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April 9, 2002

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After taking three of four games from Penn State last weekend to improve to 6-2 in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes are tied with Indiana for first place in the conference standings. Wednesday, Ohio State steps out of league action to play host to Oakland in the first of six straight Wednesday home games for the Scarlet and Gray.

Penn State won 14-2 on Friday, but the Buckeyes responded in the final three games with 7-6, 10-0 and 11-0 victories. The Nittany Lions had Ohio State down 6-2 in the second game, before a monster comeback found victory for the Buckeyes. From the fourth inning of the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Buckeyes held Penn State batters from scoring for the final 19 innings of the series.

Oakland improved to 5-18 on the season after sweeping a doubleheader vs Siena Heights on Sunday at Oakland. The Golden Grizzlies won 5-4 and 11-1.

OSU sophomore Christian Snavely went 7-for-16 (.438) in the four games against Penn State scoring three runs with eight runs batted thanks to a pair of home runs and a triple. He is now batting .424 for the season with a team-best five home runs and .706 slugging percentage.

The Buckeyes are ranked 25th in this week’s Collegiate Baseball poll and are receiving votes in the USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN coaches poll.

Homestand
The game against Oakland closes out a nine-game homestand for the Buckeyes and will send the team on the road for eight of its next nine games. The lone home game during that span is a April 17 date vs. Wooster. OSU is 6-2 on the homestand.

About Oakland
The Grizzlies are now 5-18 on the year after sweeping a home doubleheader on Sunday vs. Siena Heights, winning by scores of 5-4 and 11-1. The two wins snapped a five-game losing streak, including a 10-7 loss at Toledo, an opponent Oakland shares with Ohio State. The Buckeyes beat the Rockets 38-15 in Albuquerque, N.M. on March 8. The only other common opponent between the teams is Alabama-Birmingham. UAB swept three games from the Grizzlies, while Ohio State took two games from the Blazers (2-0, 4-3) in Starkville, Miss., the opening weekend of the year.

David Alexander and Matt Gabrielli each own a .328 batting average to lead Oakland this season. Each has a single home run. Gabrielli has 10 RBI and Alexander has 11. Nick DiPonio has five home runs to pace the team. The pitching staff has an ERA of 7.27.

Against Oakland
Ohio State is 3-0 all-time vs. the Grizzlies after winning 8-2 last year (April 11) in Columbus. The Buckeyes other wins are by scores of 12-2 in 2000 and 11-9 in 1999.

In last year’s game, Doug Dendinger hit a two run home run in a 1-for-3 effort. He also walked with the bases loaded and scored another on a ground out for four RBI.

Snavely Named Big Ten Player of the Week
Second baseman Christian Snavely was named Big Ten Player of the Week after leading the Buckeyes to three wins against Penn State last weekend while batting .438 (7-for-16) with two home runs and eight runs batted in.

Snavely scored three runs on the weekend and posted a slugging percentage of .938 thanks to 15 total bases, twice as many as any other Buckeye. Snavely’s first homer in the series came in the second game on Saturday, as he went a perfect 4-4 and produced four RBI and two runs. He followed that performance with another long ball and three more RBI on Sunday as Ohio State bounced back to win three straight from the Nittany Lions after dropping the opener on Friday. Through two weekends of Big Ten play, Snavely leads the Conference in hits (14), RBI (12), home runs (4) and total bases (28) while rating second with a .483 batting average.

For the year, Snavely is batting .424, leading the team with five home runs and a slugging percentage of .706. His 36 hits also set the standard for the team. He has at least one hit in 19 of his last 21 games and in all but four games this season.

Rabin Bats .538 vs. Lions
Mike Rabin entered the Friday night game vs. Penn State in the top of the seventh inning in leftfield. In his first at bat, in the ninth inning, he singled. On Saturday, the freshman from West Chester, Ohio, found himself in the starting lineup, where he stayed for the remainder of the weekend.

Against Penn State, he was 7-for-13 (.538), clearly the top average by a Buckeye last weekend, given the minimum of one at bat per game. He had only one RBI and scored three times, but did not walk or strike out against the Nittany Lions.

