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May 12, 2005

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OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
(28-15; 11-10 Big Ten)
at
NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS
(22-23; 10-14 Big Ten)

May 13-15, 2005
Rocky Miller Park (1,000)
Evanston, Ill.

Fri., May 13 @ 4:05 p.m. Web
Sat., May 14 @ 2:05 p.m. (DH) Web/Web
Sun., May 15 @ 2:05 p.m. WOSU

SERIES HISTORY
Ohio State leads 75-39
last game: May 16, 2004, Ohio State 8-4

OHIO STATE RADIO/INTERNET
NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) o www.wosu.org
Neil Sika and Paul Barnes

GAMETRACKER
www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com

PROBABLE OHIO STATE PITCHERS G1 36 Dan DeLucia, LHP 3-4, 2.86 ERA, 43K, 63.0IP G2 19 Cory Luebke, LHP 4-2, 3.00 ERA, 37K, 54.0IP G3 6 Mike Madsen, RHP 5-3, 4.81 ERA, 34K, 43.0IP G4 39 Trent Luyster, LHP 5-3, 5.40 ERA, 36K, 65.0IP

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Riding an eight-game win streak after sweeping a four-game Big Ten series at Penn State, Ohio State returns to action this weekend with a four-game series at Northwestern at Rocky Miller Park in Evanston, Ill. The Buckeyes had their final non-conference game at Bill Davis Stadium on Wednesday, bu the game was cancelled in the fourth inning because of lightning.

The sweep of Penn State last weekend was the first sweep in conference play this season and the first since beating Indiana four straight in Bloomington last season. Ohio State scored 64 runs in the four games and pounded out 77 hits beating the Nittany Lions by scores of 11-2, 13-10, 29-2 and 11-6. Ohio State is now 28-15 overall and has won 10 of 11.

Northwestern improved to 22-23 overall after beating Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday. The Wildcats fell to 10-14 in the league after getting swept at Illinois last weekend to fall from a fifth-place tie to a seventh-place tie with Penn State, which were swept by the Buckeyes last weekend.

The teams will play a single game Friday at 4:05 p.m., EDT, before playing a doubleheader Saturday at 2:05 p.m. The teams concluded the series Sunday with a single game at 2:05 p.m. Games one and four will be broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) while all four games will be broadcast on the Internet at www.wosu.org.

ABOUT OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes improved to 28-15 overall and 11-10 in the Big Ten with their four-game sweep at Penn State last weekend. Ohio State has won eight in a row, including seven straight conference games to climb into fifth place in the league standings. In a span of nine days, the Buckeyes climbed their way from the 10th and final spot into the Big Ten tournament picture. The Scarlet and Gray have series remaining at Northwestern and at home against Minnesota.

Mike Rabin and Steve Caravati led the team by batting .600 (9-for-15) at Penn State. Rabin slugged 1.200 and had an on-base percentage of .667. He had three doubles and was a perfect 3-for-3 on the base paths and drove in five runs, scored nine times and walked five times, all without striking out. He reached base 14 of 20 times against Penn State, including a string of eight straight visits to the plate. Rabin watched his season average climb from .314 entering the conference series to .346 after the sweep. Of Caravati’s nine hits, he had four doubles, his 12th career triple and his 23rd career home run and drove in eight runs, while scoring six times. Caravati’s average rose from .325 to .370.

The Buckeyes batted .453 at Penn State and had 25 extra-base hits, including 20 doubles. The team batting average rose from .290 entering the weekend to .309 after the series. Ohio State climbed from seventh to fourth in team batting average in all games and from 10th in conference-only batting average (.267) to second (.313). Only league-leading Illinois has a better average in conference games at .329.

Rabin leads the everyday starters with a .346 batting average and is tied for second on the team with 47 hits behind Jason Zoeller, who has 49 hits to go with his .320 batting average. Jedidiah Stephen is batting .336 and also has 47 hits. Stephen and Zoeller each have five home runs. Paul Farinacci is batting .280 with a Big Ten best 17 doubles. He also has 42 RBI to pace the Buckeyes. Caravati does not meet team or conference minimums (75 percent of games/2.5 at bats), but is batting .370 in 31 games this season.

