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Feb. 23, 2005

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OHIO STATE
(0-0; 0-0 Big Ten)
at
WIREGRASS BASEBALL CLASSIC

Feb. 25-27, 2005
Northcutt Baseball Field, Dothan, Ala.

Fri., Feb. 25 vs. Middle Tennessee @ 3 p.m. EST
Sat., Feb. 26 vs. Troy @ 7 p.m., EST
Sun., Feb. 27 vs. Iowa @ 11 a.m., EST

OHIO STATE RADIO/INTERNET
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PROBABLE OHIO STATE PITCHERS No. Name 2004 Final Stats MT 6 Mike Madsen, RHP 9-4, 4.83 ERA, 59K, 87.2IP Troy 39 Trent Luyster, LHP 4-5, 4.08 ERA, 68K, 81.2IP Iowa 36 Dan DeLucia, LHP 3-3, 7.00 ERA, 24K, 45.0IP

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team makes its 2005 debut this weekend at the Wiregrass Baseball Classic in Dothan, Ala., where it will meet Middle Tennessee, Troy and Iowa.

The season’s first pitch will be thrown Friday, when the Buckeyes face Middle Tennessee at 3 p.m., EST (2 p.m., CST). The Blue Raiders are the first out of four NCAA tournament teams from a season ago Ohio State will play in its first six games of the season. In total, the Buckeyes will play five tournament teams from 2004 a total of eight games.

The second game of the opening weekend will be against Troy, whose campus is a little more than 50 miles from the town of Dothan. That game will be played Saturday at 7 p.m., EST (6 p.m., CST). The weekend finale will be a non-conference matchup with Iowa Sunday at 11 a.m., EST (10 a.m., CST). The Buckeyes and Hawkeyes are not scheduled to play a conference series in 2005. The teams did not meet in 2004, either, and have not played since 2003, when Ohio State swept a four-game series at Bill Davis Stadium in Columbus.

ABOUT OHIO STATE
A year ago, Ohio State finished 36-25 overall and finished second in the Big Ten with a 19-12 record. The Buckeyes pushed Minnesota to a second championship game in the Big Ten tournament, but came up short and sat out postseason for the first time since the 2000 season.

From that team, Ohio State returns the league’s top hitter, Steve Caravati, who batted .391 overall and .407 in conference games. He set a Buckeye record with 52 hits, had 17 doubles, and led the team with nine home runs and 52 RBI. The team also returns the league’s top freshman from 2004 in outfielder Jacob Howell. Howell was second on the team with a .336 batting average, which swelled to .380 in Big Ten games. Howell had 81 hits, including 14 of the extra-base variety and 27 RBI. He also stole 11-of-15 bases and returns as the top base stealer.

After batting .308 as a team in 2004, the team returns 70.4 percent of its hits (447-of-635) and 76.2 percent of its home runs (32-of-42). The 2005 Buckeye pitching staff returns 72.2 percent of its wins from a squad that led the Big Ten with a 4.30 ERA.

With nine wins, Mike Madsen tied first-round draft pick Glen Perkins (Minnesota) for the league lead with nine wins. Jeffrey Carroll returns with five wins, while Trent Luyster returns with four wins and four saves. Closer Trey Fausnaugh returns with nine saves to go with a pair of wins that earned him third-team All-Big Ten mention in 2004.

Madsen, who has waited for his turn to shine as the No. 1 starter behind Scott Lewis and Josh Newman, who both are enjoying minor league careers, will get his chance Friday in the season opener against Middle Tennessee. Luyster will toss against Troy on Saturday and then the Buckeyes are expected to go with Dan DeLucia, who went 3-3 with one save last year, in the weekend finale Sunday against Iowa.

ABOUT MIDDLE TENNESSEE
Middle Tennessee is 1-1 on the year after opening the season last weekend against Ball State. The Blue Raiders dropped their season opener, falling 7-4 to the Cardinals before rebounding in game two for an 11-2 victory. Game three of the series was rained out on Sunday. Chase Eakes went 4-for-8 for Middle Tennessee and belted one of four MTSU home runs in the series. Nate Jaggers also went long, though it was Michael McKenry, who cleared the fence twice on his only two hits during the weekend. Eric Blevins started game one and went 5.0 innings, allowing five runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Matt Scott went 6.0 innings in game two, picking up the win with four strikeouts against two runs on three hits.