Double Your Pleasure
Against Penn State, senior catcher Joe Wilkins had four hits, including three doubles in the two games last Saturday. His second double in the fifth inning of the first game scored the sixth and seventh runs in the 7-6 victory. His second double also scored two runs in the 10-0 shutout in the second game. He also had an RBI single in the 11-0 shutout on Sunday to finish the series with five RBI, the second most by a Buckeye last weekend.

The Turning Point of the Series
After losing 14-2 on Friday and stumbling out of the gate in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader 6-2, Ohio State huddled together in the dugout prior to the fifth inning and reminded itself it had never lost a Big Ten series at Bill Davis Stadium. A loss Saturday would mean no better than a split with the Nittany Lions, but OSU preferred to get the series win.

From that point on, it was all Buckeyes.

Ohio State scored five times in the bottom of the inning to take a 7-6 lead, which it held to win in comeback fashion. OSU went on to win 10-0 in the nightcap and 11-0 on Sunday to win the series 3-1.

Dominant Pitching
Scott Lewis pitched a two-hit, complete game shutout in the second game of the doubleheader Saturday night and was backed up by 10 runs. Nate Smith and Mike Madsen combined for a shutout on Sunday getting 11 runs from the Buckeyes’ offense.

From the turning point in the fifth inning in Saturday’s first game, Ohio State outscored Penn State 26-0, holding the Nittany Lions scoreless during the final 19 innings of the series.

Buckeyes Pound Penn State
Ohio State cruised for its second double-figure shutout in as many games, downing Penn State 11-0 Sunday at Bill Davis Stadium to claim the series 3-1 and improve to 6-2 in the Big Ten.

The Buckeyes picked up right where they left off Saturday, when they beat Penn State 10-0 on a two-hit gem by Scott Lewis. On Sunday, Smith struck out eight and walked just one though he allowed seven hits in his eight innings of work on Sunday. He improved to 3-0 with the win.

Both Christian Snavely and Doug Deeds hit two-run home runs in the second inning adding to the one run batted in by Nick Swisher in the first to give Ohio State a 5-0 lead. It was Snavely’s fifth home run of the season and his second of the series.

After adding a run in the fourth, the Buckeyes did not score again until the eighth inning. Deeds got his third hit of the game to start the inning and then moved to second on a walk to Swisher and to third on a walk to Dendinger. Deeds scored on a passed ball that also put runners at second and third for a two-run single by Brooks Graff, who was pinch hitting for Wilkins. A double by Drew Anderson advanced Graff to third and then a pinch hit sacrifice fly by Lance Rolston scored him. Snavely’s third RBI of the game allowed Anderson to score the 11th run for Ohio State.

Lewis Tosses Two-Hitter
Freshman lefthanded pitcher Scott Lewis pitched a two-hit shutout as the Buckeyes won 10-0 to sweep Penn State in the Saturday doubleheader at Bill Davis Stadium.

Lewis struck out six batters and walked four in his shutout as a Buckeye. He had previously shut out Detroit in a five-inning victory on March 16 by the same 10-0 score.

Offensively, the Buckeyes had 14 hits for the game, including three doubles, two triples and a home run. Christian Snavely’s home run in the fifth inning was his third for the game. He finished 4-for-4 with four runs batted in. He also scored two runs. Mike Rabin was 3-for-4 from the plate and scored twice without an RBI.

The Buckeyes scored five times in the second inning to take a 7-0 lead. Deeds led off the inning with a base hit to right and then advanced to second on a walk to Swisher. Doug Dendinger’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third. Joe Wilkins kept up his solid hitting on the day hitting another two-RBI double to left-centerfield. Both of Wilkins’ hits in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader were doubles, including his second which scored the winning run in the 7-6 victory in game one.

Snavely homered to right field in the fifth to give Ohio State a 9-0 lead. Snavely also singled up the middle, his fourth hit of the game, in the sixth inning to score Brooks Graff who led off the inning with a pinch-hit double.

