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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Buckeyes, off to one of the best starts in the history of the program, open their home season at Bill Davis Stadium with midweek games this week against Xavier Tuesday and Marshall Wednesday. First pitch for both games is 2:05 p.m.

13th SEASON AT BILL DAVIS STADIUM
Ohio State is 210-106 all-time at Bill Davis Stadium for a fine .686 winning percentage. The team was 14-10 at home in 2008. The 2009 season marks the 13th year of play at the venue.

THIS WEEK IN OHIO STATE BASEBALL

No. 18 Ohio State (20-4; 2-1 Big Ten Conference)

Game 25: vs. Xavier (13-8; 1-2 Atlantic 10 Conference)
Tuesday, April 1 – 2:05 p.m.
Bill Davis Stadium

Game 26: vs. Marshall (11-14; 1-2 Conference USA)
Saturday, March 28 – 2 p.m.
Bill Davis Stadium

Games 27-29: at Minnesota (14-7; 1-1)
Friday, April 3 – 7:35 p.m. at H.H.H. Metrodome
Saturday, April 4 – 3:05 p.m. at H.H.H. Metrodome
Sunday, April 5 – 2:05 p.m. at Siebert Field

RADIO BROADCASTS
103.9 WTDA Talk FM (Minnesota series)

INTERNET AUDIO & VIDEO
OhioStateBuckeyes.com (Xavier and Marshall games)

LIVE STATS
OhioStateBuckeyes.com

INTERNET AUDIO & VIDEO
OhioStateBuckeyes.com (Xavier and Marshall games)

LIVE STATS
OhioStateBuckeyes.com

TWO MIDWEEK GAMES!
Typically Ohio State has played only one midweek game between Big Ten series. But with the Big Ten series now consisting of three 9-inning games instead of the four-game format, there are eight fewer conference games and thus eight more non-conference games that need to be played. The team will play two midweek games a total of three times this season, including road games at Louisville in May.

WHO’S ON THE MOUND?
A good question. Ohio State coaches were not 100 percent sure of who will be handed the ball for the Xavier and Marshall games, but they are thinking of freshman RHP Ross Oltorik and LHP Andrew Armstrong in the starter’s assignments, respectively.  

TEAM’S 20-4 START: 2ND BEST
Ohio State’s 20 wins in the first 24 games is  the second-best mark in school history at this point of the season. The 1991 Ohio State team won 21 of its first 24.

STREAMING VIDEO OF HOME GAMES
All Ohio State home games with the exception being the three games vs. Michigan televised on the Big Ten Network will be video streamed live online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. The video, with the audio call by the Ohio State radio announcing crew, will be carried by Buckeye Vision, a subscription-based package available at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Frank Fraas and either Brian Mannino or Bob Spears will be on the call. 

VERSUS XAVIER NOTES
Ohio State and Xavier have played 34 times over the years with Ohio State holding a 26-8 edge in wins. Tuesday’s game will be only the third meeting betweent the two teams since 1987. Xavier won the last meeting, 4-3, at Bill Davis Stadium in 2007.

The Musketeers, from the Atlantic 10 Conference, are 13-8 on the season after dropping a series, 2-1, to conference foe Rhode Island over the weekend. Rhode Island has also defeated Ohio State and Miami this year. Xavier won the third game of the series Sunday, 6-1, as Adam Pasano had a three-run home run. Xavier’s record includes a 7-6 win over Indiana March 26, a game in which sophomore Ben Thomas hit a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth and then drilled a walk off blast in the 11th to win the game.

AND VERSUS MARSHALL
Marshall, a member of Conference USA, will be looking for its first win ever over Ohio State. The teams have met 15 times over the years. Ohio State won last year, 8-1, in a game that was called after five innings due to weather conditions.

Marshall won its opening C-USA series over Memphis, two-games-to-one, but dropped two of three to No. 19 East Carolina this past weekend. The Herd won the final game of the series, 6-2, with help from Thor Meeks’ three-run home run. The win improved the Herd’s record to 11-14 overall and 3-3 in Conference USA. Marshall plays at Kentucky Tuesday and hits Columbus as the second stop on its two-game trip.  