On the mound, Dan DeLucia pitched the first complete game of his career in the opening game against Penn State, an 11-2 victory by Ohio State. Brett Hatcher came on in relief of Cory Luebke to get his second win of the season in game two, allowing only one run on four hits in 4.1 innings. Mike Madsen won the 22nd game of his career and fifth victory of the season in game three. Trent Luyster started game four and picked up his fifth win of the season in a 6.1-inning start. Ohio State’s team ERA is 3.96, which leads the Big Ten. The Buckeyes also are the top conference team in fielding with a .972 fielding percentage.

The Buckeyes will go with the same rotation they have used since the Michigan State series: DeLucia will start game one, followed by Luebke and Madsen in the doubleheader before Luyster closes out the series on Sunday.

CAUGHENBAUGH NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT
Ohio State designated hitter Cody Caughenbaugh was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV Baseball Team, announced Thursday. Caughenbaugh was a named to the first of two teams as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Caughenbaugh, a red-shirt junior from Newark, Ohio, is a mechanical engineering major and carries a 3.69 GPA in his fourth year of study. He was named the top freshman mechanical engineering student at Ohio State after his first year and the top sophomore mechanical engineering student after his second year. On the field, Caughenbaugh has appeared in 37 games this season with 23 starts. The Licking Valley High School graduate is batting .277 (26-for-94) with six doubles, one triple and two home runs and has driven in 24 runs and scored another 14. Caughenbaugh was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District IV Baseball Team in 2004, as a second-team member.

The Academic All-District IV Team is made up of student-athletes from Division I schools in Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. To be nominated, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve and carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher. Team members are selected by a vote of CoSIDA members within the district. The academic all-district team is part of the Academic All-America program.

ABOUT NORTHWESTERN
The Wildcats are 22-23 overall and 10-14 in the Big Ten after dropping all four games last weekend at Illinois. Since then, Northwestern bounced back Tuesday with a 14-2 victory ovr Illinois-Chicago. A game Wednesday against Robert Morris (Ill.) was cancelled.

Northwestern is batting .302 (fifth in the Big Ten) as a team led by Pat McMahon, who is batting .423 in 42 games. He leads the team with 71 hits, 16 doubles and a slugging percentage of .607. Anthony Wycklendt is batting .319 with 51 hits and a team-best nine home runs and 43 RBI. Stanley Finch is the only other everyday player batting better than .300. He is batting .317 with 32 hits and six doubles. The Wildcats have a 5.60 ERA, which ranks ninth in the Big Ten. Ryan Myers leads the team with 49 stirkeouts in 44 innings. He is 3-4 with a 6.55 ERA. George Kontos and Evan Blesoff each have four wins. Kontos is 4-4 with a 4.45 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 58.2 innings, while Blesoff is 4-5 with a 6.19 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 64.0 innings. Andrew Smith leads the team with 12 starts, but is 2-5 wiht a 5.10 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 65.1 innings. Reliever Chris Hayes has made 19 appearances and is 3-2 with eight saves in 36.1 innings. Northwestern will toss Blesoff in game one, Kontos and Myers in the doubleheader and Smith on Sunday.

Paul Stevens (Lewis, 1976) is 448-484-5 in his 18th season at Northwestern and as a head coach.

AGAINST THE WILDCATS
Ohio State leads the all-time series vs. Northwestern 75-39 and won three of the four meetings last year in Columbus. The Wildcats victory in game one ran their win streak against Ohio State to three games, dating back to 2003 when the teams split in Bradenton, Fla. Since 2000, Ohio State leads 11-5. The Buckeyes have not played in Evanston since 1998, when the teams split four games. OSU coach Bob Todd is 31-12 against Northwestern.

Since 2000 Season (Ohio State leads 11-5)
1March 25, 2000 N’western 7, Ohio State 6
2March 19, 2001 Ohio State 5, N’western 0
2March 25, 2001 Ohio State 10, N’western 0
March 29, 2002 at Ohio State 8, N’western 5
March 30, 2002 at Ohio State 6, N’western 5
March 30, 2002 N’western 11, at Ohio State 8
March 31, 2002 at Ohio State 9, N’western 2
3May 24, 2002 Ohio State 5, N’western 2
1March 27, 2003 Ohio State 1, N’western 0
1March 28, 2003 Ohio State 4, N’western 1
1March 28, 2003 N’western 7, Ohio State 1
1March 29, 2003 N’western 13, Ohio State 4
May 14, 2004 N’western 4, at Ohio State 1
May 15, 2004 at Ohio State 4, N’western 1
May 15, 2004 at Ohio State 9, N’western 1
May 16, 2004 at Ohio State 8, N’western 4
1-Brandenton, Fla.; 2-Homestead, Fla.;
3-Big Ten Tournament, Minneapolis, Minn.

