April 28, 2005
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OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
(20-14; 4-9 Big Ten)
(21-19; 4-12 Big Ten)
April 29-May 1, 2005
Bill Davis Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Fri., April 29 7:05 p.m. Radio
Sat., April 30 4:05 p.m. (DH) Web/Web
Sun., May 1 1:05 p.m. Radio
Ohio State leads 143-94
last game: May 2, 2004; Ohio State, 8-0
OHIO STATE RADIO/INTERNET
NPR 820 (WOSU-AM)
Neil Sika and Paul Barnes
OHIO STATE PROBABLE STARTERS G1 36 Dan DeLucia, LHP 2-3, 2.83 ERA, 33K, 47.2IP G2 19 Cory Luebke, LHP 3-2, 2.58 ERA, 33K, 45.1IP G3 6 Mike Madsen, RHP 3-3, 5.17 ERA, 23K, 31.1IP G4 39 Trent Luyster, LHP 4-3, 4.91 ERA, 33K, 55.0IP
COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a doubleheader sweep against Eastern Michigan (10-3, 3-2) on Wednesday, Ohio State continues a seven-game homestand this weekend against Indiana. The Buckeyes and Hoosiers are even in the win column with four victories, but Indiana trails the Buckeyes by three games in the loss column.
While the Buckeyes were sitting in their hotel rooms last weekend in Ann Arbor while snow fell cancelling the final three games of the series at Michigan, Indiana was able to get all four home games in against Illinois. The Fighting Illini took three of the four games to keep pace with Minnesota for the top spot in the Big Ten standings.
Ohio State, now 20-14 overall, lost 11-3 last Friday at Michigan as the Wolverines were able to match the Buckeyes’ 4-9 conference mark by winning the first ever night game at Ray Fisher Stadium, which has been home to Michigan baseball since 1923. Now, the Buckeyes are down to their final four conference series, hosting Indiana this weekend before taking to the road for series at Penn State and Northwestern prior to the final series of the year, at home against Minnesota.
So the Buckeyes are down to 16 games to try to become one of the six best teams in the Big Ten and make the tournament field. From there, Ohio State, which has missed the conference tournament only once, in 1996, will try to lock up the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, which it has done two of the last three years. When the Buckeyes missed the four-team conference tournament in 1996, Indiana finished just percentage points behind Penn State in the regular-season race, but won the conference tournament that year.
Games one and four of the series will be broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM), while the middle two games will be broadcast solely on the Internet at www.wosu.org. The broadcasters are Neil Sika and Paul Barnes. Both games of the doubleheader will be televised only on the OSU campus by Buckeye TV.
ABOUT OHIO STATE
It has been a strange year for Ohio State to say the least. In the 11-3 loss at Michigan last week, the Buckeyes were finally able to put the lineup together it had hoped it would have during most of the season.
Ronnie Bourquin returned to third base for the first time in 11 games since breaking a bone in his left thumb at Illinois. He was the fourth significant injury to the Buckeye roster this season. Outfielder Steve Caravati, the 2004 Big Ten Player of the Year, missed 11 games early in the year after pulling his hamstring in the season opener Feb. 25. Fellow outfielder Jacob Howell, the 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, missed 12 games after injuring his shoulder at North Florida March 11. Starting pitcher Mike Madsen, a third-team All-Big Ten selection last year, missed one start and saw limited action his next two appearances.
There is no question the Buckeyes would be a better squad without the injuries and it would not find itself just trying to make the field of six that advance to the Big Ten tournament. The Buckeyes won the tournament in 2002 and 2003 and played in the championship game last year. In total, Ohio State has won the Big Ten tournament six times, all since 1991, Bob Todd’s fourth season as the Buckeye skipper.
Mike Rabin leads the Buckeyes with a .327 batting average. Only three of his 34 hits have gone for extra bases. Two are doubles and one was his third career home run. He has knocked in 12 RBI. Jedidiah Stephen improved his average significantly in the doubleheader against Eastern Michigan by going 4-for-5 with six RBI and his team-leading fifth home run of the season. Stephen is now batting .321 and has started 31 of the 32 games he has played. Jason Zoeller, who is batting .314, leads the team with 37 hits, including five doubles, two triples and four home runs. He has driven in 18 runs and scored a team-best 26 times. The Buckeyes are batting .290 as a team.
