COLUMBUS, Ohio – It’s a Scarlet and Gray Days weekend on the athletics fields of Ohio State University and in baseball action Ohio State hosts Purdue in another key Big Ten Conference series. The Buckeyes are sitting in third place in the Big Ten with a 7-4 record (18-12 overall). Purdue has been hot since Big Ten play began, taking three consecutive series by 3-1 scores and is 9-3 in the Big Ten and 17-16 overall.
Scarlet and Gray Days attendance records are hoping to be set at numerous venues this weekend. Records, in addition to largest baseball crowd (5,360 in 2002 vs. Minnesota) seeking to be broken include:
National spring football game attendance (record is 92,138) during the Ohio State spring game Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Men’s lacrosse national attendance record (mark is 52,004) during the Ohio State vs. Denver lacrosse match at 11 a.m. Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
Buckeye Field attendance record (standard is 1,175) during the softball game Sunday vs. Penn State. First game is set for a noon start.
Ohio State Buckeyes
(18-12, 7-4 Big Ten)
(17-16, 9-3 Big Ten)
April 18-20, 2008
Bill Davis Stadium
Friday, Apr. 18, 6:30 p.m. EDT
Sat., Apr. 19, 1:05 p.m. (DH) EDT
Sunday, Apr 20, 1:05 p.m. EDT
Series History: Ohio State leads, 133-54-1
Last Meeting: April 29, 2007; Ohio State, 6-3
Radio: WMNI-AM 920 (Games 1, 2 & 4)
OhioStateBuckeyes.com (Game 3)
THE PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
The two coaching staffs are expected to go with the following starters during this weekend’s series:
G1: RHP Jake Hale (4-0, 4.46 ERA) vs.
RHP Matt Bischoff (1-2, 4.24)
G2: LHP Dan DeLucia (1-1, 3.75) vs.
LHP Kyle Cook (2-1, 3.68)
G3: RHP Dean Wolosiansky (4-2, 3.08) vs.
RHP Allan Donato (2-3, 3.07)
G4: LHP J.B. Shuck (4-2, 3.12) vs.
LHP Connor Sestak (1-2, 5.50) or LHP Matt Jansen (2-1, 7.67)
BUCKEYES LEAD SERIES, 133-54-1
The all-time series between Ohio State and Purdue began in 1913 and Ohio State holds a overall 133-54-1 edge in the series.
COACH TODD’ BUCKEYES…
Coach Bob Todd’s Buckeye teams are 49-14 all-time vs. Purdue. His team’s have had winning streaks of 11 (between 1995-2000) and nine games (1991-95) and have currently won two consecutive over the Boilermakers. His team’s have won or split every series with Purdue (nine wins and five splits since 1988 season).
THIS WEEKEND IN THE BIG TEN
Ohio State hosts Purdue and Michigan State gets the next crack at league leader Michigan (11-1) as the teams meet for two games in East Lansing and two in Ann Arbor. Other games: Illinois is at Minnesota; Indiana travels to Penn State; Iowa hosts Northwestern.
BREAK THE RECORD FRIDAY
As part of a Scarlet and Gray Days promotion this weekend, the Friday night game to kick off the Purdue series has been designated as a break the record crowd night. Numerous attendance records are hoping to be broken this weekend. The Bill Davis Stadium record crowd is 5,360 vs. Minnesota set May 18, 2002.
COMPARISONS AND ANALYSIS
How do Ohio State and Purdue match up? Looking at only the Big Ten Conference game statistics, we find:
Purdue is second in the Big Ten in batting (.329) and slugging (.490) and first in on base percentage (.449) and runs scored (90).
Ohio State ranks seventh in batting (.289), ninth in slugging (.339), eighth in on base percentage (.367) and sixth in runs scored (52).
Ohio State is No. 1 in the Big Ten in ERA (3.01) and third in opponents’ batting average (.257). Purdue is seventh in ERA (5.54) and sixth in opponents’ batting average (.297).
Purdue is second in doubles (27) and home runs (10). Ohio State is eighth in doubles (12) and 10th in home runs (one).
The Boilermakers are choosy hitters. They’ve drawn a Big Ten-high 67 walks.
BUCKS WIN THREE IN 2007
Ohio State won the series last year, played at Purdue’s Lambert Field, with 6-2, 3-2 and 6-3 wins. Purdue won game one of the doubleheader, 16-0. A few of the series notes:
Cory Luebke pitched a complete game in the 6-2 win, striking out seven and walking none. He did not allow an earned run.
Purdue freshman Matt Bischoff three a complete-game four-hitter in the 16-0 win.
The Buckeyes snapped a string of 16 scoreless innings with three runs in the seventh in the game three, 3-2 win. Cory Rupert’s sac fly proved to be the game winner.
J.B. Shuck had a two-hit shutout through seven before giving up three runs in game four. He picked up the win as Trey Fausnaugh pitched two scoreless innings for the save.