SERIES HISTORY VS. NORTHWESTERN
The Buckeyes and Wildcats have met in only nine conference series since the Big Ten went to the four-game series in 1981. In those nine meetings, the Buckeyes have won five series, including sweeps in 1994, 1995 and 1999. The Buckeyes took three of four in 2002 and last year, when they lost the first game 4-1 before rebounding for 4-2, 9-1 and 8-4 victories. The teams split in 1988, 1998 and 2003. Northwestern’s lone series victory came in 1989. The Wildcats have never swept Ohio State.

NORTHWESTERN
Ohio State 4-0 1999, 1995, 1994
Ohio State 3-1 2004, 2002
Split 2-2 2003, 1998, 1988
N’western 3-1 1989
N’western 4-0 None

LAST YEAR VS. NORTHWESTERN
Ohio State tied a season high with four errors that lead to two unearned runs by Northwestern in a 4-1 loss in the series opener. Jason Krynski gave Northwestern a 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the top of the second inning. The Wildcats added two more runs to take a 3-0 lead in the third thanks to a pair of miscues by Ohio State. The Buckeyes used two doubles to get their only run of the game in the bottom of the third. Derek Kinnear led off the inning with a double just inside the third-base bag and into left field and then two outs later, Steve Caravati delivered Kinnear home with a double to the gap in right-center field. Northwestern extended its lead to 4-1 with one run on two hits in the sixth.

Left-handed pitcher Scott Lewis struck out six and allowed two unearned runs to earn his only win of the season as Ohio State claimed the second game of the series, downing Northwestern 4-2. Lewis allowed two unearned runs on three hits and struck out six in 4.0 innings. Jon Mikrut was the only Northwestern base runner in the first three innings. He singled up the middle with one out in the first inning before Lewis went on to retire the next eight batters. Lewis’ day was over after the fourth inning though as he threw 63 pitches.

In the third game of the series, Mike Madsen took a no-hitter into the top of the fifth inning and limited Northwestern to three hits in leading the Buckeyes to a 9-1 victory. Madsen retired 12 of the first 14 batters of the game before designated hitter Dan Brauer delivered a base hit up the middle for the first Wildcat hit. The first two base runners to that point were the only walks issued by Madsen, who gave up two hits in the sixth inning as the Wildcats were able to score their only run of the game. He pitched his third complete game of the season in holding Northwestern to three hits with four strikeouts to go with the two walks in the first and third innings. Caravati went 2-for-3 with three RBI and one run scored in the nightcap to go with a 3-for-3 effort with one RBI in the first game. Jacob Howell was 3-for-4 with two RBI in the nightcap.

Ohio State scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to fight back from a 3-1 deficit and clinch the Big Ten series with a 8-4 victory over Northwestern in the series finale. Ohio State used three hits and a pair of Northwestern errors for the five spot in the sixth to move in front. Northwestern committed two more errors in the seventh inning and the Buckeyes were able to convert the miscues into another run. That was the eighth run of the game. Northwestern added its final run of the game in the top of the ninth. Caravati was the offensive star in the game, going a perfect 4-for-4 in the game with one RBI. Brett Garrard was 3-for-5 in the finale, while Drew Anderson, Howell, and Ronnie Bourquin each had two of the Buckeyes’ 15 total hits. Howell and Kinnear each batted in two.

GAME VS. MIAMI CANCELLED
Severe weather in Central Ohio forced the cancellation of the Ohio State vs. Miami (Ohio) baseball game Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium. The teams were scoreless into the fourth inning and the home plate umpire pulled the teams off the field because of lightning with one on and one out with Miami at the plate. Each team had three hits in a scoreless contest.