Ohio State’s ERA is 3.80 after the doubleheader sweep over Eastern Michigan. Freshman Cory Luebke leads the team and is third in the Big Ten with his 2.58 ERA to go with a 3-2 record and 33 strikeouts in 45.1 innings. Dan DeLucia fell to 2-3 after losing at Michigan last Friday. He has a 2.83 ERA and also has 33 strikeouts in 47.2 innings. Trent Luyster is 4-3 and owns a 4.91 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 55.0 innings. Madsen is the other weekend starter. He is 3-3 with a 5.17 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 31.1 innings. Against Indiana, the Buckeyes will likely go with a rotation featuring DeLucia, Luebke, Madsen and Luyster.
The Hoosiers fell to 4-12 in the Big Ten after losing three of four games at home to Illinois, which is tied with Minnesota with the best record in the Big Ten. Indiana is 21-19 after beating IU-Southeast Wednesday after getting rained out against Marian College on Tuesday.
Indiana leads the Big Ten with a .329 batting average, but has the ninth-best team ERA (5.14) and fielding percentage (.951). In conference games only, the Hoosiers are seventh in batting (.291), 10th in pitching (6.27) and 10th in fielding (.935).
Jay Brant leads the Hoosiers with his .398 batting average, which is the fourth best in the league. Zach Boswell is second on the team and fifth in the Big Ten with his .385 batting average. Brant leads the team with 66 hits and 14 doubles, while Boswell is tied with teammate Joe Kemp with seven home runs. Kemp has a team-best 46 RBI after batting in four runs against IU-Southeast. The Hoosiers have 23 home runs and seven everyday Hoosiers are batting at least .300.
On the mound, Brian Lortz has made eight starts in nine appearances and is 2-4 with a 4.40 ERA. He has 32 strikeouts in 47.0 innings. Josh Lewis is 5-3 with a team-best 43 strikeouts in 56.2 innings. In nine appearances, all starts, Lewis has a 4.92 ERA. Brad Davidson has made nine starts (3-2, 5.18 ERA) and Adam Poole has made seven (1-2, 5.11 ERA). Against Ohio State, Indiana is likely to go with a rotation of Lewis, Lortz and Poole in the first three games and has not decided on a game-four starter.
Bob Morgan (Ohio, 1969) is 1,066-575-6 in his 30th year as a college head coach. He is 777-488-4 in his 22nd year at Indiana and is 240-312-1 in Big Ten games.
AGAINST THE HOOSIERS
Ohio State leads the all-time series against Indiana 143-94 and has won 14 of 19 meetings since the 2000 season, including a four-game sweep a season ago. The Buckeyes have won eight of the last 10. The series dates back to 1897 when Ohio State won 24-2. OSU skipper Bob Todd is 46-23 all-time against the Hoosiers.
Series Results Since 2000 (OSU leads 14-5)
April 21, 2000 at Ohio State 13, Indiana 5
April 22, 2000 Indiana 9, at Ohio State 4
April 22, 2000 at Ohio State 4, Indiana 3
April 23, 2000 at Ohio State 9, Indiana 3
May 5, 2001 Ohio State 10, at Indiana 1
May 6, 2001 Ohio State 10, at Indiana 8
May 6, 2001 at Indiana 5, Ohio State 4
April 19, 2002 Ohio State 14, at Indiana 11
April 20, 2002 at Indiana 5, Ohio State 4
April 20, 2002 Ohio State 3, at Indiana 2
May 23, 2002 Ohio State 11, Indiana 10*
April 19, 2003 at Ohio State 9, Indiana 3
April 20, 2003 at Ohio State 13, Indiana 12
April 20, 2003 Indiana 13, at Ohio State 2
April 21, 2003 Indiana 6, at Ohio State 3
May 1, 2004 Ohio State 11, at Indiana 6
May 2, 2004 Ohio State 9, at Indiana 3
May 2, 2004 Ohio State 8, at Indiana 3
May 3, 2004 Ohio State 8, at Indiana 0
* at Big Ten Tournament, Minneapolis, Minn.
Ohio State has won 12 series against Indiana since the Big Ten began playing four-game series in 1981. That total includes four four-game sweeps, including last year when the Buckeyes won all three in Bloomington. Ohio State also has won twice in three-game rain-shortened series in 2001 and 2002. There have been eight splits. The Hoosiers have won only four series against the Buckeyes and has one sweep against Ohio State, though that was a two-game series in 1983. Indiana has never won a four-game series against the Buckeyes.
