COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State takes to the road for the third time out of four Big Ten Conference series so far by traveling to West Lafayette, Ind., for a three-game set this weekend. All three games will be played at Lambert Field, on the Purdue campus. The Big Ten Network will televise the Saturday and Sunday games. Both televised games will start at 12 noon. Friday’s opener begins at 4 p.m.
This Weekend in Ohio State Baseball
No. 26 Ohio State (26-8; 6-3 Big Ten Conference)
Game 35 at Purdue (16-15; 5-3 Big Ten Conference)
Friday, April 17 – 4 p.m.
Game 36 at Purdue
Saturday, April 18 – 12 noon
Game 37 at Purdue
Sunday, April 19 – 12 noon
103.9 WTDA Talk FM (Saturday & Sunday games))
INTERNET AUDIO & LIVE STATS
OhioStateBuckeyes.com (All Games)
BIG TEN NETWORK TV
(Saturday & Sunday games)
EXPECTED PITCHING MATCHUPS…
G1: RHP Alex Wimmers (6-1; 3.32) vs. RHP Matt Bischoff (3-2; 5.65)
G2: RHP Dean Wolosiansky (7-1; 5.51) vs. LHP Matt Jansen (3-3; 6.96)
G3: LHP Eric Best (6-1; 4.89) vs. RHP Matt Morgan (3-2; 3.64)
RECORDS AND STANDINGS
Ohio State is 26-8 overall and 6-3 in the Big Ten. Ohio State, which has won four of five, is tied for third place with Illinois behind Minnesota and Indiana, both of whom are 6-2. Purdue is one-half game behind Ohio State at 5-3 in the conference and is 16-15 overall. The Boilermakers are on a roll with wins in 14 of their last 22 games.
Ohio State, ranked eight consecutive weeks in one or more of the polls, is ranked 26th this week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and 28th by PING! Baseball.
Ohio State is ranked 21st in the NCAA RPI ratings. The Buckeyes have played 12 games against teams in the RPI Top 100 and are 7-5 in those games (4-3 on the road; 2-1 on neutral fields and 1-1 at home).
BIG TEN RANKINGS & NOTES OF NOTE
How do these two teams stack up against each other? A look at stats for Big Ten Conference games only we see that:
Both teams are hitting well, with Ohio State’s .308 average ranking second and Purdue’s .300 mark fourth, and OSU’s .434 slugging pct. second and Purdue’s .407 pct. sixth.
Team ERA’s are eighth for Ohio State (5.19) and ninth for Purdue (6.56).
Opposing batting averages: .260 for OSU’s staff (second) and .319 for Purdue (10th).
Couple other notes of note: the teams rank 1-2 in on-base pct. … Purdue has stolen 37-of-46 bases in all games … Ohio State is leaving more than eight men on base per game in Big Ten play (74 through nine games).
PURDUE TAKES 2008 SERIES
Last year Purdue, playing outstanding baseball during a 24-6 run, took three of four from Ohio State at Bill Davis Stadium. The series win was the first for Purdue over a Bob Todd-coached Ohio State team and the first for Purdue over OSU since the 1987 season.
ALL-TIME BUCKS/’BOILERS RESULTS
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Purdue, 134-57-1, and the Buckeyes have won 50-of-67 games against the Boilermakers under Bob Todd. The Buckeyes have played 15 series against the Boilermakers under Coach Todd, winning nine, splitting five and losing a series last year for the first time.
AUDIO & VISUAL INFO
The game Friday will have an audio broadcast only at OhioStateBuckeyes.com through the Buckeye Vision subscription service. Saturday and Sunday games will be broadcast on 103.9 WTDA Talk FM and they will also be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
WIMMERS IS POW, AGAIN
Alex Wimmers is the Big Ten co-pitcher of the week this week, the third time this season he has claimed the Big Ten’s weekly award. He joins Steve Caravati and Ronnie Bourquin as the only Buckeyes to be so honored three times in one season. Caravati was honored three times in 2004 and Bourquin three times in 2006. Both went on to win player of the year honors.
