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April 11, 2006

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NO. 24 OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
19-7, 6-2 Big Ten
vs.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN CHIPPEWAS
17-14, 6-3 MAC

April 12, 2006 o 6:35 p.m.
Bill Davis Staidum (Capacity: 4,450)
Columbus, Ohio

Series History: Central Michigan leads 2-1

PROBABLE OSU PITCHER
Dan Barker (RHP)

RADIO
AM 920 WMNI

OHIOSTATEBUCKEYES.COM
GameTracker and Streaming Audio

A mini-six game home stand comes to a close Wednesday when Ohio State plays host to Central Michigan at 6:35 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium. The next six games are against teams from Michigan, including the midweek meeting with the Chippewas. The Buckeyes travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., this weekend for a four-game series with Michigan before returning home next Wednesday for a matchup with Oakland.

Ohio State is 0-1 this season vs. teams from Michigan after a comeback fell short in a 12-11 loss to Western Michigan March 5 in Jacksonville, Fla. The Buckeyes are 2-1 against teams from the Mid-American Conference with wins vs. Toledo and Miami (Ohio) the last two Wednesdays to go with the loss to Western Michigan.

The game will be broadcast on the new home for Ohio State baseball, AM 920 WMNI in Columbus. Randy Rhinehart and former Ohio State pitcher Bob Spears will call the action. The game will be available at ohiostatebuckeyes.com and will feature GameTracker. MILESTONE GAME
The game Wednesday against Central Michigan will be the 3,600th game in Ohio State history. The Buckeyes are 2,172-1,389-38 all time for a win percentage of .609. The 2,172 victories rank 19th in college baseball history. This is the 123rd season of Ohio State, which began in 1881. The university did not field a team in 1887, 1908 and 1910.

ABOUT THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State is off to its best start since the 2001 season when it began the year 20-6 after a 17-game win streak. This year’s team is 19-7 and has won six of the last seven games and 11 of the last 13 to post the best overall record by a Big Ten team this season. After cracking the Top 25 last week, the Buckeyes went 4-1, beating Miami (Ohio) in a mid-week non-conference tilt before taking three of four games vs. Illinois, the 2005 Big Ten regular season champion, to stay atop the league standings with a 6-2 record.

After getting rained out Friday night, Ohio State and Illinois were forced to play two doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday, playing the series in order with a nine-inning and a seven-inning game Saturday followed by a seven-inning and a nine-inning game Sunday. Ohio State won 4-1 and 5-1 on Saturday. Down 6-0 in the first game Sunday, the Buckeyes tied the game in the bottom of the sixth before allowing two runs in the top of the ninth in an 8-6 extra-inning defeat. The Scarlet and Gray clinched the series with a 9-1 triumph in the nightcap.

For the weekend, the team batted .331 and was led by center fielder Matt Angle, who was 7-for-15 (.467) with a pair of doubles and four runs scored. Shortstop Jedidiah Stephen batted .462 and third baseman Ronnie Bourquin batted .429, while J.B. Shuck, who had one start at first and two in left field, batted .400. Shuck, also a freshman pitcher, went the distance to pitch his first career complete game in the series clinching victory on Sunday. He allowed only one run on seven hits and struck out five. Catcher/first baseman Eric Fryer batted .389 with six RBI and seven runs scored.

Six pitchers combined for a 2.12 ERA and struck out 30 Illini batters in 34.0 innings pitched and limited Illinois to a .203 batting average. Dan DeLucia and Cory Luebke joined Shuck in pitching complete games. DeLucia allowed one run on six hits with a career-high tying nine strikeouts, while Luebke allowed one run on three hits with seven strikeouts in his 7.0-inning complete game. Shuck and DeLucia both lead the Big Ten with five victories. Shuck is 5-0 with a 1.10 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 41.0 innings, while DeLucia is 5-1 with a 2.73 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 52.2 innings. Luebke is 4-2 with a 3.13 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 37.1 innings. DeLucia is 2-0 in the Big Ten with a 0.56 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 16.0 innings.

Dan Barker will make an abbreviated start Wednesday vs. Central Michigan. He is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 18.0 innings.

IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State remained 24th in this week’s Collegiate Baseball poll and was ranked for the first time this season by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, earning a No. 26 ranking in the organization’s Top 30 national poll. The Buckeyes also received votes in this week’s USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll.

BEST START SINCE 2001
Ohio State is off to its best start since the 2001 season when the team opened 3-4 before winning its next 17 games. It dropped its next two games and was 20-6 through 26 games, the same point where the current team is with its 19-7 record. The Buckeyes went on to finish 43-18 overall and 20-7 in the Big Ten to win the conference. Ohio State hosted the Big Ten tournament and an NCAA regional, which is the last time it has played host to either postseason tournament.

