Share

April 23, 2002

%^$

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

%^$

%^$Ohio State steps out of conference play on Wednesday for a non-conference matchup against the College of Wooster. The Fighting Scots are coaching by Tim Pettorini, father of OSU designated hitter Terry Pettorini. Wooster comes into Bill Davis Stadium having only lost two of its 28 games this season and ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division III play.%^$

%^$The Buckeyes come into the game with a 23-10-1 record overall and an 11-4 record in the Big Ten. The Scots are 26-2 and 7-0 in the North Coast Athletic Conference and are off to their best start in school history.%^$

%^$Ohio State entered last weekend’s Big Ten series at Indiana with a one-game lead over the Hoosiers. By taking two of the three games last weekend, the Buckeyes extended their lead to two games over Indiana, which is now tied with Michigan State for second place in the conference race that has one more month to complete.%^$

%^$Mike Rabin had the hot bat for the Buckeyes in Bloomington. He went 6-for-9 (.667) in the three games, scoring three times and knocking in four RBI to earn Big Ten Player of the Week honors. Including last Wednesday’s game vs. Dayton, he finished the week 8-for-11 (.727), scoring four times, while batting in four runs. He also walked four times and did not strike out in the four games for an on-base percentage of .800. He was perfect on the base paths with two stolen bases. In his last 10 games, he is batting .412 (14-for-34).%^$

%^$The Buckeyes are not ranked in any of the three polls this week but are receiving votes (36th) in the USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN coaches poll.%^$

%^$Wednesday Night Lights
%^$The Wooster game is the third straight in a span of six Wednesday games for the Buckeyes at Bill Davis Stadium. Ohio State has dropped the last two midweek games, losing 10-5 to Oakland on April 10 and 4-3 to Dayton last week. The Buckeyes will host Youngstown State (May 1), Miami, Ohio (May 8) and Cleveland State (May 15) in the coming weeks.%^$

%^$About Wooster
%^$The Fighting Scots are ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division III and owned a 26-2 record entering Tuesday night’s game vs. Kenyon that had been postponed Sunday because of rain. Wooster swept the Saturday doubleheader from Kenyon after losing last Thursday to Walsh. That loss snapped a string of 14 straight victories by the Scots. The only other loss was to Rowan on March 21.%^$

%^$Entering Tuesday’s game against Kenyon, Wooster was batting .354 as a team with 30 home runs. Six players are hitting better than that figure led by Matt Miller who is hitting .481 (52-for-108) with five home runs and a team-best 36 RBI. Bill Daugherty has six home runs. Of the team’s 326 hits, 81, or 24.8 percent have been doubles. The pitching staff boasts an incredible 3.01 ERA. Pitcher John Werner has pitched 22 consecutive scoreless innings to set the Wooster record. He is a perfect 7-0 with a 1.47 ERA. Three starters for the Scots have an ERA of less than 2.00.%^$

%^$Against the Fighting Scots
%^$This will be the first meeting between Ohio State and Wooster since 1941. The Buckeyes lead the all-time series, which began in 1884, the fourth season of Buckeye Baseball by a count of 18-12-1. Wooster won that first meeting 11-4. Ohio State won the 1941 game 8-7.%^$

%^$Family Ties
%^$As mentioned earlier, the head coach of the Wooster Fighting Scots Tim Pettorini, is the father of Ohio State designated hitter Terry Pettorini. Tim attended Bowling Green and was drafted by three major league teams but never signed.%^$

%^$Terry’s brother, Tim Jr., played for his father and the Scots from 1992-95. Terry nearly chose to attend Wooster, but decided to attend Ohio State.%^$

%^$It will likely be a strange experience Wednesday for the Pettorini family. “My dad and I have always pulled for on another,” Terry said. It will be a little different this game though.”%^$

%^$When asked about who is mom will be cheering for, he said, “I suspect she’ll be a Wooster fan, except when I have to bat.”%^$

