May 26, 1999
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team (46-12, 25-3), after winning the 13th Big Ten regular season championship in school history two weeks ago, will host and play in the NCAA Columbus Regional May 28-30 in Bill Davis Stadium (4,450). The Buckeyes earned the No. 1 seed in regional. No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Mississippi State, and No. 4 Bowling Green will also play in the regional, which is conducted in a double elimination format. Ohio States first game will be Friday at 7:05 p.m. against Bowling Green. Mississippi State and Nebraska will kick off the tournament at 3:05 p.m.
Check out the Columbus Regional Tournament page!
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 38 Justin Fry Sr., R-R Not projected batting order.
Jason Trott became the first player in Big Ten history tocapture three consecutive batting titles last week. Trott is athree-time all-Big Ten selection during his career. Tom Durantenters the NCAA Tournament with a career high 14-game hittingstreak.
BOWLING GREEN PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP RF 12 Lee Morrison So., R-R CF 10 Matt Mlynarck Sr., L-L LF 37 Aric Christman So., R-R 1B 34 Bob Niemet Sr., R-R 2B 9 Kenny Burdine Jr., R-R SS 1 Nick Elrod Fr., L-R 3B 3 Matt Best Jr., R-R C 6 Brad Simon Jr., R-R DH 4 Aron Gilhousen Jr., R-R P 8 Jason Kelley Sr., R-R Not projected batting order.
Jason Kelley earned his 12th win of the year last weekend,pitching eight innings and allowing only six hits as Bowling Greenclaimed the Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship with a5-4 win over Miami. Kelley has nearly one-third of (12-of-37) ofBGSUs wins to his credit.
WOSU Radio (820 AM) will air all games in the Columbus Regional that Ohio State is involved in. The tandem of Herb Howenstine and Frank Fraas will call the action.
THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Ohio State is making its 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its seventh in the 1990s under head coach Bob Todd. The Buckeyes have qualified for the national tournament seven times in the last nine years. Ohio State earned a berth in the national tournament in 1951, 55, 65, 66, 67, 82, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 97, and 99. The Buckeyes were national champions in 1966 and runners-up in 1965.
OHIO STATE IN THE NCAA’S
The Buckeyes enter this weekend with a 29-25 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament. Ohio State has advanced to the College World Series four times (1951, 65, 66, 67). Under head coach Bob Todd, OSU is 8-12 in the national tournament. Ohio State has finished second twice under Todd in NCAA regional play, but never qualified for the College World Series.
MOST RECENTLY IN THE NCAA’S
Ohio State last qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 1997 and played in a regional hosted by Mississippi State. The Buckeyes fell to host MSU 8-5 in the opening game and then dropped a 5-3 decision to Tennessee Tech in the second game.
NEW TOURNAMENT FORMAT
The NCAA Baseball Tournament was expanded from 48 to 64 teams in 1999. Sixteen four-team regionals, now named for the city in which they are being played, are occurring simultaneously with the Columbus Regional. The sixteen regional winners will then meet in eight super regionals on June 4-6. The super regionals will be held on campus sites (announced on May 31) and are best of three series. Those eight winners will then advance to the College World Series on June 11-19 in Omaha, Neb.
THE BEST OF THE BEST
Of the 274 Division I baseball teams in the country, only 22 won 40 or more games. Three of those 22 teams (Ohio State, Nebraska, Mississippi State) will compete in the Columbus regional. Ohio State is 0-1 combined against the three teams all-time in postseason play, falling 8-5 to Mississippi State in 1997 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
MORE TOURNAMENT NOTES
Ohio State was one of 35 at-large selections to the NCAA Tournament. Michigan received the Big Tens automatic bid. Along with OSU and UM, Big Ten Tournament runner-up Minnesota also qualified for the national tournament.
Ohio State is hosting an NCAA Baseball regional for the first time in school history. Six of the 16 institutions chosen to host the regionals this season had never done so since the regional format was established in 1975 (Ohio State, Baylor, Arkansas, Houston, Notre Dame, and Wake Forest).