The 3,367 fans that were in attendance at the game may hold on to their ticket stub and use it for a future Ohio State baseball game later this season. The Buckeyes do not have a scheduled home game until next weekend when they play host to Minnesota in the final regular season games of 2005. The rainout puts Ohio State five games below the 56 allowed by the NCAA, so the Buckeyes will likely try to add a weekday game after the Northwestern series.

BUCKEYES SWEEP PENN STATE
Ohio State swept Penn State in State College, Pa., last weekend to climb from eighth to fifth in the Big Ten standings. The Buckeyes won their first series opener of the season by an 11-2 score, took the doubleheader by scores of 13-10 and 29-2 and the won 11-6 in the finale for the first sweep in the Big Ten this season and the first since winning four games at Indiana in 2004.

The Buckeyes hit .453 in the four games and outscored the Nittany Lions 64-20 and outslugged them 77-41, including a school record 33 runs in game three. Ohio State had 20 doubles, including a season-high in the game-three route. Ohio State added two triples and had only three home runs in the four games. The Buckeyes touched 44 bases in the 27-run win in the third game. Penn State had 14 errors in the series compared to only three by Ohio State.

Dan DeLucia pitched his first career complete game to fuel the Buckeyes to their first win in a series opener this season. The Buckeyes were winless in the previous five series openers, but sprinted out to a 10-0 lead to help DeLucia earn his third win of the season with the team’s 11-2 victory. Mike Rabin was 3-for-3 and walked three times to reach base all six of his plate appearances.

In game two, Ohio State fell behind 9-5 after two innings, but after Brett Hatcher came in for starter Cory Luebke, Nittany Lions bats fell quiet and the Buckeyes came back for a 13-10 victory. Hatcher went 4.1 innings and allowed only one run on four hits with three strikeouts before he gave way to Rory Meister, who picked up his third save. Caravati was 4-for-5 with four RBI and gave the Buckeyes a 10-9 lead with his second of three extra-base hits in the game. Rabin reached in his first to at bats to run his streak to eight consecutive reaches before that was broken up with a ground out in the fourth. Rabin came within five of the 1934 school record of 13 set by John Prosenjak.

It was an unbelievable scene in the nightcap of the Sunday twinbill. The Buckeyes sent 14 batters to the plate and scored 10 runs before the first out of the game could be recorded. The games first 14 batters all scored as the Buckeyes were able to build a 14-0 lead before senior Mike Madsen threw his first pitch. Ohio State added four in the second, five in the third and five more in the fourth to take a 28-0 lead before Penn State plated it first run in the bottom of the fourth inning. The 29 runs were the most in Big Ten play since the Buckeyes won 34-4 at Michigan State in 1999 and the most runs in any game since a 38-15 victory over Toledo in Albuquerque, N.M. in 2002. The Buckeyes used 16 players on offense and only two – Jason Zoeller and Matt Angle – finished the game. All but two of the 16 batted in at least one run and all 16 had at least one hit, led by six players who had three hits each. Cody Caughenbaugh was 2-for-4 and batted in five runs.

Ohio State scored six runs in the first four innings and added two runs in seventh and eighth innings before adding the final run in the ninth as it cruised to an 11-6 victory and a series sweep over Penn State. Caravati led a group of three players that were 3-for-5 in the game. He delivered three RBI and was joined by Angle and Stephen with three-hit efforts.

Rabin, Caravati and Angle each had nine hits in the series. Rabin and Caravati each were 9-for-15 (.600) and Angle was 9-for-21 (.429). The Buckeyes

THE BIG TEN RACE
Ohio State and Illinois pulled the only sweeps in Big Ten play this past weekend. While the Buckeyes won four on the road at Penn State, the Fighting Illini extended their lead in the standings by winning four at home against Northwestern. Iowa took three of four from Minnesota and Indiana took three of four from Michigan State. Purdue and Michigan split their four games.

There are no ties in the top six places of the league standings. Illinois is 18-6 to lead the league followed by Iowa (15-9), Purdue (11-9), Minnesota (13-11), Ohio State (11-10) and Michigan (10-11). This weekend, Illinois is at Minnesota, Indiana is at Michigan, Iowa is at Purdue, Penn State is at Michigan State and Ohio State is at Northwestern. The last weekend of the season pits Michigan at Penn State, Purdue at Indiana, Michigan State at Northwestern, Iowa at Illinois and Minnesota at Ohio State.

