April 21, 2000
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Welcome to the second of three home weekends for the Ohio State baseball team as they play host to the Indiana Hoosiers in a crucial four-game series. The Buckeyes enter the halfway point of the Big Ten schedule in sole possession of fifth place with a 5-7 record. Last weekend, OSU lost a weekend series to the Michigan Wolverines, 3-1. The Hoosiers enter this weekend tied for sixth place with a 6-10 record. The top six teams in the conference earn a spot at this year’s Big Ten Tournament. The series begins on Friday under the lights at 6:35 p.m. On Saturday, the two teams will play a twi-night doubleheader beginning at 4:05 p.m. and the series will conclude on Sunday with a single game at 1:05 p.m.
Friday night’s game will be televised by Sport! Television. The channel, created through a partnership between Insight Communications (Channel 36) and Time Warner Communications (Channel 24) reaches more than 300,000 households in the central Ohio area. Friday’s game will air Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 23 at 7 p.m. Randy Rhinehart will call the action with former Major League catcher Larry Owen providing color commentary. WOSU Radio (820 AM) will air games one, two and four of this weekend’s series live with the tandem of Herb Howenstine and Frank Fraas calling the action.
The Buckeyes have never lost a Big Ten series at Bill Davis Stadium. In 12 series since the stadium opened in 1997, OSU has gone 9-0-3.
Welcome Diamond Club
The Ohio State baseball team would like to welcome the members of the Diamond Club to Bill Davis Stadium. On Saturday, the Diamond Club will host its annual cookout at 3:30 p.m. For more information, please call (614) 771-7070. On Saturday, May 13, Ohio State baseball will play host to its Alumni Game at 2 p.m. All former players are encouraged to participate.
Scouting the Hoosiers
The Indiana Hoosiers enter this weekend with a 24-18 overall record and a 6-10 Big Ten record. Last weekend, the Hoosiers lost a four-game series at Purdue, 3-1. On Wednesday, they travel to Oxford, Ohio for a game against the Miami RedHawks. Offensively, the Hoosiers are led by Vasilli Spanos. He leads the team with four home runs, 29 runs batted in and a .402 batting average. Rich Berich is second on the team with a .369 batting average. On the mound, David Ferris has been the most effective starter. He is 6-1 with a 3.48 earned run average and tied for the team lead with 47 strikeouts. Fred Graff is 5-5 with a 3.71 earned run average and also tied for the team lead with 47 strikeouts. The Indiana head coach is Bob Morgan. He is in his 16th season at the helm. OSU vs. IU All-Time
Ohio State leads the all-time series between the two schools, 130-89-0. OSU has more wins over Indiana then any other opponent in school history. Last year, the Buckeyes took 3-of-4 games at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU head coach Bob Todd is 32-18 against the Hoosiers.
Last Year vs. Indiana
Last season, the Buckeyes won a four-game series with the Hoosiers, 3-1 at Bill Davis Stadium. E.J. Laratta was the winning pitcher in game three with a 7-0 win.
In his last four games on Sunday, freshman Nick Swisher is batting .500 (7-for-14) with two home runs, four doubles and seven runs batted in.
Packing the House
On May 15, 1999, the Buckeyes and the Hoosiers set a Bill Davis Stadium regular season record with 4,424 fans in attendance. The weekend series averaged 3,320 fans for the three dates. Just 13 days later, the stadium attendance record was broken at the NCAA Regional against Bowling Green with a standing room only crowd of 4,702 in attendance.
OSU loses to Dayton
On Wednesday, the Buckeyes dropped a 2-1, 10-inning decision to Dayton, in front of 1,863 fans at Bill Davis Stadium. Ohio State starter Kyle Brown was fabulous on the mound, firing four hitless and scoreless innings. He threw just 40 pitches while allowing just one baserunner via a walk. The Flyers’ Shawn Bollinger led off the 10th inning with a solid single to rightfield and he moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Clint Beasley. After OSU reliever Cory Cox struck out Pat Rasey, Nate Winkelfoos singled, scoring Bollinger to give the Flyers a 2-1 advantage. Cox (3-2) was charged with the loss.
Finally a Homestand
The Buckeyes will play their longest homestand of the season over the next week with six games at Bill Davis Stadium. This is the second time this season OSU has been at home for a stretch of six games (the Buckeyes opened the season with six home games). Last year, OSU had homestands of 13 games and 12 games.
This weekend, the Ohio State baseball team will play just its second weekend of the season at the friendly confines of Bill Davis Stadium. OSU will play a total of 12 weekends (not including possible postseason play) with only three at home.
Buckeyes Lose UM Series
Last weekend, Ohio State lost a four-game series to Michigan, 3-1. OSU lost the first three games, 8-2, 2-1 and 3-2. On Sunday, the Buckeyes rebounded to defeat the Wolverines, 14-4. Chris Alvord led the Buckeyes with a .600 (6-for-10) batting average with his first career home run.
