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COLUMBUS, Ohio – It is spring break in Columbus…at least at the end of the week it will be, and that is when Ohio State will leave for a week of games in Bradenton, Fla. The Buckeyes depart Thursday, will practice Friday in Bradenton and then start a seven-games-in-seven-days schedule Saturday with a 3 p.m. game against Harvard at the IMG Academy Park.

Ohio State, 5-4 on the season, will be ready to play after a week of finals and dealing with the record snowfall that hit Columbus while the team was in West Palm Beach, Fla., last weekend. The Buckeyes lost two of three games in West Palm. Fortunately, the lone win came on the final day, 6-4 over UConn. Still, coach Bob Todd feels as if this team could be undefeated at this point and he and the team will be eager to get eight days of outside action under their belts…and some more wins, too.

Ohio State Buckeyes (5-4)
(38-24, 15-15 Big Ten in 2007) in
BRADENTON, FLA.

Game 10: vs. Harvard
(0-3 in 08; 18-18 & 12-8 Ivy L. in 07)
Saturday, March 15, 7:30 p.m. EDT
Ed Smith Stadium

Game 11: vs. Dartmouth
(2-1; 8-29-1, 5-15 Ivy League)
 Sunday, March 16, 3 p.m. EDT
IMG Academy Park

Game 12: vs. Northern Iowa
(4-7; 23-28, 8-16 Mo. Valley)
Monday, March 17, 7:30 p.m. EDT
Manatee Community College

Game 13: vs. Bradley
(4-4 in 08; 32-21, 11-13 MVC in 07)
Tuesday, March 18, 3 p.m. EDT
IMG Academy Park

Game 14: vs. St. Louis
(4-7; 22-31, 12-11 Conf. USA)
 Wednesday, March 19, 10 a.m. ET
IMG Academy Park

Game 15: vs. Army
(2-9; 25-23-1; 12-7 Pat. League)
Thursday, March 20, 7:30 p.m. EDT
Manatee Community College

Game 16: vs. Kansas
(10-5; 28-30, 9-17 Big12)
Friday, March 21, 2 p.m. EDT
Manatee Community College

Opp. records as of March 14, 2008

OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Live Stats for all Games

2008 SEASON SNAPSHOT
The Buckeyes won their first three games of the season to win the Service Academies Spring Classic in Millington, dropped two of three games against a stellar field that included Texas A&M, Arkansas and Louisiana Tech in College Station, and then dropped two of three at the Palm Beach Baseball Classic in West Palm Beach, Fla. The Buckeyes were feeling great after winning the Service Academies Classic; somewhat robbed in losing, 8-5, to Texas A&M and, 8-6, to Arkansas in College Station; and a tad embarrassed in giving wins to Air Force and Maine by committing a total of six errors, three passed balls, 14 walks and five hit batsmen in the two losses.

A 6-4 WIN ON GETAWAY DAY
Ohio State is coming off a 6-4 victory over UConn Sunday in West Palm Beach, a win that snapped a three-game losing skein and one that took some of the bitterness out of the weekend. J.B. Shuck pitched 6.0 innings of scoreless, one-hit baseball to get the win over UConn. Jake Hale pitched the final three innings in his first outing of the year and picked up the save, although he did allow four runs. Justin Miller had two hits and two RBI to lead the offense.

A FEW OF THE STORY LINES
The 2008 baseball season is the 125th season of baseball at Ohio State. Baseball started in 1881 there were three years where a team did not compete and it is the oldest sport on campus. This is a story that will be with the team all season. Here are five more neat notes that Buckeye baseball watchers can high-five with their friends about:

1. Dan DeLucia has teeth in his stomach. The senior is showing the grit, determination and leadership qualities that one would expect from the first three-time captain in Ohio State history. The man has teeth in his stomach, meaning he chews up and spits out adversity and tough situations and simply gets the job done. He has returned ahead of schedule from Tommy John surgery to start three times and he’s exited each game with Ohio State in the lead. The career 21-game winner doesn’t have a decision yet, but he has a 3.86 ERA and 13 strikeouts as opposed to just four walks.
2. The Tony Kennedy experiment is working. Kennedy moved from middle infield to third base in 2007 and then to outfield this year and he leads all outfielders with three assists, including two at the plate to stop an opponent from scoring. He has hit in every game this season, too, the only Buckeye to do so. He’s a senior and he’s having fun. That kind of spirit will lead to more wins for this team.
3. Dan Seimetz’s home run record is safe. For now. It doesn’t appear as if anyone will challenge Thunder Dan’s single season home run record of 19 set in 1997 and the team is on pace to only match last season’s total of 21 home runs, but the players are putting enough hits together to keep the team winning and/or in games. They’ve held a lead in every game this season. The season is young…the team is young. And the Buckeyes will learn to finish those leads that they’ve started.
4. J.B. Shuck is on fire. He may not be only the most underrated pitcher in the Big Ten Conference, as collegebaseballinsider.com predicted, but he may be the most underrated player nationally. The junior is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA and team-high 17.0 innings pitched and he is hitting .438 with a team-high 17 hits.
5. This is a young team. Three freshmen are getting extensive pitching action: redshirt starter Dean Wolosiansky and true frosh relievers Alex Wimmers and Drew Rucinski. And 80 percent of the infield is comprised of freshmen and sophomores. True freshmen Ryan Meade (1B), Tyler Engle (SS) and Dan Burkhart (C) have started eight, three and six times, respectively, and sophomores Cory Rupert (SS/3B), Cory Kovanda (2B) and Brian DeLucia (3B) have started nine, eight and three times, respectively.

ON DECK…SOME QUICK HITTERS

  • True freshman Ryan Meade is on a five-game hitting streak, during which time he is 8-for-23 at the plate (.348) with six runs and four RBI. He has an RBI in four consecutive games.
  • Ten players have at least two RBI this season with Justin Miller and Cory Rupert leading the way with 10 and nine, respectively. All of Miller’s RBIs have come hitting clean-up. Five of Rupert’s have come in the three games he’s hit second in the lineup. 
  •  Five players have started all nine games: Justin Miller, J.B. Shuck, Tony Kennedy, Cory Rup ert and Ryan Dew.
  • J.B. Shuck, Dean Wolosiansky and Dan DeLucia have started eight of the team’s nine games. They have combined to pitch 45.0 innings with a 3.40 ERA and their average start has lasted 5.2 innings. 
  •  Opponents are hitting just .180 off Shuck.
  •  Ohio State has led in all nine games this season. Opponents have come back to win four times (Texas A&M after trailing 5-1 in the B6; Arkansas after trailing 5-2 in the B4; Air Force after trailing 4-2 in the B7 and 8-6 in the B9; and Maine after trailing 3-1 in the B5).
  • Ohio State has responded to an opponent scoring run or runs by coming back the very next inning to score run or runs 55 percent of the time. Opponents have scored 22 times and Ohio State has countered with runs the next inning 12 times.
  • Ohio State has had 30 different run producing innings and have kept its opponent off the scoreboard the next inning 22 times, or 73 percent of the time.
  • Ohio State is 4-0 when leading after the seventh inning this season…0-3 when trailing after the seventh.

LAST WEEKEND IN WEST PALM BEACH
Both J.B. Shuck (.455) and Cory Rupert (.400) hit over .400 in the three games in West Palm Beach, Fla. last weekend. … Brian DeLucia returned to action after missing five games due to a hamstring pull. … The team was out-ERA’d the entire weekend for the first time this season: 5.00 for the opponents’ ERA and 5.81 for Ohio State. … the team ate at a Golden Corral for the second time this season. (Golden Corral’s are collegiate baseball pop culture at its finest.) … When not elbowing through an absolutely packed – packed! – 1:30 p.m. Saturday crowd, the team members, judging by the post-dining comments, seemed to like the pot roast and the banana pudding best.

See the attached PDF release for more news, notes and stats on the Buckeyes.

###OhioStateBuckcyes.com###