Comeback Salvages Series
A two-run double in the fifth inning by catcher Joe Wilkins capped a five-run fifth inning by Ohio State to pave the way to a 7-6 victory over Penn State in the first of two games Saturday at Bill Davis Stadium.

Ohio State scored five times in the fifth to take a 7-6 lead. Brett Garrard, Doug Deeds and Nick Swisher started the inning with base hits. Swisher scored Garrard on his single to left. Doug Dendinger drew a walk to load the bases for Wilkins’ heroics.

Wilkins went 2-for-4, scoring twice with a pair of runs batted in. Both hits were doubles. Leftfielder Mike Rabin also finished with a pair of hits.

The Nittany Lions opened up the game in the fourth inning scoring three times to take a 6-2 lead. Josh Newman started the inning with retiring the first two batters, but then walked two of the next three batters, hitting the other with a pitch. He walked DeRenzo to plate Richmond and then a single down the leftfield line by Reohr scored both Showalter and Milliron.

Newman got the win for the Buckeyes improving to 5-2 on the year. He pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing all six runs on six hits. Only three of the six runs were earned. Brandon Steen picked up his second save for the season after pitching 1 2/3 innings allowing just one hit while striking out three.

Penn State Drops OSU 14-2
Penn State got 21 hits while holding Ohio State to just four in a 14-2 victory over the Buckeyes Friday night at Bill Davis Stadium.

Nittany Lion starter Mike Watson went the distance in giving up just two runs on the four hits by the Buckeyes. He struck out 11, but walked seven of the 38 batters he faced on a total of 150 pitches.

Penn State took an early 3-0 lead in the third inning. Doug Dendinger put the Buckeyes on the board in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot to right to pull Ohio State within 3-1.

But that is as close as it would get. Penn State added six runs in the fourth inning on seven hits and then added four runs in the fifth inning.

Ohio State tried to take advantage of four straight walks by Watson in the fifth, but after one run scored to give the Buckeyes their second run of the game, Watson struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning and strand the bases loaded for Ohio State.

Laratta got his first loss of the year vs. four wins.

Big Ten Rankings
Three Buckeyes rank in the top 10 in the Big Ten in ERA. Junior Nate Smith owns a 1.24 ERA to lead the conference, while freshman Scott Lewis is third (2.34) and senior E.J. Laratta is eighth. As a staff, OSU has a team ERA of 4.11 to rank second behind Indiana’s 3.59.

Lewis paces Ohio State with 43 strikeouts and ranks sixth in the Big Ten. Laratta has 35 and is tied for eighth. Against opposing batters, the Buckeyes rate strong among league pitchers. Smith is holding opposing batters to a conference-best .174 average. Laratta is third allowing hitters just a .226 batting average and Lewis is fifth with .244.

On the offensive side of the plate, Christian Snavely’s .424 batting average this season ranks third in the Big Ten. Indiana’s Vasili Spanos (.458) and Michigan State’s Bob Malek (.434) rank ahead of him. But through the first two weeks of Big Ten play, Snavely leads almost every individual batting category. He is first in hits (14), RBI (12), home runs (4) and total bases (28). He is second in batting average (.483) behind Spanos (.500), is tied for third in runs scored (10) and ranks fifth in slugging percentage (.706).

Doug Dendinger has been walked a conference-high 28 times, five more than any other player. He has the second best on-base percentage in the Big Ten (.520). Snavely is third (.510) and Doug Deeds is eighth (.485).

Career Watch
Doug Deed’s career batting average of .360 ranks seventh best all-time, while Christian Snavely’s .351 is tied for 12th on the career list.

Doug Dendinger is tied for third in career walks. He has been given a walk 123 times in his career. One more free pass ties him for second with Mark Carek (1995-98) and another 13 tie him for the most in school history with Greg Mohler (1981-84) with 136. Nick Swisher has walked 106 times to tie for seventh.