SOUTH BEND WINNER AWAITS
The winner of the Columbus Regional will meet the winner of the South Bend Regional in a super regional on June 4-6. No. 1 Cal State Fullerton, No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Creighton, and No. 4 Michigan will all compete in the South Bend Regional. The site for the super regional will be announced Monday, May 31 at 3 p.m. EDT.
OHIO STATE VS. THE REGIONAL FIELD
Ohio State has not faced any of the teams that will visit for this weekends regional tournament in 1999. The Buckeyes have faced teams from one of the same conferences as a participating team, however. Mississippi State competes in the Southeastern Conference, and Ohio State went 2-0 against SEC teams this season. The Buckeyes topped Kentucky 9-6 in the season opener, and Georgia, 7-2, on March 6. Mississippi State won two-of-three against Kentucky and split two games with Georgia.
OSU VS. THE TOURNEY FIELD ALL-TIME
Ohio State leads the all-time series against Bowling Green (26-18-4) and Nebraska (1-0; teams met in 1991), but trails in the series against Mississippi State (0-4). OSU head coach Bob Todd is 13-5 against Bowling Green, 1-0 against Nebraska, and 0-1 vs. Mississippi State.
OSU ALL-TIME VS. MAC, SEC, BIG 12
The Buckeyes are 229-150-5 (.603) all-time against teams currently competing in the Mid-American Conference. Ohio State is 16-15 (.516) all-time against teams currently competing in the Big 12, and 36-55-2 (.398) against schools currently competing in the Southeastern Conference.
OSU DOMINATES BIG TEN AWARDS
To absolutely no ones surprise, Ohio State players dominated the 1999 all-Big Ten teams and individual awards. Justin Fry was named the 1999 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, and E.J. Laratta was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Fry, Laratta, Mike Lockwood, Chad Ehrnsberger, and Tom Durant were all named first-team all-Big Ten. Jason Trott, Andy Lee, and Cory Cox were all second-team selections, and short stop Trent McIlvain was a third-team pick. Head coach Bob Todd was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Counting this season, Fry has now been named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year twice (1997 and 1999) and Todd has been dubbed the leagues Coach of the Year three times (1989, 94, and 99). Trott is now a three-time all-Big Ten selection (97, 98, and 99), and Lockwood has been named first-team all-Big Ten for two consecutive years.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONS
Ohio State was crowned as the Big Ten regular season champion for the sixth time this decade two weeks ago. The Buckeyes have captured the leagues regular season crown in 1991, 92, 93, 94, 95, and 99. OSU has 13 Big Ten Championships to its credit – the fourth most in conference history.
RECORD TYING SEASON
Ohio State tied a conference and school record with 25 Big Ten wins in 1999. This years Buckeyes now share the record with the 1994 OSU team that went 25-2 in conference play.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
Ohio State is 23-3 in Bill Davis Stadium (.885) this season, and was 23-1 at home during the regular season. The Buckeyes won 23 straight in BDS before falling in the regular season series finale to Indiana, then dropping two straight in the Big Ten Tournament. Since Bill Davis Stadium, the 11th-ranked facility in the country according to Baseball America, opened in 1997, the Buckeyes have gaone 63-16 at home.
MORE ON THE BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
For only the fourth time in school history, the Buckeyes were eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament after just two games. Ohio State stranded 11 runners – including six in the final two innings – and fell 8-6 to Michigan in the opening round of the tourney. The Buckeyes hit four solo home runs in the loss to the Wolverines. In the second round, a hot-hitting Minnesota team scored at least a run in seven different innings in defeating OSU 10-1. Ohio State was the third team in the 19-year history to host the tournament and drop its first two games.
