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April 7, 2005

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OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
(13-9; 0-4 Big Ten)
vs.
PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
(8-15; 2-2 Big Ten)

April 8-10, 2005
Bill Davis Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

Fri., April 8 6:35 p.m. Radio Sat., April 9 1:05 p.m. (DH) Web/Web Sun., April 10 1:05 p.m. Radio

SERIES HISTORY
Ohio State leads 122-51-1
last game: May 28, 2004, Ohio State 6-4

OHIO STATE RADIO/INTERNET
Neil Sika and Paul Barnes
NPR 820 (WOSU-AM)
www.wosu.org

GAMETRACKER
www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com

PROBABLE OHIO STATE PITCHERS G1 39 Trent Luyster, LHP 4-2, 5.09 ERA, 18K, 35.1IP G2 P6 Mike Madsen, RHP 1-2, 5.03 ERA, 11K, 19.2IP G3 19 Cory Luebke, LHP 2-1, 1.82 ERA, 28K, 34.2IP G4 36 Dan DeLucia, LHP 1-1, 2.05 ERA, 23K, 30.2IP

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a stunning midweek loss to the Oakland Golden Grizzlies, Ohio State returns to Big Ten action this weekend against Purdue in the first conference home series of the season. The four-game set gets underway Friday at Bill Davis Stadium.

At 0-4 in league play, the Buckeyes find themselves in a four-game hole with 28 games to play on the Big Ten slate. Minnesota and Illinois are tied atop the league standings followed by Northwestern at 3-1 and four teams, including Purdue, have 2-2 records. Indiana is eighth at 1-3 while Ohio State and Michigan, who had the best two overall records prior to last weekend, sit at 0-4 in the league.

The Buckeyes and Boilermakers toss out the first pitch Friday at 6:35 p.m. before returning to Bill Davis Stadium Saturday for a 1:05 p.m. start to the doubleheader, which was moved up to alleviate traffic congestion around the Shottenstein Center, which is hosting the NCAA Frozen Four. Ohio State and Purdue close their series Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

ABOUT OHIO STATE
Ohio State relief pitching gave up three runs in the top of the ninth in the 6-5 loss to Oakland Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes stranded 15 base runners and left the bases loaded in three different innings in the one-run loss. Bob Todd will be going for his 700th win in school history for the sixth straight game when the Buckeyes and Boilermakers open the series Friday at Bill Davis Stadium. Victory No. 699 came March 30 when Ohio State downed Toledo 12-4 in the home opener. Since then, his team has dropped five straight games.

The Scarlet and Gray is coming off a stretch it would like to forget, losing all four games at Illinois and then allowing Oakland, which had won only once in 18 games, to earn its second win of the season. Not since 1990 had the Buckeyes been swept and not since 1987 had they started 0-4 in the league play. Ohio State struggled to score runs against the Illini, scoring only 10 runs in the four games. The Buckeyes scored only one run in each of the first two games and scored four in each of the second two and did not have a lead in a game until the sixth inning of game four and that lasted only until the Illini tied the game in the bottom of the inning before winning in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth.

Ohio State is batting .296 heading into the series against Purdue. Jason Zoeller continues to pace Ohio State with a .378 batting average and 31 hits. He had entered the Illinois series batting .417, but went 5-for-16 at Illinois and was 1-for-6 against Oakland. Cody Caughenbaugh is batting .328 and delivered his first home run of the season against Oakland. Jedidiah Stephen is batting .333 and was the only Buckeye with two hits against the Golden Grizzlies. Those three players are the only everyday players batting better than .300.

Steve Caravati and Jacob Howell returned to the Buckeye lineup at Illinois, though Caravati returned to the bench against Oakland. Caravati had played sporadically since pulling his hamstring in the season opener and Howell had missed 12 games with a shoulder injury before returning in the second game of the Illinois series. But while both return, Ohio State lost third baseman Ronnie Bourquin, who had been the only player to start the first 20 games of the season. He broke a bone in his left thumb sliding into first on the final play of the 5-4 loss in game three at Illinois and is expected to miss three weeks.

Dan DeLucia was the only Buckeye starter not to take a loss at Illinois. He pitched in the series finale and departed with the score tied at four. Trent Luyster, Mike Madsen, Cory Luebke and Trey Fausnaugh took losses for the staff, which allowed Illinois to hit .316 for the weekend with 37 hits that scored 22 runs.