BIG TEN STATISTICS RANKINGS
In the Big Ten rankings that were released Tuesday, Ohio State ranked fourth in team batting (.309), behind Indiana (.325), Michigan (.322) and Illinois (.320); ranked first in team ERA (3.96); and was first in fielding (.972). In conference-only stats, the Buckeyes rank second in team batting (.313), fourth in team ERA (4.82) and are tied for second in team fielding (.968).

Not a single Buckeye has a batting average ranked in the Top 10 in the league. Ranking individual ERAs, Dan DeLucia is fifth with his 2.86, while teammate Cory Luebke is sixth with his 3.00 ERA. For overall games, Paul Farinacci leads the Big Ten with 17 doubles and Jedidiah Stephen is tied for the conference lead with six sacrifice flies. In conference only games, Mike Rabin’s .394 average ranks fifth, while DeLucia’s 3.63 ERA is 10th.

OHIO STATE HOME ATTENDANCE
The Buckeyes drew 7,782 fans over the three dates vs. Indiana and then drew 3,930 fans for the midweek game against Cleveland State. Ohio State drew 7,370 for the home series vs. Purdue and 6,839 for the Michigan State series. Through 14 home dates this season, Ohio State has drawn 31,275 fans, an average of 2,233.9 per game. Minnesota, which has traditionally been a big draw for Ohio State, comes to Bill Davis Stadium May 20-22. After the game Wednesday vs. Miami, the Buckeyes will not play at home again until the Minnesota series, giving them four more home dates to try and climb the NCAA season attendance list. Ohio State drew an average of 2,133 last year to rank 27th in the national and first in the Big Ten. In fact, no other school in the conference ranked in the Top 50 nationally.

BUCKEYE BULLETS
o Mike Rabin continues to lead the Buckeyes in Big Ten games. The senior co-captain from West Chester, Ohio (Lakota East), is batting .394 in 21 league games with 28 hits (five doubles, one home run) and has seven RBI. Rabin’s average ranks fifth in the Big Ten. In the team’s five games last week, Rabin was 10-for-18 (.556) with three doubles, nine runs and five RBI. He also walked five times and did not strike out.

o The Buckeyes are 9-1 in their last 10 games. Steve Caravati leads the Buckeyes with a .455 batting average (15-for-33) and has four doubles, one triple and two home runs as well as 11 RBI and 10 runs scored. Jedidiah Stephen is batting .419 (13-for-31) with three doubles, a triple and 11 RBI. Caravati has finished only two of his 30 starts.

o The Buckeyes are 12-6 at home and carry a .294 batting average. Caravati leads the team at home with a .375 batting average.

o In the team’s 28 wins, Jason Zoeller leads the team with a .410 batting average. He has 41 hits, including seven doubles, a triple and three home runs. The team is batting .352 in the wins. Zoeller is batting .151 in the 15 losses. Rabin is the team’s top batter in the losses with a .319 batting average.

o Eric Fryer, a .286 hitter in 36 games, sees his average swell to .400 against left-handed pitching. Rabin also has success against lefties. The senior also is batting .400 against lefties compared to .327 vs. right-handed hurlers.

o Matt Angle is batting .400 (20-for-50) with runners on base, compared to .269 without a base runner. He also leads the team with a .433 average with runners in scoring position.

BUCKEYE RECORD BOOK
o Steve Caravati is ninth with his .358 career batting average. His 231 hits rank ninth, while his 645 at bats have him tied for 14th. The fifth-year senior co-captain from Dover, Ohio (Dover) is tied for second with 12 career triples (one off the school record set last year by Drew Anderson) and his 23 career home runs tie him for 17th. Caravati has batted in 158 runs during his career (tied for seventh in school history), including 52 RBI last season. He needs 23 to move into second place all-time at Ohio State. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) holds the school record with 236 RBI.

o Mike Rabin has 761 career at bats, which is ranked third by any player in school history. The OSU record is 823, set by Mark Carek (1995-98). Rabin, who already has 136 at bats in 2005, needs 63 at bats to break that record. He had 234 at bats as a sophomore and 228 last year, so that is one record to watch. His 46 steals are fifth most in school history. Rabin’s 229 hits rank 10th in school annals.