Swisher cracked the top-10 list in career home runs. The junior now has four homers this season to give him 29 for his career and is within 10 long balls of second place. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) is the school’s home run leader with 52. Swisher is also 20th in career RBI. He is immediately behind Scott Meadows (135 from 1985-88), Jonathan Sweet (132 from 1992-94) and Tom Eiterman (130 from 1986-89).

E.J. Laratta also finds himself perched on many career lists. He is tied for second with 30 career wins and is third with 330 1/3 innings pitched. He is 13th in strikeouts with 217 and needs only seven more to crack the top 10. His winning percentage of .714 is tied for 15th all-time as are his 52 appearances. Brandon Steen is tied for 12th in career appearances with 56.

Swisher Belts Three Home Runs in Three Games
Junior Nick Swisher scored the winning runs in the 6-5 victory in the first game of a doubleheader March 30 with a walk-off home run that capped a five-run bottom of the seventh. His sacrifice bunt in his previous at bat in the sixth inning helped the Buckeyes score their first run of the game. Swisher hit .333 (5-for-15) in the four games vs. Northwestern and hit three home runs, one each in the first three games of the series, which Ohio State won 3-1. He led the team with seven runs batted in last week and had an on-base percentage of .586. Swisher is now hitting .319 (23-for-72) for the season. Twelve of his 23 hits have been for extra bases, including seven doubles, a triple and four home runs.

Buckeyes Claim Series Win with 9-2 Victory vs. Wildcats
Starter Nate Smith pitched a one-hitter through seven innings and was backed up by a solid offense as Ohio State cruised to a 9-2 victory over Northwestern March 31 to win the first Big Ten series of the year, 3-1.

Smith’s bid at a no-hitter and a shutout was squashed on the first pitch of the sixth inning when Northwestern shortstop Jon Mikrut sent the pitch over the fence in right field to put Northwestern on the board. But that was all the Wildcats would get off Smith as he struck out the next batter and got two straight ground outs to get out of the inning. That hit was the only hit allowed by Smith, who was pulled after the seventh inning for E.J. Laratta.

The Scarlet and Gray took a commanding 8-0 lead by scoring four runs in the fifth inning, three of which came off the bat of catcher Joe Wilkins, who sent a 1-0 pitch over the fence in left-centerfield to score three runs for the Buckeyes. It was his second home run of the year.

Smith Named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week
Right-handed pitcher Nate Smith was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, April 1, after guiding the Buckeyes to a 9-0 win over Harvard in the Homestead Challenge and a 9-2 victory over Northwestern last Sunday.

Smith pitched 14 innings and struck out 14 batters last week to get his first two wins of the season. He went seven innings and struck out six batters (all in the first three innings) while walking just one while giving up just two hits in the Buckeyes’ win over Harvard. Against Northwestern on Sunday, the junior from Bryan, Ohio, took a no-hitter in to the sixth inning, when he gave up a home run on the first pitch of the inning. It was the only hit he gave up in the game holding opposing batters to .048 average and fanning eight. He had a 0.64 ERA in the two games last week and now has a 1.71 ERA for the season, second best on the team behind E.J. Laratta (1.50). Laratta was also a Big Ten Pitcher of the Week earlier this season (Feb. 25).

Northwestern Takes One Win
After losing the first two games of the Big Ten Conference opener, Northwestern responded by winning the second game of a doubleheader March 30, handing the Buckeyes an 11-8 defeat.

Northwestern won despite committing four errors in the contest. The Wildcats jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning, keyed by a doubles by rightfielder Brandon Ackley and leftfielder Stanley Finch and a single by designated hitter David Gresky. Ohio State scored once in the bottom of the inning.

Northwestern went on to build a 6-1 lead on a three-run home run by catcher Ken Padgett, that scored Finch and Jon Mikurt. However the lead was short-lived as the Buckeyes exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fourth to give them a 7-6 lead. The highlight of the inning was a two-run home run by Nick Swisher. It was his third home run of the day.

Northwestern came back to score four runs on four hits in the fifth inning to reclaim the lead, 10-6. For good measure they added another run in the sixth inning on a home run by centerfielder Steve Haake. Ohio State scored twice more before the 11-8 loss.