AGAINST THE BLUE RAIDERS
Ohio State is 2-0 all-time against Middle Tennessee though the teams have not met since 1974, when the teams opened the season with a doubleheader on March 15. The Buckeyes defeated the Blue Raiders by scores of 3-1 and 3-2.

March 15, 1974 Ohio State 3, MTSU 1
March 15, 1974 Ohio State 3, MTSU 2

ABOUT TROY
The Trojans are 4-3 on the season after a 12-2 loss at Auburn on Tuesday. Troy opened the season Feb. 11-12 at McNeese State, where it went 1-2 against the Cowboys. Troy won its season opener 9-3 before losing both ends of a doubleheader, 13-5 and 12-7. Last weekend, Troy swept three home games from Samford, winning 9-5, 11-3 and 8-4.

Through six games Chase Amis leads Troy with a .375 batting average. He is 9-for-24 with a double and is tied for the team lead with seven RBI. Brian Bennett is batting .364 with a pair of doubles. Five different players have home runs from the Trojans. On the mound, Troy has started the same three pitchers each weekend. Landon Brazell is 1-0 with a 3.09 through two starts. Steven Morelock is 1-1 with a 7.15 ERA in his two starts, while Brent Adcock is 1-1 with a 7.56 ERA in his two starts.

AGAINST THE TROJANS
The Buckeyes are 2-1 all-time against the Trojans, though both previous meetings are in the record book vs. Troy State. The last meeting between schools was in 1999, six years after the first-ever meeting, when Ohio State won 10-0. The lone Trojan victory came in 1996 when it downed the Buckeyes 9-4. Ohio State won 11-8 at Troy State on Feb. 27, 1999.

March 21, 1993 Ohio State 10, Troy 0
March 10, 1996 Troy 9, Ohio State 4
Feb. 27, 1999 Ohio State 11, Troy 8

ABOUT IOWA
Iowa will open the season Friday at the Wiregrass Classic and will meet Troy and Middle Tennessee before playing the Buckeyes on Sunday. The Hawkeyes made a coaching change since its last meeting against Ohio State in 2003. Jack Dahm, a 1989 graduate of Creighton, is beginning his second season with Iowa and led the Hawkeyes to a 20-35 record in his first season in Iowa City, Iowa. Dahm went to Iowa from his alma mater, where he left with a 283-276 record after 10 seasons as the school’s winningest coach.

Nate Yoho returns to the Hawkeyes’ lineup for his senior season after earning second-team All-Big Ten honors a season ago when he batted .312 and led the team with 63 hits, 15 doubles, four home runs and 48 RBI.

AGAINST THE HAWKEYES
Despite both schools being members of the Big Ten, the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes have not played since 2003, when Ohio State swept a four-game series in Columbus. The schools did not play last season and will not meet in official conference action this season. Ohio State leads 53-39-1 all-time in a series that dates back to 1925.

Last 12 Meetings, Ohio State leads 10-2:
March 30, 2001 Ohio State 7, Iowa 4
March 31, 2001 Ohio State 8, Iowa 1
April 1, 2001 Ohio State 6, Iowa 5
April 1, 2001 Iowa 7, Ohio State 1
April 12, 2002 Ohio State 7, Iowa 1
April 13, 2002 Ohio State 2, Iowa 1
April 13, 2002 Iowa 5, Ohio State 4
April 14, 2002 Ohio State 11, Iowa 1
April 11, 2003 Ohio State 4, Iowa 1
April 12, 2003 Ohio State 6, Iowa 1
April 12, 2003 Ohio State 9, Iowa 5
April 13, 2003 Ohio State 11, Iowa 10

SWEET ‘HOME’ ALABAMA
Ohio State will play in the state of Alabama for the third time in as many seasons. Last year, the Buckeyes played in the Coca-Cola Classic at the University of South Alabama and went 2-1, beating McNeese State and Winthrop to go with a loss to the host Jaguars. Buckeye fans will no doubt remember the visit to the state in 2003, when the Buckeyes claimed national college baseball headlines for winning the NCAA Auburn Regional to get within two wins of the College World Series. Ohio State opened with an upset of Clemson before handing Auburn a pair of losses to sweep its way to its second Super Regional in school history. While the Buckeyes are 5-1 in Alabama the last two seasons, they are 20-22-1 all-time against teams from the state. Since 2002 when Ohio State took two games vs. UAB, the team is 5-1 against Alabama schools. The lone loss was last season at South Alabama.