Luebke leads Ohio State with a 1.82 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 34.2 innings. The freshman from Maria Stein, Ohio, has made four starts and has pitched two complete games in seven appearances. DeLucia is 1-1 with a 2.05 ERA and 23 strikeouts, while Luyster leads the team with four victories. The Buckeyes will likely toss the same rotation it did at Illinois. Fans will see Luyster in game one, followed by Madsen and Luebke on Saturday and DeLucia on Sunday.

ABOUT PURDUE
The Boilermakers might be 8-15 on the year, but they have not shied away from quality opponents. Purdue opened the season losing 2-of-3 games at then-No. 34 Florida Atlantic and then followed by losing three games at then-No. 16 Mississippi, only to lose three at No. 1 Texas and one game at No. 7 Rice. Rice won the national championship in 2003 and Texas won in 2004. Purdue has one of the toughest schedules in the nation. Purdue opened Big Ten play with a home split against Penn State, losing 6-3 in the opener and 13-0 in the finale, but winning both ends of the Saturday doubleheader, 6-4 and 9-3. Purdue won 12-3 at Cincinnati Wednesday night.

Purdue is batting .272 as a squad, led by Mitch Hilligoss, who has a .388 batting average and leads the team with 33 hits, six doubles and 20 runs scored. Neal Gorka leads the team with three home runs and is batting .354 with 29 hits and 12 RBI, while Eric Osborn leads the team with 14 RBI and is batting .305.

Opponents are batting 319 against the Purdue pitching staff, which has a team ERA of 5.62. Mitch Pruemer leads the squad with three wins (3-3) and has a 5.21 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 38.0 innings. Scott Byrnes paces the staff with 26 strikeouts to go with his 1-3 record and 4.18 ERA in 32.1 innings. Brent Coudron is 2-2 with a 8.39 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 24.2 innings. Dan Sattler has the other win and is 1-2 on the year.

Purdue is expected to go with a rotation that features Byrnes on Friday, Pruemer in game two, Coudron in game three and Sattler in the series finale.

The Boilermakers are coached by Doug Schreiber (Purdue, 1986), who is in 181-178 in his seventh season in West Lafayette.

AGAINST THE BOILERMAKERS
Ohio State leads the all-time series vs. Purdue 122-51-1 after winning three of the five games last season. The teams split the four-game regular season conference series, but the Buckeyes handed the Boilermakers a 6-4 loss in the Big Ten Tournament in Minneapolis, Minn. The series dates back to 1913, a 4-3 Purdue win in West Lafayette, Ind.

Series Results Since 2002 (OSU leads 9-4)
April 26, 2002 – Purdue 7, at Ohio State 5
April 27, 2002 – Purdue 10, at Ohio State 7
April 28, 2002 – at Ohio State 8, Purdue 0
April 28, 2002 – at Ohio State 3, Purdue 1
April 26, 2003 – Ohio State 6, at Purdue 0
April 26, 2003 – Ohio State 4, at Purdue 0
April 27, 2003 – Ohio State 6, at Purdue 3
April 27, 2003 – Ohio State 10, at Purdue 6
April 9, 2004 – Ohio State 3, at Purdue 2
April 10, 2004 – at Purdue 5, Ohio State 4
April 10, 2004 – Ohio State 9, at Purdue 5
April 11, 2004 – at Purdue 5, Ohio State 4 (16 inn.)
May 28, 2004 – Ohio State 6, Purdue 4

LAST GAME VS. PURDUE
Paul Farinacci cleared the bases with a double as part of a four-run first inning and then added an insurance run with a solo home run in the eighth to lead Ohio State to its second win of the day in a 6-4 victory over Purdue in the 2004 Big Ten Tournament.

The Buckeyes scored four runs, all with two outs, in the top of the first inning to take a commanding lead. After a pair of groundouts, Steve Caravati started the rally with a single to right-center field. Cody Caughenbaugh followed with a single down the left-field line. A third straight single by Brett Garrard drove in Caravati and then a walk to Ronnie Bourquin loaded the bases. Farinacci responded in a huge manner doubling to the gap in right-center field to clear the bases and give the Buckeyes a four-run advantage.

Caughenbaugh’s second hit of the game yielded another Buckeye run, putting the Buckeyes up 5-0 as he knocked in Drew Anderson, who got the first of three hits by Ohio State in the inning. The Boilermakers fought back with two runs in the third and a pair in the sixth on a two-run shot by Ben Fritz to pull within one run.

