COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State defeated a veteran Army team that was picked to win the Patriot League and is projected to be an NCAA regional participant in its only game last week, 7-1. The win improved the Buckeyes’ record to 5-3 heading into games this weekend that will be played in Winter Haven, Fla. Before we go there, though, let’s take a look back through notes and quotes and pictures at the weekend that just was…
How good was Drew? The Buckeyes received a terrific pitching performance from Drew Rucinski in the win over Army. The senior from Broken Arrow, Okla., allowed just two hits in 8.0 innings and all 24 of his outs were infield outs. And not once did the coaching staff make a visit to the mound. The win improved Rucinski’s record to 2-0 this season and lowered his earned run average to 2.33.
Quotable “Holick, we need the radio.” Coach Greg Beals to assistant coach Chris Holick at 8:25 a.m. Saturday morning on the team’s bus ride from Shelby to Forest City. Beals doesn’t want his players “in their own world” with their headphones on prior to the game, but he certainly doesn’t object to the latest tunes being piped through the bus stereo for all to enjoy.
Streaking Ryan Cypret extended his hitting streak to seven games with a second-inning single against Army. … Josh Dezse is staying hot: his three-hit day (plus two runs and two RBI) was the fifth multi-hit game of his young career. He leads the team with a .469 average. … Cypret, Dezse, Brian DeLucia and Matt Streng each have a hit in seven of eight games this year.
Ooohs and aaahs Seven batters were hit by pitches during the game – four Buckeyes and three Black Knights. There were six double plays turned (four by Army). Mostly on the back end of double steals, four Buckeyes were caught stealing. However, catcher Greg Solomon picked off two Black Knight runners.
Stephen, this is Auburn calling Student athletics trainer Stephen Taylor, a fine young man who already has a job lined up at Auburn University once he graduates in June, wasn’t on the trip but he was on the minds of those who were on the trip. So assistant Mike Stafford became “John Anderson calling from Auburn” and placed a call to Stephen urging him to try and get to Auburn as quickly as possible because an ankle injury has limited the Auburn athletics training staff. The ruse lasted about 10 minutes and included Stephen actually concurring that he had spoken to “John” about a week ago. The talk started to go downhill when Stephen was told he’d get a free oil change if he got to Auburn sooner rather than later.
Quotable II “That accent is as thick as maple syrup.” Andrew Armstrong, from Bridgewater, Va., to a person he questioned was from Canada but actually grew up in Minnesota.
“Terryclothness” A second pleasant surprise of the weekend (the first being the Tide flavored fruity gum found in a clean pair of khakis on Friday): the “terryclothness” of the terry cloth towels at the hotel where the team was staying. Their softness was unreal and true to their mission: they absorbed large amounts of water very, very well (should have had them at McNair Field). Makes one wonder if there are different grades of terry cloth, like there are different grades of gold, red meat and chocolate.
Here’s who was there The McKinneys, Engles, Dezses, Wolosianskys, DeLucias, Wetzels, Strengs, Rucinskis and Armstrongs get called out in a good way for making the long drive to North Carolina for one game. Solid efforts on their parts to trek to a remote area that isn’t easy to get to to cheer on the Buckeyes. Hopefully they were all staying at the same hotel as the Buckeyes so they, too, could enjoy those high quality terry cloth towels after the wet, spongy days in North Carolina.
And now, this week… The week ahead includes the last week of classes before finals week and then travelling to Winter Haven, Fla., for three games in the Russ Matt Invitational: Friday vs. Illinois State at noon; Saturday at 9 a.m. vs. Yale and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. a repeat matchup against Army. Games 1 and 2 will be played at Chain of Lakes Field. Game 3 location still to be determined.