o With five home runs this season, Jedidiah Stephen has 18 career home runs. The junior from Caldwell, Ohio, needs two more to crack the school’s Top 25 list.

o With 22 career victories, Mike Madsen ranks 14th and with his win percentage of .710 (22-9), he is ranks 21st in school history. Madsen ranks 10th in fewest bases on balls (84) and 11th in fewest runs (119). Madsen has pitched in 56 games, which ties him for 16th.

o Trent Luyster has made 57 appearances in his career to tie for 14th. Luyster is fourth with fewest bases on balls (62).

o In just his second year as a Buckeye, Trey Fausnaugh has made 54 appearances, which is the 20th-most in school history.

WEDNESDAY GAMES AT BDS
Ohio State is 5-1 in home Wednesday games this season after beating Cleveland State 12-4 May 4. After beating Toledo 12-4 in the home opener March 30, the Buckeyes lost to Oakland 6-5 before rebounding to take a 15-4 win over Malone and both ends of a doubleheader vs. Eastern Michigan 10-3 and 3-2.

Jedidiah Stephen leads the Buckeyes in their six home midweek games with a .500 batting average. He is 9-for-18 with one home run, nine RBI and four runs scored. Jacob Howell, who has played in five of the games is 7-for-16 (.438) with one triple, five RBI and four runs scored. Jason Zoeller is batting .400 (8-for-20) with two doubles, four RBI and a team-best seven runs scored. Ohio State is batting .313 in Wednesday home games and has a 3.06 ERA, while outscoring the opposition 57-23. Opponents are batting only .220.

OSU TAKES THREE VS. INDIANA
Ohio State had to rebound after its Friday night loss to Indiana to claim the final three games of the series to win the series three games to none. Indiana kept the Buckeyes winless on Friday in Big Ten play with a 10-1 triumph before Ohio State came back to win 3-0 and 7-3 in the doubleheader and 10-8 in the series finale.

The Hoosiers jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Ohio State scored its only run of the game in the fourth and then they added two more runs in the seventh before a Buckeye meltdown allowed five more runs to cross the plate in the top of the ninth. Dan DeLucia struck out seven and walked two in giving up five runs (four earned) on nine hits in 6.1 innings before turning over the reigns to the bullpen in the seventh.

In game two, Cory Luebke threw his third complete game as a Buckeye and was supported by runs in the second, fifth and sixth innings as Ohio State recorded its first shutout of the season. Luebke allowed just four hits, walked one and struck out three to improve to 4-2 on the year. Jedidiah Stephen drove in the first run in the second, Steve Caravati knocked in Mike Rabin in the fifth and then Ronnie Bourquin hit his second home run of the year, a solo shot, to lead off the sixth and give OSU the 3-0 win.

In the nightcap, Ohio State pitchers struck out a season-high 12 batters, including a career-best eight strikeouts from Mike Madsen, and Rory Meister earned his first career save as the Buckeyes beat Indiana 7-3 Saturday. Leading 5-3 with runners at the corners and two out in the fifth, Mesiter came in to retire the final seven batters of the game to earn his first career save. Matt Angle and Jason Zoeller each went 3-for-4. For Madsen, it was his second win in the week after he beat Eastern Michigan on Wednesday.

In the series finale, Ohio State had to fight back from a 4-1 deficit to win 10-8. The Buckeyes tied the game in the fourth and added single runs in the fifth and sixth before Caravati got things going in the seventh with his first home run of the season that sparked a four-run inning. The Buckeyes gave up four runs in the top of the eighth, but Meister came in to preserve the two-run win to get his second straight save.

MEISTER PICKS UP BIG TEN HONOR
Ohio State freshman pitcher Rory Meister has been named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week (May 2) after making five relief appearances in the Buckeyes’ six games. Meister helped guide the Buckeyes to a 5-1 week by striking out 13 batters in 11.2 innings and picking up the first two saves of his career. The freshman right-hander allowed no runs and only two hits during the week while walking only two batters. In two midweek contests with Eastern Michigan, Meister entered the first game with the bases loaded and no outs and struck out the first hitter he faced before forcing a double play. In the second outing, he struck out a career-high five batters in three and two-thirds innings. Against the Hoosiers, he finished game three of the series by retiring the final seven batters he faced before earning his second career save in the finale by preserving a two-run lead. Meister is the second OSU hurler to be named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week this season as teammate Trent Luyster was selected on March 7.