FRYER NAMED CO-BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK AND TO CBF HONOR ROLL
Eric Fryer led the Buckeyes with 10 hits in five games last week. The sophomore from Reynoldsburg, Ohio (Reynoldsburg), was 10-for-22 (.455) with a team-best six RBI and six runs scored. He had two doubles and his third home run of the season, a solo shot in the series opener vs. Illinois. Fryer was 2-for-5 in that game and then was 2-for-5 with two RBI in game three and 3-for-5 with three RBI in game four. The catcher/first baseman had a slugging percentage of .682 and an on-base percentage of .455

Fryer leading the team in its last 10 games with his .463 batting average (19-for-41) and his 19 hits during that span is three better than anyone on the team. His 11 runs scored paces the squad and his 11 RBI is second. For the season, Fryer is batting .398 and leads the team with three home runs and 34 RBI.

LAST WEDNESDAY:
OSU JUMPS OUT EARLY IN 9-2 WIN VS. MIAMI

Ohio State jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and then added three more runs on its way to a 9-2 victory over Miami University Wednesday night at Bill Davis Stadium.

It was the 15th game of the year Ohio State had at least 10 hits, three off the bat of Eric Fryer. The Buckeyes scored twice in the first inning, added four in the third, one in the fifth and two in the sixth. Jonathan Zizzo, Jedidiah Stephen and Wes Schirtzinger each had a pair of hits. Ronnie Bourquin and J.B. Shuck each drove in two runs.

Dan Barker improved to 3-0 with the win in the abbreviated short start. He pitched three innings and struck out three while keeping Miami off the scoreboard on four hits and a walk. Josh Barrera pitched the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Trey Fausnaugh struck out two and gave up one hit in his two innings before Rory Meister struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth.

AT HOME ON WEDNESDAY
Ohio State improved to 2-0 at home this season with a pair of Wednesday non-conference victories against Toledo (8-5) and Miami (9-2). The Buckeyes have hit .380 in the two games and are led by Eric Fryer, who is 7-for-8 with five runs scored in the two games. He was 4-for-4 vs. Toledo and was 3-for-4 vs. Miami this past Wednesday. Jason Zoeller is 3-for-5 with four RBI and Jedidiah Stephen is 4-for-8 with three RBI and two runs scored. Dan Barker earned the win in both contests and has not allowed a run on seven hits in five innings pitched. He has five strikeouts and has walked one batter.

ABOUT CENTRAL MICHIGAN
The Chippewas takes a 17-14 overall record into a Tuesday game vs. IPFW. Central Michigan is 6-3 in the Mid-American Conference after winning two of three home games this past weekend against Bowling Green. The team opened with a three-game sweep of Buffalo and lost two of three games to Kent State before winning the final two games (6-3, 14-11) against the Falcons after dropping game one, 7-3. CMU is 1-1 against the Big Ten this season, beating Penn State 3-1 on March 6 before losing last Wednesday 19-4 vs. Michigan.

Ben Humphrey is one of four starters batting .300 or better. He leads the team with a .354 batting average. Bryan Mitzel is batting .344 and leads the team with 42 hits, eight doubles, 11 home runs and 36 RBI. He has a .697 slugging percentage. Noah Lankford is batting .324 and J.T. Jones is batting .308 on a team that has a collective .309 batting average. CMU has a 5.13 ERA and has a .278 batting average against it. Kurt Lauscher and Ty Dunham each are 4-2 though Josh Collmenter is the team leader with 53 strikeouts. He is 3-4 with a 5.51 ERA in 47.1 innings. Dunham has a 4.88 ERA in 51.2 innings. Lauscher has a 4.15 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 39.0 innings.

Steve Jaska (Central Michigan, 1979) is 145-95 in his fifth season as a college coach and is 117-84 in his fourth season at his alma mater.

AGAINST THE CHIPPEWAS
Central Michigan leads the all-time series against Ohio State 2-1 after the teams split a pair of games during the 2000 season at the Texas A&M Aggie Continental Airlines Classic in College Station, Texas. The Chippewas one the first ever game in a 24-22 slugfest at Trautman Field in Columbus.