%^$Other Wooster Ties
%^$Ohio State assistant coach Erik Hagen attended Wooster, graduating with a bachelor’s of arts degree in history in 1993. A four-year letterwinner, Hagen was the Scots’ most valuable player in 1993 and a two-time All-North Coast Athletic Conference honoree in 1992 and 1993. He also was a second-team All-Mideast Region selection in 1993 and a honorable mention All-Mideast selection in 1993.%^$

%^$The current Buckeye first base coach briefly appears in the Wooster record book. He is tied for second with four others with 10 career triples. His rank on the list could fall as current Wooster freshman Jake Frank already has five triples.%^$

%^$Live on the Internet
%^$Fans can follow the Buckeyes live on the Internet at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. Broadcasts by WOSU-AM Radio from all games can be heard by clicking on a link on that web site. For home games, fans can also catch the broadcast by OSU student radio, The Underground at www.underground.fm. A live box score is also available on the Ohio State Athletics web site for all home games.%^$

%^$Road Warriors Return Home
%^$Despite playing 21 of the 34 games on the road thus far, Ohio State has posted a 15-5-1 away from Bill Davis Stadium this season. The Buckeyes played 14 (10-3-1) of their first 17 games outside of Columbus and then went to Homestead, Fla. for six games, where they went 4-2. After a nine-game homestand, Ohio State has played seven (5-2) of its next eight games away from home.%^$

%^$Wednesday’s game vs. Wooster is the first of six home games for Ohio State, which plays host to Purdue this weekend and Youngstown State next Wednesday. The Buckeyes will then return to the road for conference series at Michigan and Michigan State before closing out the Big Ten schedule at home May 17-19 against Minnesota. Ohio State will have finished the year with only 25 homes games compared to 29 games on the road.%^$

%^$Todd Eyeing OSU Win No. 600
%^$Ohio State coach Bob Todd won his 700th career game earlier this season against Detroit on March 16. Now, in his 15th year at OSU, he is within eight victories of winning his 600th game at Ohio State. Todd currently has a 592-288-2 record and is already the winningest baseball coach in Buckeye history, doing that with his 479th win on May 5, 1999 vs. Pittsburgh. He won 500th game on March 19, 2000 against Oregon State. Todd has a career record of 716-370-2 in his 19th season as a head coach, having previously coached at Kent.%^$

%^$Remembering Taylor
%^$The Ohio State baseball team is wearing a black circle patch with a white No. 27 on its right sleeve to remember former Buckeye baseball All-American Fred Taylor. Taylor, who passed away Jan. 6, 2002 after a long illness, was the first baseball All-American from Ohio State in 1950. The former first baseman is probably more recognized as coach of the Ohio State men’s basketball team from 1959-76. Five of his teams earned NCAA Tournament berths (1960, ’61, ’62, ’68 and ’71) with four of those advancing to the Final Four (1960, ’61, ’62 and ’68). His 1960 team won the National Championship. The Buckeyes also made history under Taylor by winning an unmatched five-consecutive Big Ten titles (1960-64).%^$

%^$Rabin Named Big Ten Player of the Week
%^$Mike Rabin was named the Big Ten Player of the Week after going 6-for-9 (.667) in the three games in Bloomington, Ind., scoring three times and knocking in four RBI. The freshman from West Chester, Ohio, hit an RBI double in the second game of the Saturday doubleheader that tied the game in the bottom of the seventh.%^$

%^$Including last Wednesday’s game vs. Dayton, he finished the week 8-for-11 (.727), scoring four times, while batting in four runs. He also walked four times and did not strike out in the four games for an on-base percentage of .800. He was perfect on the base paths with two stolen bases. In his last 10 games, he is batting .412 (14-for-34).%^$

%^$Rabin is now batting .352 on the season, which is third best on the team. He has started the last eight games in left field and is batting .480 in those starts after batting only .283 up to that point of the season. Rabin has started a total of 19 games, but in 14 starts in left, he is batting .419.%^$