School W L T Alabama 4 10 1 Auburn 3 4 0 Birmingham Southern 3 0 0 South Alabama 3 2 0 Troy 2 1 0 UAB 5 5 0 Total 20 22 1

IN SEASON OPENERS
Since Bob Todd took over the program prior to the 1988 season, the Buckeyes have gone 9-8 in season openers, including last season when they lost to Texas, 6-0, at the Minute Maid Classic in Houston. In 121 years of Ohio State baseball, the Buckeyes are 74-45-2 (.620) in season openers.

2005 SEASON OUTLOOK
The goals are simple. Ohio State has finished second in the Big Ten each of the last three seasons since winning its 14th conference championship in 2001, the sixth title since 1991. All three years the Buckeyes were edged by Minnesota in the final weekend of the regular season. Twice the Scarlet and Gray fought back to win the Big Ten tournament and the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. But even that was missing last year when the team sat out postseason for the first time since 2000.

In 2005, Ohio State believes it has what it takes to get back to the top of the league standings and back to the NCAA tournament, where it has ventured 16 times in school history and 10 times under 18th-year head coach Bob Todd.

“When people talk about Ohio State baseball, they realize we have developed a quality baseball program,” Todd, who has guided the Buckeyes to the most wins by any Big Ten coach since both the 1990 (621) and 2000 (198) seasons, said. “I know the goals of our players every year are to contend for the Big Ten championship, play in the NCAA tournament and earn the right to go to Omaha.”

Ohio State is only two seasons removed from making its most recent push to the College World Series. The Buckeyes came within two victories of securing a berth in the pinnacle of the sport in 2003. Todd’s 1999 team was within one victory of getting to Omaha and his 1992 and 1993 teams finished second in the old eight-team regional format.

The Buckeyes plan on making it back to the tournament this season. Since 1991, when Todd’s fourth Ohio State team made it to the postseason, after an eight-year absence, his teams have not missed out on the NCAA tournament in consecutive seasons.

Winning the Big Ten will be a tall order, just like every other season. The Buckeyes will have to face a much-improved Michigan team in Ann Arbor in late April and will play host to Minnesota the last week of the regular season at Bill Davis Stadium. Preseason prognosticators have said any of these three teams could make a run at the 2005 Big Ten Championship.

IN THE FIELD
Five of the eight position players are back to help lead the Buckeyes’ campaign. That includes senior first baseman Paul Farinacci, sophomore third baseman Ronnie Bourquin, and all three outfielders: senior co-captains Steve Caravati and Mike Rabin, as well as sophomore Jacob Howell.

Rabin, who Baseball America said in its 2005 college preview is the best defensive outfielder in the Big Ten, is back as a third-year starter with a string of 163 consecutive starts under his belt. Rabin will remain in centerfield. Caravati, the 2004 Big Ten Player of the Year for his bat and his play in left field, will move to the right side, trading places with Jacob Howell, the 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association tabbed Caravati a Preseason First Team All-American, while Collegiate Baseball Newspaper named him to its second team. Howell was the eighth player in school history to be voted the league’s top freshman and with Caravati’s selection as the conference’s top player it was the third time a player from Ohio State had so been honored.

What the team will miss is its middle infield and an experienced catcher. Gone are second baseman Drew Anderson and shortstop Brett Garrard. The tandem from Brownsburg, Ind., played three seasons together at Ohio State and another three seasons in high school. The Buckeyes lost Garrard to graduation and lost Anderson, who signed with the Cincinnati Reds after getting drafted in the 13th round. Derek Kinnear, who worked behind the plate for two seasons, also graduated.