OSU vs. Central Michigan (CMU leads 3-2)

5/8/1990 L 24-22 H
3/18/2000 W 11-4 1N
3/20/2000 L 3-2 1N

1-at College Station, Texas

IN THE BIG TEN
Ohio State continues to own the best overall record in the Big Ten at 19-7 and leads the league with a 6-2 record through Sunday games. Northwestern won its series with Indiana with a 4-3 series clincher on Monday to keep pace with Ohio State with just two losses in eight Big Ten games. The Boilermakers are second with a 5-3 record and are 17-9 overall. Michigan, Iowa and Michigan State are tied for fourth with 4-4 records. Michigan, which will play host to Ohio State this weekend, won three of four games at Minnesota in the Metrodome. This weekend, Michigan State is at Penn State, Purdue is at Indiana, Northwestern is at Illinois and Minnesota is at Iowa.

SHUCK DOES IT ALL FOR THE BUCKEYES
When J.B. Shuck started in left field in the second game of the Illinois series last weekend, it was the third position the Buckeye freshman has played. He has made six starts as a pitcher, 10 at first base and two in left field. He was an outfielder in high school and had not played in the infield until OSU coach Bob Todd asked him to share responsibilities at first base at the start of the season after the departure of three-year starter Paul Farinacci.

Shuck’s exploits as a pitcher have been well documented, earning mention on the College Baseball Foundation National Honor twice this season. The first time came after he earned the win over then-No. 12 Missouri in his first collegiate start the opening weekend of the season. The next time, April 4, after he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in a 15-1 victory over Iowa to clinch the series. He leads the Big Ten with five wins (no losses) and sports a 1.10 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 41.0 innings. In his 12 starts at first and in left field, he boasts an admirable .388 batting average with 19 hits in 49 at bats with 14 RBI and 11 runs scored. He has a hit in all but two of the 16 games he has played, including his first six games to start the season. In his first collegiate at bat, as a pinch hitter in the season opener vs. Wake Forest, he had a single.

HIGH-POWERED OFFENSE
The Buckeyes continue to lead the Big Ten with a .347 batting average through 26 games. In the eight conference games, the team is batting .325, which also is the top average in the league. Overall, the Buckeyes are 1-2-3 in batting average with Ronnie Bourquin (.431), Jacob Howell (.416) and Matt Angle (.402). Eric Fryer is sixth in the league with his .398 average and Jedidiah Stephen is seventh with his .392 average, giving the Buckeyes five of the Top 7 spots. Bourquin has 47 hits to lead the league, while Angle has 41, Stephen 40 and Fryer 39 as the top four hitters in the conference.

BUCKEYES FIND EARLY GAME SUCCESS
Ohio State has managed to build early leads against its opponents. Through the first four innings, the Buckeyes have outscored their opposition 108-41, including a margin of 17-4 in the second inning. Only nine times this season in 26 games has an opponent scored in the first inning. The sixth inning also has been particularly potent for the Buckeyes, which have outscored opponents 39-6.

TWO-OUT HITTING
Every coach preaches getting hits with two outs, but Ohio State players really seems to be taking it to heart this season. The team has 94 two-out hits and has driven in 80 runs with two outs. The Buckeyes are batting .308 (94-for-305) with two outs.

BUCKEYES OPEN LEAGUE PLAY 3-1 AT IOWA
Ohio State won three of four games from Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, March 31-April 2. Ohio State won the first, third and fourth games of the series by respective scores of 12-5, 6-4 and 15-1, with the only blemish of the week coming in game two, a 7-1 loss. The most dominating win was the 15-1 series clincher on Sunday that kept the Buckeyes on top of the Big Ten standings.

While the offense pounded out 17 hits, it was the pitching that grabbed national headlines as freshman pitcher J.B. Shuck took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before giving up a solo home run to the lead-off batter that inning. It was the only hit allowed by Buckeye pitching. Shuck struck out eight batters in the game and turned the game over to Dan Barker, who pitched the ninth without a hit.

The team outscored the Hawkeyes 34-17 while 15 of the team’s 44 hits were for extra bases. The team had nine doubles, two triples and four home runs after entering the weekend with only three round-trippers the first 17 games of the season. Ronnie Bourquin batted .438 in the four games, going 7-for-16 with three doubles, a home run, five RBI and six runs scored. He had an .813 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage. He did not strikeout in the series and drew two walks. Jason Zoeller also had a strong series, batting .417.

SHUCK MAKES NATIONAL HONOR ROLL
For the second time this season freshman pitcher J.B. Shuck made the College Baseball Foundation National Honor Roll April 4. Shuck, a left-handed pitcher from Galion, Ohio (Galion), took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in a 15-1 victory in the series at Iowa. The Hawkeyes broke it up with a solo-home run to lead off the eighth inning, but he retired the next three batters to get out of the inning and handed the game over to a reliever who did not allow a hit in the ninth. The two pitchers combined to allow only the one hit. Shuck struck out a season-high eight batters, equaling the most by a Buckeye this season, and did not issue a walk.