%^$Wilkins Misses Cycle but Hits Four Times in Game One Win
%^$In the first game at Indiana last weekend, catcher Joe Wilkins was just a triple shy of becoming just the first batter to hit for the cycle since Steve Caravati did that against Michigan State in 1999. Wilkins had a double in the first inning a home run and a single in the third and a second single in the seventh. He finished 4-for-6 with four runs batted in after flying out in the fourth and striking out in the ninth. It was his 11th multi-hit game of the season and his 10th multiple RBI game this season.%^$

%^$The Buckeyes almost had three players hit for the cycle in the 38-15 victory over Toledo earlier this season. Drew Anderson missed hitting for the cycle by a home run and two others also missed hitting for the cycle. Nick Swisher needed a home run, while Doug Deeds needed a single.%^$

%^$Wilkins was 6-for-13 (.462) last week with a team-high five RBI. He now has 32 RBI to lead the Buckeyes. He is batting .380 in the 15 Big Ten games with 15 RBI.%^$

%^$Dendinger Walks into Second
%^$Senior first baseman Doug Dendinger moved into second place on the Ohio State all-time walks list. After not drawing a base on balls in the four games at Iowa, Dendinger walked three times in the Friday 14-11 victory at Indiana to up his career walk total to 126. He now trails only Greg Mohler (1981-84), who walked 136 times in his career. Dendinger has 31 walks this season to lead the team and the Big Ten.%^$

%^$Steen Makes 61st Appearance, Earns Fourth Save of Season
%^$Brandon Steen made his 61st appearance in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Indiana. Steen came into the game to record the final out of the game with the tying run in scoring position. He got a flyout to end the game and preserve Ohio State’s seventh-inning comeback victory, 3-2.%^$

%^$His 61 appearances tie him for eighth on the OSU all-time list. He equaled Bob Spears (1993-96), Mark Mesewicz (1989-92) and Bill Wertz (1986-89) and now trails Justin Fry (1995-99) by just three appearances.%^$

%^$Steen earned his fourth save of the season in his team-best 12 appearances for the Buckeyes this year. It was his ninth save of his career after getting five a year ago. The four saves this season put him in a four-way tie on the season saves list. He is tied with Spears (1995), Chad Hale (1993), Dennis Pachner (1993) and Tony Khoury (1991).%^$

%^$Laratta Now Second in Wins
%^$The win last Friday at Iowa was the 32nd for E.J. Laratta as a Buckeye. He is currently in second place on the school’s all-time win list and trails Justin Fry (1995-99) by just four wins for the most all time.%^$

%^$Through last Friday’s 6 1/3 innings of work at Indiana, Laratta has now pitched 345 2/3 innings, which moved him into a tie for the second most innings ever pitched by a Buckeye. He moved in front of Pete Perini’s (1947-49) 344 innings. The all-time leader is Fry, who pitched 419 2/3 innings.%^$

%^$Laratta also has 223 strikeouts in his four years as a Buckeye and is tied for 11th in school history with Paul Ebert (1952-54). He is only one strikeout away from moving into the OSU top-10 list. Just ahead of him is Doug Swearingen (1980-83) who has 224. Scott Klingenbeck (1990-92) is ninth on the list with 238 strikeouts.%^$

%^$Swisher’s Hit Streak Now 13
%^$Nick Swisher was able to extend his hit streak to a career-long 13 games with a double in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Indiana. He had two hits in each of the first two games of the series. The 13-game streak equals the longest by a Buckeye this season. Christian Snavely hit in 13 straight games earlier this season. His previous career long was eight during the 2001 season, which is somewhat remarkable considering he has safely reached base in 45 consecutive games (his final 15 games of 2001 and all 30 games he has played this season. He reached safely in all but four of the 57 games he played in last season and all but 11 of the 55 games he played as a freshman.%^$

