Ohio Region 2019-20 Preview

*All regional rankings based off the content team’s preseason power rankings

2019-20 Projections:

Order of Finish:

  1. Miami
  2. Ohio
  3. Bowling Green State
  4. Akron
  5. Cleveland State
  6. Kent State
  7. Ohio State
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Marietta College

Ohio Region Player of the Year: Tom Morand (Miami)

Ohio Region OT 6:

  1. Tom Morand (Miami)
  2. Owen Sill (BGSU)
  3. Ben Johnson (OSU)
  4. Joe Walsh (CSU)
  5. Zach Howman (OU)
  6. Dylan Greer (OSU)

Team Previews:

Miami

2019-20 Projections: National: 3 /// Ohio Region: 1

Location: Oxford, OH

2018-19 Record: 20-8

2018-19 Finish: #6 in Power Rankings, T-5 at Nationals

Tom Morand and Miami are poised to be a title contender in 2019-20. Photo Credit: Grand Valley Photo

Season Preview: The Redhawks come into the 2019-2020 season with high expectations after the breakout season they had last year. They look to once again shock the system and take out the heavy hitters in the league while keeping close matches with the other top tier schools.

Good News: The return of Tom Morand means that there is still that same fire in this Miami squad that we saw last season. While they keep most of their starting roster as well, they will be in sync to start the season without the growing pains of most Ohio teams.

Bad News: The losses of both Austin Michael and Henry Fergusen are tough replacements for arguably the two best catchers for the RedHawks.

Our Call: Miami will fight to keep their spot as top dawg in the Ohio region. If they can do this, we should be in for a shoe-in for the title game.


Ohio

2019-20 Projections: National: 8 /// Ohio Region: 2

Location: Athens, OH

2018-19 Record: 13-12

2018-19 Finish: #11 in Power Rankings, T-9 at Nationals

Ohio will be one of the deepest teams in the region this year. Photo Credit: Grand Valley Photo

Season Preview: Ohio is locked and loaded and ready to start the season. Noah Ourant is cleared to play, and the Bobcats look to continue their forward progress after their impressive showing at GV Nationals. I expect this team to take plenty of upsets this season, as most teams underestimate them.

Good News: Much like Miami, OU keeps almost their entire starting lineup, and adds returner Noah Ourant who is a good court leader and well rounded player for the Bobcats.

Bad News: Hopefully breakout star Jake Larsen can keep his arm attached this season and stay healthy, his arm was beginning to be an issue for Ohio.

Our Call: Ohio will be a conservative team this season and get the wins they’re supposed to, lose to higher ranked teams, and then show out at Nationals after entering under the radar.


Bowling Green State

2019-20 Projections: National: 10 /// Ohio Region: 3

Location: Bowling Green, OH

2018-19 Record: 15-14

2018-19 Finish: #8 in Power Rankings, T-5 at Nationals

Season Preview: Worth noting, BGSU has already kicked off their season. The Falcons went up to East Lansing Michigan and came away with a 6-0 loss to GVSU, and a 3-2 Overtime thriller of a win over MSU. Bowling Green will look to prove once again this season that they are a top team in the Ohio Region.

Good News: Owen Sil is an MVP candidate. He’s not the only potential star on this team though. Max Vincent has shown us he is a clutch performer. They have plenty of great catchers up and down their roster.

Bad News: Replacing players like Max Kowalski and Reid Manger is no easy task. The Falcons have some stars, but also seem to lack the depth that some other top programs have.

Our Call: BGSU looks legit. We saw that already this season at the Early Access Tournament where they took down the #2 team in the Preseason Power Rankings. If they can get consistent play out of their stars, and develop a few strong players from their back half of their lineup, this team could be a serious contender. 


Akron

2019-20 Projections: National: 13 /// Ohio Region: 4

Location: Akron, OH

2018-19 Record: 17-8

2018-19 Finish: #9 in Power Rankings, T-9 at Nationals

Anthony Falletta and Akron will look to replace many of their top players from a year ago. Photo Credit: Grand Valley Photo

Season Preview: This will be an interesting season for the Zips. With one of the youngest Captain staff in the league, the sky’s the limit for this young roster consisting of mostly Junior and sophomore players. The talent of this young roster is only hindered by the inexperience of the squad. Expect some rocky terrain early on.

Good News: RoTY candidate Jacob Weber is at the helm of this Akron team, and we’ve all seen what this young gun is made of. With the support staff and raw athleticism of the other captains Brandon Snyder and Clay Egleston Akron will surly take some upsets this season.