Shuck also started the midweek game against Toledo, but pitched only three innings after allowing one earned run on five hits in the short start. After beating Iowa, Shuck improved to 4-0 and boasts a 1.12 ERA, the lowest in the Big Ten. Opposing hitters are batting just .161. He has allowed only four earned runs this season and also holds his own at first base, where he has made eight starts. Shuck is batting .400 in 12 games (14-for-35) with 10 RBI.

The multi-position player also made the honor roll after his first win of the season, a 4-2 win over Missouri the opening weekend of the season, when the Tigers were ranked No. 12 in the nation.

ZOELLER HIT FOR SERIES CYCLE AT IOWA
In the four games at Iowa, Ohio State second baseman Jason Zoeller hit for the cycle. He was 5-for-12 with two singles, a double, a triple and a home run. He also had a sacrifice bunt and finished the series with five RBI and scored two runs.

IN BIG TEN OPENERS
With the 12-5 win in the Big Ten opener March 31 at Iowa, the Buckeyes improved to 12-7 in conference openers since head coach Bob Todd arrived in Columbus prior to the 1988 season. Prior to last year’s loss at Illinois, Ohio State had won six Big Ten openers. When opening league play at home, the Buckeyes are 8-4 under Todd. Since 1988, when the team is on the road to open Big Ten play it is 3-3 and at a neutral site, the team is 1-0.

DELUCIA TOPS 175 CAREER INNINGS
With 14.0 innings on the spring break trip, Dan DeLucia moved ahead of the stat minimum for several career pitching stats. Now at 184.1 career innings after throwing 7.0 in the Big Ten opener at Iowa. He has allowed 179 hits, the seventh lowest total by a Buckeye. He has walked just 54 batters, which is the third fewest by an Ohio State pitcher. He has allowed 95 runs (tied for seventh lowest) and 81 earned runs (sixth lowest). DeLucia is 13-9 with a 3.95 ERA and 105 strikeouts, though this year he is 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA and is in a three-way tie for the team lead with 26 strikeouts.

CRACKING THE TOP 10 IN APPEARANCES
Ohio State reliever Trey Fausnaugh has made five appearances this season, including a 2.0-inning outing Wednesday in the 9-2 win over Miami (Ohio). That appearance was the 61st of his career and he now is in a seven-way tie for ninth most in school history. The all-time record for appearances is 96 held by Cory Cox (1998-2001). He needs three more appearances to tie Justin Fry for eighth.

SPEED YIELDING MORE TRIPLES
Ohio State hit four triples in its five games last week, including two against Miami (Ohio) and two in the 5-1 victory vs. Illinois in game two of that series. Jonathan Zizzo and Jedidiah Stephen each reached third against the RedHawks and then against Illinois, Stephen tripled again. He was joined in the game by freshman J.B. Shuck, who tripled for the first time in his career. The school record for three-baggers is 25 set in 1991. Last year the team had 16 triples, which tied for 10th most in school history. Jacob Howell and Stephen lead the team with three this season. Howell has nine career triples to sit in an eighth-place tie on the school’s career list. Stephen has eight in his career, while Jason Zoeller has five career triples.

SPEED ALSO WORKING ON BASE PATHS
Buckeye center fielder Matt Angle has stolen 13 of 15 bases this season as the team leader. Jacob Howell and Wes Schirtzinger, the other two outfielders, also are a threat to steal. Howell is perfect in six attempts, while Schirtzinger has been thrown out once on seven tries. The team is 33 for 40 in stolen bases this season. Howell has 30 career stolen bases and is tied for 17th on the career list.

IN HOME OPENERS
An 8-5 win over Toledo at Bill Davis Stadium March 29 was the 14th home opening victory for Ohio State since Bob Todd arrived to Ohio State prior to the 1988 season. The Buckeyes are 14-5 in home openers in his 19 seasons. The Scarlet and Gray have beaten Toledo each of the last two years in the home opener to improve to 7-3 all-time in openers at Bill Davis Stadium.

BUCKEYES GO 5-1 ON SPRING BREAK
The Buckeyes won 5-of-6 games on their annual spring break trip last week in Bradenton, Fla., March 19-24 Ohio State opened the trip with a 14-0 victory vs. Massachusetts and then beat Cornell 12-4 before falling 7-1 to Illinois-Chicago. The Buckeyes rebounded to beat Cornell 6-0 and won two games vs. Vermont (14-1 and 6-5).