MICHIGAN DOWNS BUCKEYES 11-3
Ohio State went to Ann Arbor April 22-24 trying to claw its way back into contention for a bid to the Big Ten Tournament, instead the Buckeyes and Wolverines played only one of the four games in a snow-shortened series. Michigan relied on the arm of Jim Brauer, who fanned 10, and an eight-run fifth inning to hand Ohio State an 11-3 in the first ever night game at Ray Fisher Stadium.

The Wolverines scored twice in the third thanks to one hit and one Buckeye error, but then used six hits and two more errors to score eight in the fifth to build a 10-0 lead.

Eric Fryer launched his first home run as a Buckeye, a one-out, solo shot in the sixth inning that he deposited over the fence in left field to put Ohio State on the board. Michigan got the run back in the bottom of the inning. The Buckeyes scored their final two runs of the game in the eighth inning, using hits by Fryer and Mike Rabin, a pair of Michigan errors and a sacrifice fly by Steve Caravati to pull within the 11-3 final score.

Brauer limited the Buckeyes to only one base runner until the sixth inning when Fryer’s home run stopped a string of 15 straight retired batters. When he left, he had struck out 10 with only one walk and had allowed all three runs on five hits in 7.1 innings. Derek Feldkamp pitched the rest of the way. The two allowed six hits by Ohio State, three of which came off the bat of Rabin and two off of Fryer. Paul Farinacci delivered the only other Buckeye hit.

SPARTANS WIN SERIES 3-1
Michigan State was trying to do something last weekend at Ohio State that no team had ever been able to do before and that was sweep the Buckeyes at Bill Davis Stadium. In the nine-year history of the stadium, only Michigan had won a series on the Buckeyes home turf (2003 and 2004). This time it was different. The Spartans won the first three games of the series (not even the Wolverines did that) to make a sweep possible, but Ohio State won in the bottom of the ninth to thwart the Spartan bid.

Ohio State lost the first three games 2-0, 12-3 and 8-1. It scored only four runs and had only 22 hits in the first three games of the series. The Buckeyes won 8-7 in the series finale, getting an RBI single from freshman Matt Angle to score freshman Eric Fryer, who reached on a hit of his own and then stole second to set up the score. Ohio State relief pitching allowed a grand slam to tie the game in the top of the ninth after leading by as many as five runs two different times. The Buckeyes finished the series with 12 runs on 35 hits, while Michigan State scored 29 runs on 45 hits.

Senior outfielder and co-captain Mike Rabin led the Buckeyes in going 6-for-12 with three runs batted in and two runs scored. He launched his third career home run in the second game of the series. Chris Macke, Jedidiah Stephen and Jacob Howell each delivered four hits in the series, though the Buckeyes hit just .276. Rabin is the leading Buckeye hitter in Big Ten play, batting .342 in the 12 games. He and Paul Farinacci each have three hits, while Farinacci has delivered seven RBI.

For Michigan State, Sean Walker belted three home runs and drove in four RBI, including the grand slam that tied game four in the top of the ninth. He had five hits and a slugging percentage of 1.077. He and teammate Tim Day who pitched an eight-hit complete game in the 2-0 victory on Friday, earned Big Ten player and pitcher of the week for their performances against the Scarlet and Gray.

BASEBALL AMERICA NAMES LUEBKE TO MID-SEASON ALL-FROSH TEAM
Ohio State freshman left-handed pitcher Cory Luebke was named to Baseball America’s mid-season Freshman All-America Team in April. Luebke, a 18th-round draft by of the Pittsburgh Pirates last summer, is one of four starting pitchers to appear on the list. He joins James Adkins (LHP, Tennessee), David Prince (LHP, Vanderbilt) and Nick Schmidt (LHP, Arkansas).

BUCKEYES TAKE 3 OF 4 VS. PURDUE
Ohio State took three of four games from Purdue April 8-10 at Bill Davis Stadium. In the Big Ten home opener, the Boilermakers handed the Buckeyes a 7-1 loss, their sixth loss in a row. Ohio State regrouped on Saturday to take both ends of the doubleheader, 6-4 and 5-1, before clinching the series win with a 4-2 victory in game four.