Swisher’s Heroics Save the Day
Centerfielder Nick Swisher hit an 0-2 slider from Northwestern starter Ryan Bos over the leftfield fence scoring two runs to lift Ohio State to a 6-5 triumph in the bottom of the seventh in the first game of a doubleheader March 30.

Ohio State trailed 5-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning. Joe Wilkins and Christian Snavely each singled to lead off the inning. After a flyout by Terry Pettorini, Paul Farinacci, pinch hitting for leftfielder Mike Rabin, doubled down the rightfield line to bring home Wilkins from second. A single to shallow right field plated Snavely, pulling the Buckeyes within 5-3.

Brett Garrard singled to right putting runners at the corners. A double steal had Northwestern catcher Ken Padgett throwing to second as Geoff Buchanan, who was pinch running for Farinacci, stole home, to make the score 5-4. With two outs, Swisher came to the plate and hit his second home run of the day over the leftfield fence.

OSU Takes 8-5 Win in Big Ten Opener
Second baseman Christian Snavely hit home runs in consecutive at bats in the fourth and sixth innings helping guide Ohio State to an 8-5 victory over Northwestern in a game that had been suspended March 29 because of heavy rains that moved through the Columbus area.

The game picked up Saturday where it left off Friday night with David Gresky at the plate facing a 2-2 count. The only difference when play resumed was that Josh Newman replaced starter E.J. Laratta on the mound for Ohio State.

The Wildcats scored three times in the fifth inning to take a 4-3 lead. Snavely hit his second home run of the game and his third of the season to pull the Buckeyes and Wildcats even in the sixth.

A single through the left side by Doug Deeds in the seventh scored Drew Anderson, who reached on a two-base error and was then moved over on a ground out by Doug Dendinger. Nick Swisher hit the team’s fourth home run of the game off the scoreboard in right-centerfield. The bomb prompted a pitching change. Dan Pohlman replaced Ribas and immediately walked the first two batters he faced and then gave up a base hit to Lance Rolston to load the bases. Evan Blesoff replaced Pohlman on the mound and he allowed Ohio State to add a run on a sac fly by Pettorini that scored Snavely.

OSU Finishes 4-2 at Homestead Challenge
Ohio State went 4-2 at the Homestead Challenge, March 23-26 getting two wins against Harvard and one against Cornell and Lafeyette. The two losses were to Illinois-Chicago and Florida International, which was ranked 20th in the nation by the USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN coaches poll.

After getting rained out Friday night against Cornell, the two teams met again early on Saturday. Ohio State scored three runs in the fifth inning and added another in the sixth to take a 4-1 lead. The Big Red scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull within the 4-3 final. Josh Newman got the win. Drew Anderson helped the Buckeyes offensively going 2-for-5 from the plate with an RBI.

Saturday night against Harvard, the Buckeyes were able to find victory despite committing five errors. Starter E.J. Laratta improved to 4-0 on the year who pitched his second complete game of the season and his 16th of his career. The game was tied 2-2 until the eighth inning when OSU erupted for three runs. The Crimson scored in the ninth before losing 5-3.

Illinois-Chicago snapped Ohio State’s four-game win streak with a 3-2 triumph. UIC capitalized on three base hits and two OSU errors to score three runs in the fifth inning. The Flames had just four base runners until the bottom of the fifth inning when the scored three unearned runs off three hits and to Ohio State errors. Doug Deeds and Doug Larason were responsible for scoring the two Buckeye runs. Scott Lewis fell to 2-2 on the year.

Ohio State responded to the loss by winning two games on Monday, beating Lafeyette 8-4 and Harvard 9-0. The Buckeyes scored all eight run against Lafeyette in the seventh and eighth innings to fight back for the win. Pinch-hitter Joe Wilkins’ grounder to second scored Christian Snavely giving OSU a 5-4 lead in the eighth inning. In the nightcap, the Buckeyes did not score until the sixth inning when they finally got to starting pitcher Chenny Sheffield for three runs. The assault continued on relief pitching as Ohio State scored once more in the eighth and then five more times in the ninth. Matt Davis picked up his first win as a Buckeye in relief against the Leopards. Nate Smith got his first win of the season by beating Harvard.

