Rutter Field, but was moved due to field conditions ... The Polar Bears enter the contest sporting a 7-3 overall record, compiled at the 2019 RussMatt Invitational in Florida ... During the ten-game trip, senior Luke Klinehoffer and sophomore Michael Rocco helped guide the offensive attack ... Klinehoffer paced Northern with 19 hits on a .463 batting average and 13 runs scored ... He also produced 12 RBI over the stretch ... Meanwhile, Rocco led the team with a .500 batting average after going 16-for-32 at the plate ... He also ended second on the team with 16 hits, 11 runs scored, and wound up third with nine RBI ... Senior first baseman/designated hitter Caleb Thomas led the team with 13 RBI and two home runs ... On the mound, juniors Jack Schaller and Nate Bye guided the pitching unit ... Schaller posted a 2-0 overall record after conceding just three hits and no earned runs in 10 innings ... Bye tossed 13 total innings, including one complete game, to register a 1-0 record, a 1.38 ERA, and a team-high 14 strikeouts ... On the Ohio Athletic Conference leaderboards, Schaller ranks first in ERA (0.00) and sits tied for second in wins while Bye ranks third in ERA ... Additionally, Rocco and Klinehoffer rank second and third in batting average, respectively, among qualifying players in the league ... Klinehoffer ranks third all-time at Ohio Northern with 38 career doubles while his .361 career batting average sits ninth ... Thomas is tied for fifth in home runs within the conference ... Defiance enters Thursday's nonconference battle with a 7-3-1 overall record ... In their most recent outing, the Yellow Jackets defeated MIAA foe Alma (Mich.) 2-1 in 11 innings on Sunday ... Senior Troy Kronwinski paces the DC offense, leading the team with 14 base hits, 11 RBI, six doubles, and a home run on a .333 batting average ... On the mound, junior Jon Brown, sophomore Cohen Nies, and sophomore Jack Powell each have recorded two wins this season.

Ohio Northern Batting Leaders:

  Batting Ave.        Hits       Runs       RBIs  
1. Rocco .500   1. Klinehoffer 19   1. Klinehoffer 13   1. Thomas 13
2. Randick .474   2. Rocco 16   2.  Rocco 11   2. Klinehoffer 12
3. Klinehoffer .463   3.  P. Buckingham 14   3.  Thwaits 10   3. Rocco 9

Ohio Northern Pitching Leaders:

  Wins       ERA       Strikeouts       Saves  
1. Schaller 2   1. Schaller 0.00   1. Bye 14   1. Wagner 1
2. 5 Tied w/ 1     Klinehoffer 0.00   2. Fleser 9     Johnson
          Hillberry 0.00   3. Lester 6        
                  Wagner 6        

Series Notes: Ohio Northern currently leads the all-time series 36-24 over Defiance ... In 2018, the Polar Bears defeated the Yellow Jackets 4-2 at Wander Field. 

ONU Head Coach Gene Stechschulte: Stechschulte is in his eighth season leading the Ohio Northern baseball program with a 166-118 record, a .585 win percentage.