Four-Game Series History Since 1981
Ohio State 4-0: 2004, 1991, 1989, 1982
Ohio State 3-1: 2000, 1999, 1997, 1994, 1993, 1981
Ohio State 2-1: 2002, 2001
Split 2-2: 2003, 1998, 1995, 1990, 1988, 1987, 1985, 1984
Indiana 3-1: 1996, 1992, 1986
Indiana 2-0: 1983
Indiana 4-0: None
LAST YEAR VS. INDIANA
Steve Caravati was 9-for-16 (.563), batted in seven runs and scored six to help lead Ohio State to a four-game sweep at Indiana in 2004.
In the first game of the series, Caravati belted a three-run home run to break a 6-6 tie in the sixth inning and then the Buckeyes scored twice more in the ninth inning to get past Indiana 11-6. The Ohio State leftfielder cleared the fence in right-center field above the 370 sign, but more importantly gave the Buckeyes the lead for good. The Buckeyes plated two huge insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning. Farinacci finished the game 3-for-5 with four RBI, while Caravati was 2-for-3 with three RBI to pace the Buckeyes.
Ohio State overcame a second-inning home run by Indiana rightfielder Joe Kemp to score six runs in the top of the third inning, including back-to-back home runs by Derek Kinnear and Drew Anderson, and then added three more in the fifth inning to defeat Indiana 9-3 in the second game of the series. A five-run lead only seemed to strengthen OSU starter Trent Luyster, who pitched his third complete game of the season to get the win. He allowed three runs on five hits. He limited the Hoosiers to three hits through the first six innings.
Caravati went 2-for-4 and batted in two runs and Mike Madsen pitched his second complete game of the season as the Buckeyes beat Indiana 8-3 in the third game. The Buckeyes wasted little time jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Indiana scored one run in the third, but four Buckeye runs crossed the plate in the fifth inning to build a 7-1 lead. Madsen went the distance, allowing the three Hoosier runs on five hits in the seven-inning start. It was his second complete game of the season, also going the distance in a 19-2 Buckeye victory at Michigan State.
Jeffrey Carroll and Trey Fausnaugh combined for an eight-hit shut out and the Buckeyes belted out 13 hits to beat Indiana 8-0 in the series finale. The Buckeyes plated one run in three of the first four innings, before scoring three times in the fifth to take a commanding 6-0 lead. Caravati was 3-for-4 to lead Ohio State, while Ronnie Bourquin was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI. Carroll picked up his first win in the Big Ten and improved to 3-2 on the season. He pitched 6.0 innings without a run on five hits. Fausnaugh picked up his fourth save of the season.
THE BIG TEN RACE
It was a strange weekend in the Big Ten to say the least. The foul weather allowed Ohio State and Michigan to play only one game, but that was better than Purdue and Michigan State, which only got their first game started before it was suspended after the fourth inning before it became an official game. Illinois took three of four at Indiana, while Minnesota kept pace by taking three of four at home against Northwestern. Iowa took three of four at home against Penn State in the only other series that was played.
After the weekend, Illinois and Minnesota remained on top of the league standings with 12-4 records, while Iowa was able to stay one game back at 11-5. Penn State (8-8) and Michigan State (6-6) are tied for fourth, while Northwestern is sixth at 7-9, followed by Purdue in seventh at 5-7. Ohio State and Michigan are tied for eighth at 4-9 and Indiana is 10th at 4-12. Only six teams advance to the Big Ten tournament.
When Indiana visits Ohio State this weekend, Illinois will be at Penn State, Iowa will be at Northwestern, Minnesota will be at Purdue, while Michigan and Michigan State will play a home-and-home series with the doubleheader being played in Ann Arbor.
OHIO STATE TAKES TWO FROM EASTERN MICHIGAN
Jedidiah Stephen was 4-for-5 and batted in six runs to lead the Buckeyes to a midweek, non-conference doubleheader sweep over Eastern Michigan Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium.
Stephen was 2-for-2 with a career-high five RBI in game one with an infield single, a sacrifice fly and his team-leading fifth home run of the season in game one and then went 2-for-3 with one RBI and a stolen base in game two.