RANKINGS
Ohio State has been nationally ranked six consecutive weeks by Collegiate Baseball. The team is ranked 18th in this week’s poll.

2nd-BEST PRE-BIG TEN START
Ohio State’s 18-3 record prior to the start of Big Ten play is the second-best mark heading into the start of Big Ten play for a Bob Todd-coached team. The top pre-Big Ten starts under Todd plus a key season note:

1. 1991* 19-2; School record 52 wins
2. 2009 18-3; 7-1 win at No. 2 Miami
3. 1994* 14-3; Big Ten record 25 wins
3. 2007* 14-3; Won conf. tour. as 6th seed 
5. 2001* 17-4 Big Ten champion
 * Years played in the NCAA tournament
 
A QUICK LOOK AT 20-4 OHIO STATE
Ohio State is 10-3 vs. right-handed starters this season, 10-1 vs. lefties and 18-0 when leading after eight innings. The team is also outscoring its opponents by 91 runs (230-139). Here are a few more quick hitting notes on the Buckeyes:

The team’s 20-4 record is topped only by the 1991 team’s 21-3 start after 24 games.
The team started out 7-0, dropped two out of three, and then won nine consecutive games.
Ohio State defeated No. 2 Miami (and Nos. 4-5-6-7 in the other polls) at Miami last Tuesday, 7-1, as  three pitchers Alex Wimmers, Drew Rucinski and Jake Hale combined on a one-hitter.
The Buckeyes continue to hit well as a team, with a Big Ten best .341 average, a Big Ten  best .532 slugging pct. and No. 1 rankings in seven other offensive categories.
Five every day players are hitting above .350: Jr. LF Zach Hurley (.391), Jr. OF/DH Ryan Dew (.388), So. C Dan Burkhart (.379), Sr. RF Michael Arp (.365) and Jr. CF Michael Stephens (.350).
The team’s 31 home runs are a five-year Ohio State best.
Eight players have scored at least 20 runs as the Buckeyes have outscored the opposition by 91 runs (230-139). Hurley and Cory Kovanda lead with 27 runs apiece.
Hurley and Burkhart are tied for the Big Ten lead with 31 RBI.
Alex Wimmers and Drew Rucinski are tied for first in the Big Ten in wins. Wimmers is also first in strikeouts (51)

TODD 25 WINS FROM 1,000
Coach Bob Todd is just 25 wins from 1,000 for his career. He is 975-521-2 in his 26th season.

PRODUCTIVE AND POWER HITTING
The team is getting productive and powerful hitting up and down its lineup, with a most impressive stat of six players with 10 or more extra base hits. The power rangers include:

Zach Hurley 12 off 4 2Bs, 5 3Bs, 3 HRs
M. Stephens 12 off 5 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 5 HRs
Matt Streng 12 off 4 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 5 HRs
Dan Burkhart 11 off 4 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 4 HRs
Cory Kovanda 11 off 7 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 1 HR
Michael Arp 10 off 7 2Bs, 3 HRs

OHIO STATE TAKES 2 OF 3 FROM PSU
Ohio State travelled to State College last weekend and won two of three games. After 8-3 and 12-2 wins in the first two games, the Buckeyes dropped a 15-11 decision on get-away day on Sunday, the team’s first Sunday loss of the season. Here’s more on the weekend:

Dean Wolosiansky pitched 7.0 innings in G1 to pick up the win and get  the series off on a good note.
Eric Best pitched a career-best 6.0 innings in the G2 win.
Cory Kovanda, behind a four-hit day in G3, led the team in hitting at .571 (4-for-7).
Ryan Dew had four hits in G2 and led the team with seven hits in 14 at-bats (.500).
Zach Hurley hit .400 (6-for-15) and led with six runs scored.
Matt Streng hit two HRs in G2 and tied for the lead (with Michael Stephens) with seven RBI. Streng was second with five runs.
The team fielded at a .983 rate (78-36-2).

###OhioStateBuckeyes.com###