Despite getting a career-high 10 strikeouts from starter Trent Luyster, the Buckeye defense let the game get away from them. Trailing only 3-1 entering the ninth inning, two Purdue hits and two Buckeye errors led to four runs in the inning as the Boilermakers cruised to the six-run victory. It was the sixth straight loss for Ohio State.

Some say the third time is the charm, but for Ohio State head coach Bob Todd, it took seven times to earn his 700th career victory after winning No. 699 on March 30. After Cody Caughenbaugh tied the game 3-3 with a single, Jason Zoeller launched his fourth home run of the season, a three-run blast, to give the Buckeyes a 6-3 lead. Purdue was able to add a run, but Todd and the Buckeyes walked off the field victorious after the 6-4 win. In game three of the series, Jacob Howell was 2-for-2 with two RBI and Mike Madsen pitched his first complete game of the season to give Ohio State a 5-1 triumph to sweep the doubleheader. Madsen struck out six, allowed only four hits in winning his 19th game of his career.

Dan DeLucia and Jeffrey Carroll, both 2003 graduates of Bishop Watterson High School, combined to pitch the Buckeyes to a 4-2 victory in game four to clinch the series win. DeLucia retired the first 14 batters he faced but allowed both runs on seven hits before giving way to Carroll in the eighth. Carroll was touched for only one hit in picking up his first career save.

OHIO STATE SWEPT AT ILLINOIS
For only the second time at Ohio State since Bob Todd began coaching, the Buckeyes were swept in a four-game conference series. Illinois swept the series in grand fashion, winning the finale with a two-run walk-off home run to seal a 6-4 victory and only the sixth-ever sweep against Ohio State since the Big Ten began playing four-game series in 1981. The Illini won the first three games of the series by scores of 7-1, 4-1 and 5-4.

Illinois erupted for five runs on six hits in the sixth inning to hand the Buckeyes a 7-1 loss and snap their 10-game win streak. J.R. Kyes went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs to lead Illinois. Jedidiah Stephen led Ohio State with a single and a double. Paul Farinacci delivered the only OSU run in the top of the second inning. Trent Luyster fell to 4-2 with the loss. Jason Zoeller’s 13-game hit streak came to an end.

In game two, the Illini scored all four of their runs in the first inning to down the Buckeyes 4-1. Steve Caravati drove in Zoeller with a double down the left field line in the sixth inning. Zoeller, Caravati and Ronnie Bourquin had the three hits for Ohio State. In the second game of a doubleheader, Illinois dodged a late-inning rally by Ohio State to win 5-4. The Illini had sprinted to a 5-0 lead after the fourth inning before Farinacci delivered his first home run of the season, a grand slam he bounced off the top of the right-field fence in the top of the sixth. The Buckeyes stranded one runner in the seventh when Bourquin was tagged out sliding into first.

The luck of the Buckeyes appeared to change in the series finale when they took a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth inning, but Illinois tied the game in the bottom of the inning before the two-run walk-off home run in the ninth won the game 6-4. Mike Rabin was 3-for-4 in the game, while Zoeller and Chris Macke each had two hits and one RBI. Reliever Trey Fausnaugh gave up the home run to get the loss. The last 0-4 start by Ohio State was in 1987, the year before Todd arrived to Columbus.

WEBCASTS DEBUT FOR BASEBALL
Ohio State baseball fans are now able to watch select games by webcast online at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. The webcast is available within the College Sports Pass subscription service which features exclusive live and on-demand audio and video content. For more information, go online to ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

Remaining Ohio State Baseball Webcast Schedule
May 20 vs. Minnesota @ 6:35 p.m.
May 21 vs. Minnesota @ 4:05 p.m.
May 21 vs. Minnesota @ 6:35 p.m.
May 22 vs. Minnesota @ 1:05 p.m.

UP NEXT FOR THE BUCKEYES…
Ohio State will not play a game until it closes out the regular season next Friday, Saturday and Sunday in a four-game series vs. Minnesota at Bill Davis Stadium. The teams will play a single game Friday at 6:35 p.m., a doubleheader Saturday at 4:05 p.m. and a single game Sunday at 1:05 p.m. All four games will be broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) and on the Internet at www.wosu.org.