Tony Kennedy and Jason Zoeller will likely get the starting day nod at second and short, respectively, but Zoeller also is a capable second baseman and Jedidiah Stephen could see time at short or at third, behind Bourquin. Behind the plate, Kelly Houser, a two-year backup behind Kinnear, will see a majority of starts early in the year, but he will be pushed by Eric Fryer, a freshman from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, who showed good power at the plate in the fall and could provide a much-needed punch in the middle of the lineup.

ON THE MOUND
Seven pitchers return from last season’s squad that led the Big Ten in earned run average. That includes weekend starters Mike Madsen, a 17-game winner the last two seasons, and Trent Luyster, who came back for his senior season after getting drafted by the Chicago Cubs.

Add sophomores Dan DeLucia and Jeffrey Carroll, both who pitched well down the stretch last season, and the Buckeyes have a solid nucleus to build around in 2005, to help make up for the key departures of Scott Lewis, a third-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians, and Josh Newman, who won 32 career games and was drafted by the Colorado Rockies.

The Buckeyes also return Trey Fausnaugh, Chris Hanners and Brett Hatcher. Fausnaugh, more of a middle reliever, was forced into the role of closer a season ago. He flourished in the role and saved nine games. After a strong fall practice as the team’s closer, Hatcher will likely get that nod in 2005. He finished 3-0 with one save in 19 appearances last season and held opposing batters to a .215 batting average, the lowest average on the team. Hanners made one appearance last season before redshirting following shoulder surgery.

The Buckeyes welcome five freshmen arms to the pitching staff and two players – Cory Luebke and Dan Barker – could see immediate action as the coaching staff will try to lock down a solid No. 4 weekend starter. Luebke, tabbed by Baseball America as the preseason pick as the Big Ten’s freshman of the year and a member of its list of Fab 50 Freshmen, was a 18th-round draft selection by the Pittsburgh Pirates after posting a 0.42 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 50 innings his senior year at Marion Local High School in Maria Stein, Ohio. Barker was 7-3 with a 0.83 ERA while holding opponents to a .125 batting average as a senior at Northmont High School in Dayton, Ohio.

THE SCHEDULE
Ohio State will play 17 road games before returning to Columbus March 30, when it will open its ninth season at Bill Davis Stadium. The slate gets underway this weekend at the Wiregrass Classic and continues with the stiffest test of the preseason March 4-6 at the Keith LeClair Classic at East Carolina. Ohio State will face Georgia, a 2004 College World Series participant, North Carolina and Arizona State. All three teams were ranked in the Top 11 in the preseason by all but one of the four preseason polls. The Buckeyes then stop off in Jacksonville, Fla., for three games before an eight-game spring break trip to Bradenton, Fla.

Toledo is the first of six Wednesday non-conference opponents. That game on March 30 begins at 2 p.m. and should give people in Columbus a good reason for not returning to the office after lunch. All but one of the remaining six midweek games will be played at 6:35 p.m. The exception is May 4 when the Buckeyes will welcome students from Columbus Public Schools to a rare noon first pitch against Cleveland State. Oakland, Malone, Eastern Michigan and Miami (Ohio) are the other Wednesday opponents.

In the Big Ten schedule, Ohio State will play host to Purdue, Michigan State, Indiana and Minnesota. The series with the Gophers, the first time in Columbus since the 2002 season, will close out the regular season. The conference race has come down between the two schools the last weekend of the regular season each of the last three seasons. The Buckeyes open league play at Illinois April 1-3 and then have to go to Michigan, Penn State and Northwestern. The Big Ten tournament will again be played in the home stadium of the regular season champion.

NCAA regional play is June 3-6, followed by super regional action June 10-13. The College World Series will be played June 17-27 in Omaha, Neb.

2005 TEAM CAPTAINS
The Buckeyes elected two fellow teammates to serve as team captains for the 2005 season: senior outfielders Steve Caravati and Mike Rabin. Caravati also was a captain during the 2004 campaign.

