April 15, 1999
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team (23-7, 7-1), after using some bottom of the ninth heroics to top Youngstown State 10-9 on Wednesday, visits Illinois this weekend for a four game, Big Ten series. The Buckeyes and Fighting Illini will meet Friday at 3:05 p.m. CDT, Saturday in a doubleheader beginning at 1:05 p.m. CDT, and Sunday at 1:05 p.m. CDT in the series finale. All games will be played at Illinois Field (1,500).
Two games from this weekends Illinois series will be broadcast live on WOSU Radio (820 AM) with the tandem of Herb Howenstine and Frank Fraas calling all the action. WOSU will air the first game of Saturdays doubleheader and Sundays game live to the central Ohio area.
HOT OF LATE
Counting OSUs 10-9 win over Youngstown State on Wednesday, the Buckeyes have won 16 of their last 17 games. Ohio State has also won 18 of its last 20 games, and has not lost back-to-back games in over a month (March 12-13).
OSU ON THE NATIONAL SCENE
Ohio State entered the national spotlight by making its first appearance in the nations Top 25 this week. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 23 in the Collegiate Baseball national poll and No. 22 in the Baseball America national poll. Ohio State is the No. 26 team in the USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN Coaches poll.
OSUS LAST ACTION
Ohio State blasted four home runs – two by Mike Lockwood including the bottom of the ninth game winner – in a 10-9 come-from-behind victory over Youngstown State Wednesday night. In addition to Lockwoods two bombs, Matt Middleton and Jason Turner each homered for Ohio State. Lockwood led OSU by going 3-6 with three RBIs. His first home run came as the leadoff hitter in OSUs first at-bat, while his second came with one out and one on in the bottom of the ninth when the Buckeyes trailed 9-8. Cory Cox picked up the win in relief for Ohio State, pitching the top of the ninth and facing the minimum three batters. After OSUs first three pitchers each surrendered at least a run, relievers Kurt Fullenkamp and Cox came in to hold the Penguins scoreless in the eighth and ninth. Ohio State knocked 17 hits in the game.
Trent McIlvain 12 games Jason Trott seven games
ILLINOIS SERIES HISTORY
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Illinois, 75-72-2. The two teams first met in 1904 with Ohio State notching a 5-4 win. The Buckeyes and Illini met five times last season. The teams split the four-game regular season series, and Illinois topped OSU 9-8 in the Big Ten Tournament, ending Ohio States season. Jason Trott was the most effective Buckeyes against the Illini last year, going a combined 9-19 (.474) with five RBIs in the five games.
SCOUTING THE FIGHTING ILLINI
Illinois, the defending Big Ten champion, stands 20-12 overall and 7-5 in the Big Ten. The Fighting Illini won nine of 11 in a stretch from March 26 to April 7, but since then have dropped four of their last six, including three of four against Northwestern last weekend. 1998 Big Ten Player of the Year D.J. Svihlik returns for Illinois and is hitting .336 with five home runs. Freshman Luke Simmons leads the team with a .424 batting average. Jason Anderson (3.65 ERA, 32 Ks) may be the ace of the Illini starters, but reliever Jimmy Journell is the heart of the Illinois pitching staff. Journell has appeared in 17 games and sports a miniscule 0.79 earned run average. He has 36 strikeouts in just 22.2 innings of work, and has allowed just two earned runs all year. Opponents are batting a mere .165 off Journell this season.
FRIEND OR FOE?
Illinois leading hitter Luke Simmons was a high school teammate of Ohio States E.J. Laratta, the projected game four starting pitcher. The two attended Cherry Creek High School, capturing a state championship. The former battery mates also both competed in the 1998 Top-40 senior game.
IF YOURE LOOKING FOR JASON TROTT…
….you can probably find him on base. Trott has now reached base in 30 of OSUs 31 games this season. Trott failed to reach base only in the March 6 contest against the Miami Hurricanes. He leads all OSU regulars with a .449 on base percentage. Trott is currently enjoying a seven game hitting streak.
