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Feb. 26, 2004

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a slow start the opening weekend of the season, Ohio State, at 0-3, will try to even its record with three games this weekend in the Baseball at the Beach tournament at Coastal Federal Field in Myrtle Beach, S.C. It will not be an easy task though since both Richmond and Coastal Carolina participated in the 2003 NCAA tournament. Kent State, the other team the Buckeyes will play, was in the tournament in both 2001 and 2002.

The Buckeyes open the weekend by meeting Richmond at noon Friday and will then play Coastal Carolina at 3:30 p.m. Saturday before closing the event at noon Sunday. Ohio State will meet Richmond, which advanced to the final of the 2003 Stanford Regional, at noon Friday before meeting Coastal Carolina, which went 0-2 in the Lincoln Regional, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The Buckeyes will close the weekend at noon Sunday against Kent State, a team they met in the postseason in both 2001 and 2002.

ABOUT OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes stumbled out of the gate at the Minute Maid College Classic in Houston, losing to Texas 6-0, Kansas State 12-6 and Texas Tech 9-4. The Buckeyes mustered only three hits in the opening game against the Longhorns, which were one of last four teams standing at the end of 2003 after winning the national championship the year before. While Ohio State had nine hits in each of the next two games, the team was out-hit in all three games by a margin of 31-21 and out-scored 27-10. The Buckeyes had three fielding errors in each of the first two games and another in the third game for seven errors.

As typically is the case with Ohio State the first weekend of the year, most of the struggles can be attributed to practicing indoors and not getting a chance to field or hit outside. The team practiced on dirt and grass for the first time at Minute Maid Park for one hour the night before the team opened the season.

With the cold temperatures and the moist conditions in Columbus, the team has yet to practice at Bill Davis Stadium, the majestic eight-year home venue for Ohio State baseball. The team has had the luxury, however, of practicing inside the spacious Woody Hayes Athletic Center and on the North Turf Field just beyond the center field fence of the baseball stadium.

At any rate, the team will try to avoid its first 0-6 start since 1979, a span of 25 years. That was also the last time Ohio State started a season 0-3.

Leading the Buckeyes through the first three games was second baseman Drew Anderson, who went 5-for-13 (.385) with a home run and a double. Knocking in three of the team’s eight runs was designated hitter Cody Caughenbaugh, who’s only hit in eight at bats the opening weekend was a three-run home run. Five other players each was responsible for batting in one run, including leftfielder Steve Caravati, who had a double and a home run in going 2-for-12. The team finished the opening weekend of the season with a .204 batting average. The team struggled on the mound as well allowing 23 of the 27 runs scored to be earned, making the team ERA 7.96 through the first three games of the season. Only Trey Fausnaugh, who was making his first appearance as a Buckeye, did not allow an earned run. He pitched two innings of relief against Texas, allowing two hits and two walks. Trent Luyster, who got the losing decision against Texas Tech, struck out nine batters.

ABOUT RICHMOND
Richmond heads back to South Carolina for the second straight weekend after going 3-0 in its opening weekend in Charleston. The Spiders opened with a 2-1 win over The Citadel before shutting out Old Dominion 9-0. Sunday, Richmond beat West Virginia 21-13.

Richmond, which lost to Stanford in the final of the NCAA Stanford Regional in 2003 returned six position starters and 15 lettermen in 2004. Leading the team through the first three games of the season is Jim Fasano, who is batting .417. He hit one home run in the opener against The Citadel and then launched two against the Mountaineers for a total of three home runs. He has already knocked in 10 runs. Six Spiders are hitting better than .300 on a team that has a .259 batting average.

On the mound, Richmond sports a 3.00 earned run average after giving up only nine earned runs the opening weekend of the season. The Buckeyes are expected to face Thomas Martin who did not allow a run in seven innings against Old Dominion. In fact, the lefty allowed just two hits against nine strikeouts and two walks in an eventual 9-0 shutout of the Monarchs. Batters had a .095 average against him.

Richmond is coached by Ron Atkins (Virginia Tech, 1967), who is 611-420-4 in the 20th year of his career, all with the Spiders.

AGAINST THE SPIDERS
Richmond leads the all-time meeting with Ohio State 6-3 though the teams have not met since 1941. The nine previous games were played between 1937 and 1941 in Richmond, Va.