In the first game, Ohio State scored three runs in the fourth and added six runs in the fifth as it cruised to a 10-3 victory over the Eagles. The Buckeyes scored first in the second before Eastern Michigan tied the game in the top of the fourth. The Buckeyes reclaimed the lead in the home half of the fourth inning taking benefit from a pair of walks and two hits. Six more runs crossed the plate in the fifth inning, keyed by a two-run double by Paul Farinacci and a three-run home run off the scoreboard by Stephen.
Cory Luebke started the game, but yielded to Mike Madsen, who pitched two innings and picked up the victory to move to 3-3 on the year. The win was his 20th career win at Ohio State. Bob Lothian got the loss for Eastern Michigan. The Buckeye pounded out 11 hits to score 10 runs. Rabin was 3-for-3 in his second straight three-hit game and third in his last five games. Caravati and Zoeller each went 2-for-3.
In game two, Ohio State rallied from a two-run deficit to score the final three runs of the game, including the game winning run on a bases-loaded walk by Paul Farinacci. With the score tied 2-2 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, Steve Caravati got things started with a base hit to left-center field. He went to second on a wild pitch before coach Bob Todd brought in Wes Schritzinger to pinch run. Schirtzinger went to third on a bunt single by pinch hitter Jacob Howell. Jeff Fischer, the fourth pitcher used by the Eagles in game two, intentionally walked Jason Zoeller to load the bases and get to red-hot Jedidiah Stephen, who already had four hits and six RBI in the two games. Stephen popped up to second before Farinacci drew the game winning walk on a pitch above his chest to plate Schirtzinger and give the Buckeyes the second win in their last at bat this season.
Stephen led the Buckeyes in going 2-for-3 with one RBI. Ohio State had five hits to Eastern Michigan’s four, but left 13 base runners in the game, taking benefit from eight walks and one hit batsman.
Trey Fausnaugh picked up the win (3-1) despite not entering the game until two were gone in the seventh. With one runner on base, he fanned Ben Jones, who had already delivered one of the two Eastern Michigan runs to get out of the inning.
GENE SMITH TOSSES FIRST PITCH
Gene Smith, the new Ohio State athletics director, threw out the first pitch prior to the second game of the doubleheader against Eastern Michigan. The eighth athletics director in school history delivered a slider to reserve catcher Jamey Moore. Smith, who was the athletics director at Eastern Michigan from 1985-93, began his Ohio State tenure April 15. He came to Ohio State after serving as AD at Arizona State from 2000-05.
WEDNESDAY GAMES AT BDS
Ohio State is 4-1 in home Wednesday games this season after winning both games against Eastern Michigan. After beating Toledo 12-4 in the home opener March 30, the Buckeyes lost to Oakland 6-5 before rebounding to take a 15-4 win over Malone. The team did not have a Wednesday game last week.
Jedidiah Stephen leads the Buckeyes in their five home midweek games with a .500 batting average. He is 8-for-16 with one home run, eight RBI and three runs scored. Jacob Howell, who has played just four of the games is 6-for-13 (.462) with one triple, five RBI and three runs scored. Jason Zoeller is batting .375 (6-for-16) with one double, three RBI and a team-best seven runs scored. Ohio State is batting .319 in Wednesday home games and has a 2.85 ERA, while outscoring the opposition 45-19. Opponents are batting only .222.
The next home Wednesday date is next week when the Buckeyes welcome Cleveland State to Bill Davis Stadium. There also will be 3,000 sixth-graders from Columbus Public Schools at the game, which already is sold out.
WEBCASTS DEBUT FOR BASEBALL
Ohio State baseball fans are now able to watch select games by webcast online at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. The webcast is available within the College Sports Pass subscription service which features exclusive live and on-demand audio and video content. For more information, go online to ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
Remaining Ohio State Baseball Webcast Schedule
May 4 Cleveland State @ 12:05 p.m.
May 11 Miami (Ohio) @ 6:35 p.m.
May 20 Minnesota @ 6:35 p.m.
May 21 Minnesota @ 4:05 p.m.
May 21 Minnesota @ 7:05 p.m.
May 22 Minnesota @ 1:05 p.m.
RABIN LEADING BUCKEYES
Senior centerfielder Mike Rabin has made great strides in his offense the last several games and leads the Buckeyes with a .327 overall batting average and a .381 average in Big Ten games. All but three of his 34 hits have been singles (two doubles and one home run) and his has driven in 12 runs.
The co-captain from West Chester, Ohio (Lakota East) has played in all but one game this season and has started in 31 games. He has a hit in 12 of his last 14 games, including hits in six of his last seven games.