The Scarlet and Gray batted .335 in the six games and were led by Jacob Howell, who batted .571 in the six games. He was 12-for-21 with one double, two triples and a sacrifice bunt for five RBI and nine runs scored. He also drew three walks and was hit by one pitch with only two strikeouts. He added two stolen bases. Matt Angle hit .435 and scored 11 runs on the trip and Eric Fryer hit .421 and batted in 10 runs. Ronnie Bourquin was one of three with more than 10 hits. The Buckeye third baseman batted in 10 runs and scored eight times.

On the hill in Bradenton, Dan DeLucia was 2-0 while J.B. Shuck, Jake Hale and Josh Barrera also earned wins. DeLucia pitched a three-hit, complete game, 14-0 shutout vs. UMass in the opener of the spring break trip and then closed the week with a 6-5 victory vs. Vermont. Shuck combined with Dan Barker for the team’s other shutout win of the week. Each kept Cornell off the scoreboard and allowed two hits. Hale picked up his first win as a Buckeye in the 12-4 win vs. Cornell, while Barrera claimed his first win in the 14-1 victory vs. Vermont. Cory Luebke was the losing pitcher vs. Illinois-Chicago. As a pitching staff, Ohio State had a 2.77 ERA and held opposing batters to a .211 average.

HOWELL LEADS BUCKEYES IN BRADENTON
Jacob Howell had nine straight hits to start the week and batted .571 in six games last week, going 12-for-21 with five RBI and nine runs scored as the Buckeyes won five games. He had a slugging percentage of .810 and an on-base percentage of .640.

Howell actually had a hit in 10 straight at bats going back to the team’s win over Bethune-Cookman March 12. He was 2-for-5 in that game with a single in his last at bat. He was 3-for-3 with a walk vs. UMass, 5-for-5 vs. Cornell and then was 1-for-3 vs. Illinois-Chicago with a hit in his first at bat. With the walk vs. UMass, he actually reached base 11 straight times, which was two off the 1934 school record of 13. Howell is third on the team with a .433 batting average.

DELUCIA, HALE HONORED NATIONALLY
Dan DeLucia and Jake Hale were named to the College Baseball Foundation Weekly Honor Roll March 21 after combining to allow just seven hits in two games last week against UMass and Cornell. Delucia allowed only three hits in a nine-inning complete-game shutout, 14-0, over the Minutemen March 19. The junior did not allow the first hit until the fifth inning, and threw 106 pitches to pick up his second win of the season. The in the team’s next game, Hale, a freshman, picked up his first career win, allowing only two runs on three hits, with five strikeouts, as he combined with two relievers to limit the Big Red to only four hits in a, 12-4, victory.

BOURQUIN SHARES BIG TEN HONORS
Ohio State third baseman Ronnie Bourquin was named the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week March 20 after going 5-for-6 in the Buckeyes’ lone game of the week, a 14-0 win over Massachusetts March 19. Bourquin started the game with five straight singles before a fly out in his last visit to the plate. He drove in five runs and scored twice. Bourquin, a junior from Canton, Ohio (Canton South), ran his hit streak to a career-long eight games and upped his batting average to .520 through the first 11 games of the season.

BUCKEYES PERFECT IN CLEARWATER
Ohio State won all four games they played at the College Baseball Spring Classic at Jack Russell Stadium March 10-12 in Clearwater, Fla. Ohio State took both ends of a doubleheader vs. Lehigh, winning 17-10 and 13-6, before beating Northern Iowa 9-6 and Bethune-Cookman 9-1. In the four games, the Scarlet and Gray scored 48 runs on 73 hits, batting .468 for the week.

OSU center fielder Matt Angle batted .647 in going 11-for-17 with seven RBI and nine runs scored. He was 5-for-6 for the second straight Sunday, getting hits in his first five at bats in games against Western Michigan and Bethune-Cookman. He also had two sacrifice flies and a sac bunt last week and was 3-for-4 in the stolen base department. Angle did not have the only hot bat for the Buckeyes. Shortstop Jedidiah Stephen was 10-for-17 with four RBI and seven runs scored. Four of his 10 hits were doubles and he was able to match his career-best hit streak in a 1-for-5 day against Bethune-Cookman, his 11th straight game with at least one hit. Four other players batted better than .400, including Wes Schirtzinger (.571), Ronnie Bourquin (.474), Jacob Howell (.474) and Jason Zoeller (.417).