March 25, 1937 at Richmond 6, Ohio State 1 March 23, 1938 Ohio State 9, at Richmond 2 March 24, 1938 Ohio State 8, at Richmond 2 March 22, 1939 at Richmond 3, Ohio State 1 March 23, 1939 at Richmond 4, Ohio State 2 March 20, 1940 at Richmond 11, Ohio State 2 March 21, 1940 at Richmond 2, Ohio State 0 March 26, 1941 Ohio State 5, at Richmond 1 March 27, 1941 at Richmond 8, Ohio State 7

ABOUT COASTAL CAROLINA
Coastal Carolina is 5-2 to start the season after finishing 45-18 a year ago and reaching the NCAA tournament. The Chanticleers went 0-2 in the Lincoln Regional, falling to Eastern Michigan and Southwest Missouri State, Ohio State’s opponent in the Columbus Super Regional.

This season, Coastal Carolina opened with a pair of wins over Delaware State Feb. 7-8 and then added a win against Delaware Feb. 13 before two games in that three-game series were cancelled because of the weather. Last weekend, the Chanticleers split four games, losing twice to Missouri and beating Evansville and Albany.

Leading the offense for Coastal Carolina are Mike Costanzo, who is 13-of-29 (.448) and Adam Pernasilici, who is 7-of-16 (.438). Costanzo has four doubles, a triple and four home runs in seven games and has knocked in 14 runs. Nine players are hitting better than .300 on a team that posts a .328 average. On the mound, the team has a 6.89 ERA. The Chanticleers are expected to throw righty Kevin Marrie, who is 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA in four innings of work.

Coastal Carolina is coached by Gary Gilmore (Coastal Carolina, 1980), who is 544-289 in his 15th season as a head coach, which includes a nine-year mark of 291-187 with the Chanticleers.

AGAINST THE CHANTICLEERS
This is the first ever meeting between Ohio State and Coastal Carolina.

ABOUT KENT STATE
Kent State is off to a 1-3 start to the 2004 campaign with the lone win coming last weekend against New Mexico, 15-3. The Golden Flashes followed that up with a pair of losses at the Ultimate Dugout Baseball Fiesta tournament in Albuquerque, N.M. Kent State lost to Northwestern 8-3 before falling 22-9 to Nebraska. The season started with a loss to Kentucky at the Coca-Cola Classic in Rock Hill, S.C. Two other games were canceled because of weather.

Pacing the Golden Flashes is Joe Tucker, who is hitting .471 in the team’s four games. He is 8-of-17 with two doubles and three runs batted in. Six players for Kent State are hitting better than .300, including Chad Kinyon, the team’s leader with five RBI and Marshall Woods, who has two home runs. The team is hitting .300. On the mound, Kent State went with a rotation of Andy Sonnanstine, Justin Laraway and Jason Brunke in the three games. Sonnanstine, who likely will throw against Ohio State Sunday, struck out six in six innings in getting the win over New Mexico. He allowed four hits and only one run.

Kent State is coached by Rick Rembielak (Akron, 1988), who is 338-227-1 in his 11th career season, all with the Golden Flashes.

OHIO STATE-KENT STATE TIES
Ohio State coach Bob Todd spent four season (1984-87) as the Kent State head coach and amassed a record of 124-82, including a mark of 41-15 in 1986. His teams finished eighth, third, second and fifth, respectively, in league play ending a string of 16 consecutive last-place finishes by the Golden Flashes.

Pat Bangtson, the Buckeye pitching coach, pitched for Todd and the Golden Flashes from 1984-87 and won Mid-American Conference first-team selection as a senior. He was 8-5 with a 3.11 ERA that season and struck out 74 in 95 1/3 innings. He was 26-17 and entered this season as the schools’ all-time record holder in victories (26) and innings pitched (313 2/3). Bangtson was inducted into the Kent State Athletics Hall of Fame Jan. 30, 2004.

AGAINST THE GOLDEN FLASHES
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Kent State 33-13 and most recently met in the 2002 NCAA South Bend Regional, a game won 12-8 by Ohio State on June 1. The series is split in the last 10 games, which date back to Bob Todd’s last season as the head coach at Kent State. That season, the Golden Flashes beat Ohio State twice and then in Todd’s first season as skipper of the Buckeyes, the teams split a doubleheader.