GOOD ON THE REBOUND
Ohio State enters the NCAA Tournament with a three game losing streak – tying for its longest of the season. OSU has never lost four games in a row this year, and has lost three straight on only one other occasion. Incidentally, the Buckeyes have never lost only two straight games this year either. Their 12 losses have come by way of two three-game losing streaks and six single losses.
THIRD MOST WINS EVER – AND COUNTING
The 1999 Ohio State baseball team has 46 wins to its credit – marking the third most in school history overall and the second most regular season games ever. The Buckeyes need three more wins to tie for the second most wins ever (49), and seven more to tie for the most wins by any OSU club (53 in 1991). 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 53 48 1994 49 45 1999 46 * 46 1982 45 43 1993 44 38 * postseason not complete.
A SEASON TO REMEMBER
Some highlights and record-breaking performances from the 1999 Ohio State baseball season.
Ohio State set a school record by winning 21 consecutive gamesfrom April 11-May 8. The previous record for consecutive games wonwas 20, held by the 1994 team. Prior to winning 21 straight, theBuckeyes put together a 14 game winning streak, the fourth longestin school history. The 1999 OSU team is one of only three in schoolhistory to have two different double-digit winning streaks. OhioState won 35-of-36 games over one stretch this year, marking thelongest string of games with only one loss in school history. OhioState won its first 23 games at home this season, demolishing theprevious school record for best home start (13-0) held by the 1984team. Ohio State started 21-1 in the Big Ten this year, marking thebest ever start by an OSU team since the league expanded to a28-game format.
OHIO STATE IN THE POLLS
OSU is now No. 13 in the weekly Collegiate Baseball national poll, falling a spot from No. 12 last week. Ohio State ise ranked 16th in the Baseball America poll this week, falling from ninth last week. OSU is 15th in the USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN Coaches poll, after being 12th last week.
NCAA TOURNAMENT EXPERIENCE
Seven current Buckeyes have NCAA Tournament experience from OSUs 1997 trip to the Mideast Regional in Starkville, Miss. Following are their statistical lines:
Mike Lockwood 1-7 (.143), 1 RBI Tom Durant 1-8 (.125) Jason Driscoll 2-7 (.286), 1 RBI Jason Trott 0-0, 1 BB Matt Middleton 0-4 (.000) Justin Fry 7 IP, 6 ER, 2 Ks Andy Lee 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Ks
BEST BIG TEN HITTER EVER?
Ohio State first baseman Jason Trott became the first player in Big Ten Conference history to capture three consecutive batting crowns over the weekend. Trott ended the season hitting .440 in Big Ten games. He won the 1997 crown with a .418 average and the 1998 crown with a .532 average. An Ohio State hitter has now won the batting title in four of the last six seasons (Trott in 1997, 98, and 99; Jonathan Sweet in 1994).
The stretch run of the season brought on a home run barrage from the Ohio State hitters. The Buckeyes have hit 31 home runs in their last 15 games, and had at least one homer in 13 of those 15 games. In the Big Ten tournament, OSU slammed four solo home runs in a first-round loss to Michigan.
TODD ON THE BIG TEN TOURNEY
OSU head coach Bob Todd had this to say after Ohio State was eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament after just two games: “There was a lot of talk on regional play this week. Our players may have been thinking about the future. Our team is still Big Ten Champions. They earned that. We are now going to focus on the regional.”
THE PITCHERS IN THE BIG TEN TOURNEY
OSU starters were roughed up in the Big Ten Tournament. Justin Fry turned in the shortest start of his career, going two innings against Michigan in game one and surrendering seven runs. Andy Lee pitched seven innings for OSU in game two, but also allowed seven runs. Ohio States team earned run average in the Big Ten Tournament was 8.50. One of the lone bright spots for the Ohio State staff in last weekends tournament was Nate Smith, a pre-season freshman All-American. Smith relieved Fry in game one and went 5.2 innings in relief, allowing only one run and striking out two.