During the stretch of a dozen games, Rabin is batting .435 (20-of-46) and has four games during the stretch with three hits: 3-for-4 in the finale vs. Illinois, 3-for-4 in game two vs. Michigan State, 3-for-4 in the game against Michigan and 3-for-3 in the first game vs. Eastern Michigan. Only two other Buckeyes – second baseman Jason Zoeller and reserve shortstop Jedidiah Stephen – have more multiple-hit games.
In Rabin’s first nine games of the season, he had only five hits, but since then he has 29 hits, while being hitless in only five games.
SLOW BIG TEN START
The 4-9 start by Ohio State is the slowest start to open Big Ten play since it began the 1987 season 3-10. That also was the last year the Buckeyes were swept in a four-game series to open league play. Those losses came at the hands of Michigan. Ohio State also was swept by Purdue that year and finished 4-12 in the Big Ten. That was the year before the arrival of current Buckeye coach Bob Todd.
When this year’s Ohio State team lost the opening game of the Purdue series, it ran its conference losing streak to five games. The last time Ohio State started 0-5 was 1936, the same year the Ohio State University Marching Band first performed “Script Ohio.” That year, Ohio State lost its first nine conference games before finishing 1-10. Other events of 1936: former Ohio State sprinter Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
BIG TEN STATISTICS RANKINGS
In the Big Ten rankings that were released Thursday, Ohio State ranked eighth in team batting (.290), in front of Iowa (.287) and Purdue (.271); ranked first in team ERA (3.80); and was first in fielding (.971). Not a single Buckeye has a batting average ranked in the Top 10 in the league. Ranking individual ERAs, Cory Luebke is third with his 2.58 ERA, while teammate Dan DeLucia is fourth with his 2.83 ERA. In conference-only stats, the Buckeyes rank dead last in team batting (.260), sixth in team ERA (4.93) and fifth in team fielding (.964). No Buckeye ranks in the Top 10 in ERA in conference-only games, but Mike Rabin is 10th with his .381 average in Big Ten games.
The Buckeyes are 8-7 in games decided by two runs or less,including 3-4 in one-run games. The 3-2 win over Eastern Michiganin game two of the doubleheader was the third win in a one-run gameand the second win in their last at bat. All but five of SteveCaravati’s 21 starts have been in right field. The Buckeyeco-captain has made two starts as the Buckeye designated hitter,including the last game of the Michigan State series and the thirdgame at Illinois. He has two starts at first base, including thesecond game vs. Cornell and against Malone, and started in leftfield in the second game against Eastern Michigan. The Buckeyeshave won all four games when freshman Matt Angle has led off. Hehas led off against Rider, game two against Dartmouth, the finalevs. Michigan State and game two against Eastern Michigan. His onlyhit against the Spartans delivered the winning run in the bottom ofthe ninth. Eric Fryer’s two hits and two RBI in the finale againstMichigan State are a season high for the freshman backstop, thoughhe duplicated the two-hit effort the next game at Michigan, whichalso recruited him. He was 2-for-4 with one home run and two runsscored against Michigan, which, is where another Reynoldsburg HighSchool grad, Mike Matheny (San Francisco Giants), attended school.The three hits by Jedidiah Stephen in the finale against MichiganState were a season high. In his last four games, Stephen is7-for-13 (.538) with seven RBI, including a career-high five RBI inthe first game against Eastern Michigan when he had a single, a sacfly and a three-run home run. Stephen has 109 career hits,including 19 doubles, three triples and 18 home runs, as well as 75RBI. Steve Caravati has struck out just one time this season in the22 games he has played (62 at bats). He has 20 hits and 11 walks.He is batting .323 with four doubles, two triples and has yet toadd this season to his 21 career home runs. With a three-inningrelief outing in game one against Eastern Michigan, seniorright-handed pitcher Mike Madsen has pitched an even 200.0 inningsfor his career. The win was the 20th of his career and he is one ofonly 19 pitchers in Ohio State history to win 20 games or more.