%^$Other Streaks of Note
%^$After Swisher’s 13-game hit streak, freshman outfielder Mike Rabin has the next longest streak. His has reached a season-long six games. Only three other Buckeyes have active hit streaks: Doug Dendinger (2), Christian Snavely (1) and Geoff Buchanan (1).%^$

%^$Terry Pettorini has fallen cold in the month of April. He does not have a hit in his last 22 at bats, including an 0-for-3 day in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Indiana.%^$

%^$Last 10 Games
%^$Ohio State has a trio of hitters who have better than a .400 average in the team’s last 10 games, in which the Buckeyes are 6-4. Doug Deeds leads the group with a .472 average (17-for-36) with four home runs, 15 runs and eight RBI. Nick Swisher is batting .441 (15-for-34) in his last 10 games. He has scored seven times with six RBI and a home run. Mike Rabin is batting .412 (14-for-34) with five RBI and five runs scored.%^$

%^$Rain Cancels Game Four
%^$Rain forced the cancellation of Sunday’s game four between Ohio State and Indiana. Heavy rain entered the area early Sunday morning and continued into the afternoon forcing the cancellation of the series finale. Ohio State won two of the three games that were played this weekend to earn the series win. The Buckeyes defeated Indiana 14-11 on Friday, while the Hoosiers overcame a late rally by Ohio State in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader to win 5-4. The Buckeyes fought back to win the nightcap by a 3-2 final.%^$

%^$OSU Wins 3-2 in Comeback
%^$Ohio State scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to defeat Indiana 3-2 in the second game of a doubleheader and avoid what would have been just the first doubleheader sweep by a Big Ten opponent since 2000.%^$

%^$Ohio State manufactured a pair of runs to take the lead in the top of the seventh inning. Drew Anderson drew a walk to lead off the inning and then stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Paul Farinacci. Mike Rabin tied the game 2-2 on a double to leftfield and later scored when Christian Snavely singled to short rightfield.%^$

%^$Ohio State jumped out to the early 1-0 lead, but Indiana came back to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning.%^$

%^$Rabin finished the game 2-for-3 with the game-tying RBI and Snavely was 2-for-4 with the game-winning RBI. Ohio State and Indiana each had six hits and the Buckeyes won despite two errors.%^$

%^$Scott Lewis pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing both Hoosier runs on six hits. He also had seven strikeouts and just one walk in improving to 4-2 with the 109-pitch victory. Brandon Steen came on to get the final out of the game to earn his fourth save of the season.%^$

%^$A loss to Indiana in game two would have been the first doubleheader sweep in conference play since the Buckeyes lost both games on April 15, 2000 at Michigan.%^$

%^$Comeback Falls Short
%^$Indiana shortstop Eric Blakeley’s RBI single in the bottom of the seventh gave the Hoosiers a 5-4 victory in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday against Ohio State.%^$

%^$Ohio State scored twice in the top of the seventh to tie the score 4-4 thanks to an RBI single through the right side by Doug Dendinger. A double down the leftfield line Drew Anderson scored Joe Wilkins, but the Buckeyes stranded runners at second and third.%^$

%^$Those were just two of 11 runners stranded by Ohio State in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. The Buckeyes had stranded a dozen runners in the 14-11 victory over Indiana on Friday.%^$

%^$Indiana’s first four runs were the responsibility of designated hitter Joe Kemp, who knocked in two runs in the first and the second two runs in the sixth inning. He finished the day 2-for-3 with four of five RBI for the Hoosiers. Blakeley was also 2-for-3 with his game winning RBI.%^$

%^$OSU Scores 10 in Third Inning to Beat Indiana 14-11
%^$Joe Wilkins had a two-run homer in the third inning to give Ohio State the lead as the Buckeyes never looked back in a 14-11 victory over Indiana in the first of a four-game Big Ten series.%^$

%^$Doug Deeds was 3-for-5 with three RBI. Drew Anderson and Christian Snavely were each 3-for-6.%^$