In the top of eighth, Farinacci sent a shot out of the park to straight-away centerfield over the glove of Coles, the Purdue centerfielder, who had climbed the wall trying to rope in Farinacci’s third home run of the year. Instead the Buckeyes got the insurance run to take a 6-4 lead. Farinacci went 2-for-4 and drove in four RBI on the three-run double in the first and his third long ball of the season. Jacob Howell was a silent 3-for-5, while Caughenbaugh was 2-for-4 with one RBI.

BUCKEYES, PURDUE SPLIT 2004 REGULAR SEASON
Josh Newman took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and struck out 10 batters in 8.2 innings to lead Ohio State to a 3-2 victory in the opening game of the Purdue series. Newman retired the first nine batters of the game, before back-to-back Buckeye errors put runners on base in the fourth inning as Purdue was able to get a sac fly to take a 1-0 lead. Drew Anderson hit his second home run of the season in the top of the fifth to give the Buckeyes a 2-1 lead. Newman took a no-hitter into the bottom of the fifth when Eric Osborn tripled to right-center field with one out. Newman responded with a pair of strikeouts to get out of the inning without any damage. In the eighth inning, Jacob Howell doubled down the left-field line with one out and then scored on a single by leftfielder Steve Caravati to extend the Buckeye lead to 3-1. The Boilermakers answered the run in the bottom of the inning to close within the final score.

Ohio State scored two runs to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning, but gave up a bases-loaded walk to lose a 5-4 decision to Purdue in the first game of a doubleheader. First baseman Paul Farinacci led off the seventh inning with his first home run of the season. The shot cleared the fence in left field and pulled the Buckeyes within one run, 4-3. Jedidiah Stephen singled to left field to score Rabin and tied the game 4-4 and forced Purdue to bat in the bottom of the inning, when Jeffrey Carroll hit third baseman Simon Klink to load the bases and then walked Eric Osborn, the winning run.

Brett Garrard and Adam Schneider each homered and combined for five RBI as the Buckeyes beat Purdue 9-5 in the second game of a doubleheader. Garrard went 2-for-3 with a three-run home run in the fifth inning and Schneider went 2-for-4 to score two. Stephen finished 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI. The Buckeyes scored in every inning except the sixth. The Buckeyes took a 7-4 lead in the top of the fifth on a three-run home run to left-center field by Garrard. His first home run of the season also scored Stephen and Schneider. The Boilermakers got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning before the Buckeyes added their final two runs on the second home run of the day by Schneider.

Purdue scored one run in the bottom of the 16th inning on a fielding error to hand Ohio State a 5-4 loss in the Big Ten series finale. The win gave the Buckeyes and Boilermakers a series split. Anderson committed the first error of the game on a ground ball by Purdue catcher Ben Fritz, which allowed Mike Coles to score the winning run. Scott Lewis, the 2003 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, started the game in his first appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery May 29, 2003. Lewis threw 66 pitches over five innings and had six strikeouts without allowing a walk. He gave up four hits and left the game with a 3-1 lead.

TODD CLOSING IN ON 700 AT OSU
Now in his 18th season as skipper of the Buckeyes, head coach Bob Todd needs only one victory for his 700th win at the school. Todd’s record at Ohio State is 699-363-2 (.658). Add his four-year record of 124-82 from Kent State (1984-87) and the 22nd-year career head coach has a 823-434-2 (.655) record.

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 – next victory
*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 STUNNED BY OAKLAND
Ohio State could not make anything out of four Oakland errors, two passed balls, a hit batsman, seven walks by Oakland pitching and 15 base runners left on base as Oakland upset the Buckeyes, 6-5, at Bill Davis Stadium. The win was just the second of the season for a team that has played 19 games, while it was the fifth loss in a row for the Scarlet and Gray.

The Buckeyes rallied to take a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, but in the top of the ninth, a two-out bases loaded double by Oakland centerfielder Will Tollison gave the Golden Grizzlies a 6-4 lead, putting the pressure back on Ohio State to try and give its 18th-year skipper his 700th victory in school history.