Chris Alvord, an Ohio State catcher known mainly for his defense and game-calling abilities, got the start Wednesday against Youngstown State and tied a career high with two hits in the game.
Ohio State set a new team season high with four home runs in the Youngtown State game. The previous season high of three came on March 25 against Drexel.
OHIO STATES RICKEY HENDERSON
For the fourth time this season, Mike Lockwood homered as Ohio States first batter of the game against Youngstown State. Lockwood, OSUs everyday leadoff hitter, now leads the team in home runs with eight. The two dingers against YSU marked the fifth time in his career Lockwood has homered twice in the same game.
MORE LONGBALL TALK
After Lockwood led off Ohio State with a home run against the Penguins, rightfielder Jason Turner proceeded to hit his fifth home run of the year just four batters later. It marked the first time Ohio State had hit two home runs in an inning since May 3, 1998. In that game versus Indiana, current Buckeye Chad Ehrnsberger was responsible for both of the dingers.
CORY CLUTCH COX
Reliever Cory Cox has made some type of signifigant statistical impact in his last three appearances. Against Youngstown State, he picked up the win after throwing a scorless inning. In the appearance prior to that (April 11 vs. Michigan), Cox was credited with the save after throwing a perfect one-and-a-third innings. In the appearance prior to that (April 9 vs. Michigan), he earned the win after allowing a run in 2.1 innings of work. In Coxs last five outings, he has allowed just two runs in 9.1 innings, collected three wins and a save, and struck out eight.
THE CENTURY MARK
Matt Middletons home run in the fourth inning of the Youngstown State game gave him the 100th run scored of his career.
SPEAKING OF SCORING RUNS
Ohio State has now reached double figures in runs scored in three of its last four games. In the last six games, the Buckeyes are averaging 10.5 runs per game. OSU has also scored at least 10 runs in 10 of its last 17 games.
MORE OFFENSIVE FIREPOWER
The 17 hits knocked against Youngstown State was the second highest total of the season for Ohio State. In only the Ashland game did OSU have more hits (23). The Buckeyes are now 17-0 this year when outhitting their opponent
SO YOU WANT OFFENSE, HUH?
This weekends series pits two of the most powerful offensive teams in the Big Ten Conference against each other. Ohio State leads the Big Ten in conference hitting with a sizzling .361 average. Illinois ranks second with a .332 average in league games.
BEST BIG TEN START SINCE 1994
Ohio States 7-1 Big Ten start is the best since 1994 when the Buckeyes rolled to a 10-1 start in conference play. That years team won 49 games and captured Big Ten regular season and tournament titles.
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE
Ohio State is a perfect 7-0 in Bill Davis Stadium this year.
.300 EQUALS VICTORY
Ohio State has hit at least .300 as a team in the past 11 games. In those 11 games, the Buckeyes are 10-1. Prior to that Ohio State hit below .300 as a team for ten straight games.
HOMESTEAD CHALLENGE WINNERS
The Buckeyes went 8-1 at the Homestead Challenge, winning the Final Four Tournament with a 4-2 victory over Harvard.
HURRICANE CLASSIC CHAMPIONS
The Buckeyes claimed the 1999 BELLSOUTH Hurricane Diamond Classic with a 3-1 weekend at Coral Gables, Fla. Tom Durant was named to the all-tournament team and MVP and Lee, Jason Turner and McIlvain were also all-tournament selections.
BUCKEYES FINISH SECOND IN BLUE-GRAY
OSU put together a 2-1 record in its first action of the year, finishing second at the Blue-Gray Classic at Montgomery, Ala. The Buckeyes same out strong, defeating Kentucky 9-6 and Troy State 11-8 before falling 16-12 to Big Ten rival Minnesota on the final day. OSU batted .303 as a team and put up a team ERA of 7.27. Ohio State managed five homeruns, but also committed nine errors.