ANGLE NAMED BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ohio State center fielder Matt Angle was named the Big Ten Player of the Week March 14 after going 11-for-17 as the Buckeyes to four wins on their trip to Clearwater, Fla., March 10-12. Angle, a sophomore from Whitehall, Ohio (Whitehall-Yearling), hit .647 with seven RBI and scored nine runs and had a hit in his first five at bats vs. Bethune-Cookman, including a triple in the sixth, before ending the streak with a fielder’s choice in the top of the ninth. It was his second straight Sunday to go 5-for-6 (also hits in first five at bats) March 5 in a 12-11 loss to Western Michigan in Jacksonville, Fla. In the four games in Clearwater, Angle had a .765 slugging percentage and a .619 on-base percentage. He also had a pair of sacrifice flies and a sac bunt. He was 3-for-4 on stolen bases and had 15 putouts.

KENNEL CLUB CLASSIC REWIND
Ohio State went 1-2 in the three games at the Kennel Club Classic in Jacksonville, Fla., March 4-6. After an exhibition loss to Aoyama Gakuin, a Japanese college team, the Buckeyes beat UNC Greensboro 12-2. The next day at Jacksonville, Ohio State took a 3-1 lead in the top of the ninth, only to lose 4-3 in the bottom of the inning. In the weekend finale, Western Michigan held off a Buckeye comeback bid for a 12-11 victory.

Jedidiah Stephen, Ronnie Bourquin and Eric Fryer led the Buckeyes, each going 6-for-14 (.429). Fryer had six RBI and scored three times, while Stephen had four RBI and one runs scored and Bourquin had four RBI and scored four times. Ohio State hit .314 in Jacksonville and outscored the opposition 38-30. Cory Luebke got the lone victory for the pitching staff, going seven innings against UNC Greensboro, allowing one unearned run on five hits with eight strikeouts. Dan DeLucia was in line to get a win at Jacksonville, but the bullpen let a two-run lead slip by in the bottom of the ninth inning. Ohio State slipped to 2-4 after the first two tournaments.

LUEBKE EARNS WEEKLY HONOR
Ohio State left-handed pitcher Cory Luebke was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week March 7 after getting his first win of the season March 4 vs. UNC Greensboro. Luebke struck out eight batters in the 12-2 victory over the Spartans at the Kennel Club Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. The strikeout total for the sophomore from Maria Stein, Ohio (Marion Local), was one off his career high of nine against UW-Milwaukee last year. Against UNCG, Luebke allowed only one unearned run on five hits, while walking just one batter.

AT FLORIDA’S PEPSI BASEBALL CLASSIC
Ohio State went 1-2 at the Pepsi Baseball Classic at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Feb. 24-26. The Buckeyes suffered setbacks to Wake Forest, losing 6-2 on Friday, and to No. 1 Florida, 10-3 on Saturday. The Buckeyes earned their first win of the season, getting by No. 12 Missouri on the arm of rookie pitcher J.B. Shuck, who struck out six Tigers and allowed one run on three hits in seven innings.

Junior third baseman Ronnie Bourquin led Ohio State in the three games in Gainesville, batting .545 (6-for-11). Bourquin was 4-for-5 against top-ranked Florida and was 2-for-3 in the season opener against Wake Forest, which went on to win the tournament after getting by the Gators 4-0 on Sunday. Junior outfielder Jacob Howell and Jedidiah Stephen each added five hits in the three games. Howell batted .417 with a pair of RBI and one runs scored, while Stephen batted .385 with three doubles and one RBI. As a team Ohio State batted .260.

The lone pitching victory came off Shuck, a lefty, who was making his first collegiate start. Shuck, who pinch hit against Wake Forest and started at first base against Florida, took to the hill against the Tigers and lasted seven innings, recording six strikeouts and allowing one run on three hits. Ohio State pitching struggled in the first two games, walking 11 batters, including eight against Florida. Cory Luebke, who started against the Gators, walked five batters, but allowed only two runs on three hits. Luebke walked on 17 batters all of last year, a season in which he earned Freshman All-American honors. Dan DeLucia got the loss against Wake Forest after allowing three runs on four hits. He struck out four batters, but walked three.

TWO BUCKEYES TABBED TO TEAM
Junior third baseman Ronnie Bourquin and junior outfielder Jacob Howell were named to the all-tournament team of the Pepsi Baseball Classic following Wake Forest’s win over Florida in the final game Sunday. Bourquin batted .545 in the three games, leading Ohio State with six hits. He was 4-for-5 in the loss at Florida. Howell had five hits and knocked in two runs.