Last 10 Games with Kent State April 22, 1987 at Kent State 12, Ohio State 3 April 22, 1987 at Kent State 4, Ohio State 3 May 4, 1988 at Ohio State 9, Kent State 0 May 4, 1988 Kent State 5, at Ohio State 3 May 3, 1989 at Ohio State 6, Kent State 1 May 3, 1989 Kent State 12, at Ohio State 3 April 24, 1990 at Ohio State 7, Kent State 4 March 9, 1996 Ohio State 5, Kent State 2* May 26, 2001 Kent State 9, at Ohio State 8** June 1, 2002 Ohio State 12, Kent State 8*** * Montgomery (Ala.) Classic ** NCAA Columbus Regional *** NCAA South Bend Regional

ON THE RADIO
Ohio State baseball will not be broadcast on the radio until the home opener March 31, once Buckeye women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey have concluded their respective seasons. NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) will again serve as the broadcast home for Ohio State baseball and will broadcast a total of 40 regular-season games, plus all postseason contests. Joining veteran broadcaster Frank Fraas will be newcomers Neil Sika and Paul Barnes.

None of Ohio State’s opponents at Baseball at the Beach will provide Internet radio broadcasts, but Coastal Carolina will provide live stats on its web site: www.coastal.edu/athletics/baseball

IN THE RANKINGS
After starting the season ranked as high as 26th in the four major preseason college baseball polls, the Buckeyes have dropped from the rankings after their 0-3 start. Ohio State continues to receive votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 35 poll, but are not in any of the other three.

The preseason ranking of 26th was in the NCBWA poll. Ohio State received note in all four preseason polls, ranking 31st in Collegiate Baseball, 32nd in Baseball America. The Buckeyes received the 28th most votes in the USA Today Sports Weekly/ESPN coaches’ poll. Last season, the Buckeyes finished the season ranked as high as 17th and no lower than 21st in any of the polls.

BUCKEYES DROP OPENER TO TEXAS
The Texas Longhorns out-hit Ohio State 8-3 and used a three-run second inning on their way to a 6-0 blanking of the Buckeyes in Ohio State’s season opener Feb. 13 in the Minute Maid College Classic at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Texas took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. A throwing error by Buckeye pitcher Josh Newman on a bunt by Drew Stubbs led to the first Longhorn run and put two runners in scoring position. The error allowed Taylor Teagarden to score from second after he led off the inning with a double. Michael Hollimon followed Teagarden’s double with a walk before the bunt to Newman, who battled back for a strikeout before a single scored Hollimon and a sacrifice bunt by brought home Stubbs for the 3-0 lead after two innings.

The Longhorns added a run in the bottom of the fourth inning and another in the sixth to go up 5-0. A solo home run by J.D. Reninger in the eighth inning off a 2-0 offering from Buckeye reliever Jeffrey Carroll built the Longhorn lead to the final six-run margin of victory. Reninger was 2-for-3 with three RBI and one run.

The Buckeyes had just one runner in scoring position the entire game, but could not get the runner to third base in the fourth inning. Trailing 3-0, the Buckeyes sent Mike Rabin on a tag from second on a fly out to center field by Steve Caravati. Rabin had two hits to lead Ohio State.

Newman got the loss as he and the Buckeyes fell to 0-1. In his five innings, Newman allowed five hits, five runs and struck out four batters while walking four. Trey Fausnaugh pitched two innings for Ohio State and Carroll pitched one inning.

IN SEASON OPENERS
Since Bob Todd took over the program prior to the 1988 season, the Buckeyes have gone 9-8 in season openers, including this season’s 6-0 loss to Texas. The loss in the opener was the first since losing 10-5 to Nebraska in 2001. It was the first shutout loss in the season opener since falling to Florida Southern by a 6-0 score in 1986. The shutout loss was the first for Ohio State since dropping a 4-0 decision to Minnesota May 18, 2002.

Ohio State had won two season openers in a row, including a 2-0 win over UAB in 2002 and a 5-3 win at Lamar last season. In 121 years of Ohio State baseball, the Buckeyes are 74-45-2 (.620) in season openers.

SECOND EARLIEST START
The Feb. 13 game against Texas at the Minute Maid College Classic, marked the earliest start for the Buckeyes since the 1998 season, when the team opened the year Jan. 30, the earliest start in the history of the program.

KANSAS STATE DOUBLES UP BUCKS
Ohio State right-handed pitcher Mike Madsen gave up seven runs in the first two innings and Kansas State never looked back in a 12-6 victory Feb. 14 in the Minute Maid College Classic at Minute Maid Park. Eli Rumler was 2-for-4 with four RBI and one run to lead the Wildcats.

Madsen walked three and Kansas State had four hits, including a three-run triple to build a 6-0 lead in the top half of the first inning. The Buckeyes went in order in bottom half of the inning before Murphy scored on an inside-the-park home run that snuck under the glove of rightfielder Wes Schirtzinger and rolled to the wall. Ohio State’s second error of the game yielded a run in the third inning to build the Wildcat lead to 8-0. Kansas State scored its leadoff runner in the fifth inning to build a nine-run lead.