THE HITTERS IN THE BIG TEN TOURNEY
Jason Trott 4-9 (.444), 2 HR Tom Durant 3-8 (.375), 1 HR Chad Ehrnsberger 2-6 (.333)
Tom Durant 14 games Mike Check nine games Chad Ehrnsberger eight games Marcello Garofalo seven games Jason Driscoll four games
UNCHARACTERISTIC NIGHT FOR FRY
Prior to the Big Ten Tournament, Justin Fry had pitched a nine-inning complete game in two of his last three starts. Fry, Ohio States all-time leader in wins, strikeouts, and innings pitched, has 38 strikeouts in his last five starts (an average of 7.6 per game).
MORE ON LARATTA
Big Ten Freshman of the Year E.J. Laratta has now tossed 26 consecutive innings at home without allowing an earned run. Laratta leads the team with three shutouts, and is just one shy of tying a school record held by three people.
MORE ON LEE
Entering the season, starter Andy Lee had not thrown a complete game in his career. This season, he leads the team with five. Lee is also the third winningest pitcher in school history in terms of winning percentage with a 21-4 overall mark (.840). His streak of three consecutive complete games came to a close when he was pulled after seven innings of work in the Big Ten Tournament.
COMING IN HOT
All-Big Ten second baseman Chad Ehrnsberger regained the type of form he showed earlier in the year during the last two weeks of the season. Against Indiana in the last regular season weekend of the year, he went 6-14 with three home runs and eight RBI. In the Big Ten Tournament, Ehrnsberger hit .333 and led OSU with a .444 on-base percentage. Hell enter this weekends NCAA Tournament with an eight game hitting streak, hitting .423 over the stretch. Ehrnsberger, a third-team freshman All-American last year, has also hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games.
ROLLIN, ROLLIN, ROLLIN
First-team all-Big Ten catcher Tom Durant will enter this weekends regional tournament with a career long 14-game hitting streak. Durant, who hit .375 with a double and a home run in the Big Ten Tournament last weekend, is hitting .326 (16-49) during his current hitting streak.
RUN SCORING TEAR
Leadoff hitter and first-team all-Big Ten pick Mike Lockwood scored three runs in two games during the Big Ten Tournament. He has now scored a run in eight consecutive games and 12 of his last 13 contests. In his last 13 games, Lockwood has scored 20 runs. He ended the regular season as the Big Tens leader in runs scored with 67.
SPEAKING OF BIG TEN LEADERS
Fry and Laratta tied for the Big Ten lead with nine victories each. Andy Lee ranked second with eight. Laratta led the league with three shutouts, and Cory Cox led the Big Ten with nine saves.
ONE FOR THE RECORD
Ohio State closer Cory Cox needs just one save to break a school record for saves in a season. Cox tied the record of nine in one year with a save on May 5 against Oakland. He currently shares the record with Mark Mesewicz, who collected nine saves in 1992.
TURNING OUT IN DROVES
An Ohio State attendance record was broken on Saturday, May 15, when 4,424 fans poured into Bill Davis Stadium to watch the Buckeyes sweep Indiana. Prior to that game, the largest crowd ever to attend a home OSU baseball game was 3,866 last season against Michigan State (May 9). In the last regular season weekend of the year, a total of 9,961 fans turned out over the course of three days to watch the Buckeyes.
TOUGH TO BEAT AT BDS
Ohio States success at Bill Davis Stadium this year is unparalleled. Here are the numbers for the Buckeyes, who are 23-3 at home this year, in Bill Davis Stadium:
Ohio State is hitting .332 at home, while opponents are hittingjust .276. OSU has outscored its opponents 187-106 at home. MikeLockwood (.389) is Ohio States leading hitter at home. ChadEhrnsberger (.370) ranks second, Jason Trott ranks third (.366),and Trent McIlvain is fourth (.329). Ohio State has hit 29 homeruns at home while allowing only 15. Ohio States fieldingpercentage is .973 at home, while the combined opponents fieldingpercentage stands at .953. OSUs team ERA at home is 3.69, while itsopponents ERA is 7.07. E.J. Laratta sports an 0.58 ERA at home andstands 5-0. He has struck out 25 in 31 innings and walked onlyfour. He has surrendered just two earned runs at home all year.Justin Fry has a 3.22 ERA at home and stands 4-1. He has struck out39 batters in 36.1 innings.