Big Ten Streak Ended
Last weekend’s series loss to the Michigan Wolverines ended OSU’s string of winning or tying the last 23-consecutive Big Ten series dating back to 1996. The series loss was just the 12th ever under Todd, who has won or tied 75-of-87 Big Ten series in his career. Ohio State has never lost a Big Ten series at Bill Davis Stadium.
Alvord Making a Difference
Junior catcher Chris Alvord exploded for a career weekend against Michigan. Known for his solid defense behind the plate, the former walk-on led the team with a .600 batting average by going 6-for-10 with two runs batted in. On Sunday, he took a 2-1 offering from UM relief pitcher Bryan Cranson over the leftfield wall for his first career home run. In conference play this season, he is second on the team with a .360 batting average (9-for-25) and four RBI. “Coach (Todd) has been telling me to stay aggressive at the plate and good things would happen,” Alvord said after his homerun.
Prenger Pitching Well
The last ten days have been really good for pitcher Greg Prenger. On Sunday, he pitched seven innings of one-run relief to earn his second win of the season in OSU’s 14-4 win over Michigan. Last Wednesday, he earned his first career win in OSU’s 9-1 win over Eastern Michigan. In his two starts this season, Prenger has gone ten innings, given up just two runs and tossed eight strikeouts. This weekend, he is scheduled to start in either games three or four against Indiana.
Sound Bites – Ohio State vs. Indiana
Some can’t miss notes on Ohio State baseball that will make your job easier
Entering this weekend’s series, Mike Check and Nick Swisherlead the Buckeyes with four-game hitting streaks. John Mayor holdsthe season-high hitting streak after hitting safely in the first 14games of the season. Jason Turner leads OSU with 11 games withmultiple runs batted in. Chad Ehrnsberger leads Ohio State with 17multiple-hit games. Jason Turner is second on the team with 16multiple-hit games. In their last 17.1 innings of work, the OSUbullpen of Cory Cox, Greg Prenger and Kevin Wynk have given up justthree earned runs and have totaled 10 strikeouts.
For the Fans
This weekend is Verizon Wireless Weekend. On Friday, the first 1,500 fans will be given Verizon Wireless Rally towels. On Saturday, the first 1,000 fans will receive Verizon Wireless seat cushions. On Sunday, fans are invited to play Verizon Wireless “You Make the Call” and the baseball team will have a postgame autograph session on the third base side of the infield. All fans also are welcome to play Donatos Baseball Bingo every game this weekend.
Ehrnsberger Behind Mannino
Second baseman Chad Ehrnberger enters this week with a .359 career batting average, tying him with John Orkis (1981-82) for seventh place on the Ohio State all-time list. Former OSU All-American and current first base coach Brian Mannino (1992-95) is in sixth place with .362 career batting average. The OSU all-time leader is Jason Trott (1996-99) with a .399 career average.
Berger Becoming a Big Mac
Chad Ehrnsberger also is climbing the OSU career home runs list after hitting his 32nd at Minnesota. He is currently tied in seventh place with Mark Chonko (1993-96). The OSU all-time leader is Dan Seimetz (1995-98) with 52 career blasts.
Driscoll Moves Into Top 20
Senior Jason Driscoll enters this weekend with 593 career at bats, placing him 18th on the OSU all-time list. The OSU all-time leader is Mark Carek (1995-98) with 823.
Turner Cracks Home Run List
Senior co-captain Jason Turner belted his 21th career home run last weekend against the Michigan Wolverines. He is now tied for 16th place on the OSU all-time career list.
OSU Defeats the Eagles
On April 12, the Buckeyes used a six-run third inning to beat the Eastern Michigan Eagles, 9-1. OSU starting pitcher Greg Prenger was solid on the mound for the Buckeyes, pitching four shutout innings to claim his first career victory. Prenger (1-1) allowed two hits and fanned five during his four innings of work. Trent McIlvain was the offensive star for OSU, going 2-for-4 with a home run, double and four RBI.
A Split With the Gophers
On April 7-9, the Buckeyes and the Minnesota Golden Gophers split a four-game series at Siebert Field in Minneapolis, Minn. On Saturday, OSU swept a doubleheader, 6-3 and 7-3. But the Gophers rebounded Sunday winning 13-5 and 7-1. Chad Ehrnsberger led the Buckeyes with a .462 batting average and six runs batted in. Co-captain Marcello Garofalo and fellow senior Jason Driscoll played well batting. .444 and .417 respectively.
New Stadium Information
More offseason changes have been made to Bill Davis Stadium. The main ticket entrance has been moved to the front of the stadium. Media and will-call tickets can be picked up at the ticket booth on the third base side of the stadium. Pre-purchased tickets can be picked up at either entrance. ADA parking is available down the third base side or directly behind home plate in front of Bill Davis Stadium. Parking conflicts will arise on dates that concerts have been scheduled at the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Please allow time for possible concert and/or game traffic. Parking for baseball is free. Any further questions on ticket or parking matters, please call the OSU Athletics Ticket office at (614) 292-2624.