%^$Ohio State jumped all over Indiana to start the game, taking a 4-0 lead in the first frame. But just as the Buckeyes sent 10 hitters to the plate in the first, Indiana would also bat around. The Hoosiers scored five times in the bottom of the inning to take the 5-4 lead.%^$

%^$After going down in order in the second, Ohio State batted through the order again in the third inning to score 10 times on 10 hits. Eight singles by Buckeye batters fueled the big inning ignited by Wilkins’ home run over the leftfield fence. When the inning was done, Ohio State led 14-5.%^$

%^$Indiana got one run back on a solo home run by Kemp, who sent a shot over the fence in left-centerfield for his third round-tripper of the season. The Hoosiers added another run in the bottom of the seventh after a home run to centerfield by shortstop Eric Blakeley. He added a two-run shot in the eighth and the Hoosiers scored two more times in the ninth before falling 14-11.%^$

%^$E.J. Laratta pitched 6 1/3 innings to improve to 6-1.%^$

%^$Big Ten Rankings
%^$Ohio State has the No. 1 pitching staff (4.03 ERA) and the No. 4 batters (.309 BA) when taking all games into account this season. But the numbers flip-flop when only looking at conference games. In Big Ten games only, the Buckeyes have the No. 1 batting contingent (.324) and the No. 4 pitching staff (4.37).%^$

%^$Regardless of which games are accounted for, Nate Smith is the best pitcher in the Big Ten as far as ERA is concerned. He has a 1.25 ERA overall and a 0.82 ERA in conference games. The junior from Bryan, Ohio, is holding conference opposition to a batting average of .143 while the average jumps slightly to .165 vs. all opposing batters. Both figures lead the league.%^$

%^$In all games, Doug Deeds is third in the conference in individual batting with a .408 average. No other Buckeyes even crack the top 10. However, in Big Ten games only, Mike Rabin is second with a .447 average. Nick Swisher (.385) and Joe Wilkins (.380) are ranked eighth and ninth, respectively.%^$

%^$Other Rankings…
%^$In all games, Scott Lewis has the sixth best ERA (2.85) and E.J. Laratta ranks 10th (3.15)… Doug Deeds is second in on-base percentage (.516)… Doug Dendinger is sixth in on-base percentage (.481)… Dendinger is the conference leader in walks with 31… Lewis has 54 strikeouts to rank sixth in the Big Ten and is holding opposing batters to a .252 batting average, eighth in the league.%^$

%^$In conference games only, Mike Rabin has the best on-base percentage (.512)… Deeds is fourth in on-base percentage (.500), first in runs scored (21) and sixth in slugging percentage (.679)… Joe Wilkins is tied for third in runs batted in with 15, while Nick Swisher and Christian Snavely each have 14 to tie for fifth.%^$

%^$Last Wednesday…
%^$Dayton Downs Buckeyes 4-3
%^$Dayton scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning on its way to a 4-3 victory over Ohio State April 17 at Bill Davis Stadium.%^$

%^$Kyle Brown gave up two runs in the eighth when in came on in relief for Trent Luyster. Dayton centerfielder Rory Thornton walked and then Tom Beechem singled through the left side. A double steal moved both runners into scoring position and then Brown fielded a ground ball to retire Aaron Reesh at first, but Thornton was able to tie the game, scoring from third. A sacrifice fly by Shawn Bolinger gave the Flyers the lead, scoring Beechem who had advanced to third on the ground out by Reesh.%^$

%^$Ohio State missed a golden opportunity in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases without an out, but Doug Dendinger grounded into a 5-2-3 double play that first caught Brett Garrard, the tying run, at home. Designated hitter Lance Rolston struck out to end the inning and strand the tying run at third.%^$

%^$Beechem finished the game 2-for-4 and scored a run for Dayton and Bolinger knocked in two runs in a 1-for-3 night. Christian Snavely led Ohio State was led at the plate going 2-for-5 with the single in the first and a two-run homer in the third. Garrard and Mike Rabin also had multiple hits for the Buckeyes.%^$

