May 11, 1999
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team (43-8, 22-2), winner of 36 of its last 38 games, will meet West Virginia University (26-24, 11-11) this Wednesday at 7:05 at Hawley Field (1,500) in Morgantown, W. Va. The Buckeyes will then attempt to clinch their 13th Big Ten Championship this weekend when Indiana visits Bill Davis Stadium for a four-game series.
WOSU Radio (820 AM) will air this Wednesdays game against the Mountaineers live. The station will also broadcast games one, two, and four of this weekends series with the Hoosiers. The tandem of Herb Howenstine and Frank Fraas will call the action.
OHIO STATE PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP
RF 24 Jason Turner Jr., L-L CF 20 Mike Lockwood Jr., L-L LF 6 Jason Driscoll Jr., R-R 1B 36 Jason Trott Sr., L-L 2B 7 Chad Ehrnsberger So., R-R SS 17 Trent McIlvain So., R-R 3B 21 Matt Middleton Sr., L-R C 10 Tom Durant Sr., R-R DH 13 John Mayor So., R-R P 27 Justin Fry Sr., R-R Not projected batting order.
WEST VIRGINIA PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP
RF 36 Eddie Weightman Jr., R-R CF 22 Tim Neumark Jr., R-R LF 39 Josh McMillen Fr., R-R 1B 29 Lance Williams Sr., R-R 2B 11 Chris Schmidt Fr., R-R SS 5 Nate Reeser Jr., R-R 3B 10 Todd Brock Jr., R-R C 4 Todd Neff So., L-R DH 46 Jeremy Glessner Fr., R-R P 45 Ty Russell Jr., R-R Not projected batting order.
Ohio States magic number for a share of the Big Ten title is one, while its magic number for an outright championship is two. OSU stands 22-2 in the Big Ten, while second-place Minnesota is 19-5. The Gophers host Michigan State in a four-game series this weekend. Any combination of two OSU wins or Minnesota losses would lead to an ouright Big Title for the Buckeyes.
RECORD SETTING WIN
With last Saturdays 11-1 win over Michigan State, Ohio State won its 21st straight game, setting a school record for consecutive victories. The 21 wins eclipses the previous mark of 20 in-a-row won by the 1994 team. The 1999 Buckeyes now have 21-game and 14-game winning streaks to their credit this season. Ohio State has also won 36 of its last 38 games.
THIS IS NOT A TYPO
Ohio State erupted for one of the finest offensive displays in school history last weekend against Michigan State in game one of the series. The Buckeyes used nine home runs and 20 extra-base hits to notch a 34-4 win over the Spartans. The 34 runs scored are the second most ever by an OSU team in 119 years of Buckeye baseball, and the most runs scored since 1902. That season, Ohio State beat Capital 44-2.
RECORD TYING PERFORMANCES
Two Ohio State players will have their names etched into the Big Ten record book next season for their performances last Friday. Matt Middleton tied two Big Ten records – hits in a game (six) and at-bats in a game (eight). Mike Lockwood also tied the at-bat record with eight. Middleton is just the fourth player in league history – and only the second since 1957 – to collect six hits in one game. Counting Middleton and Lockwood, three players have now recorded eight at-bats in a Big Ten game (T.J. Jackson of Illinois is the other).
SPEAKING OF MIDDLETON
For the fourth time this season, an Ohio State player has been named the Big Ten Conference Player of the Week. Third baseman Matt Middleton earned the honor after hitting .600 last week (12-20) with three home runs and 12 RBI. Eight of Middletons 12 hits went for extra bases, and in last Fridays 34-4 win over Michigan State, he hit for the cycle for the first time in his career.
MEMO TO HOOSIERS
Ohio State is a perfect 20-0 at home this year, demolishing the previous school record for best home start (13-0) held by the 1984 team.
OHIO STATE IN THE POLLS
Ohio State held firm in the Baseball America poll this week at the No. 9 spot. The Buckeyes jumped five places in the Collegiate Baseball poll and now are ranked No. 10. In the USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN Coaches poll, OSU is ranked No. 12 this week after being No. 13 last week. OSU received one first-place vote for the second straight week.
THE WINNING CONTINUES
Ohio States winning percentage of .843 is the second best in the nation, trailing only Florida Atlantics .942 (49-3).
OSUS LAST ACTION
Ohio State took three-of-four games from Michigan State last weekend. The Buckeyes won game one 34-4, game two 11-1, and game four 11-4. Michigan State won game three, the second game of a Saturday doubleheader, 10-5. OSU scored 61 runs and smacked 58 hits in the series. Justin Fry (7 IP, 4 ER, 7 K), Andy Lee (7 IP, 1 ER, 7 K), and Kurt Fullenkamp (7 IP, 2 ER, 7 K) all turned in impressive starts on the mound for Ohio State. It was the offense that carried the Buckeyes, though, smacking 13 home runs in the four games.
