COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State and Louisville meet at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium in a most-attractive midweek game. The Buckeyes are 18-11 overall and 7-4 in the Big Ten Conference while Louisville carried a 19-14 record and a 6-6 mark in the Big East Conference into their home game Tuesday against Indiana.
This is the first meeting between the two teams, located about four hours apart, since the 1992 season. The Buckeyes will return the favor next year, traveling to Louisville’s Patterson Stadium (2,500 capacity) for a pair of games May 5-6.
Ohio State Buckeyes
(18-11, 7-4 Big Ten)
(19-14, 6-6 BIG EAST)
April 16, 2008
Bill Davis Stadium
Series History: Ohio State leads, 3-1
Last Meeting: March 15, 1992; Ohio State, 12-1
Radio: WMNI-AM 920
OMAHA WAS IN THE CARDS
Louisville played in the 2007 College World Series. The No. 3 seed Cardinals won the Columbia, Mo., regional with wins over No. 2 Miami, 13-7 and 8-7, and a win over No. 1 Missouri, 4-3. The Cardinals then hosted a Super Regional at Patterson Stadium and defeated Oklahoma State in three games: 9-0 and 20-2 wins sandwiched around a 3-2 loss. At the CWS: the Cardinals lost to Rice, 15-10, defeated Mississippi State, 12-4, and lost to North Carolina, 3-1.
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.
Big Ten Conference Standings
Big Ten Overall
W L T W L T
Michigan 11 1 0 22 8 0
Purdue 9 3 0 17 15 0
Ohio State 7 4 0 18 11 0
Illinois 6 6 0 18 12 0
Minnesota 5 7 0 15 17 0
Northwestern 5 7 0 10 17 0
Michigan St. 4 7 0 13 16 0
Indiana 4 8 0 15 16 0
Iowa 4 8 0 12 18 0
Iowa 4 8 0 11 20 0
Next Week: Ohio St. at NU; Mich at IU; Penn St. at Illinois; Minn. at Purdue; Iowa at MSU.
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.
LAST WEEKEND: RAIN SHORTENED
The Buckeyes took two of three-games in a rain-shortened series with Michigan State at Oldsmobile Park. All three games were one-run affairs. It was cold and rainy in Lansing, where the “Olds” is located and the hitting suffered: the Buckeyes hit .211 as a team and MSU hit .234. Just 17 total runs were scored. The team ERAs were splendid: Ohio State’s staff combined for a 2.10 ERA while MSU’s team ERA was 2.42. A few notes:
Ohio State took Game 1, 4-3, in 11-innings Friday on a monster, 11thinning pinch hit home run by Ryan Dew and a terrific, 10-inning pitching performance from Jake Hale (4-0).
After waiting all day through weather that a game possibly could have been played in, the Saturday games were postponed at about 5:30 p.m. because of rain.
Ohio State won Game 2 of the series, 5-4, behind a five-run fourth inning sparked by six singles and a perfect seventh inning from reliever Eric Best, who notched his team-high fourth save of the year to support the 4.2 innings pitched from winner Dean Wolosiansky (4-2).
Game 3 was a pitchers’ duel, won by MSU’s Chris Cullen as his team scored a run with two-out in the eighth inning for a 1-0 win. J.B. Shuck pitched 7.1 innings and allowed just four hits and struck out seven with three walks.
Series Notes: Dew led the Buckeye hitters with a .429 average (3-for-7) and two RBI. Only Shuck (.375) and Justin Miller (.300) joined Dew in hitting above .300 for the series. Best did not allow an earned run in two appearances and picked up two saves.
LOUISVILLE TAKES 2-OF-3 FROM S. FLA
The Cardinals took two-of-three from South Florida in Tampa, winning 10-7 and 10-2 and losing the finale, 8-4. Adam Clark blasted a grand slam in the top of the ninth to lead the 10-7 win. Justin Marks tossed six scoreless frames in the Game 2 win.
OHIO STATE LEADS SERIES, 3-1
The series between Ohio State and Louisville, which started in 1988 in Coach Todd’s first year, tilts in Ohio State’s favor, 3-1 in wins, but the two teams have not played in 15 years. In 1988, the Buckeyes took two of three from the Cards in a season-opening three-game set in Louisville. In 1992, Ohio State won, 12-1, also in a game played in Louisville.
TWO WHO ARE HOT
Jake Hale is en fuego. Friday the junior from Albany, Ohio (around the Athens area) and Alexander High School pitched 10.0 innings, allowed just two earned runs, did not walk a batter and struck out seven in the 4-3 win vs. Michigan State. He retired 16 of 17 batters between the sixth and 10th inning. In the 10th he mowed the Spartans down 1-2-3 to send the game into the 11th, setting the stage for teammate Ryan Dew’s late-game heroics. Hale raised his record to 4-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to 4.46 in the process.
Ryan Dew is in the hot corner for the second time this season. The sophomore, who still has not made an error, sat for 11 innings Friday against Michigan State before being called to pinch hit in a 3-all tie. He came up rather large. Dew crushed, and we mean CRUSHED, the first pitch he saw for a home run that cleared the fair post by at least 40 feet and landed on Large Street. Dew led Buckeye hitters with a .429 average and two RBI vs. the Spartans.
Buckeye Notes & Numbers
Ping! Baseball 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.
Losing a game in the Michigan State series has the coaches working with the Akron coaches on playing a double header on April 23. If this happens, the first of two nine inning games will start at 4 p.m.
It’s been cold and the hits aren’t coming quite like they were earlier in the season for the Buckeyes. The team is now third in the Big Ten in overall batting average (.319) and seventh in Big Ten games only (.289).
The Buckeyes have had less than 10 hits in five of the last six games and they have just seven extra-base hits in the last six games. The team is 4-2 in that stretch, though.
Whereas hitting carried the team early on, the pitching staff has “stepped up to the plate” to lead the Buckeyes of late. The team leads the Big Ten in ERA overall (3.83) and in Big Ten only games (3.01).
The staff has allowed three or fewer earned runs in four consecutive games (and in eight of the last 10) and has 27 strikeouts and eight walks in the last four games.
Four pitchers Andrew Armstrong, Eric Best, Dean Wolosiansky and J.B. Shuck are carrying ERA’s below 3.20.
Seven Buckeyes are still hitting above .300, led by Cory Kovanda (.384) and J.B. shuck (.381).
Ohio State has been involved in seven shutouts this season, winning four and losing three.
Pinch hitters are still coming through with a .375 average in 24 at-bats (nine hits).
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.
OSU is 6-7 when the opponent scores first.