Florida International hit three home runs to escape with a 7-6 victory in the Buckeyes’ finale in Homestead. Ohio State scored four runs in the fourth inning to take a 4-3 lead and then needed another run in the fifth to go back on top 5-4. A two-run homer by Tommy Duenas gave the Golden Panthers a 6-4 lead. FIU added another run in the eighth that it needed as Ohio State would have scored a tying run in the top of the ninth.

Coach Todd Ejected for First Time in 19-year Career
In a rare occurrence, OSU coach Bob Todd was ejected in the top of the sixth inning of the loss to Florida International. It was the first time in his 18+ years as a head coach that he has ever been thrown out of a game.

“It was obvious what had been going on the entire game,” Todd said. “After seeing the frustration from our pitchers and our hitters, I felt like something needed to be brought to the attention of the umpire. After a two pitches to shortstop Brett Garrard, I needed to settle him down and help him get refocused. So I called him out of the batters’ box to talk him. The home plate umpire, must have overheard what I was saying. It was a very good ball game between two very good teams. It is a shame that the occurrence had to take place.”

OSU Claims Detroit Series 2-1
Righthander E.J. Laratta pitched four perfect innings to ignite Ohio State to a 7-2 victory over Detroit March 17 at Bill Davis Stadium to give the Buckeyes a 2-1 series win.

Laratta pitched a perfect game through the first four innings, but walked Roger Wechter to lead off the fifth inning, ending the bid. Tim Andrzejak singled to shallow right center field to break up the no hitter. Detroit got on the board two batters later.

Laratta struck out the side in the sixth before giving up a leadoff home run to Juston Davenport in the seventh.

Brett Garrard and Brooks Graff each had two hits in the Buckeyes five-hit offensive attack. Garrard was 2-for-3 with three RBI thanks to a three-run bomb in the fourth inning. Graff was 2-for-4, knocking in a run and scoring once himself.

On Saturday, Detroit handed the Buckeyes a loss in the home opener for the first time since 1998. The Titans escaped with a 6-4 win in the first game of a doubleheader, but in the second game, it was all Ohio State. The Buckeyes sprinted out to a 10-0 win in getting coach Bob Todd his 700th career victory.

Todd Gets Career Win No. 700
OSU skipper Bob Todd won his 700th game of his career in a 10-0 victory over Detroit in the second game of a doubleheader March 16. Todd is currently 708-365-2 in his 19th year as a head coach. He ranks 37th among active coaches in career wins.

While at Ohio State, Todd has guided the Buckeyes to seven Big Ten regular season and five Big Ten tournament championships, eight NCAA tournament appearances and five top-20 finishes.

Lewis Fans Eleven
Scott Lewis, a freshman from Washington Court House, Ohio, struck out a season best 11 batters in pitching five innings in the Buckeyes’ 10-0 victory over Detroit in the second game of a doubleheader March 16. In his previous games, Lewis had thrown 12 strikeouts. Lewis faced 20 batters, striking out 11 and walking just one. He gave up only four hits, his low in four appearances at Ohio State. The 11 strikeouts by Scott Lewis were the most by a Buckeye hurler since May 12, 2001, when Josh Newman mowed down 11 Michigan Wolverines in a 9-2 OSU victory.

Right Turn at Albuquerque
Ohio State outscored its opponents 50-45 in three games in Albuquerque, N.M., March 8-10. That was with the benefit of a 38-15 victory over Toledo Friday, March 8 in an extreme wind that was blowing out to right field. The Buckeyes belted seven home runs in the game on their way to a school-record 38 runs off 33 hits with just two errors. Ohio State scored 13 runs in the fourth inning.

Designated hitter Terry Pettorini went 6-for-6 from the plate scoring six times. Pettorini had home runs in the third and fourth innings and had three singles and a double to knock in five Buckeyes. Doug Deeds and Lance Rolston also had two-homer games. Deeds finished 4-for-6 with six RBI while Rolston was 3-for-7, with a sacrifice fly, to produce a team-best seven RBI.