BUCKEYE RECORD BOOK
Steve Caravati is tied for ninth with his .353 career battingaverage. His 217 hits rank 15th, while his 615 at bats have himranked 21st. The fifth-year senior co-captain from Dover, Ohio(Dover) is tied for third with 11 triples (two away from the schoolrecord) and his 21 career home runs are tied for 21st. Caravati hasbatted in 147 runs during his career (tied for 14th in schoolhistory), including 52 RBI last season. He needs 34 to move intosecond place all-time at Ohio State. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) holdsthe school record with 236 RBI. Mike Rabin has 729 career at bats,which is ranked third by any player in school history. The OSUrecord is 823, set by Mark Carek (1995-98). Rabin, who already has98 at bats in 2005, needs 94 at bats to break that record. He had234 at bats as a sophomore and 228 last year, so that is one recordto watch. His 42 steals tie for seventh most in school history.Rabin’s 216 hits rank 16th most in school annals, just behindCaravati’s total of 214. With five home runs this season, JedidiahStephen has 18 career home runs. The junior from Caldwell, Ohio,needs two more to crack the school’s Top 25 list. With 20 careervictories, Mike Madsen ranks is tied for 16th and with his winpercentage of .690 (20-9), he ranks 27th in school history. Madsenranks 12th in fewest hits allowed (211), tied for sixth in fewestbases on balls (80), eighth in fewest runs (114) and tied for 10thin fewest earned runs allowed (98). Madsen has pitched in 54 games,which ranks him 19th. Trent Luyster has made 55 appearances in hiscareer to tie for 16th. Luyster is third with fewest bases on balls(57), 12th in fewest runs (117) and is tied for 10th with fewestearned runs allowed (98). In just his second year as a Buckeye,Trey Fausnaugh has made 51 appearances, which is the 21st-most inschool history.
MICHIGAN DOWNS BUCKEYES 11-3
Ohio State went to Ann Arbor last weekend trying to claw its way back into contention for a bid to the Big Ten Tournament, instead the Buckeyes and Wolverines played only one of the four games in a snow-shortened series. Michigan relied on the arm of Jim Brauer, who fanned 10, and an eight-run fifth inning to hand Ohio State an 11-3 in the first ever night game at Ray Fisher Stadium.
The Wolverines scored twice in the third thanks to one hit and one Buckeye error, but then used six hits and two more errors to score eight in the fifth to build a 10-0 lead. Michigan scored its first two runs of the inning when Dan DeLucia misfired on the throw to first on a bunt by Matt Butler that also enabled him to get to third. He scored on a base hit by Chris Getz. DeLucia walked Kyle Bohm to put runners at first and second and when DeLucia’s wild throw on a pick-off attempt at first sailed past Paul Farinacci, allowed another run to score and put a runner at third, he was sent to the dugout in favor of Jeffrey Carroll. Carroll gave up three runs on three hits before Rory Meister came in to get the Buckeyes out of the biggest inning by an opponent this season.
Eric Fryer launched his first home run as a Buckeye, a one-out, solo shot in the sixth inning that he deposited over the fence in left field to put Ohio State on the board. Michigan got the run back in the bottom of the inning, scoring on a Meister wild pitch. The Buckeyes scored their final two runs of the game in the eighth inning, using hits by Fryer and Mike Rabin, a pair of Michigan errors and a sacrifice fly by Steve Caravati to pull within the 11-3 final score.
Brauer limited the Buckeyes to only one base runner until the sixth inning when Fryer’s home run stopped a string of 15 straight retired batters. When he left, he had struck out 10 with only one walk and had allowed all three runs on five hits in 7.1 innings. Derek Feldkamp pitched the rest of the way. The two allowed six hits by Ohio State, three of which came off the bat of Rabin and two off of Fryer. Paul Farinacci delivered the only other Buckeye hit. DeLucia fell to 2-3 with the loss.
SPARTANS WIN SERIES 3-1
Michigan State was trying to do something last weekend at Ohio State that no team had ever been able to do before and that was sweep the Buckeyes at Bill Davis Stadium. In the nine-year history of the stadium, only Michigan had won a series on the Buckeyes home turf (2003 and 2004). This time it was different. The Spartans won the first three games of the series (not even the Wolverines did that) to make a sweep possible, but Ohio State won in the bottom of the ninth to thwart the Spartan bid.
Ohio State lost the first three games 2-0, 12-3 and 8-1. It scored only four runs and had only 22 hits in the first three games of the series. The Buckeyes won 8-7 in the series finale, getting an RBI single from freshman Matt Angle to score freshman Eric Fryer, who reached on a hit of his own and then stole second to set up the score. Ohio State relief pitching allowed a grand slam to tie the game in the top of the ninth after leading by as many as five runs two different times. The Buckeyes finished the series with 12 runs on 35 hits, while Michigan State scored 29 runs on 45 hits.