TODD SECURING A PLACE IN HISTORY
One more 40-win season and Todd will become the all-time winningest baseball coach in Ohio State history. He has won 458 games as the Buckeye skipper, second behind Marty Karow who managed 478 in 25 seasons. The Buckeyes have averaged 40-wins per season since Todds arrival in 1988.
CAN TROTT THREEPEAT
Trott became the first player since Indianas Mike Smith (1991-.476, 1992-.472) to win back-to-back batting titles. Trott posted a .426 average for the 1998 regular season and claimed the crown in 1997 with a .418 mark. Wisconsins Rick Reichardt is the only other player to win consecutive titles when he posted season bests in 1963 (.429) and 1964 (.472). No player has ever claimed three conference batting titles.
Fry and Lockwood were named to Collegiate Baseballs preseason All-America third team. Fry was a first team preseason selection in 1998. Freshman pitcher Smith was named a first team top freshman by Baseball America.
Season box seats went on sale March 1 and individual game tickets were made available March 22. Contact the OSU Athletic Ticket Office for more details (1 800-GO-BUCKS). The ticket office is now located in The Jerome Schottenstein Center
ONE OF THE TOP TEAMS OF THE 90s
With its 372-168-1 record over the past nine seasons, Ohio State is ranked the 12th winningest team of the 1990s with a .689 winning percentage. The Buckeyes are the only Big Ten Conference school among the top 25. Wichita State leads the pack with a 484-130-0 (.788) mark since the 1990 season.
PREDICTED BIG TEN FINISH
According to the Baseball America college preview, Ohio State is predicted to finish third in the Big Ten behind Minnesota and Illinois. All three squads are expected to receive NCAA tournament bids and Fry, Lockwood and Trott are preseason all-Big Ten selections. The Big Ten is ranked the sixth-best conference in the nation this year.
Predicted final Big Ten standings according to Baseball America
1. Minnesota 19-9 42-21 2. Illinois 19-5 42-21 3. Ohio State 18-9 45-15 4. Michigan 9-15 21-27 5. Penn State 15-11 28-24 6. Purdue 9-18 23-29 7. Indiana 14-14 29-27 8. Northwestern 10-18 27-26 9. Michigan State 8-16 25-27 10. Iowa 9-15 19-27
The Ohio State baseball program has had a new treat each season for the past two years. In 1997, it was the opening of the stadium itself. Last year it was the lights for night contests, a batters eye in centerfield and the matrix scoreboard for animation. This year, expanded seating is the name of the game as the Buckeye venue maintains its spot as one of the premier college ball-parks. With the addition of bleacher seating down both foul lines, the stadium capacity has increased to 4,450, making it a probable choice for NCAA Regional competition. Permanent batting cages are also being constructed on the third base side.
THE RECORD WATCH
Career Batting Average 1. Jason Trott .401 2. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) .370 3. Alex Eckelman (1994-97) .367 4. Robby Cobb (1980-83) .363 5. Brian Mannino (1992-95) .362
Career Wins 1. Pete Perini (1947-50) 30 2. Justin Fry 29 Scott Klingenbeck (1990-92) 28 Tom Schwarber (1987-91) 28
Career Innings Pitched 1. Justin Fry 361.1
Career Strikeouts 1. Justin Fry 324
C, SO, R/R
Walk-on that pitchers love to throw to. “He just makes you better,” said pitching coach Pat Bangtson. Went 2-4 and played very solid defense in a start against Youngstown State. Started game two against Michigan at catcher and went 1-3 with a run scored. Caught game two against Northwestern, and according to starter Andy Lee, “called a great game.” Batted 1-4 with 1 RBI at Houston in G3. Started behind the plate against Georgia, catching Andy Lees first career complete game. Batted 1-3 against the Bulldogs. Started against Troy State and had quite an impressive defensive performance.
IF, SO, R/R
Bay Village, Ohio
Played the majority of a 16-1 blowout of Ashland, going 2-3 with an RBI. Saw action in five games at the Homestead Challenge, batting 1-2 with 2R. Earned first career start in G2 at Houston, playing centerfield. Batted 3-4 with 2R against the Cougars.