THE NEWCOMERS
Ten freshmen join the Buckeyes this season, half of which are pitchers. In addition to Luebke, a left-handed pitcher, and Barker, a right-handed pitcher, Todd also welcomes in righty Dan McCauley (Fremont, Ind./Fremont) and lefties Aaron Pikkarainen (Gahanna, Ohio/Gahanna) and Matthew Selhorst (Westerville, Ohio/St. Charles). Josh Hula joins Eric Fryer as the two new catchers, while Fryer’s high school teammate Michael Arp and Kyle Dyar, who is from Newark, Ohio (Newark) are the additions in the infield. Matt Angle (Whitehall-Yearling) is the lone addition in the outfield.

Steve Caravati CLAIMED SEVERAL HONORS IN 2004
Ohio State outfielder Steve Caravati was the 2004 Big Ten Player of the Year, as selected by the 10 league coaches. As a junior, Caravati led all Big Ten batters in the regular season with a .391 batting average and finished second in conference games with a .407 batting average. One of three Buckeyes to start all 61 games for the Buckeyes, Caravati set a school record with 92 hits, while hitting 17 doubles, nine home runs and batted in 52 RBI. He had a .587 slugging percentage and a .447 on-base percentage. He scored 46 runs and was 8-for-10 in stolen bases. In the Big Ten, he had 46 hits with 10 doubles, one triple and four home runs, while batting in 30 runs. The leftfielder had a slugging percentage of .619 and an on-base percentage of .481 in conference games. Caravati is the third Buckeye to be named the Big Ten Player of the Year, joining Dan Seimetz in 1997 and Jonathan Sweet, who shared the award in 1994. Caravati can become just the third player in conference history to earn the distinction twice and just the first player not to share the honor since Barry Larkin, the Big Ten’s player of the year in 1984 and 1985.

HOWELL NAMED BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR, FROSH ALL-AMERICAN
Ohio State outfielder Jacob Howell was the 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, as selected by the 10 league coaches and later was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, as selected by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

In his redshirt-freshman season, Howell had the second highest batting average for Ohio State during the regular season at .336, though it was his batting average in Big Ten games that caught the attention of league coaches. In the 31 conference games, the native of Ashland, Ohio (Ashland), batted .380, the sixth-best average in the league. In his 61 games, that included 58 starts, he had 81 hits with five doubles, four triples and two home runs while knocking in 27 runs and scoring another 41. The Buckeye rightfielder was 11-for-15 in stolen bases and led the team with seven sacrifice hits with another three sac flies.

Howell is the eighth Ohio State athlete to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors and the fifth in the last six years. He joins previous winners Scott Lewis (2002), Doug Deeds (2001), Nick Swisher (2000), E.J. Laratta (1999), Dan Seimetz (1995), Matt Beaumont (1992) and Scott Klingenbeck (1990).

FOUR OF SIX ALL-BIG TEN BUCKEYES RETURN IN 2005
Ohio State returns four of its six players who earned All-Big Ten honors in 2004. Those include first-team selection Steve Caravati, second-team selection Jacob Howell and a pair of third-team selections in Mike Madsen and Trey Fausnaugh. Madsen tied for the league lead with nine wins and went 5-1 against the Big Ten. Madsen had 59 strikeouts and a 4.83 ERA in 87.2 innings to go with his 9-4 record. Fausnaugh led the team with nine saves in 32 relief appearances. His nine saves lead the Big Ten and equal the third most in school history, while his 32 ranked third.

BUCKEYE IRON MAN
Fifth-year senior co-captain Mike Rabin is back for another year as a Buckeye and his third as a starter. Rabin, who is from West Chester, Ohio (Lakota East), is riding a streak of 163 games as a starter. He played all 61 games last season, all 65 games as a sophomore and the final 37 games of his freshman year. In all, Rabin has started 170 of his 181 games and owns a .291 career batting average. In its preseason publication, Baseball America said Rabin is the best defensive outfielder in the Big Ten. Rabin had five outfield assists last season.

