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Find out what Dan Burkhart thinks about being a twin, what high school record Zach Hurley owns

Five Minutes with Dan Burkhart

True freshman Dan Burkhart has made a considerable impact already on the Ohio State baseball program. One of three Buckeyes from nationally recognized high school power Archbishop Moeller in Cincinnati, Burkhart has taken over the starting catcher duties, with 16 starts in Ohio State’s first 20 games including all four starts in the team’s Big Ten series against Penn State last week. Catcher is a demanding position for anyone, much less a true freshman. Burkhart, though, possesses terrific skills, defensively as well as offensively, and he is truly a freshman to watch on this team. He is batting .311 with 19 hits and nine RBI and has but one error in 137 chances. He already owns a four-hit, three-runs-scored game vs. Harvard. Sitting in the players lounge after a Big Ten win over Penn State Burkhart, still in uniform and wearing eye black, had this to say about:

Playing so much as a freshman: “When Eric Freyer signed to play professional baseball [he was a ninth round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers], I knew that his leaving would open up some playing time.”

The Ohio State pitching staff: “I think we have a solid pitching staff. When they are on, I think we may be almost unbeatable. We have four and five really good starting pitchers and lots of relievers who will get the job done.”

High school teammate Alex Wimmers: “Alex has done an outstanding job coming in from high school and pitching at this level. He is throwing lots of strikes and he has been really consistent.”

Attending a nationally-known high school: “At Moeller, you learn to act first class. Whether you win or lose, you always behave in a class manner and with respect for others. On the playing field, Moeller was always playing against outstanding competition.”

Being a twin:  “There are good things about being a twin and some not so good things. My brother [Jeff] and I are opposites and not identical. He plays baseball at Ohio Dominican. We usually talk about once a week and he does come over on some weekends.”

Food: “It is definitely accurate when people say I’m a power eater. When I have some food, like a chicken and steak burrito from Chipotle, I usually eat it pretty fast.”

Five Minutes with Zach Hurley

Zach Hurley is a third-year marketing major from Springboro, Ohio who already has been named to the Big Ten’s All-Academic team and an OSU Scholar-Athlete twice. He is serious about his academics. He is also conscientious about his preparation for the game of baseball. His hard work is paying off. He landed on an all-league team this summer and he has started more games this year nine than he did all of last year. His three multi-hit games include two hits and two RBI vs. Arkansas and two hits vs. La. Tech, two NCAA-caliber teams. Through a high-tech electronic mail delivery system one day before he would another huge triple against Penn State, Zach commented on:

Being recognized by Coach Todd as a hard worker: “It is always nice to be recognized for things you do. Truthfully, I don’t know how to go about things any other way. I don’t ever want to look in the mirror and be ashamed for not putting everything I had into something I’ve done. That’s just the way I was raised…just my mentality for everything.” 

Setting a state high school record with three triples in one game: “It’s true…one game my junior year. I felt good that day and was able to put my first three hits into the left center gap.  My fourth at-bat was probably one of my hardest hit balls that day and it got caught. That’s baseball!”

Hitting an RBI triple vs. Arkansas: “It felt good to be in that atmosphere [at Texas A&M]. You dream of those scenarios as a kid playing homerun derby or wiffle ball. My teammates hit the ball well and got on base. Even though we lost, we learned a lot from that game.”

Getting more playing time: “I am a completely different player mentally. Being in this game for a long time you learn to trust your abilities. If you strike out or make a bad play you can’t get down on yourself because that situation is going to come up again and you need to be mentally prepared to succeed.”

Taking academics seriously: “That’s funny because throughout high school academics was last on my agenda. But since coming to school and realizing that baseball isn’t going to last forever there was a point where I made the decision to start taking school as serious as I did playing.”

Also go around the horn in this week’s culture grid with Justin Miller, Cory Kovanda, Cory Ruppert and Brian DeLucia.

Programs can be purchased throughout the concourse or stands at Bill Davis Stadium.