RHP, SO, R/R
Starting to evolve as the go-to guy out of the bullpen. Intense competitor when hes on the mound. Has three wins and a save in his last five appearances. Got the win with one scoreless inning of work against Youngstown State. Impressive in two appearances against Michigan, totaling 3.2 innings pitched and three strikeouts and picking up a win and a save. Pitched one inning against Ashland, striking out two. Picked up win No. 1 in relief in game three against Northwestern, pitching the Buckeyes out of a one out, two on jam. Moved to 0-2 on the season after entering in relief against UConn. Took the loss in G2 at Houston after relieving Andy Lee. Posted his second save of the year against East Carolina, preserving Justin Frys win. Relieved Andy Lee against Troy State, pitching 2.1 innings, earning his first career save.
C, FR, L/R
Started in left field against YSU, and went 2-3 with an RBI. Going to be a big part of OSUs mostly left-handed hitting arsenal. Went 1-3 against Ashland, playing leftfield. Batted 1-2 with one run scored in the BELLSOUTH championship game against East Carolina. Earned first career start in the first game of the season against Kentucky, recording his first hit and run as a Buckeye.
OF, JR, R/R
Went a combined 4-16 at Michigan with six RBIs. Smacked a two-run triple in game two against the Wolverines. Cracked a home run and drove in three in 16-1 win over Ashland. Was 6-of-17 against Northwestern with a pair of RBIS. Solid in the field and tough to pitch to because of his small strike zone. Went 2-4 with a run batted in against OWU. Put up 10 hits and 10 RBI on the weekend at Homestead. Homered against UConn. Put together a 2-4 performance against East Carolina in the championship game. Batted 1-3 against Troy State, scoring once and batting in a pair of runs.
C/OF, SR, R/R
Deliverd a clutch one-out single in the ninth against Youngstown State, eventually scoring on a game-winning home run by Mike Lockwood. The hero in game one versus Michigan, hitting two home runs – including a grand slam in the top of the ninth to break a 3-3 tie – and driving in six runs. Was 6-19 with eight RBIs in the four games against the Wolverines. Went 2-2 against Ashland before being given the rest of the night off. Played all four games against NWU – catching three and dhing the other – and knocked his first homerun of the season in game one. Missed three games in Florida due to a sprained right wrist, but hes back in the lineup. Owned the plate at the Hurricane Classic, earning tournament MVP honors. Batted 4-5 in both games against East Carolina and put up six RBI on the weekend. Impressive performance against Kentucky, batting 3-5 with 3R and 3 RBI, including the game-winning RBI.
IF, SO, R/R
Third-team freshman All-American last year. Hard working, blue collar player. Was 2-4 with two runs scored and a double against Youngstown State. Went 5-14 in four games against Michigan with two home runs (both in the same game) and six RBIs. Had a 12 game hitting streak snapped in game three against the Wolverines. Was 1-2 with two runs scored against Ashland. The Big Ten Player of the Week on April 5 after going 9-for-15 with five RBIs vs. Northwestern. Was 1-4 with a run scored against OWU. Hit two homeruns at against Harvard, one in each game. Posted 15 RBI for the entire homestead weekend. Homered against Miami. Put together a great weekend at the plate at the Blue-Gray Classic, pounding 2 HR against Minnesota. Batted 3-5 with 4R against the Gophers and also went 2-3 against Troy State with 3R. Unfortunately, he committed 5E on the weekend, three against the Gophers.
RHP, SR, R/R
Same as always, the ace of the staff. Is now Ohio States all-time strikeout leader. One of the finest pitchers in the Big Ten. Put in OSUs best starting effort in the Michigan series, going six and two-thirds and allowing three runs. Business as usual against Northwestern in game one, going eight innings and striking out eight. Picked up two wins at Homestead earning Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors. Tough loss in G1 at Houston as the Cougars won in their last at-bat. Recorded first win of the season against East Carolina, striking out two in 8.0 innings. Moved into second place (282) for career strikeouts against Kentucky with four Ks in 6.2 IP.