BUCKEYE RECORD BOOK

Steve Caravati ranks ninth with his .356 career battingaverage. His 197 hits tie him for 20th, while his 553 at batsbarely miss the school’s Top 25 list. The fifth-year seniorco-captain from Dover, Ohio (Dover) is tied for seventh with ninetriples and his 21 career home runs are tied for 21st. Caravati hasbatted in 137 runs during his career, including 52 RBI last season.He needs 44 to move into second place all-time at Ohio State. DanSeimetz (1995-98) holds the school record with 236 RBI. Mike Rabinhas 625 career at bats, which is the 20th most of any player inschool history. The OSU record is 823, set by Mark Carek (1995-98).Rabin needs 199 at bats to break that record. He had 234 at bats asa sophomore and 228 last year, so that is one record to watch. With17 career victories, Mike Madsen is tied for 22nd on the school’sall-time wins list and his .739 win percentage (17-6) ranks 14th inschool history.

TODD HAS 810 CAREER WINS
Ohio State head coach Bob Todd won the 800th victory of his career in the 3-1 victory over Penn State on May 8, 2004. Todd, who is the winningest coach in school history, boasts a career record of 810-426-2 (.655). Now in his 18th season with the Buckeyes, Todd has never had a losing season and has won at least 36 games 14 times. Todd coached his first game at Ohio State in 1988, a 16-2 win over Louisville on Feb. 27.

TODD CLOSING IN ON 700 AT OSU
Now in his 18th season as skipper of the Buckeyes, head coach Bob Todd needs only 14 victories for his 700th win at the school. Todd’s record at Ohio State is 686-355-2 (.659). Add his four-year record of 124-82 from Kent State (1984-87) and the 22nd-year career head coach has a 810-426-2 (.655) record. Those victories rank him 24th nationally among active coaches, and by win percentage, Todd ranks 19th nationally.

Todd’s Milestone Career Victories
1 – March 23, 1984 vs. Mercer (18-4)
100 – March 25, 1987 vs. UNC-Wilm. (12-10)
200 – April 1, 1990 vs. Wisconsin (7-4)
300 – April 22, 1992 vs. Ohio (16-2)
400 – May 14, 1994 vs. Purdue (8-7)
500 – March 30, 1997 at Michigan St. (4-0)
600 – May 5, 1999 vs. Oakland (11-9)
700 – March 17, 2002 vs. Detroit (7-2)
800 – May 8, 2004 vs. Penn State (3-1)

Todd’s Milestone Ohio State Wins
1 – Feb. 27, 1988 vs. Louisville (16-2)
100 – Feb. 22, 1991 vs. Dartmouth (14-7)
200 – March 28, 1993 vs. Cleveland St. (9-5)
300 – April 13, 1995 at Wright State (16-6)
400 – May 16, 1997 at Michigan (9-2)
*480 – May 8, 1999 vs. Michigan St. (11-1)
500 – March 22, 2000 vs. Florida Int’l (2-0)
600 – May 19, 2002 vs. Minnesota (9-2)
*became the winningest coach in Ohio State history

Todd’s Milestone Big Ten Wins
1 – April 3, 1988 vs. Illinois (14-6)
100 – May 1, 1993 vs. Michigan (3-2)
200 – May 10, 1998 vs. Michigan State (5-4)
300 – April 2, 2004 vs. Illinois (5-1)

How the Big Ten Coaches Rank Nationally* Rankings by Percentage Rk. Coach, School Yrs. Record Pct. 19. Bob Todd, OSU 21 810-421-2 .655 22. Bob Morgan, IND 29 1,044-556-6 .652 40. Richard Jones, ILL 38 1,209-729-5 .624 43. Rich Maloney, MICH 9 320-197-1 .619 44. John Anderson, MIN 23 838-518-3 .618

Rankings by Victories Rk. Coach, School Yrs. Record Pct. 8. Richard Jones, ILL 38 1,209-729-5 .624 11. Bob Morgan, IND 29 1,044-556-6 .652 22. John Anderson, MIN 23 838-518-3 .618 24. Bob Todd, OSU 21 810-421-2 .655 * figures entering the 2005 season with minimum of five-year career. Only Top 50 coaches ranked nationally.