OHIO STATE RECORDS & NOTES
Ohio State, which played its first 21 games on the road (and 27 of its first 29), is 6-4 on the road, 5-2 in home games and 15-2 on neutral fields. Additionally, the team is 14-6 this season vs. right-handed starters and 12-2 vs. lefties; it is 17-1 when holding opponents to five or fewer runs, 14-1 when scoring in the first inning, 19-1 when scoring first, 22-1 when outhitting its opponent and 18-0 in games that a Buckeye hits a home run.
Conversely, Ohio State is 7-7 when the opponent scores first, 3-5 when it is outhit and 0-8 when trailing after the seventh inning.
FOREST THRU THE BUCKEYE TREES
Taking a broad look at the 2009 Buckeyes, the team is getting offensive contributions up and down the lineup and five arms have been the foundation of the staff. Some supporting notes and numbers:
Nine players have scored 20 or more runs;
Ten have homered and eight have tripled;
The team is hitting .332 overall.
The team has 107 two-out RBI (vs. 58 for the opponents) with six players having 10 or more.
Weekend starting pitchers are 6-2 in the Big Ten games and 19-3 overall.
Jake Hale and Drew Rucinski have carried the relief load extremely well (see note at right).
The team’s overall ERA is 5.24.
OUTFIELDERS POWER OFFENSE
Outfielders Ryan Dew (who also DHs a lot), Zach Hurley, Michael Arp and Michael Stephens have consistently hit above .350 this season and are currently hitting .389,.389, .351 and .338, respectively. All have been among theTop 10 hitters in the Big Ten at some point this season. The quartet has produced 51 of the team’s 123 extra base hits (42 pct.).
BURKHART’S UP THERE, TOO
Catcher Dan Burkhart has hit above .370 virtually the entire season and he is currently third on the team with a .372 average. His 36 RBI are second on the team to Zach Hurley’s 41.
MILLER NEARING ALL-TIME TOP 5s
Two-time captain Justin Miller is 6th at Ohio State with 710 career at bats, 10th with 236 hits and 11th with 152 RBI. Nine at-bats will move him into the all-time Top 5. He needs 14 hits to tie Steve Caravati, Jason Trott and Brian Mannino for third all-time in that category. Eleven more RBI will place him in a tie for fifth.
123 EXTRA BASE HITS
Behind 65 doubles, a school-record-challenging 20 triples and twice the home runs as last year (38 vs. 19), the Buckeyes have produced 123 extra base hits. The hits are coming throughout the lineup as eight Buckeyes have 10 or more:
1. Michael Stephens – 17 – 7 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR
2. Dan Burkhart – 16 – 7 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR
3. Zach Hurley – 15 – 5 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR
4. Matt Streng – 13 – 5 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR
5. Cory Kovanda – 13 – 9 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR
6. Michael Arp – 12 – 9 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR
7. Cory Rupert – 11 – 8 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR
8. Justin Miller – 10 – 5 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR
21 STARTS OF 5.0 OR MORE INNINGS
When Ohio State starting pitchers pitch 5.0 innings or more, the Buckeyes are 18-3. Alex Wimmers leads with six such starts (and with three complete games) and is followed by Dean Wolosiansky with five, 5.0-plus inning starts.
THANKS FOR THE RELIEF
Set-up man Drew Rucinksi and closer Jake Hale are building an impressive resume this season. The duo has combined for a 5-2 record with nine saves and a 2.36 ERA. They have totaled 40 appearances, 72.2 innings pitched, and 79 strikeouts against 24 walks. They are a huge reason the team is 23-1 when leading after the sixth.
Click on the attached Ohio State vs. Purdue Release PDF for more facts and notes on the upcoming weekend plus the best stats packet of the year with “last 10 games” stats and all the stats from the Ohio State/Purdue matchup last year. And for more Big Ten stats, click on the attached Big Ten Stats PDF.