Matt Angle led off the bottom of the ninth inning with an infield single and went to second on a single through the left side by Jedidiah Stephen. A passed ball moved both runners into scoring position, before Oakland closer Kevin Hale walked Paul Farinacci to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by Mike Rabin scored Angle to pull the Buckeyes within one run and put runners at the corners. Hale walked pinch hitter Steve Caravati to load the bases again, but Hale picked up the fielder’s choice off the bat of Wes Schirtzinger and threw home to nail the tying run at the plate. A grounder to short by Jason Zoeller ended the game.

Oakland’s third pitcher of the game, Scott Boleski, picked up his first win of the season, while Hale earned his first save of the year. Brett Hatcher got the loss after giving up two singles and a walk in the top of the ninth. Trey Fausnaugh came in after Hatcher walked pinch hitter Brad Nole and gave up the three-run double to Tollison.

The Buckeyes, who left 10 runners on base in the finale game of the Illinois series and a total of 26 in that series in Champaign, stranded 15 runners Wednesday, including three in the third, seventh and ninth innings.

BUCKEYES IN CLOSE GAMES With the loss to Oakland Wednesday night, Ohio State fell to 1-4 this season in games decided by one run. The Buckeyes lost 4-3 to Georgia, 4-3 to Bradley, 5-4 at Illinois and 6-5 to the Golden Grizzlies. The lone one-run victory was the 2-1 triumph over then-No. 4 North Carolina. Ohio State is 3-2 games decided by two runs, while it is 9-3 in games decided by three or more runs.

FIRST LOSS ENTERING 9TH WITH LEAD
The Oakland game marked the 13th time this season the Buckeyes took a lead into the ninth inning and for the first time, an opponent came back to claim victory. Ohio State is now 12-1 when entering the ninth with the lead. The Buckeyes are 0-1 when tied entering the final inning of play and are 0-5 when trailing heading into the final stanza.

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.

IN BIG TEN OPENERS

The Buckeyes fell to 11-7 in conference openers since head coach Bob Todd arrived in Columbus prior to the 1988 season. The loss snapped a string of six victories in Big Ten openers.

SERIES SWEEPS AGAINST OSU
The sweep by Illinois in Champaign was only the sixth time in school history that the Buckeyes were swept in a four-game Big Ten series. The conference began playing four-game series in 1981. It was the first time Illinois had swept the Buckeyes. The Illini join Michigan, Minnesota and Purdue as the only teams to sweep the Buckeyes in four games. Michigan has three sweeps of Ohio State, while the others have done it once. Minnesota had been the last two sweep Ohio State, beating the Buckeyes four times in 1990.

Four-Game Sweeps in Big Ten Play
Illinois: 2005
Michigan: 1985, 1986, 1987
Minnesota: 1990
Purdue: 1987

THE BIG TEN RACE
If this were the Big Leagues, Ohio State would be four games out with 28 games to play, barring rainouts. The Buckeyes are not alone though. Michigan was swept in its four-game series last weekend against Minnesota in the Metrodome. Michigan and Ohio State entered the weekend with the two best overall records in Big Ten play. Now, Minnesota and Illinois are perched atop the standings with perfect 4-0 records. Northwestern took 3-of-4 from Indiana while the other teams split.

The Buckeyes have finished first in the Big Ten seven times and have won six conference tournament titles. Ohio State has won at least 20 conference games in a season six times under 18th-year head coach Bob Todd and only one time in his tenure have the Buckeyes failed to miss the Big Ten tournament, which up until the 2000 season, qualified only four teams. Beginning in 2000, six teams advance to the league tournament. Ohio State missed the cut in 1996.

SWISHER MAKES OPENING DAY ROSTER IN OAKLAND
Former Ohio State Buckeye Nick Swisher appeared on the opening-day roster of the Oakland Athletics, which opened the season Monday at the Baltimore Orioles. 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. The switch hitter reached base safely in all but one of his 54 games as a junior and at one point rode a 19-game hit streak, which was within four games of the school’s all-time record. Swisher, a First Team All-Big Ten selection both as a sophomore and junior, had 64 hits, including 14 doubles and three triples to go with his 10 homers in 2002. He was a freshman All-American and was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2000. When Swisher was called up last season, he became the first Ohio State player other than a pitcher to reach the majors since Barry Bonnell played the first of his three seasons for the Atlanta Braves in 1977.

On Wednesday, he went 3-for-5 with two home runs, drove in three runs and scored three times in the 9-0 Athletics victory over the Orioles.

