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January 25, 1999

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Monday marked the first day of practice for the 1999 Buckeyes and the beginning of the 116th year of baseball, Ohio State’s oldest varsity sport. The Buckeyes went through a series of conditioning exercises before taking to the batting cages and pitching mounds inside The Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

BUCKEYE TRADITION
Practice began traditionally with a freshman singing the fight song to ring in the new season. This year it was catcher Joe Wilkins (Dublin, Ohio) who earned the honor, belting out his best rendition of “Across the Field” over the clapping hands of his teammates.

1999 CAPTAINS
Fry, Lockwood and Jason Trott were elected team captains last Thursday.

PRESEASON POLL
Ohio State is ranked 38th in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll.

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
Justin Fry and Mike Lockwood were named to Collegiate Baseball’s preseason All-America third team. Fry was a first team preseason selection in 1998.

ONE OF THE TOP TEAMS OF THE 90s
With it’s 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.

STADIUM SEATING
Bill Davis Stadium’s seating capacity has been increased to 4,450 for the 1999 season.

MEET THE TEAM LUNCHEON
The annual Diamond Club Meet the Team luncheon will be held Saturday, Feb. 20, at 10:45 a.m. (before the Northwestern basketball game) at the Holiday Inn on the Lane.

1999 MEDIA GUIDES
1999 Media Guides will be available Saturday, Feb. 20 at the luncheon for all those in attendance. After that they will be sold for $10 at The Winning Schott, OSU’s new arena shop at Value City Arena.

SEASON FIRSTS
The Buckeyes open the season against Kentucky, Minnesota and Troy State at the Blue-Gray Classic at Montgomery, Ala., Feb. 26-28.

SEASON TICKETS
Season box seats will go on sale Monday, March 1, 1999 and individual game tickets will go on sale Monday, March 22, 1999. Contact the OSU Athletic Ticket Office for more details (800-GO-BUCKS).

NCAA BAT CHANGES
Citing concerns that metal alloy bats work too well, the NCAA changed the rules to make them perform more like traditional wooden bats. The changes approved by the NCAA Executive Committee, which take effect for the 1999 season, limit the size of the bat. The rules, which include making the bats narrower, are intended to ensure the ball doesn’t leave the bat faster than 93 mph. The bats being used now send the ball into the field at up to 113 mph.