OFFENSIVE RECORDS IN REACH
Depending on how far Ohio State advances in the NCAA Tournament, the 1999 Buckeyes have a chance to go down as one of the most dangerous offensive teams in school history. Heres how OSUs current offensive totals rank against certain single-season school records:
Runs Scored Year 1. 534 1991 2. 519 1994 3. 495 * 1999 4. 489 1995
Hits Year 1. 695 1995 2. 683 1991 3. 676 1994 4. 646 * 1999 5. 641 1992
RBI Year 1. 477 1991 2. 462 1994 3. 449 1995 4. 442 * 1999 5. 436 1996
Highest Batting Avg. Year 1. .354 1994 2. .335 1996 .335 1992 7. .329 * 1999
Most Doubles Year 1. 142 1997 2. 139 1991 3. 131 1994 4. 128 * 1999 5. 127 1995 * season not complete.
IF YOU WRITE OR TALK ABOUT JUST ONE OHIO STATE GAME THIS YEAR, PERHAPS IT SHOUD BE THIS ONE
Ohio State erupted for one of the finest offensive performances in school history on May 7, 1999, against Michigan State. The Buckeyes used nine home runs and 20 extra-base hits to notch a 34-4 win over the Spartans. The 34 runs scored were the second most every by an OSU team in 119 years of Buckeye baseball and the most since 1902 (that year, OSU beat Capital 44-2). Ohio State set season highs in at-bats (55), runs (34), hits (29), and home runs (9) in that win. OSU third baseman Matt Middleton hit for the cycle in the win.
RECORD TYING PERFORMANCES
Two Ohio State players will have their names etched into the Big Ten record book next season for their performances in a May 7, 34-4 win over Michigan State. 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).
The Buckeyes have come from behind to win 15 times overall this season. In 25 Big Ten wins this year, OSU has been forced to come-from-behind eight times (32 percent of the time).
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.
HOMESTEAD CHALLENGE WINNERS
The Buckeyes went 8-1 at the Homestead Challenge, winning the Final Four Tournament with a 4-2 victory over Harvard.
HURRICANE CLASSIC CHAMPIONS
The Buckeyes claimed the 1999 BELLSOUTH Hurricane Diamond Classic with a 3-1 weekend at Coral Gables, Fla. Tom Durant was named to the all-tournament team and MVP and Lee, Jason Turner and McIlvain were also all-tournament selections.
Career Batting Average 1. Jason Trott .408 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. Jason Trott 247 5. Alex Eckelman (1994-97) 241 6. Ken Tirpack (1989-92) 237 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. Mike Lockwood 197 3. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) 193 4. Robby Cobb (1980-83) 183 5. Brian Mannino (1992-95) 174
Career Wins 1. Justin Fry 34 2. Pete Perini (1947-50) 30 3. Scott Klingenbeck (90-92) 28 Tom Schwarber (1987-91) 28
Career Innings Pitched 1. Justin Fry 402.1 2. Pete Perini (1947-50) 305.1 3. Chris Granata (91-94) 295.1
Career Strikeouts 1. Justin Fry 364 2. Steve Arlin (1965-66) 294 3. Bill Cunningham (82-85) 281
Fewest BB (175 or more IP) 1. Bob Spears (1993-96) 45 2. Dick Boggs (1966-68) 75 3. Andy Lee 78
Win-Loss Percentage (14 decisions) 1. Steve Arlin 24-3 (.889) 2. Ken Hay 12-2 (.857) 3. Andy Lee 21-4 (.840) 4. Kurt Fullenkamp 19-4 (.826)