MORE ON THE GAME
Ohio State set season-highs in six categories in the 34-4 win over Michigan State – at-bats (55), runs (34), hits (29), home runs (9), runs batted in (33), and, amazingly enough, strikeouts (12).
THE HITTERS VS. MICHIGAN STATE
Doug Dendinger .833 (5-6) Matt Middleton .625 (10-16) Jason Trott .615 (8-13) Jason Driscoll .467 (7-15) Mike Lockwood .412 (7-17)
Tom Durant nine games Jason Trott five games
WEST VIRGINIA SERIES INFO
Ohio State leads the all-time series with West Virginia, 14-8. The Buckeyes won last years meeting in Bill Davis Stadium 10-4 on April 22, 1998. Former Buckeye Dan Seimetz led OSU in that game by going 2-5 with four RBI.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS
West Virginia stands 26-24 overall and 11-11 in the Big East. The Mountaineers have gone 6-4 in their last 10 games, but prior to that won eight straight. WVU is hitting .296 as a team. Lance Williams leads the team with a .382 average and ranks second with seven home runs and 42 RBI. The Mountaineers are led by their pitching staff, which sports a 4.38 earned run average as a unit. Freshman right-hander Billy Biggs has been the most effective WVU pitcher with a 1.29 ERA in a team-high 16 appearances. Jeremy Cummings has been the most impressive starter for the Mountaineers, and will enter Wednesday game with a 3.74 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 96 innings.
Tom Durant owns Ohio States longest current hitting streak at nine games. Durant has exactly one hit in each of his last nine games. He has also scored at least one run in five straight games.
Ohio State has hit a whopping 20 home runs in its last eight games. Strangely enough, prior to that stretch, the Buckeyes went eight games without hitting a home run. Ohio State is 23-5 when hitting at least one home run this year.
GIVE IT TO MIKEY, HELL HIT ANYTHING
Mike Lockwood has been one of Ohio States hotter hitters of late. Lockwood has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, and is hitting .486 over that stretch (17-35). Against Michigan State, Lockwood, OSUs leadoff hitter, reached base 15 times in 23 plate appearances (.652 on-base pct.). Lockwood has also scored 11 runs in the last six games.
BIG, BIG WEEKEND
Ohio State first baseman Jason Trott went 8-13 against Michigan State and overtook Michigans Bobby Scales as the Big Tens leading hitter. Trott is hitting .436 in Big Ten games. Scales went 3-12 in four games against Indiana this weekend, as his averaged dropped to .409. Minnesotas Robb Quinlan ranks second in the league with a .423 average. If Trott can hold on to his lead and capture the Big Ten batting crown, he will become the first player in conference history to earn three consecutive Big Ten hitting titles.
BOTH SIDES ARE FINALLY CLICKING
For four-fifths of the season, Ohio States hitting and pitching never seemed to click at the same time. As tournament time draws near, that may finally be happening. After hitting .389 as a team in the four game series against MSU last weekend, the Buckeyes now rank second in the league with a .337 average – one point behind Minnesotas .338. OSU also leads the league in pitching with a 4.69 team ERA – over two-tenths of a run in front of Minnesotas 4.91 team ERA. The Buckeyes also lead the league in fielding with a .976 team percentage.
TURNERS BIG DAY
Rightfielder Jason Turner broke out of a semi-slump last week, going 8-23 (.348) with 12 RBI in six games. Turner hit two home runs in OSUs 34-4 win over the Spartans and drove in seven runs.
BACK-TO-BACK FOR LEE
Andy Lee notched his second consecutive complete game against Michigan State last weekend. He has now surrendered just one run in his last 16 innings of work (0.56 ERA). Lee has been credited with the win in his last three appearances.
A NEW MAN
Kurt Fullenkamp has now solidified a spot in Ohio States starting rotation with a string of impressive outings. For the second time in as many weeks, Fullenkamp started and went seven or more innings, allowing only two runs. He has allowed just four earned runs in his last 20 innings of work (1.80 ERA), which is spread over eight appearances (two starts). In his last 19 innings of work, Fullenkamp has fanned 17 batters.
SPEAKING OF STARTING PITCHERS
Three of Ohio States four starters are ranked among the top four in the Big Ten Conference in wins. Justin Fry and E.J. Laratta are tied for the league lead with eight wins, while Andy Lee is tied for fourth with seven wins.
OUR FAVORITE STATISTIC
Ohio State outhit Michigan State in each of the games that OSU won last weekend. The Buckeyes are now 29-0 when outhitting their opponent this year.