Second baseman Christian Snavely was 5-for-6, scoring five times with four RBI and centerfielder Nick Swisher was 3-for-5 with five RBI. All nine Ohio State starting batters had at least one hit. Drew Anderson missed hitting for the cycle by a home run and two others also missed hitting for the cycle. Swisher needed a home run, while Deeds needed a single.

On Saturday, OSU beat New Mexico 10-8 thanks to a five-run fifth inning that led to its sixth win of the year without a defeat. On Sunday, New Mexico used big innings in the sixth and seventh, scoring eight and 10 runs, respectively, to hand Ohio State its first loss of the season. New Mexico won 22-2.

Record Set With 38 Runs
The 38 runs scored against Toledo on March 8 are the most scored by the Buckeyes in the history of the program. Ohio State beat Michigan State on May 7, 1999 by a score of 34-4 at Oldsmobile Park in Lansing, Mich., which had been the runs record. OSU, which had 29 hits in that game, had 33 hits against Toledo.

OSU Earns Win No. 2,000
With a 10-8 win on March 9 at New Mexico, Ohio State won its 2,000th game in the 118 years of the program. The Buckeye program ranks 21st in number of all-time victories with 2,009. The school first started playing the sport in 1881, but did not field teams in 1886, 1887, 1908 or 1910. Ohio State ranks 21st nationally in number of all-time victories.

Ohio State Blanks N. Florida
Rightfielder Doug Deeds broke a scoreless tie in the seventh inning with an RBI single that scored shortstop Brett Garrard and then catcher Joe Wilkins hit a two-run homer to give Ohio State a 3-0 victory over North Florida, which was ranked No. 4 in Division II. That was the first of three scheduled games at the Kennel Club Classic for Ohio State. The other two games, at Jacksonville and against The Citadel, were rained out.

Bulldogs and Buckeyes Tie
Ohio State closed out its stay in Starkville, Miss., Feb. 24 with a rare 6-6 tie at Polk-Dement Stadium at Mississippi State. The game was called because of travel considerations. Drew Anderson led the offense with a 2-for-4 day at the plate and scored two runs for OSU. It was the first tie for Ohio State since March 21, 1990, at the Spartan Classic in San Jose, Calif. The Buckeyes played Big Ten foe Minnesota to a 9-9 tie, which was the first tie in the Bob Todd era at Ohio State. The game against Mississippi State was the 41st tie in OSU baseball history.

Buckeyes Take Two from UAB
Behind the a solid pitching performance from E.J. Laratta, Ohio State opened the season with a 2-0 victory over Alabama-Birmingham at the National Bank of Commerce Classic, Feb. 22, at Starkville, Miss. Laratta struck out nine Blazers en route to the 15th complete game of his career. Doug Dendinger sparked the Buckeye offense with an RBI single in the top of the eighth to break a scoreless tie. The two teams met again on Saturday in a game that went into extra innings. Lance Rolston lined a single to left center field in the bottom of the 10th inning allowing Christian Snavely to score the game-winning run in a 4-3 contest with the UAB.

Ohio State Beats Bulldogs 9-2
The Ohio State baseball team’s offense broke out for nine runs on 12 hits to defeat then-No. 17 Mississippi State, 9-2. Nick Swisher went 1-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored to pace the Buckeyes. Doug Deeds also scored three times and Christian Snavely went 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored to support starting pitcher Josh Newman. Newman went eight innings throwing 117 pitches allowing two runs on six hits with nine strike outs.

Laratta Named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week
E.J. Laratta was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week Feb. 26 after he started the season opener for the Buckeyes and delivered a nine-inning shutout. The senior righthander struck out nine batters and allowed only three hits in shutting down the UAB attack to spark OSU to a 3-0-1 start to the season. Laratta moved into a tie for fifth on the all-time Ohio State wins list with 27 and tossed the 15th complete game of his career.