Ohio State got on the board in the sixth inning. Jacob Howell led off the inning with a pinch-hit triple and then scored on a groundout by Mike Rabin. The Buckeyes added three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull within a 9-4 score. Caravati led off the inning with a double to right-centerfield and moved to third on a single to left-centerfield by Jeffrey Carroll, who had entered the game at first base in the top half of the inning. Cody Caughenbaugh launched a shot over the fence in right field to score three runs.

The Wildcats countered the Buckeyes’ three runs with a three-spot in the top of the eighth inning, benefiting from two hits, two walks and a balk to build a 12-4 lead.

After stranding two base runners in the eighth, Ohio State got a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth. Brett Hatcher drew a pinch-hit walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ronnie Bourquin doubled down the right-field line to score Hatcher. Bourquin scored on an error by Marc Chabot, the Wildcat second baseman on a ball hit off the end of his glove by Howell that rolled into right field.

Madsen was tagged with the loss after allowing seven runs on five hits with three walks and no strikeouts in two innings of work. Bourquin and Drew Anderson each had two hits to lead the Buckeyes, who finished the game with nine hits and three errors. Kansas State had 10 hits and two errors.

OHIO STATE DROPS MINUTE MAID FINALE TO TEXAS TECH
Ohio State kept it close, but Texas Tech scored four runs in the final two innings to hand the Buckeyes a 9-4 loss in the finale of the Minute Maid College Classic for both teams.

The Buckeyes pulled within 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Red Raiders got four runs on six hits against reliever Justin Myers the final two innings of the game. Trent Luyster got the start for Ohio State and went seven innings allowing five runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts and had more than 115 pitches.

Ohio State took its first lead in three games of the Minute Maid College Classic in the bottom of the first inning after a solo home run by Drew Anderson went about 385 feet to left-centerfield to put the Buckeyes up 1-0.

Texas Tech scored four runs in the top of the third inning to take a 4-1 lead. The Buckeyes got two of the runs back in the bottom of the fifth inning to close within a 4-3 score. Ronnie Bourquin led off the inning with a single through the left side and then with two outs, moved to third on a throwing error by Red Raider catcher Cooper Fouts. Brett Garrard singled to centerfield to score Bourquin and then stole second. Jacob Howell grounded to short, but a throwing error by Blair, the Texas Tech shortstop, allowed Garrard to score from second.

The Red Raiders added to their lead in the top of the sixth before Steve Caravati answered in the bottom of the inning with a home run to the Crawford Boxes in left field. The run pulled the Buckeyes within one run, 5-4, which held until the top of the eighth inning when Brady homered to left and Mask followed with a double. Mask moved to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a ground out by Matthew Coco to give the Red Raiders a 7-4 lead.

In the ninth, Texas Tech turned a lead-off single into a run when Delgado singled up the middle. Delgado was the ninth run when he scored on a base hit by Mask.

Anderson was 2-for-4 with a home run and a double that missed clearing the wall in left field by only three inches. Garrard was 2-for-3 with one RBI. Luyster got the loss.

2003 SEASON REVIEW
The 2003 Ohio State Buckeyes knew they were a good team last year, but just how good was not discovered until its postseason run in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.

Needing two wins on the final day of the conference tournament against Minnesota, Ohio State rallied for a 13-3 win in game one and a 10-8 victory in game two to claim its second straight and sixth ever Big Ten tournament championship.

The win also handed the Buckeyes the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. Now, Ohio State, as a No. 3 regional seed, was faced with an even greater challenge against a trio of Tigers, including two southern baseball powerhouses: Auburn, Clemson and Princeton. Yet the Buckeyes again rose to the challenge, shocking the nation with a sweep of the Auburn Regional, defeating Clemson, a 2002 College World Series participant, in the opening round, before taking a pair of victories from host and national No. 4 seed Auburn.

That set up a super regional matchup with Southwest Missouri State, which itself came out of the Lincoln Regional as a No. 3 seed. The NCAA awarded the super regional to Ohio State, yet the Buckeyes fell two games short of advancing to the College World Series for the first time since 1967 despite crowds of more than 5,000 fans each game at Bill Davis Stadium.