BUCKEYE RECORD BOOK

Steve Caravati is 10th with his .354 career batting average.His 207 hits rank 16th, while his 584 at bats have him ranked 23rd.The fifth-year senior co-captain from Dover, Ohio (Dover) is tiedfor seventh with nine triples and his 21 career home runs are tiedfor 21st. Caravati has batted in 141 runs during his career (18thin school history), including 52 RBI last season. He needs 40 tomove into second place all-time at Ohio State. Dan Seimetz(1995-98) holds the school record with 236 RBI. Mike Rabin has 692career at bats, which is ranked seventh by any player in schoolhistory. The OSU record is 823, set by Mark Carek (1995-98). Rabin,who already has 64 at bats in 2005, needs 132 at bats to break thatrecord. He had 234 at bats as a sophomore and 228 last year, sothat is one record to watch. His 40 steals are the ninth most inschool history. Rabin’s 200 hits are tied for the 18th most inschool annals. With four home runs this season, Jedidiah Stephenhas 17 career home runs. The junior from Caldwell, Ohio, needsthree more to crack the school’s Top 25 list. With 18 careervictories, Mike Madsen is tied for 19th and with his win percentageof .692 (18-8), he ranks 27th in school history. Madsen has nowpitched 188.1 career innings, making him eligible to be rankedamong several career stat categories. With a minimum of 175.0career innings pitched, he ranks 10th in fewest hits allowed (199),fifth in fewest bases on balls (77), eighth in fewest runs (107)and eighth in fewest earned runs allowed (91). Trent Luyster hasmade 52 appearances in his career to tie for 18th, while MikeMadsen has pitched in 51 games, which ranks him 20th.

BIG TEN RANKINGS
In the Big Ten rankings that were released Monday, Ohio State ranked sixth in team batting (.298) behind Indiana (.356), Penn State (.309), Michigan (.309), Northwestern (.301) and Illinois (.299); ranked second in team ERA (3.49) behind Illinois (2.76); and ranked fourth in fielding (.970) behind Illinois (.979), Minnesota (.975) and Penn State (.937).

Not a single Buckeye has a batting average ranked in the Top 10 in the league, though Jason Zoeller is close with his .395 batting average. Ranking individual ERAs, Cory Luebke is fourth at 1.82, while Dan DeLucia is sixth with his 2.05.

OHIO STATE SPRING BREAK
The Buckeyes went a perfect 8-0 on their spring break trip to Sarasota and Bradenton, Fla. Ohio State opened the week with an 11-3 victory over Northern Iowa at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota and then beat Bucknell 14-3 and Wisconsin-Milwaukee 4-1. It was the Buckeyes’ version of March Madness since all three of those schools had basketball teams in the NCAA tournament. The trip continued with a 4-2 win against Illinois-Chicago before a two-day layoff. Ohio State returned to beat Cornell 6-4, took two games in a doubleheader against Dartmouth, 4-1 and 5-3, before closing the trip with an 11-2 victory over Cornell.

Ohio State hit .321 in the eight games and finished with a 1.93 ERA in 70.0 innings in Florida. Sophomore Jason Zoeller hit .419 in eight starts split between second base and shortstop and was the only Buckeye to have a double-figure hit total, finishing with 13 in 31 at bats. Freshman Eric Fryer hit .400 in the seven games he played at catcher. Two of his eight hits were doubles. Junior Jedidiah Stephen batted .346 and two of his nine hits were home runs, while another two were doubles. He and junior designated hitter Cody Caughenbaugh, who batted .391, each knocked in eight RBI. But senior first baseman Paul Farinacci drove in 10 runs as half of his eight hits were for extra bases, which included three doubles and a triple.

Cory Luebke and Trent Luyster each picked up two victories during the spring break trip. Luebke took a no hitter into the seventh inning in his complete game 4-1 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee, but ended the game allowing one run on four hits with a season-best nine strikeouts against no walks. He pitched eight innings against Dartmouth in his next outing and allowed only one run (unearned) on three hits with six strikeouts. In a seven-inning outing against Northern Iowa, Luyster allowed one run on five hits in his first win and then against Cornell got his fourth win of the season. Dan DeLucia, Rory Meister, Jeffrey Carroll and Trey Fausnaugh also picked up wins during spring break.