Senior outfielder and co-captain Mike Rabin led the Buckeyes in going 6-for-12 with three runs batted in and two runs scored. He launched his third career home run in the second game of the series. Chris Macke, Jedidiah Stephen and Jacob Howell each delivered four hits in the series, though the Buckeyes hit just .276. Rabin is the leading Buckeye hitter in Big Ten play, batting .342 in the 12 games. He and Paul Farinacci each have three hits, while Farinacci has delivered seven RBI.
For Michigan State, Sean Walker belted three home runs and drove in four RBI, including the grand slam that tied game four in the top of the ninth. He had five hits and a slugging percentage of 1.077. He and teammate Tim Day who pitched an eight-hit complete game in the 2-0 victory on Friday, earned Big Ten player and pitcher of the week for their performances against the Scarlet and Gray.
BASEBALL AMERICA NAMES LUEBKE TO MID-SEASON ALL-FROSH TEAM
Ohio State freshman left-handed pitcher Cory Luebke was named to Baseball America’s mid-season Freshman All-America Team earlier this month. Luebke, a 18th-round draft by of the Pittsburgh Pirates last summer, is one of four starting pitchers to appear on the list. He joins James Adkins (LHP, Tennessee), David Prince (LHP, Vanderbilt) and Nick Schmidt (LHP, Arkansas). Luebke is 3-2 on the year with a 2.58 ERA, the third best in the Big Ten. Luebke has made 10 appearances with starts in his last seven games. He picked up his first career win against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, going the distance in a 4-1 Buckeye win. In that game he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, before allowing only four hits in his first complete game. He also beat Dartmouth before losing to Illinois and Michigan State. He beat Purdue for his third win of the season.
BUCKEYES TAKE 3 OF 4 VS. PURDUE
Ohio State took three of four games from Purdue April 8-10 at Bill Davis Stadium. In the Big Ten home opener, the Boilermakers handed the Buckeyes a 7-1 loss, their sixth loss in a row. Ohio State regrouped on Saturday to take both ends of the doubleheader, 6-4 and 5-1, before clinching the series win with a 4-2 victory in game four.
Despite getting a career-high 10 strikeouts from starter Trent Luyster, the Buckeye defense let the game get away from them. Trailing only 3-1 entering the ninth inning, two Purdue hits and two Buckeye errors led to four runs in the inning as the Boilermakers cruised to the six-run victory. It was the sixth straight loss for Ohio State.
Some say the third time is the charm, but for Ohio State head coach Bob Todd, it took seven times to earn his 700th career victory after winning No. 699 on March 30. After Cody Caughenbaugh tied the game 3-3 with a single, Jason Zoeller launched his fourth home run of the season, a three-run blast, to give the Buckeyes a 6-3 lead. Purdue was able to add a run, but Todd and the Buckeyes walked off the field victorious after the 6-4 win. In game three of the series, Jacob Howell was 2-for-2 with two RBI and Mike Madsen pitched his first complete game of the season to give Ohio State a 5-1 triumph to sweep the doubleheader. Madsen struck out six, allowed only four hits in winning his 19th game of his career.
Dan DeLucia and Jeffrey Carroll, both 2003 graduates of Bishop Watterson High School, combined to pitch the Buckeyes to a 4-2 victory in game four to clinch the series win. DeLucia retired the first 14 batters he faced but allowed both runs on seven hits before giving way to Carroll in the eighth. Carroll was touched for only one hit in picking up his first career save.
TODD WINS NO. 700 AT OSU
With a 6-4 victory over Purdue in the second game of the series, Bob Todd earned yet another milestone victory in his 22-year career. The win was his 700th at Ohio State. In his 18th season in Columbus, Todd is now 706-369-2 (.657). He improved his career record to 830-440-2 (.653). Todd entered the season ranked among the Top 25 active coaches by both win percentage and total victories.
