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Ohio coaches do first-pitch honors

By Zac

CLEVELAND — It was his turn first, and Ohio University basketball coach Jim Christian fired a strike.

Next up was Ohio football coach Frank Solich, and his pitch floated into the first-base batter’s box.

Solich still got a nice ovation from the Progressive Field crowd before Thursday’s game between the Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics, but he admitted he’d hoped for better.

“I was practicing this week,” Solich said. “I called our director of football operations Jason Grooms and made him go out and throw a few with me.”

Solich grew up in Cleveland and graduated from Holy Name High School in Parma Heights. He said having the chance to throw out the first pitch in his hometown was “a thrill. It’s always nice to be back in Cleveland. I’ve had a lot of fun.”

Christian said he didn’t make any practice tosses this week.

“But when you get out there, you want to throw a strike,” Christian said. “All eyes are on you.”

The Ohio coaches served as co-guests of honor before the Indians won their 10th game in 11 tries on Thursday. Both wore new Indians hats with their traditional green garb. They were in town for the Ohio Athletics Bobcat Caravan event Thursday night at the Barley House in Cleveland.

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