Bob Todd WAS THE FASTEST TO 300 BIG TEN WINS
With a 5-1 victory over Illinois April 2, 2004, Ohio State coach Bob Todd won his 300th career Big Ten game, becoming the second coach to ever top the number. Todd, now with 318 Big Ten victories, was the fastest to 300 wins, doing so in his 17th season. Minnesota coach John Anderson has guided the Golden Gophers to 375 and recorded his 300th conference victory during his 20th season at Minnesota in 2001.

Current Big Ten Coaching Records by Wins* Coach, School Yrs. Record Pct. John Anderson, MINN 23 375-191-0 .663 Bob Todd, OSU 17 318-163-0 .661 Bob Morgan, IND 21 236-300-1 .440 Richard Jones, ILL 14 202-191-0 .514 Paul Stevens, NW 17 201-279-1 .419 Ted Mahan, MSU 9 107-152-0 .413 Doug Schreiber, PUR 6 89-86-0 .509 Rich Maloney, MICH 2 35-27-0 .565 Jack Dahm, IOWA 1 12-20-0 .375 Robbie Wine, PSU 0 0-0-0 .000 * records entering 2005 season

2004 SEASON REVIEW
Ohio State had a chance to win the Big Ten regular season title by taking three of four games at Minnesota the final week of the regular season, but fell one game short of earning the first regular season title since the 2001 season. Instead, the Buckeyes went back to Minneapolis the following week as the second seed in the Big Ten Tournament.

After losing the opening game of the tournament, Ohio State rattled off four consecutive wins to force a second championship game against Minnesota. The Buckeyes eliminated Michigan State, Purdue and Michigan before knocking off the Gophers to force the second championship, but a bid at a third straight Big Ten tournament title, which would have been a first by a school in the conference, fell one game short as Ohio State lost to Minnesota 7-3.

That left the Buckeyes hoping for at at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, but that invitation never came and the Buckeyes were left out for the first time since the 2000 season. Nevertheless, it was a year highlighted by Steve Caravati being named Big Ten Player of the Year, the first Buckeye so honored since Dan Seimetz in 1997. He was also a third-team All-America selection by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Jacob Howell was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, becoming the eighth Ohio State rookie to win that honor. He was also named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. Six Buckeyes earned mention on the All-Big Ten teams as Caravati and Josh Newman earned first-team honors. Howell and Drew Anderson garnered second-team mention, while Trey Fausnaugh and Mike Madsen picked up third-team kudos. Cody Caughenbaugh was named a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, while a total of seven Buckeyes were named Academic All-Big Ten and 12 named as OSU Scholar-Athletes.

FOUR OHIO STATE PLAYERS SELECTED IN 2004 DRAFT
Four Buckeyes – Scott Lewis, Drew Anderson, Josh Newman and Trent Luyster – were selected in the 2004 First Year Player Draft.

Lewis was selected in the third round by the Cleveland Indians (77th overall pick), while Anderson was a 13th-round selection by the Cincinnati Reds. Newman improved his draft status by returning to Ohio State for his senior season. After getting picked in the 30th round by the Cincinnati Reds in 2003, the Colorado Rockies picked him in the 19th round in 2004. The Chicago Cubs took Luyster with a 39th-round pick.

Newman was the lone senior of the group. He finished his Ohio State career third in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts. Anderson and Lewis were early departures from the squad and while they gave up their final year of eligibility, Luyster decided to return for his senior season.

ON THE RADIO
Ohio State baseball will not be broadcast on the radio until the home opener March 30, once Buckeye women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey have concluded their respective seasons. NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) will again serve as the broadcast home for Ohio State baseball and will broadcast a total of 40 regular-season games, plus all postseason contests. Neil Sika and Paul Barnes will call the action.

UP NEXT FOR THE BUCKEYES…
Perhaps the biggest early season test for Ohio State in recent memory is on tap next weekend when the Buckeyes travel to Greenville, N.C. for the Keith LeClair Classic. There a trio of 2004 NCAA tournament teams will be waiting for the Buckeye nine. Ohio State opens with Georgia, which advanced to the College World Series last season. North Carolina, which returns one of the nation’s best pitching staffs, is the opponent for Saturday. And then a date with Arizona State is scheduled for Sunday. All three were ranked in the Top 15 in the four national preseason polls.