Purdue had a 3.66 team ERA in the four games compared to Ohio State’s 5.52.
Purdue also out-hit Ohio State with a .328 average to Ohio State’s .305.
Cory Kovanda hit .462 (6-for-13) with two runs scored.
Justin Miller hit .438 (7-for-16) with two RBI.
BUCKS DROP THRILLER, 13-12…
There was fun in the air at Bill Davis Stadium Wednesday night. Two good teams Ohio State and 2007 College World Series participant Louisville – combined for 37 hits, 25 runs, five home runs and plenty of excitement for the fans, even though the crowd of 969 went home with the Buckeyes on the short end of a 13-12 score.
…DESPITE CAREER DAY BY MILLER
Ohio State was led in the Louisville game by Justin Miller, who had career highs with five hits and five RBI, including his first home run of the year. Tony Kennedy had three hits and two runs scored. J.B. Shuck had two hits and scored four runs.
AKRON GAMES TO START AT 4 P.M.
Ohio State will get one of its two cancelled games back next week when it plays Akron in a doubleheader instead of a single nine inning game. The new start time for the April 23 games is 4 p.m. Visit OhioStateBuckeyes.com for updates.
TWO WHO ARE HOT
Junior captain Justin Miller had career highs in both hits – five – and RBI – five – in the Buckeyes 13-12 loss to 2007 CWS team Louisville Wednesday. Miller raised his average 34 points to .378 during the game. He took over the team RBI lead with 25 in the process. His second career home run – a two-run shot to left in the fifth – helped him take the team slugging lead, too (.500).
Brian DeLucia, who plays the hot corner, is hitting .357 in his last five games (5-for-14). The sophomore started against Louisville and made some terrific plays at third, including a diving grab of a screamer by pro prospect Chris Domingues. He also had two hits (including a double) and drove in a career-high three runs. DeLucia is the only Buckeye with at least one double, triple and home run this season.
A FEW OSU QUICK HITTERS…
This is one of coach Bob Todd’s youngest teams. The typical starting lineup includes six freshmen and sophomores sophs Cory Kovanda at 2B, Cory Rupert at 3B and either Zach Hurley or Ryan Dew in RF; and frosh Dan Burkhart at C, Ryan Meade at DH and Tyler Engle at SS … Opponents are hitting just .252 against Ohio State pitching … The staff has picked off 12 opponent base runners, but has been called for nine balks … Pitching wins are nicely balanced. J.B. Shuck, Jake Hale and Dean Wolosiansky have four apiece … RS frosh Wolosiansky nailed down the first complete game of 2008 for the staff with a 4-1 G3 win over Minnesota … pitching staff youth is countered by experienced weekend starters Dan DeLucia (22-11 and 3.76 career numbers.), J.B. Shuck (16-11 and 3.57) and Jake Hale (12-8 and 3.96) … the staff includes two freshman starters Dean Wolosiansky and Andrew Armstrong and two freshmen relievers (Drew Rucinski and Alex Wimmers).
Buckeye Notes & Numbers…
The Buckeyes snapped out of a minor hitting lull (they had less than 10 hits in five of their previous six games) with 18 hits against Louisville.
The team has had 18 or more hits five times this season.
Louisville’s 19 hits and 13 runs were season highs for an Ohio State opponent.
Louisville represented Ohio State’s fifth opponent this year that played in the 2007 NCAA tournament. The Buckeyes are 4-4 against those teams (Memphis, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Minnesota and Louisville).
Ohio State has scored more runs than its opponent in every inning except the seventh. The 22-run advantage (35-13) for the opposition is the largest difference of any inning.
The team has been involved in four consecutive one-run games with losses in each of the last two games (1-0 to Michigan State and 13-12 to Louisville).
Eric Best has now pitched 10.2 innings without allowing an earned run.
Ryan Dew is riding a six-game hitting streak that has raised his average 36 percentage points to .258. He leads the Buckeye hitters in Big Ten games with a .391 average and eight RBI.
J.B. Shuck, who scored a career high four runs vs. Louisville, has topped 200 career innings pitched. He has 201.2.
Alex Wimmers averages 1.5 strikeouts per inning pitched.
This just in: The Big Ten Network will air the Friday, May 2 game at Michigan (6:35 p.m. start) and the Saturday, May 17 game at Iowa (2 p.m. ET start).
Ping! came out this week with its first regional rankings: in the 12-state midwest region, Ohio State is ranked 11th. Michigan (No. 4) and Illinois (No. 10) are the only Big Ten schools rated above Ohio State. Visit pingbaseball.com.
Ohio State has been involved in seven shutouts this season, winning four and losing three.
The Buckeyes are pretty good at holding leads: the team is 13-3 when leading after the fourth inning, 14-1 after the sixth and 15-0 after the eighth.