BUCKEYES FIND OFFENSE IN WINS IN JACKSONVILLE
Ohio State won two of three games at the Kennel Club Classic March 11-12 in Jacksonville. In the two wins Ohio State out-hit its opposition 19-18 in each game, beating North Florida 16-10 and Rider 15-9. In the loss, the Buckeyes gave up four runs in the eighth in a 4-3 loss.

Ohio State erupted for a season-high 19 hits in a 16-10 victory over North Florida March 11 at the Kennel Club Classic. The teams combined for 37 hits, but the Buckeyes hits were more timely. After only one hit in the first three innings, Ohio State had three big innings in the victory that evened the team’s record to 3-3. Ohio State scored three in the fourth inning, four in the fifth, one in the sixth and then seven runs in the seventh. Six runs crossed the plate in the seventh before the first out of the inning was recorded in the score book. Eight Buckeyes had multiple hits, including home runs by Jedidiah Stephen, a two-run shot in the seventh, Jason Zoeller, a three-run shot in the seventh, and Ronnie Bourquin, a solo shot in the ninth. Paul Farinacci and Schirtzinger each had three hits. Farinacci knocked in two runs and scored twice, while Schirtzinger drove in one run and scored once. Zoeller and Stephen each went 2-for-5 with three RBI. OSU starting pitcher Trent Luyster picked up his second win of the season to improve to 2-1.

In the loss to Bradley, Ohio State committed three errors in the bottom of the eighth inning and allowed the Braves to score four unearned runs in a 4-3 loss. The Buckeyes had scored twice in the first inning and added a run in the fifth and protected the 3-0 lead until poor defense allowed Bradley to take the lead in the eighth. Ohio State starter Dan DeLucia pitched well, but not as well as he did in his debut against Arizona State. He pitched six inning and allowed only two hits despite four walks. He also had four strikeouts, but did not factor in the decision. Brett Hatcher was pegged with the loss in his 2/3 of an inning after he allowed two runs on two hits. Five different Buckeyes accounted for the five hits. Zoeller, Caughenbaugh and Angle drove in the team’s three runs.

After giving up the lead in the top of the eighth inning, Ohio State battled back to score eight runs in the bottom of the inning on its way to a 15-9 victory over Rider. The Buckeyes had Rider in a 7-0 hole, but over the course of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, gave up eight runs to the Broncs and saw the lead vanish. Back-to-back doubles by Jason Zoeller and Ronnie Bourquin tied the game at eight. Bourquin went to third on a single by Adam Schneider and scored on a fielder’s choice by Paul Farinacci to give the Buckeyes a 9-8 lead, one it would not lose. Ohio State added six more runs in the inning on a total of six hits and three errors. Rider added a run in the top of the ninth to close within the 15-9 final score. Zoeller finished 5-for-6 in the game with two singles, two doubles and a triple, while knocking in three runs and scoring three times. Wes Schirtzinger added four hits with one run and one RBI and Bourquin added three hits with two runs and two RBI. Despite allowing the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth, Brett Hatcher got the benefit of his teammates offensive outburst in the bottom half of the inning to pick up his first win of the season. He improved to 1-1 on the season allowing two runs on five hits in 1.2 innings.

OSU GOES 1-2 IN NORTH CAROLINA, PULLS UPSET OF NO. 4 TAR HEELS
The Buckeyes might have gone 1-2 at the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C., but Ohio State did have some success in its third, fourth and fifth games against three of the top teams in college baseball. The Scarlet and Gray lost the opening game of the tournament, falling 4-3 to No. 7 Georgia, but rebounded to beat No. 4 North Carolina and Daniel Bard, 2-1. Arizona State handed Ohio State a 3-0 loss in the weekend finale.

Against Georgia, Ohio State scored first, but Georgia countered with a three-run home run in the third and a solo shot in the fifth and held on to down the Buckeyes 4-3 in the opening game. Georgia had taken a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning and kept Ohio State bats quiet until the eighth inning when it had three hits on reliever Joshua Fields. UGA starter Will Startup gave up a double to Bourquin to start the third, but retired 15 of the final 17 batters he faced. Those two hits came off the bats of Jason Zoeller, who singled in the top of the fourth, and Jacob Howell, who singled in the seventh.

