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Baseball hits the road Wednesday for weeknight matchup with Ohio State

While in the middle of a tightly contested postseason race, the BG baseball team will take a brief pause from Mid-American Conference action Wednesday night to take on Ohio State in Columbus.

The Buckeyes enter the game 22-18, including a 7-8 Big Ten record and a 10-7 mark at home.

The Falcons are coming off a difficult weekend on the road against Miami, dropping two of three games to fall further behind in the MAC standings. The Falcons are 5-10 in conference play, putting them fifth in the MAC East Division.

Only eight teams out of 12 qualify for the MAC Tournament — the top three of each division and then the next two teams with the best records, regardless of division.

Last season, the Falcons squeezed into the tournament as an eight seed, falling first to top-seeded Kent State, before being eliminated by Northern Illinois.

This is the third time in four years the Falcons have been scheduled to play Ohio State. The meeting between the two schools was cancelled, due to weather, in 2009, while the Falcons defeated Ohio State 5-4 last season.

Matt Malewitz, BG’s No. 1 weekend starter, started that game, throwing a quality start: six innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk, striking out four. Nick Bruns pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his second save of the season.

This season, the Falcons have not often relied on a starter for midweek game, instead going with a “bullpen game,” where a reliever starts the game and only throws two or three innings.

In fact, since returning from spring break, six of BG’s seven midweek games have seen the starter go four innings or fewer. The one exception came on April 10, when Trevor Blaylock threw seven strong innings against Michigan.

The Falcons have struggled all season away from home, posting an 8-21 record in games played away from Stellar Field this season. Also, BG has struggled with offensive consistency lately. In their last 11 games, the Falcons have scored three or fewer runs six times.

This has caused the team’s batting average to slip below .300. However, the players who have seen the field the most this season have performed the best.

Andrew Kubuski has started 38 of 39 games for BG in the outfield, leading the team with a .367 average, and is 5-for-5 in steal opportunities.

Catcher T.J. Losby has played in all 39 games, starting 34, and leads the team with three home runs, 31 RBI and a .470 slugging percent.

Wednesday’s game is scheduled to begin at 6:35 p.m.

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