By Blake Moore
ADA — The Ohio Northern baseball program landed five student-athletes on the 2019 All-Ohio Athletic Conference teams as voted upon by the conference's 10 head coaches, the league office announced Monday morning.
Sophomore infielder Michael Rocco (Orlando, Fla./Zionsville, Ind.) headlined the selections with First-Team All-OAC kudos, his first career all-conference honor.
In addition, senior Luke Klinehoffer (Zanesville/John Glenn) and junior pitcher Jack Schaller (Bowling Green) were named Second-Team All-OAC while senior pitcher Jackson Buda (Norton) and junior pitcher Nate Bye (Thorntown, Ind./Western Boone) garnered Honorable Mention status.
Rocco, a first-time honoree, had a breakout sophomore campaign in the Polar Bears' starting shortstop role.
In the 2019 season, Rocco finished third in the OAC with a .401 batting average and led ONU with a .446 on-base percentage, a .458 slugging percentage, 28 RBI, and 13 stolen bases. He also ended second on the team with 57 base hits while adding 25 runs and six doubles.
His 57 base hits currently tie for 10th-most in a single season in program history.
Through two seasons, the sophomore has compiled 61 base hits, 31 runs, 31 RBI, 13 stolen bases, and eight doubles at Ohio Northern. He is also an ONU .300 Club member with a .386 batting average, which ranks fourth-best in program history.
Klinehoffer becomes a three-time All-OAC honoree with Monday's announcement. He garnered Honorable Mention honors in 2017 as a sophomore and First-Team All-OAC accolades in 2018 during his junior campaign.
This season, Klinehoffer led the Polar Bears with 59 total hits from the leadoff spot on a .335 batting average, which ended second-highest on the team. He also topped ONU with 30 runs and 12 doubles and tied for second with 24 RBI in 2019.
Klinehoffer leaves the program tied for first in career doubles (46) and third overall in base hits (193) at Ohio Northern. He also ranks third with 559 total at-bats and sixth in program history with 256 total bases. Meanwhile, his .345 career batting average is tied for 17th-best all-time.
Last season, the senior reset the program's single-season hits mark with 71 base knocks.
Klinehoffer ends his career as a three-time All-OAC honoree, a two-time OAC All-Tournament Team member, a 2018 D3Baseball.com Second-Team All-Mideast Region honoree, a 2018 ABCA/Rawlings Third-Team All-Mideast Region selection, and a one-time OAC Hitter of the Week.
Schaller is now a two-time honoree after receiving Honorable Mention kudos in 2017.
The Bowling Green product tied for the team lead and tied for sixth in the OAC with five victories on the mound this season. He started all eight contests in which he appeared and posted a 5-3 record, a 2.86 ERA, and 18 strikeouts in 44.1 innings pitched, the second-highest workload on the team.
His ERA value also ranked eighth-lowest among qualifying pitchers in the league.
The junior has made 24 starts in 27 appearances for 127.2 innings in three seasons. He owns a 13-8 overall record with a 3.04 ERA and 104 strikeouts.
Buda earns his first career All-OAC honor with the selection.
In 2019, he appeared in 14 games out of the Polar Bear bullpen to post a 2-0 record and one save in 32.1 innings pitched. His stat line included 15 strikeouts and a 1.68 ERA, which topped the Ohio Northern pitching staff (minimum 10 innings).
During his career, Buda appeared in 26 total contests and posted an undefeated 3-0 record with one save. He owns a 2.34 career ERA with 25 strikeouts in 50.0 total innings.
He adds the all-conference accolade to his Academic All-OAC honors from the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Bye garnered his second consecutive All-OAC Honorable Mention accolade after receiving the same award last season.
He tied with Schaller for the team lead and sixth in the OAC with five pitching victories this season. Bye also led the pitching staff with 10 starts and 44 strikeouts in a team-high 63.2 innings worked, the ninth-largest workload in the league.
His 44 strikeouts and 2.99 ERA ranked 10th among qualifying pitchers in the Ohio Athletic Conference.
Through three seasons, Bye owns a 3.38 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 125.1 innings. He has posted a 9-5 overall record in 25 appearances and 19 starts.
The Polar Bears compiled a 23-18 overall record and a 10-8 OAC mark during the 2019 campaign. ONU tied for third in the final OAC standings to qualify for their second consecutive OAC Tournament.