RHP, SR, R/R
Returned to old form against Youngstown State, pitching one scoreless inning and striking out two. One appearance against Michigan. Appeared in the game two win over Northwestern and pitched the final inning of the game one win over the Wildcats. Aided Nate Smith against Miami. Picked up first win of the year against Kentucky after entering in relief.
1B, JR, R/R
Went 3-5 with two RBIs in a dh role against Ashland. Pinch hit against Ohio Wesleyan. Belted a homerun against Drexel. First hit of the season, a double, came against East Carolina after he entered the game for defensive purposes. Pinch-hit twice at the Blue-Gray Classic.
LHP, SO, L/L
Will start some mid-week games but is emerging as a force and a workhorse out of the bullpen in Big Ten games. Went two innings and did not surrender an earned run against Youngstown State, striking out two. Made three appearances against Michigan, earning a win and a save in relief. Worked a combined eight innings against the Wolverines and surrendered three runs on sixhits. Had a 14 inning scoreless streak snapped in Ann Arbor. Pitched two scoreless innings against Ashland. Went four innings in the Northwestern series without allowing a run. Pitched well enough to win against Ohio Wesleyan (4 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs), but was pulled to rest before pitching the minimum five innings. Recorded two wins and a save at the Homestead Challenge. Entered in relief against Kentucky and Minnesota. Recorded three strikeouts against the Wildcats.
RHP, FR, R/R
First career appearance came against Minnesota. Pitched 1.2 innings against the Gophers.
RHP, FR, R/R
Impact freshman. Started game four against Michigan, going 4.2 innings and allowing eight runs. Went five innings and picked up the win in game four against Northwestern, allowing just two earned runs. Pitched 8.0 innings two times on the Spring Break trip, recording wins against Liberty and Dartmouth. Shelled right out of the gate in G3 at Houston, taking the loss. Picked up the win in the Hurricane Classic championship game after pitching 7.0 shutout innings in his first career start. Appeared for the first time as a Buckeye against Minnesota. Walked three in 1.1 IP but also struck out two.
RHP, FR, B/R
North Canton, Ohio
Earned first career start against Drexel. First action as a Buckeye came with 1.0 innings pitched against Minnesota.
RHP, SR, R/R
West Chester, Ohio
Went 4.1 innings and surrendered four earned runs in a game two start at Michigan, earning the win. Pitched the final inning of the 16-1 win over Ashland. Impressive seven-inning complete game shutout in game two vs. Northwestern. Scattered three hits over those seven innings and struck out four. First career complete game was a 7-2 win against Georgia as the Buckeyes rolled through the Bulldogs. Was named to the Hurricane Classic all-tournament team. Picked up win No. 1 this year against Troy State after pitching 6.2 innings.
OF, JR, L/L
Smooth. The hero of the Youngstown State game, hitting two home runs, including the game-winner to left field in the bottom of the ninth. Was 5-18 with five runs scored against Michigan. Scored twice and went 1-2 with a dinger against Ashland. Went 4-of-11 and scored six times in a four game series against Northwestern. Homered on the first pitch he faced in game two against the Wildcats. Picked up third three-hit game of the year against OWU. Has scored a run in seven straight games. Went 2-4 with two runs scored against East Carolina. Batted 4-9 in Gs 2&3 at the Blue-Gray Classic after an 0-5 start against Kentucky. Took the second pitch of the Troy State game deep for a HR.
IF, SO, R/R
Seeing time at designated hitter and making the most of it. Went 0-1 against Youngstown State and saw some time at second base. Started three of the games in Ann Arbor, going a combined 3-11 with three runs. Knocked four hits in eight at-bats and scored five runs in the Northwestern series. Had two of OSUs three extra base hits against Ohio Wesleyan (both doubles). Entered as a reserve during the Hurricane Classic weekend. Recorded a sacrifice fly against Georgia. Started all three games at the Blue-Gray Classic and batted 2-3 with 2R against Minnesota.
