April 19, 2000
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Welcome to the first of six consecutive Ohio State baseball games at Bill Davis Stadium. Tonight, the Buckeyes play host to the Dayton Flyers. Ohio State enters the game after a tough weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich. Against the Wolverines, OSU lost the series 3-1 and ended a string of winning or tying 23-consecutive Big Ten series dating back to 1996. But the Buckeyes did end the weekend on a positive note by pounding the Wolverines, 14-4. The next seven days will be the busiest of the season at Bill Davis Stadium. This weekend, the Indiana Hoosiers travel to Columbus for a four-game series and next Wednesday, the Buckeyes play host to Ohio Wesleyan.
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 seven 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.
Tonight’s game between Ohio State and Dayton is being televised by Sport! Television. The game will be replayed on Thursday, April 20 at 9:30 p.m. and Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m. The game can be viewed on Insight channel 35 or Time Warner Cable channel 24. Friday’s game against Indiana will also be televised. The game will be replayed on Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 23 at 7 p.m.
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.
Scouting the Flyers
The Dayton Flyers enter this week with a 13-22 overall record and a 6-6 Atlantic-10 record. Last night, the Flyers defeated Toledo, 6-4. Last weekend, UD lost a three-game series to George Washington, 2-1. On Sunday, the Flyers avoided a series sweep with a 5-1 win over the Colonials. Brooks Vogel, Mark Schulte and Shawn Bolinger each tallied three hits. Vogel also hit his conference leading 16th home run of the season. On Tuesday, UD traveled to Toledo for a game against the Rockets. The Flyers head coach is Tony Vittorio. He is in his first year at the helm.
OSU vs. UD All-Time
Ohio State holds a 15-1 edge in the all-time series between the two schools. Last year, OSU defeated UD, 3-1 in Bill Davis Stadium. E. J. Laratta was the winning pitcher and Trent McIlvain went 1-for-3 with two runs batted in.
Sound Bites – Ohio State vs. Dayton
Some can’t miss notes on Ohio State baseball that will make your job easier
Entering tonight’s game, Mike Check leads the Buckeyes with afour-game hitting streak. John Mayor holds the season-high hittingstreak after hitting safely in the first 14 games of the season.Jason Turner leads OSU with 11 games with multiple runs batted in.Chad Ehrnsberger leads Ohio State with 17 multiple-hit games. JasonTurner is second on the team with 16 multiple-hit games. Lastweekend, the OSU bullpen of Cory Cox, Greg Prenger and Kevin Wynkcombined for 11.1 innings, gave up just two runs and recorded sixstrikeouts.
Scouting the Hoosiers
The Indiana Hoosiers enter this week 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.
Ehrnsberger Behind Mannino
Second baseman Chad Ehrnberger enters this week with a .360 career batting average, tying him with Robby Cobb (1980-93) in seventh place on the Ohio State all-time list. Former OSU All-American and current first base coach Brian Mannino’s (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 week with 588 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.
Ohio State Pounds Oakland
On Wednesday, April 5, a pair of home runs by co-captain Marcello Garofalo helped power the Ohio State baseball team over the Oakland Golden Grizzlies, 12-2, in front of 535 fans at Bill Davis Stadium.
“Our offense is starting to find a rhythm,” head coach Bob Todd said. “We still have a lot of room to improve, but at least we are starting to swing the bats better. This will definitely give us some momentum going into this weekend against Minnesota.”
The Buckeyes jumped to a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, John Mayor singled to right-centerfield. Then on a 1-1 offering from Oakland starting pitcher Jeff Gatch, Chad Ehrnsberger belted his eighth home run of the season to give OSU its first lead of the game. Jason Turner and Doug Dendinger then followed with back-to-back singles to rightfield. The duo moved into scoring position on a wild pitch by Gatch. Trent McIlvain immediately followed by grounding a ball to OU third baseman Rob Brockman, who then mishandled the ball, allowing Turner The hit parade continued in the bottom of the seventh inning for Ohio State. Garofalo led off with a solo blast on a 3-1 offering from reliever Justin Roberston for his second home run of the evening to give OSU an 11-2 lead
Ohio State and Iowa Split
On, March 31-April 1, the Buckeyes opened the 2000 Big Ten season with a 2-2 split with the Iowa Hawkeyes at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won games one and four while Iowa swept Saturday’s doubleheader. The doubleheader sweep was the first by an opponent in the four year history of Bill Davis Stadium. In Friday’s 2-1 win, E.J. Laratta struck out a career-high 11 batters. In Sunday’s 11-1 win, Nick Swisher belted his first career home run at Bill Davis Stadium.
Solid Win Over Shawnee St.
On March 29, after opening the season with 22 games on the road, the Ohio State baseball team was excited to open the home season. And nobody showed it more then co-captain Jason Turner as he connected for his second career two-home run game as the Buckeyes defeated Shawnee State, 9-3, in front of 989 fans at Bill Davis Stadium. In his first career start, Kyle Brown tossed three shutout innings on 32 pitches, gave up just one hit and struck out two to earn his first career win (1-0).
Chad Ehnrsberger was named to the Homestead Challenge/David Sunflower Seed all-tournament team. The junior was Ohio State’s only representative on the team. He led the Buckeyes with a .471 batting average (8-for-17) with a home run and three RBI at the Homestead Challenge.
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.
Results can be easily found on the Internet at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
OSU Season Tickets
The Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office has announced that season tickets for the 2000 baseball season are now on sale. The entire season is $128 and the Big Ten Grand Slam package is $72. Renewal applications have already been sent out to past season ticket holders. These applications can be renewed by either mail or via the Internet (www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com). Single game tickets are currently on sale and will be based on availability. Box seats are $10, general admission is $5 and student general admission is $3. Groups of 10 or more will be able to purchase general admission seats for $2 each. For questions or to order tickets, please contact the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-BUCKS or at (614) 292-6861.
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.
This weekend, Ohio State plays host to Indiana in a four-game series at Bill Davis Stadium. On Friday, the two teams play game one at 6:35 p.m. Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 4:05 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale is at 1:05 p.m.