Ohio State made the two runs in scored in the first inning hold up in a 2-1 upset of No. 4 North Carolina. The Buckeyes took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and never surrendered it. Wes Schirtzinger singled deep in the hole at second base and Ronnie Bourquin followed with a walk. Jedidiah Stephen delivered Schirtzinger with a single down the right-field line and then Cody Caughenbaugh flew out to center, scoring Bourquin on the sac fly. OSU starter Trent Luyster kept the Tar Heels off the score board until the seventh inning when Chase Younts pulled UNC within a 2-1 score with a single to right-center field to score Seth Williams. Luyster improved to 1-1, while the Buckeyes gave Bard his first defeat against two wins. Trey Fausnaugh picked up his first save of the season in his second appearance.

Arizona State, who was playing its 21st game of the season, scored the only run it needed in the bottom of the fifth and added two more runs in the eighth to down Ohio State a 3-0 in a duel between pitchers. Each starting pitcher – Ohio State’s Dan DeLucia and Arizona State’s Pat Bresnehan – pitched great games from the opening pitch, but it was Bresnehan who had the timely offense to pick up his first victory of the season. For DeLucia, he allowed seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts in his six-inning start. The difference was the run in the fifth. DeLucia, who got the loss, allowed four hits in the first four innings, but Arizona State scored its first run on three hits, including a one-out double by Andrew Romine. Ohio State could not turn three Sun Devil errors, including two in the first inning, into any offense. The Buckeyes left 11 base runners, including six in scoring position.

LUYSTER NAMED BIG TEN PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Ohio State senior pitcher Trent Luyster was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week after leading the Buckeyes to a 2-1 victory over No. 4 North Carolina March 5 at the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C. Luyster allowed only one run while scattering seven hits over six innings. The senior left-hander from Flushing, Ohio (Harrison Central) struck out four batters while producing only one walk to boost Ohio State to its first win over a top 25 opponent since 2003, when OSU defeated Clemson and Auburn during NCAA regional play. Luyster, who returned to Ohio State after being drafted by the Chicago Cubs last year, is the only Buckeye player to be honored this season.

BUCKEYES OPEN SEASON 1-1
Ohio State opened the 2005 season with an 8-4 victory over Middle Tennessee Feb. 25, but lost its second game of the season, falling to Troy, 6-4, the next day. A third game at the Wiregrass Baseball Classic in Dothan, Ala., against Iowa was rained out.

Leading 2-1 against Middle Tennessee through 6 1/2 innings, Ohio State scored six runs in the bottom of the inning on its way to an 8-4 victory over Middle Tennessee. Jacob Howell, who finished 3-for-4 in the game, led off with a triple before back-to-back walks by Mike Rabin and Steve Caravati loaded the bases. Adam Schneider delivered a pinch-hit double to left-center field to score Rabin and Caravati to give Ohio State a 5-1 advantage. Jason Zoeller walked to load the bases and Paul Farinacci doubled to left-center field to clear the bases and build the Buckeye lead to 8-1.

Middle Tennessee added a run in the eighth and a run in the ninth to close within four runs. Buckeye starting pitcher Mike Madsen retired the first six batters of the game, including three strikeouts in the first inning.

Troy’s Blake Green launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning broke a 2-2 tie as Troy held on to down Ohio State, 6-4. Troy relied on the arm hometown standout Landon Brazell, a fifth-year Troy senior from Dothan, who came up just short of going the distance for the Trojans. He allowed four runs on nine hits, threw 127 pitches and faced three batters in the ninth inning before giving way to Ryan Ramsey, who recorded the final three outs of the game. Ohio State got to Brazell for two unearned runs in the ninth. Trent Luyster was tagged with the loss after pitching 5.0 innings and allowing five runs on seven hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.

Rain washed out the final day of the Wiregrass Baseball Classic at Northcutt Field. Ohio State was scheduled to play a non-conference game vs. Iowa last Sunday, but steady rain coming off of the Gulf of Mexico forced the cancellation of game.

2005 TEAM CAPTAINS
The Buckeyes elected two fellow teammates to serve as team captains for the 2005 season: senior outfielders Steve Caravati and Mike Rabin. Caravati also was a captain during the 2004 campaign.

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 steps back out of conference action on Wednesday when it welcomes Malone to Bill Davis Stadium for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch. Pioneer senior first baseman Andy Bourquin is the older brother of sophomore Buckeye third baseman Ronnie Bourquin. Ronnie will miss the game, however, as he sits out with a broken bone in his left thumb. He should return to the lineup the week of April 25.