Bad News: The largest loss since the teams inception, Akron lost its core starting 4 for the past 5 seasons in Joey Stack, Josh Lyons, Adam Pfeifer and Colby Briceland. This is a rough one for them, and they will need to reload and step up to fill those spots.

Our Call: Expect growing pains for this team early on. This will be a rebuilding season for the Zips. They will lose matches and win some, but with the experience gained, I expect them to take some big wins towards the end of the season.


Cleveland State

2019-20 Projections: National: 15 /// Ohio Region: 5

Location: Cleveland, OH

2018-19 Record: 7-17

2018-19 Finish: #18 in Power Rankings, T-17 at Nationals

Season Preview: CSU has been the younger brother to Akron since they started, and this may be the season where they grow taller than their sibling and give them some much earned payback. After the scrimmage last weekend, the Vikings look as coordinated as they ever have, and I for one am anticipating some big things.

Good News: Joe Walsh. Leo Rockamore. They’re back.

Bad News: They’ve got a chip on their shoulder that they’ve had for about two seasons and their high self-image has hindered their growth so far as a team. They need to get pass that and play ball.

Our Call: CSU will come out swinging and take some early wins. If they can keep their egos in check and play as cohesively as I’ve seen them play, then they will turn heads and finally get over that hump that has been a thorn in their side all this time.


Kent State

2019-20 Projections: National: 16 /// Ohio Region: 6

Location: Kent, OH

2018-19 Record: 14-14

2018-19 Finish: #15 in Power Rankings, T-9 at Nationals

Season Preview: This season will be the one to prove that Kent State won’t go down without a fight. After a few roster losses, and a decrease in their winning ways, they look to bounce back and be the team that they know they can be. 

Good News: Tyler Miracle and Riley Plyer are as talented as they come. And with these two at the helm of the Golden Flashes, they have the opportunity to prove that they can bring this team back from the brink.

Bad News: This is a young team, with little to know experience outside of the few returners. The lack of experience will be a severe hindrance for Kent this season.

Our Call: This will be yet another rebuilding year, and they will need to be patient to find their groove. But, when they do, I expect this team to run like the Kent State of old.


Ohio State

2019-20 Projections: National: 17 /// Ohio Region: 7

Location: Columbus, OH

2018-19 Record: 7-13

2018-19 Finish: #19 in Power Rankings, T-17 at Nationals

Season Preview: The Buckeyes look to rebound after another tough season. We saw flashes of what they were capable of, with barn burners against teams like Miami and UMD last season. With their strong rookie class now sophomores, I expect some big things.

Good News: Ben Johnson and Dylan Greer are still in the driver seat of this Ohio State vehicle, and lucky for them, they keep on improving year after year. These two are bound to have breakout years and take their team to new heights.

Bad News: They have lacked in the numbers department for a few seasons now. They’ll need to retain their numbers if they want to see success this season.

Our Call: OSU is done having rebuilding seasons. They are now on the up and up. I expect this team to rack up upsets like it’s their job. Teams will take them lightly and pay for it.


Cincinnati

2019-20 Projections: National: 21 /// Ohio Region: 8

Location: Cincinnati, OH

2018-19 Record: 1-9

2018-19 Finish: Unranked in Power Rankings, T-17 at Nationals

Season Preview: This team of young guns now has a season under their wing and a taste of victory after Nationals 2019. The Bearcats look to gain some much needed momentum and turn some heads this season, despite their age and inexperienced roster, their raw talent and athleticism will shock the likes of a seasoned team.

Good News: Brett Liming and Brannon McGinn are back, and now they’ve got some much needed experience. Cincinnati attended the leadership conference and came away as new men. Their talent and skills are second to none for such a youthful squad.

Bad News: Inexperience will be a struggle. If they can’t coordinate or play like they practice, this team will fall apart due to lack of matches.

Our Call: They’ll likely get some upsets and have some close matches, but this isn’t the ODC championship season, (Sorry, Wes).


Marietta College

2019-20 Projections: National: 30 /// Ohio Region: 9

Location: Marietta, OH

2018-19 Record: 0-3

2018-19 Finish: Unranked in Power Rankings, did not attend Nationals

Season Preview: I struggle to figure out where this team stands. With three seasons, this team should be breaking over the hump that most new teams face, but lack of traveling and play time has hindered that growth. Hopefully we see this team come into their own and get some much deserved dubs.

Good News: Tom Farish is still the captain of this squad, and he’s got some years in the game now. He’s been there since the team’s inauguration, and he has the skills and the leadership to steer this team in the right direction.

Bad News: This team hasn’t played much, and that will be the killer for them this reason.Our Call: I expect their first win, and overtime match to come from this season. Both are milestones for every new team.

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