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COLUMBUS, Ohio— No. 17 Ohio State travels to Knoxville, Tenn. to play in the University of Tennessee Tournament this Friday through Sunday.

The Buckeyes will open the weekend at 1 p.m. Friday against Marshall and take on the host Volunteers at 5 p.m. Saturday. The weekend will close with a matchup at noon Sunday against Connecticut.

Ohio State probable rotation:
Fri. vs. Marshall – RHP D. Wolosiansky
Sat. at Tennessee – RHP A. Wimmers
Sun. vs. Connecticut – RHP B. McKinney

OHIO STATE NATIONALLY RANKED
The Buckeyes garnered Top 25 recognition in almost every preseason poll with a ranking as high as No. 14 (Collegiate Baseball). This week, Ohio State is ranked No. 17 (Collegiate Baseball), No. 21 (Rivals), No. 23 (NCBWA) and No. 24 (PING! Baseball).

OSU TAKES 3 OF 4 IN CLASSIC
After defeating Duquesne Friday and St. Louis in the first game Saturday, the Buckeyes dropped the second game of the doubleheader to the Billikens before defeating Fairleigh Dickinson in the weekend finale Sunday.

  • For the third consecutive week, a Buckeye earned a Big Ten weekly honor. This time it was Zach Hurley after the co-captain batted .571 with five doubles, a triple, a home run, seven RBI and six runs scored. The senior also threw out a runner at the plate.
  • In addition to Hurley, four other Buckeyes hit .500 or better last weekend. Cory Kovanda led the team with a .583 average (7-for-12) that included six runs scored and four RBI.
  • Junior Brian DeLucia hit .526 (10-for-19) with a team-high eight RBI.
  • Senior Cory Rupert hit .500 (5-for-10) with a triple and four runs scored.
  • Senior Ryan Dew also batted .500 (10-for-20) with five runs scored and seven RBI.

IT ALSO SHOULD BE NOTED THAT…

  • The Buckeyes hit .417 in four games at the Snowbird “Buckeye” Classic to raise the team batting average to .367.
  • After struggling the first two weekends while combining to bat just .267 (12-for-45), the top two in the Buckeye lineup broke out in a big way in Port Charlotte. Zach Hurley and Cory Kovanda combined to bat .576 (19-for-33) with 12 runs scored and 11 RBI.

A LOOK AT THE THUNDERING HERD
Marshall is 5-5 on the season after dropping two of three at Georgia Southern last weekend.  Victor Gomez leads the team, batting .325 with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI. Mike Mason is 2-0 on the mound, sporting a 3.38 ERA in 16.0 innings pitched.

The Buckeyes are 15-1 all-time against Marshall with the lone defeat being a 14-3 loss last April in Columbus.

SCOUTING THE VOLUNTEERS
Tennessee is 6-5 heading into the week after splitting four games in Knoxville last weekend. Junior outfielder Josh Liles leads the Volunteers, batting .429 with 10 runs scored and eight RBI. Stephen McCray has gone 2-1 in three starts, posting a 1.29 ERA and giving up just seven hits in 20.1 innings pitched.

The Buckeyes trail in the all-time series by a 6-4 count but won the last matchup, a 7-6 decision in 1995.

OHIO STATE vs. CONNECTICUT
The Huskies are 5-2 heading into the week after taking three of four at Cal State Northridge last weekend. Mike Nemeth leads the Huskies with a .462 batting average to go along with a pair of doubles, six RBI and six runs scored. Elliot Glynn is 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts. The left-hander has struck out seven in 11.0 innings pitched.

Ohio State holds a 6-2 advantage in the all-time series after winning the last five matchups dating back to 2004. The Buckeyes defeated the Huskies twice last year, a 6-4 decision in February and by a 21-14 margin in March.

BOOMER SHUTTING THE DOOR
Junior reliever Drew Rucinski, leading the Big Ten with seven appearances, has done a solid job out of the bullpen for the Buckeyes going 11.2 innings with a 3.09 ERA and striking out 15 while picking up a pair of saves.

A TEAM EFFORT
The Buckeyes rank at the top of most of the Big Ten offensive categories including: batting average (.367), slugging percentage (.534), on-base percentage (.451), runs scored (106), hits (141), doubles (29), triples (7) and total bases (205). The 106 runs scored are 30 more than any other team and the 141 hits are 29 more than any other team (Michigan State has 76 and 112, respectively). The Buckeyes have also struck out just 47 times in the first ten games, less than any other Big Ten team.

The pitching staff has done its part as well, ranking second in earned-run average (4.96) and first in strikeouts (89).

STAYING “FRESH”
Outfielder Michael Stephens ranks near the top of most of the Big Ten offensive categories including: batting average (.481, 2nd), slugging perecentage (.889, 1st), runs batted in (13, 2nd), home runs (3, t-4th) and on-base percentage (.531, 5th).

Brian DeLucia has also done his part leading the Big Ten in runs batted in (14), ranking third in slugging percentage (.784) and on-base percentage (.535), and fifth in batting average (.459).

Zach Hurley is the third Buckeye outfielder among the Big Ten’s top hitters, ranking second in hits (18), tied for first in triples (2), leading in total bases (31), sixth in slugging percentage (.705) and eighth in batting average (.409).

SITTING THEM DOWN
Junior Alex Wimmers leads the Big Ten with 23 strikeouts while fellow junior Drew Rucinski is tied for fourth with 15 punchouts out of the bullpen. Freshman Brett McKinney has struck out more batters looking than any other Big Ten hurler with eight.

FOLLOW THE ACTION via LIVE STATS
Track the action through Live Stats, available on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Click on the Live Stats link on the main home page in the upper right hand corner or through the baseball schedule page to access.

A GRAND OCCASION
After a 42-win campaign in 2009, Ohio State head coach Bob Todd picked up win No. 1,000 against Richmond Feb. 21 in Jacksonville. The NABC Hall of Famer became the 41st coach in NCAA history to reach 1,000 victories.

BURKHART ON BENCH WATCH LIST
Dan Burkhart was named to the 2010 Johnny Bench Award watch list, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced. The award is given to the nation’s top collegiate catcher.

HITTING THE ROAD
The Buckeyes will play their first 21 games on the road – 18 in Florida and three in Tennessee – before the home opener against Toledo March 31. In all, 24 of the Buckeyes’ first 25 games will be away from home.

BUCKEYES SELECT CAPTAINS
Seniors Zach Hurley and Cory Kovanda were elected 2010 co-captains by their teammates at the Scarlet and Gray World Series victory dinner in October.

BUCKS TAKE 2 OF 3 IN “CHALLENGE”
After coming back to beat South Florida 4-2 Friday in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge, the Buckeyes knocked off Notre Dame 10-2 Saturday before falling to Cincinnati by a final of 12-4 in the weekend finale Sunday afternoon.

STARTING OFF RIGHT
The Buckeyes came through the first weekend unbeaten behind excellent pitching and timely hitting. Ohio State outscored their opponents 40-12. The 40 runs scored were the most in the first three games of the season since 1996. The Buckeyes batted .364 compared to just .254 for opponents and Ohio State pitchers posted a 2.33 ERA while opponents had a 10.73 ERA. Ohio State pitchers struck out 33 batters while walking just seven the opening weekend.

ROUND AND ROUND THEY GO
Eleven Buckeyes scored a run in the 20-9 win over Richmond including six crossing home plate more than once. Junior Matt Streng scored five runs against the Spiders.