COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State and Toledo meet Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. in a non-conference match-up at Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes are coming off a four-game weekend series split with Big Ten rival Penn State. Toledo travels to Columbus just looking forward to playing baseball, as the Rockets had their entire weekend series with Akron cancelled due to inclement weather in northwest Ohio. The Rockets have an overall record of 7-11. The Buckeyes are 12-8.
Ohio State (12-8; 2-2 BIG TEN) vs.
Toledo Rockets (7-11, 2-1 mac)
Wednesday, April 2, 6:35 p.m. EDT
Bill Davis Stadium
Radio: WMNI-AM 920
Streaming Video and Live Stats at:
J.B. Shuck, an intense and terrific athlete, who was beaned high in the shoulder in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader with Penn State, chose to dominate the Nittany Lions Sunday rather than retaliate. The junior from Galion, Ohio struck out a career-high 13 batters while scattering four hits and not allowing a run in a season-high 8.0 innings pitched.
“I thought J.B. Shuck was outstanding,” head coach Bob Todd said. “He mixed his pitches really well and, most importantly, he spotted his change-up. The change-up was his most effective pitch.”
HOLY TOLEDO; LET’S PLAY BALL
Toledo last saw action eight days ago at Cincinnati, losing 7-3. Toledo scored two runs in the sixth to tie the game, 3-3, but Cincinnati came back to score four runs over the final three innings. Jake Swint and Jim Vahalik each had two hits for the Rockets, while starting pitcher Matt Kuna allowed three runs in four innings.
ROCKETS’ OPENING MAC SERIES
Prior to the game with Cincinnati, Toledo took two of three games from MAC rival Miami in Oxford. The Rockets won the final two games of the series, 6-2 and 7-4, respectively. Starter Justin Collop pitched a complete game, scattering two runs on six hits, in the 6-2 win. In the 7-4 win, the Rockets exploded for five runs in the fifth. Aaron Dudley hit a two-run homer, and Swint hit a two-run double.
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Toledo, 23-6. The teams first met in 1934. Last season, Ohio State defeated the Rockets, 18-5, on Mar. 29 at Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes have won the last 15 games in the series. Toledo’s last win in the series came in 1983, when the Rockets defeated the Buckeyes, 3-2, on Apr. 12 in Columbus.
TOLEDO AT BILL DAVIS STADIUM
Toledo’s appearance this year marks its sixth visit to 12-year-old Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes have a perfect 5-0 record against the Rockets in the stadium. Ohio State is 18-3 versus Toledo all-time in Columbus.
LAST WEEKEND vs. PENN STATE
In last weekend’s series against Penn State, the Buckeyes and Penn State split the four-game set. The weekend started well for Ohio State as it scored 14 runs in the first three innings of Friday night’s game en route to a 15-0 victory. The bats cooled, though, the rest of the series. Penn State won games two and three before the Buckeyes evened the series with the game four win behind J.B. Shuck.
The Buckeyes had 18 hits, 16 of them singles, in the opening game, 15-0, victory. Jake Hale threw six shutout innings to earn his second victory of the season, and Tyler Engle had four hits and four RBI, both career-highs.
Penn State shut down the Buckeyes in Saturday’s doubleheader, winning both games, 3-1 and 5-2. Dan DeLucia pitched well in the first game, allowing just one run in four innings. Dean Wolosiansky went 5.1 innings in game two, allowing three earned runs. The Buckeye bats managed just 13 hits combined in the two games.
In the game four pitchers duel, Ohio State scored off an RBI single from Tony Kennedy in the fifth and an RBI triple in the sixth by Zach Hurley to support Shuck’s dominance on the mound. Hurley also made two outstanding defensive plays in center field.
For the series, Engle went 7-for-13 (.538) with four RBI. Ryan Meade extended his hitting streak to 16 games while Tony Kennedy saw his hitting streak snapped at 17 on Saturday. J.B. Shuck maintained his stellar batting average (.435) by hitting .455 in the series.
Big Ten Conference Standings
Big Ten Overall
Team W L T W L T
Michigan.. 4 0 0 14 6 0
Illinois…3 1 0 12 8 0
Purdue…..3 1 0 10 12 0
Ohio State.2 2 0 12 8 0
Penn State.2 2 0 7 14 0
Indiana….2 2 0 12 9 0
Minnesota..2 2 0 12 11 0
No’western.1 3 0 5 12 0
Mich. St…1 3 0 8 12 0
Iowa…….0 4 0 7 12 0
ARCHIE GRIFFIN FIRST PITCH
Two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, the president of the Ohio State University Alumni Association, will throw out the first pitch prior to the Buckeyes’ 6:35 Big Ten Conference game against Minnesota.
TWO WHO ARE HOT
1. SS Tyler Engle – How to tell when a player is really hot: when his hometown newspaper sends a reporter to a game two hours away on the spur of a moment. That’s what happened last weekend after Tyler Engle had four hits and four RBI in a 15-0 win over Penn State. The Marietta Times came to Columbus and interviewed Tyler after he led the Buckeyes during their initial Big Ten weekend with a .538 average after going 7-for-13 at the plate. The true frosh is now hitting a stellar .347 this season.
2. 1B/DH Ryan Meade – A 16-game hitting streak will welcome anyone to the “hot corner” and we’re not talking about senior Tony Kennedy anymore. True freshman Ryan Meade has now hit safely in 16 consecutive games and is batting .338 on the season. The Lewis Center, Ohio, native is second on the team with 18 RBI and he is batting an impressive .429 with runners in scoring position (15-for-35). He has hits in 17 of the 19 games he has played, including a four-hit game against Dartmouth.
Buckeye Notes and Numbers…
Four Buckeyes have at least a 10-game hitting streak this season. Meade’s 16-game streak is the only one active. Now-ended hitting streaks by Tony Kennedy, Cory Kovanda and Cory Rupert reached 17, 11 and 10 games, respectively.
J.B. Shuck has set new career highs for strikeouts twice this season. He had nine in a 1-0 win over Memphis during the first weekend of the season and then struck out 13 today against the Nittany Lions.
Shuck leads all Ohio State pitchers in wins (four), innings (30.0) and strikeouts (34). His eight scoreless innings today lowered Shucks’ ERA from 4.09 to 3.00.
Eight Buckeyes are hitting over .300, led by Shuck (.425) and Cory Kovanda (.426).
Five Buckeyes have double-figure RBI totals topped by Rupert (21), Meade (18) and Kennedy (12).
Zach Hurley has two of team’s three triples this season.
Eric Best’s flawless one-inning in game four vs. Penn State netted the sophomore his first career save.
The 2-0 shutout Sunday over Penn State was the third for the Buckeyes this season. Ohio State also shut out Memphis, 1-0, on Feb. 23, and Penn State on Friday, 15-0. Ohio State did not have a shutout during the 2007 season.
Josh Edgin pitched the three final innings of the game one win over Penn State for the save, the first of his career.
Click on the attached PDF for more notes and statistics.