SHUCK ATTAINS NATIONAL ACCLAIM
Ohio State freshman left-handed pitcher J.B. Shuck was named to the College Baseball Foundation Honor Roll Feb. 28 after leading the Buckeyes to a 4-2 upset victory over then-No. 12 Missouri. Making his first career start, Shuck allowed only one run on three hits with seven strikeouts, as the Buckeyes pounded out 11 hits to win their first win of the season at the Pepsi Baseball Classic at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. Shuck, a freshman from Galion, Ohio, made his Buckeye debut Friday against Wake Forest with a pinch hit in the eighth inning and then made his first start as a Buckeye Saturday vs. Florida as the starting first baseman. In his seven-inning outing against Missouri, he allowed one run on three hits, struck out six batters, and allowed one walk in his first pitching start as a Buckeye. The honor marks the first time an Ohio State player has appeared on the second-year list.

DELUCIA, HOWELL & STEPHEN ARE CAPTAINS
Junior left-handed pitcher Dan DeLucia, junior outfielder Jacob Howell and senior short stop Jedidiah Stephen will serve as tri-captains for the 2006 baseball team. DeLucia, a third-team All-Big Ten pick last season, led the Buckeyes with a 2.92 ERA, 95.2 innings pitched and 55 strikeouts to go with a 6-5 record in 15 starts. Howell was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2004 and made 31 starts in 39 games last season after missing 12 games because of a shoulder injury. Howell ended up batting .270 with 31 hits and 16 RBI in 2005 after batting .336 in 58 starts as a freshman. Stephen is one of three seniors on the squad. Stephen batted .305 last season with 52 hits, including 13 doubles, two triples and five home runs to go along with 46 RBI, the second best on the team.

In addition to their on-field exploits, all three captains have excelled in the classroom as well. DeLucia is a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree in 2005, while Howell is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. Stephen has been named an Academic All-Big Ten selection and an OSU Scholar-Athlete each of the last two years.

OSU AMONG BEST ALL-TIME CWS TEAMS
Ohio State has been named one of the top College World Series teams of all-time in a story that appeared in the Omaha World-Herald last summer. Ohio State was listed No. 22 in the Top 25 rankings. The Buckeyes have made four appearances in the College World Series, winning the national championship in 1966 after a runner-up finish in 1965. Southern California was ranked as the top CWS team of all time.

As for Ohio State, the World-Herald said, “(Steve) Arlin was selected as one of the two pitchers on the CWS’ 50-year anniversary team for his work in the 1965 and 1966 tournaments. Arlin still holds the CWS career record for ERA (0.96), and his four victories and 47 innings pitched are tied for the all-time lead. In leading the Buckeyes to the 1966 title, Arlin finished all five of their wins – two on complete games. His most memorable performance might have come the year before, when he pitched a 15-inning, 1-0 victory over Washington State after lasting just one-third of an inning in his first CWS start against Arizona State.”

The 1966 national championship is the last won by a team in the Big Ten.

BUCKEYES HAVE 15 TRUE FRESHMEN
Ohio State welcomed 15 true freshmen to the roster this season. Six players are pitchers: Taylor Barnes, Josh Barrera, Eric Best, Jake Hale, Brad Hays and Jake Weber; three are catchers: Shawn Forsythe, Justin Miller and Nick Steponovich; four are infielders: Matt Curran, Seth Sanders, J.B. Shuck (also a pitcher) and Ben Toussant; and two are outfielders: Chris Griffin and Zach Hurley.

Add to that a group of three red-shirt freshmen – pitcher Matthew Selhorst, catcher Josh Hula and infielder Michael Arp – and the Buckeyes have 18 players who have not played college baseball before this season. Ohio State is believed to be among the national leaders in number of freshmen on 2006 rosters. Arkansas and Auburn also have 15 true freshmen on their rosters.

But as many new faces on the Ohio State roster, the total is not as high as it was in 1993 when Todd welcomed 19 true freshmen and another four redshirt freshmen for a total of 23 freshmen. The Buckeyes went 44-19 overall and 19-9 to finish atop the Big Ten regular season standings.

10TH SEASON AT BILL DAVIS STADIUM
This year marks the 10th season of Ohio State baseball at Bill Davis Stadium. One of the best college baseball stadiums has been quite an advantage for the Buckeyes, who have a 171-67 (.718) overall record there. The venue has played host to two Big Ten tournament championships (1999 and 2001), two regional championships (1999 and 2001) and two super regional championships (1999 and 2003).

BUCKEYES LEAD BIG TEN IN ATTENDANCE
Ohio State baseball led the Big Ten in attendance in 2005 by welcoming an average of 2,570 in 18 home dates at Bill Davis Stadium, NCAA attendance figures released last November revealed.