Cox and Turner Rewarded
For the week of March 20, The Big Ten Conference announced that Jason Turner and Cory Cox were named the Offensive Player of the Week and the Pitcher of the Week, respectively.
In four games at the Aggie Continental Airlines Classic, Turner put up some sensational numbers. The OSU co-captain batted .667 (8-for-12) with a double, home run and three runs batted in to help lead OSU to 3-1 tournament start. He recorded at least one hit in all four games.
Cox made a huge impact in just three innings of work. The OSU stopper improved to 2-0 on the season when he slammed the door on Texas A&M. In front of a hostile crowd of 3,550, the junior threw three shutout innings of relief to solidify OSU’s 8-7 win at Olsen Field.
Todd Wins No. 500
On March 19, head coach Bob Todd won his 500th game at Ohio State with an 8-3 win over Oregon State at the Aggie Continental Airlines Classic. Todd, already the winningest coach in Ohio State baseball history, entered this season as the 26th wininningest active coach in Division I baseball with a .658 winning percentage.
Spring Tourney Recap
The 2000 Ohio State baseball team took home 2-of-4 possible tournament championships this Spring. In the season opening tournament, OSU defeated Air Force to win the Service Academies Classic. The second tournament OSU competed in, the Kennel Classic, did not award a champion but the Buckeyes finished that weekend with the tournament’s best record, 3-1. In the third tournament, the Buckeyes defeated host school Winthrop to take home the Winthrop Stateline Classic Championship. At the Aggie Continental Airlines Tournament, the Buckeyes finished in third place with a 3-3 record. At the Homestead Challenge, OSU was the tournament runners-up with a 3-1 record. “We did some positive things this Spring,” head coach Bob Todd said. “Five of our losses were by just one run. In most of those games, just one more hit or making a better pitch could have changed the outcomes of those games. The bottom line is that we were able to give a lot of young guys some game experience in some hostile and pressure situations. This will only make us better for the Big Ten Season.
Winthrop Classic Champs
The third tournament of the season sent OSU to Rock Hill, S.C. for the Winthrop Stateline Classic. The Buckeyes again finished with a 3-1 record and took home the tournament championship.
Service Academies Champs
The Buckeyes opened the 2000 season by winning the Service Academies Classic (2/25-27). The Buckeyes finished the tournament with a 3-1 record, including a 5-4 win over No. 25 Notre Dame. Mike Check was named the tournament’s most valuable player while John Mayor, Jason Turner and E.J. Laratta were named to the all-tournament team.
In the Baseball America preseason poll, Ohio State is the highest ranked Big Ten school at No. 31. As a conference, the Big Ten was ranked as the sixth toughest in the nation. In their conference preseason prognostications, the Buckeyes are predicted to win the championship and earn an NCAA Tournament berth. Both second baseman Chad Ehrnsberger and pitcher E.J. Laratta were named to the preseason all-conference team. Laratta is also the preseason Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and Nick Swisher is the magazine’s choice as the preseason Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Ehrnsberger was voted as the conference’s best defensive second baseman while Laratta was voted as having the best breaking ball. To read more about Baseball America’s preseason prognostications, log on to their website at www.baseballamerica.com.
Baseball America Predicted Finish (rank)
1. Ohio State (31)
2. Penn State (41)
3. Illinois (56)
4. Minnesota (70)
5. Michigan (76)
6. Purdue (100)
The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association named pitcher E.J. Laratta to its 2000 Preseason All-America baseball team. The sophomore hurler was a third-team selection. Laratta returns after a stellar 1999 season. He carried a 10-3 record with a 3.74 earned run average and 59 strikeouts. At the conclusion of the season, he was named a Freshman All-American, first-team all-Big Ten and the 1999 Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The sophomore was the Big Ten Conference’s only representative on the NCBWA Preseason All-America team.
Chad Ehrnsberger was named to the 1999 National College Baseball Writers Association All-American team. A second team selection at second base, Ehrnsberger led the Buckeyes with 16 home runs and 73 runs batted in. These numbers placed him third in both categories in the Big Ten Conference. Ehrnsberger also carried a .356 batting average and a .648 slugging percentage.
Four All-Big Ten’s Return
Last season, the baseball team had nine student-athletes named to the all-Big Ten team. Of these nine, four have returned this year – first team selections pitcher E.J. Laratta and second baseman Chad Ehrnsberger, second team selection pitcher Cory Cox and third team selection shortstop Trent McIlvain.
On Wednesday, Ohio State plays host to Ohio Wesleyan at 6:35 p.m. in Bill Davis Stadium.