IF, SO, R/R
Swinging the bat well. The Big Tens leading hitter to date. Extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single against Youngstown State. Batted in the second spot against the Penguins. Stayed hot at Michigan, going 7-15 with three RBIs and a home run. Notched first career triple in the win over Ashland. Led Ohio State offensively in the Northwestern series by going 8-of-13 (.615) and driving in four runs. Two RBIs versus Ohio Wesleyan. Shook off a wrist injury that caused him to miss the first three games of the season and earned all-tournament honors at the Hurricane Classic batting .500.
3B, SR, L/R
Good arm at third base. Crushed second home run of the year against Youngstown State, driving int two. Was 2-10 with two RBIs in the Michigan series. Went 5-of-15 in the Northwestern series and scored four runs. First homerun of the year against OWU. Batted 2-4 with two RBI in the Hurricane Classic championship game. Recorded six hits on the weekend at the Blue-Gray Classic.
IF, FR, R/R
Promising young infielder. Will gain experience in the mid-week games. Started against Youngstown State and went 2-3 with an RBI. Got the start against Ashland at third base, going 3-5 with an RBI. Appeared as a reserve against Ohio Wesleyan at third base and singled in one plate appearance. Freshman third baseman has appeared three times.
OF, FR, R/R
Went 1-3 with an RBI against Ashland. Reserve outfielder that made the spring trip.
RHP, FR, R/R
Is starting to turn some heads. Coaching staff says he just needs to relax. Pitched an inning against Youngstown State and surrendered one earned run. Went three innings and gave up four runs against the Wolverines in a game three start, taking the loss. Toyed with Ashland, pitching one inning and striking out the side. Went 3.1 innings in a start in game two vs. Northwestern, surrendering four earned runs. Struck out five in two innings of work against Ohio Wesleyan. Picked two wins at Homestead, including a career high 12 strikeout performance against Drexel. Walloped by the Hurricanes in his second ever start. Had a rough outing in his first career action against Minnesota. Was pounded for 7ER and 9H in 2.0 IP. Also recorded 3K, all of which caught batters looking.
RHP, FR, R/R
Got the start against Youngstown State and went four innings, allowing four earned runs. Notched second career win against Ashland, pitching four scoreless innings. Picked up first collegiate win against Ohio Wesleyan, pitching three innings of one-run, one-hit baseball. Has appeared only in relief so far this year.
1B/OF, SR, L/L
Warming up again. Seven game hitting streak. Was 1-4 with a run scored against Youngstown State. Was 8-16 with a home run and five RBIs in the Michigan series. Went 2-5 against Ashland with two RBIs. Had just two hits in nine at-bats against Northwestern, but an on-base percentage of .500 in the four games (four BBs, two HBPs, four runs scored). Nine game hitting streak snapped in game one against Northwestern. Put together a decent weekend at the Hurricane Classic, batting 3-4 against Georgia and 2-4 against East Carolina. Batted 2-4 against Kentucky with 1R and 2 RBI.
OF, JR, L/L
Athletic. Big day against Youngstown State, going 2-5 with three RBI and a run scored. Had a solid Michigan series, going 7-16 with two RBIs and three runs scored.Scored three runs and went 2-3 with two RBIS against Ashland. Collected four hits in 13 at-bats in the Northwestern series, scoring four times and driving in four. Went 2-5 with two RBIs against OWU. Named to the Hurricane Classic all-tournament team. Went 3-4 against East Carolina with 3 RBI. One of three Bucks to record a hit against Miami. Played well at the Blue-Gray Classic. Went 2-3 against Minnesota with 2R and 3 RBI, homering once. Also cranked a round-tripper against Troy State.
IF, FR, R/R
Knocked first career hit against Ohio Wesleyan, a single. Has appeared in three games.
C, FR, B/R
True freshman catcher has appeared six times, starting once.