CLIMBING THE WIN LADDER
The 1999 Ohio State baseball team has 43 wins to its credit – the fifth most in school history. With five wins in its last five regular season games, the Buckeyes would have 48 wins, which would mark the third most ever by an OSU team with the postseason remaining and the most ever by an Ohio State team in the regular season. Listed below are the most successful teams in school history in terms of total wins. Total wins include any postseason victories, while regular season wins (R.S. Wins) include any games played prior to the Big Ten Tournament:
Year Total Wins R.S. Wins 1991 51 48 1994 49 45 1982 45 43 1993 44 38 1999 43* 43* * regular season not complete
BIG TEN RECORD IN REACH
The 1999 Buckeyes can break the conference and school record for most Big Ten wins in a season with a sweep of Indiana this weekend or tie the record by winning three of four. The 1994 Ohio State team holds both the Big Ten and school records with 25 conference victories. That team went 25-2, losing one game to a rainout. With a sweep of the Hoosiers, this years OSU team would finish 26-2 in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes have come from behind to win 15 times overall this season. In 22 Big Ten wins this year, OSU has been forced to come-from-behind eight times (36 percent of the time).
CAN TROTT THREEPEAT
Trott became the first player since Indianas Mike Smith (1991-.476, 1992-.472) to win back-to-back batting titles. Trott posted a .426 average for the 1998 regular season and claimed the crown in 1997 with a .418 mark. Wisconsins Rick Reichardt is the only other player to win consecutive titles when he posted season bests in 1963 (.429) and 1964 (.472). No player has ever claimed three conference batting titles.
Fry and Lockwood were named to Collegiate Baseballs preseason All-America third team. Fry was a first team preseason selection in 1998. Freshman pitcher Smith was named a first team top freshman by Baseball America.
Season box seats went on sale March 1 and individual game tickets were made available March 22. Contact the OSU Athletic Ticket Office for more details (1 800-GO-BUCKS). The ticket office is now located in The Jerome Schottenstein Center
ONE OF THE TOP TEAMS OF THE 90s
With its 372-168-1 record over the past nine seasons, Ohio State is ranked the 12th winningest team of the 1990s with a .689 winning percentage. The Buckeyes are the only Big Ten Conference school among the top 25. Wichita State leads the pack with a 484-130-0 (.788) mark since the 1990 season.
PREDICTED BIG TEN FINISH
According to the Baseball America college preview, Ohio State is predicted to finish third in the Big Ten behind Minnesota and Illinois. All three squads are expected to receive NCAA tournament bids and Fry, Lockwood and Trott are preseason all-Big Ten selections. The Big Ten is ranked the sixth-best conference in the nation this year.
Predicted final Big Ten standings according to Baseball America 1. Minnesota 19-9 42-21 2. Illinois 19-5 42-21 3. Ohio State 18-9 45-15 4. Michigan 9-15 21-27 5. Penn State 15-11 28-24 6. Purdue 9-18 23-29 7. Indiana 14-14 29-27 8. Northwestern 10-18 27-26 9. Michigan State 8-16 25-27 10. Iowa 9-15 19-27
Career Batting Average 1. Jason Trott .406 2. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) .370 3. Alex Eckelman (1994-97) .367 4. Robby Cobb (1980-83) .363 5. Brian Mannino (1992-95) .362 6. Mike Lockwood .361 7. John Orkis (1981-82) .359
Career Hits 1. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) 287 2. Mark Carek (1995-98) 262 3. Brian Mannino (1992-95) 250 4. Alex Eckelman (1994-97) 241 5. Ken Tirpack (1989-92) 237 6. Jason Trott 235 7. Robby Cobb (1980-83) 233 8. Keith Gonya (1979-82) 228 9. Jeff Anderson (1989-91) 227
Career Runs 1. Mark Carek (1995-98) 217 2. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) 193 3. Mike Lockwood 188 4. Robby Cobb (1980-83) 183 5. Brian Mannino (1992-95) 174
Career Wins 1. Justin Fry 33 2. Pete Perini (1947-50) 30 3. Scott Klingenbeck (1990-92) 28 Tom Schwarber (1987-91) 28
Career Innings Pitched 1. Justin Fry 391.1 2. Pete Perini (1947-50) 305.1 3. Chris Granata (1991-94) 295.1
Career Strikeouts 1. Justin Fry 352 2. Steve Arlin (1965-66) 294 3. Bill Cunningham (1982-85) 281
Fewest Base On Balls (175 or more IP) 1. Bob Spears (1993-96) 45 2. Dick Boggs (1966-68) 75 3. Andy Lee 76
Win-Loss Percentage (14 decisions) 1. Steve Arlin 24-3 (.889) 2. Andy Lee 20-3 (.870) 3. Kurt Fullenkamp 19-3 (.864) 4. Ken Hay 12-2 (.857)