TWO BUCKEYES NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
Left-handed pitcher Scott Lewis and second baseman Drew Anderson were named Third Team Preseason All-Americans by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Lewis was the 2003 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and a Louisville Slugger First Team All-American last year after finishing 9-1 on the mound. Lewis ran his record to 9-0 before suffering a loss in his last outing of the regular season, May 16, when he tore his ulnar collateral ligament in a game at Minnesota. That loss snapped a string of 15 consecutive victories. His 17-3 career record gives him a win percentage of .850, which is third best in school history. He finished with a 1.61 ERA in 2003 and held opposing batters to a .160 batting average. His 127 strikeouts in 83 2/3 innings was the third highest total in school history. Lewis underwent Tommy John surgery the week of regional play and could return to the mound in April.

Anderson was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection in 2003 after leading the Buckeyes with 77 hits. He batted .307 for the season and had 12 home runs and 34 RBI. Anderson was unanimously named the most outstanding player of the NCAA Auburn Regional by batting .429 (6-of-14) with two doubles and four home runs. Also a member of the all-regional team, he touched 20 bases for a slugging percentage of 1.429.

FIVE ALL-BIG TEN PICKS RETURN
Five Buckeyes who won All-Big Ten honors last season are back in 2004. Scott Lewis, the 2003 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, is the lone first-team selection returning, but the date of the return is unknown pending his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery May 29. Second baseman Drew Anderson and left-handed pitcher Josh Newman were second team selections while catcher Derek Kinnear and designated hitter Steve Caravati earned third-team honors.

LEWIS RANKED 43RD BEST PROSPECT IN 2004 DRAFT
Baseball America listed Scott Lewis No. 43 on its Top 100 College Prospects for the June amateur draft by Major League Baseball. Lewis, who is undergoing rehab following Tommy John surgery last May, could pitch for the Buckeyes as early as mid-April. Lewis struck out 127 batters in 83.2 innings and finished with a 9-1 record and 1.61 ERA. Baseball America lists Lewis’ breaking ball as one of the best in college baseball with Rice’s Jeff Niemann and South Carolina’s Matt Campbell. Lewis was drafted following high school by the Anaheim Angels in the 33rd round of the 2001 draft.

BASEBALL AMERICA BIG TEN HONORS
In the 2004 College Baseball Preview by Basebaall America, several Buckeyes received preseason honors. The publication named catcher Derek Kinnear, second baseman Drew Anderson, designated hitter Steve Caravati and left-handed pitcher Josh Newman to its preseason all-conference team for the Big Ten. Baseball America also mentioned Scott Lewis as the Big Ten’s top overall prospect while listing Newman as the sixth-best prospect and Anderson as the ninth-best prospect while tabbing him as the league’s fastest runner and best baserunner. Kinnear was named the best defensive catcher. Baseball America penciled in Ohio State and Minnesota for the NCAA tournament.

2004 TEAM CAPTAINS
The Buckeyes elected four of their fellow teammates to serve as team captains for the 2004 season: outfielder Steve Caravati, shortstop Brett Garrard, catcher Derek Kinnear and pitcher Josh Newman.

THE 2004 SCHEDULE
In all, Ohio State will play 13 games against nine teams that advanced to the NCAA tournament in 2003. That includes the season opener against Texas and other single games against Richmond, Coastal Carolina, McNeese State, South Alabama, Rutgers and Eastern Michigan, two games at Florida Atlantic and four games at Minnesota.

The Buckeyes will play on the road the first five weeks of the season, a span of 16 games, with a bye week following the Minute Maid College Classic. The team travels to Myrtle Beach, S.C., Jacksonville, Fla., Mobile, Ala. and Boca Raton, Fla. for tournament action before the home opener March 31 against Eastern Michigan.

Bob Todd RADIO CALL-IN SHOW BEGINS MARCH 30
The Bob Todd weekly radio call-in show will begin Tuesday, March 30 and run every Tuesday night through the remainder of the season. The show will be hosted by Skip Mosic on Sports Radio 1460 The Fan (WBNS-AM). The program has received mention in Baseball America for its promotion of college baseball.

FOUR TELEVISION DATES ON ONN
Ohio State baseball will be televised four times this season by the Ohio News Network. Game four of series against Illinois, Michigan and Northwestern and the opening game of the Penn State series will be televised by the Ohio cable channel.

Sunday, April 2 vs. Illinois 1 p.m. Sunday, April 25 vs. Michigan 1 p.m. Saturday, May 8 vs. Penn State 1 p.m. Sunday, May 16 vs. Northwestern 1 p.m.

UP NEXT…
The Buckeyes continue their 16-game road trip to start the season with three games in Jacksonville, Fla. Ohio State will meet North Florida March 5 at 7 p.m. before meeting Connecticut Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and Western Michigan Sunday at 11 a.m. All games will be played at the University of North Florida.