Todd’s Milestone Ohio State Wins
1 – Feb. 27, 1988 vs. Louisville (16-2)
100 – Feb. 22, 1991 vs. Dartmouth (14-7)
200 – March 28, 1993 vs. Cleveland St. (9-5)
300 – April 13, 1995 at Wright State (16-6)
400 – May 16, 1997 at Michigan (9-2)
*480 – May 8, 1999 vs. Michigan St. (11-1)
500 – March 22, 2000 vs. Florida Int’l (2-0)
600 – May 19, 2002 vs. Minnesota (9-2)
700 – April 9, 2005 vs. Purdue (6-4)
*became the winningest coach in Ohio State history
Todd’s Milestone Career Victories
1 – March 23, 1984 vs. Mercer (18-4)
100 – March 25, 1987 vs. UNC-Wilm. (12-10)
200 – April 1, 1990 vs. Wisconsin (7-4)
300 – April 22, 1992 vs. Ohio (16-2)
400 – May 14, 1994 vs. Purdue (8-7)
500 – March 30, 1997 at Michigan St. (4-0)
600 – May 5, 1999 vs. Oakland (11-9)
700 – March 17, 2002 vs. Detroit (7-2)
800 – May 8, 2004 vs. Penn State (3-1)
Todd’s Milestone Big Ten Wins
1 – April 3, 1988 vs. Illinois (14-6)
100 – May 1, 1993 vs. Michigan (3-2)
200 – May 10, 1998 vs. Michigan State (5-4)
300 – April 2, 2004 vs. Illinois (5-1)
OHIO STATE SWEPT AT ILLINOIS
For only the second time at Ohio State since Bob Todd began coaching, the Buckeyes were swept in a four-game conference series. Illinois swept the series in grand fashion, winning the finale with a two-run walk-off home run to seal a 6-4 victory and only the sixth-ever sweep against Ohio State since the Big Ten began playing four-game series in 1981. The Illini won the first three games of the series by scores of 7-1, 4-1 and 5-4.
Illinois erupted for five runs on six hits in the sixth inning to hand the Buckeyes a 7-1 loss and snap their 10-game win streak. J.R. Kyes went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs to lead Illinois. Jedidiah Stephen led Ohio State with a single and a double. Paul Farinacci delivered the only OSU run in the top of the second inning. Trent Luyster fell to 4-2 with the loss. Jason Zoeller’s 13-game hit streak came to an end.
In game two, the Illini scored all four of their runs in the first inning to down the Buckeyes 4-1. Steve Caravati drove in Zoeller with a double down the left field line in the sixth inning. Zoeller, Caravati and Ronnie Bourquin had the three hits for Ohio State. In the second game of a doubleheader, Illinois dodged a late-inning rally by Ohio State to win 5-4. The Illini had sprinted to a 5-0 lead after the fourth inning before Farinacci delivered his first home run of the season, a grand slam he bounced off the top of the right-field fence in the top of the sixth. The Buckeyes stranded one runner in the seventh when Bourquin was tagged out sliding into first.
The luck of the Buckeyes appeared to change in the series finale when they took a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth inning, but Illinois tied the game in the bottom of the inning before the two-run walk-off home run in the ninth won the game 6-4. Mike Rabin was 3-for-4 in the game, while Zoeller and Chris Macke each had two hits and one RBI. Reliever Trey Fausnaugh gave up the home run to get the loss. The last 0-4 start by Ohio State was in 1987, the year before Todd arrived to Columbus.
SWISHER MAKES OPENING DAY ROSTER IN OAKLAND
Former Ohio State Buckeye Nick Swisher appeared on the opening-day roster of the Oakland Athletics. Swisher, who finished the 2004 season on the Oakland roster after being called up Sept. 3, became the highest-ever drafted player from Ohio State when he was picked 16th overall in the first round of the 2002 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He batted .323 in his three years with the Buckeyes, batting in 156 runs with 35 home runs. He had a .613 slugging percentage and a .452 on-base percentage while at Ohio State and was a starter in 166 of the 169 games in which he played. During his junior season, Swisher batted .348 with a team-best 52 RBI and 10 home runs. Swisher, a First Team All-Big Ten selection both as a sophomore and junior, had 64 hits, including 10 homers in 2002. He was a freshman All-American and was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2000.
ON THE RADIO
Ohio State baseball games are being broadcast again this season on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM), which will broadcast a total of 40 regular-season games, plus all postseason contests. Neil Sika and Paul Barnes will call the action. Live audio is available on the Internet at www.wosu.org or by clicking a link at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
UP NEXT FOR THE BUCKEYES…
Ohio State returns to action Wednesday in a non-conference game against Cleveland State. The Buckeyes and Vikings throw out the first pitch at 12:05 p.m. in a sold out Bill Davis Stadium. More than 3,000 sixth-graders in the Columbus Public School system are expected to attend the game.