The Buckeyes welcomed a total of 46,266 fans to Columbus last season which was the 36th best overall figure in the NCAA. The 2,570 average ranked 23rd among NCAA institutions.

No other Big Ten team ranked in the Top 50 either in total or average attendance. Notre Dame averaged 1,991 fans to rank 28th and drew a total of 43,798 fans for the season to rank 38th. No school in the Mid-American Conference or other Ohio school cracked the Top 50. LSU led in both categories, drawing a total of 270,300 fans over 36 dates for an average of 7,508. The Buckeyes’ drew a season-high crowd of 5,128 for the doubleheader against Minnesota the final series of the regular season. That weekend, Ohio State drew 10,876 fans over three dates, outdistancing previous weekends of 7,782 vs. Indiana, 7,370 vs. Purdue and 6,839 vs. Michigan State.

OHIO STATE BASEBALL ON WMNI-AM IN 2006
Ohio State baseball games will be broadcast this season on WMNI Radio (920 AM), Gene Smith, Ohio State athletics director, announced March 9. The station will carry a minimum of 27 regular-season games and any postseason games the team could play in 2006, including the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.

Games one, three and four of six Big Ten series – Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Purdue, Minnesota and Penn State – as well as two games of the series at Indiana and Michigan State will be available on WMNI. The station also will carry five home midweek evening games against Miami (Ohio), Central Michigan, Oakland, Eastern Michigan and Pittsburgh.

The WMNI broadcast schedule begins Friday, March 31 at 7:05 p.m. when the team opens a four-game series at Iowa, and continues through the regular season, which ends Sunday, May 21 against Penn State. Any postseason games the team would qualify for also would be carried by the station.

WMNI has a long-standing history of sports coverage since it went on the air in 1958 and that has included Ohio State basketball, football, men’s hockey and now baseball.

In addition, the complete WMNI broadcast inventory of OSU baseball games also will be available on the Internet at the official web site of the Ohio State athletics, ohiostatebuckeys.com.

ALL-ACCESS PASS THE KEY TO ONLINE AUDIO, VIDEO COVERAGE
The official web site of Ohio State athletics, ohiostatebuckeyes.com, in conjunction with College Sports Television, is offering subscription coverage for streaming audio and video of select Buckeye baseball games this spring.

For $6.95 per month, fans can receive streaming audio for a minimum of 27 regular-season baseball games that will be carried on the radio in the Columbus market at AM 920 WMNI. The station also is committed to all of Ohio State’s postseason games and those, too, would be available to subscribers of the CSTV All-Access pass. All Ohio State programming is included in the monthly subscription price, not just baseball coverage.

Included in the CSTV All-Access package is streaming video for nine Ohio State home games.

Available Games in Streaming Video

March 29 Wed. Toledo 2 p.m.
April 5 Wed. Miami (Ohio) 6:35 p.m.
April 9 Sun. Illinois 1:05 p.m.
April 26 Wed. Cleveland State Noon
April 28 Fri. Purdue 6:35 p.m.
April 30 Sun. Purdue 1:05 p.m.
May 12 Fri. Minnesota 6:35 p.m.
May 14 Sun. Minnesota 1:05 p.m.
May 19 Fri. Penn State 6:35 p.m.
May 21 Sun. Penn State 1:05 p.m.

Bob Todd RADIO SHOW
The Bob Todd weekly radio show, hosted by Skip Mosic on WBNS Radio 1460 The Fan, will run each week for 10 weeks with the final program broadcast on Monday, May 22. The nights of the show vary this year because of station conflicts with either Columbus Blue Jackets or Cleveland Indians broadcasts. Six shows will be broadcast on Monday with two shows each on Tuesday and Thursday. Each of the remaining 30-minute shows will begin at 7 p.m. To participate, dial (614) 821-1460.

Bob Todd Radio Show Season Schedule
Monday, March 20 @ 8 p.m.
Monday, March 27 @ 7 p.m.
Tuesday, April 4 @ 7 p.m.
Monday, April 10 @ 7 p.m.
Monday, April 17 @ 7 p.m.
Monday, April 24 @ 7 p.m.
Tuesday, May 2 @ 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 11 @ 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 18 @ 7 p.m.
Monday, May 22 @ 7 p.m.

UP NEXT FOR THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., this weekend for a four-game Big Ten series against arch rival Michigan. The teams will play a single game Friday at 6:35 p.m. and will play a doubleheader Saturday at 4:05 p.m. before concluding the series Sunday with a single game at 1:05 p.m. The teams split two meetings last year, with the Wolverines winning the only game the teams played in the regular season and the Buckeyes winning 7-3 in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament in Champaign, Ill.