%^$Buckeyes Take Three of Four at Iowa
%^$It was the first Big Ten road series for Ohio State of the season and the Buckeyes responded by winning three of four in Iowa City to remain in first place in the conference.%^$

%^$Ohio State had 15 hits in a 7-1 victory in the series opener on April 12. Pitcher E.J. Laratta went the distance to get his fifth win over the year. Laratta threw just 95 pitches scattering 10 fly outs and 11 ground outs in his third complete game of the season and the 17th of his career.%^$

%^$The Buckeyes got their 20th win of the season with a 2-1 triumph over the Hawkeyes in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader. Josh Newman struck out eight batters in pitching 6 2/3 innings. He gave up only four hits for run, which was unearned. At the time, it was a team-best sixth win of the year.%^$

%^$The third game went the way of the Hawkeyes as a three-run home run tied the game at four in the bottom of the fifth and then got the winning run in the next inning to beat Ohio State 5-4 in the second game of the doubleheader.%^$

%^$Pure power led the Buckeyes to an 11-1 victory and 3-1 series win on Sunday. Rightfielder Doug Deeds had two home runs and starting pitcher Nate Smith struck out a career-high 13 batters. Deeds gave the Buckeyes a 3-0 lead in the third inning with his fifth home run of the season and then his sixth homer of the season put the Buckeyes on top 7-0. Paul Farinacci and Doug Dendinger also homered in the game.%^$

%^$Smith Named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week
%^$Nate Smith pitched another Sunday gem for the Buckeye, sitting down batters in order in the second, fourth and fifth inning, including nine batters in a row at one point. Smith finished the game with a career-best 13 strikeouts in seven innings of work. He improved to 4-0 on the year with the victory allowing just one run on three hits and was named Big Ten Pitcher of the week in the process. Chris Hanners replaced Smith to start the eighth and had three strikeouts of his owns as the duo combined to strike out a season-high 16 batters.%^$

%^$Swisher Smacks No. 30
%^$Nick Swisher blasted a shot over the fence in left field to give Ohio State a 4-1 lead in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Iowa. It was just the first home run by either team in the series and the fifth home run by Swisher this season. He now has 30 home runs for his career and is now tied for ninth with Ken Tirpack (1989-92) on the school’s career list. He needs two home runs to move into a three with tie for seventh place with Mark Chonko (1993-96) and Chad Ehrnsberger (1998-00) with 32. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) has the school’s all-time record with 52.%^$

%^$Buckeyes Stumble vs. Oakland
%^$Oakland starter Dominic Carmosino struck out six and reliever Jared Thomas struck out nine to lift the Grizzlies to a 10-5 midweek victory over Ohio State April 10 at Bill Davis Stadium.%^$

%^$Buckeye pitchers struggled to start the contest, but Ohio State remained in the game until a big fourth inning by Oakland.%^$

%^$The Grizzlies scored five times that inning to seal the victory, taking advantage of a pitching change by the Buckeyes. In an effort to get work for several Buckeye pitchers, some which had not pitched since the Northwestern series at the end of March, Buckeye skipper Bob Todd went with Matt Davis, who had not started since picking up his second win of the season March 30 against Northwestern, in place of starter Chris Hanners to start the fourth inning.%^$

%^$Hanners allowed five runs to come across in the first three innings, but the Buckeyes had pulled within 5-4 before surrendering the big fourth inning. Only three runs scored in the first three innings were earned on a total of seven hits. Davis pitched just a third of an inning yet allowed five runs, four earned, on five hits.%^$

%^$OSU Takes Penn State Series, Despite Game One Loss
%^$After losing 14-2 in the Friday game against Penn State and stumbling out of the gate in the first game of the April 6 doubleheader 6-2, Ohio State huddled together in the dugout prior to the fifth inning and reminded itself it had never lost a Big Ten series at Bill Davis Stadium. A loss Saturday would mean no better than a split with the Nittany Lions, but OSU preferred to get the series win.%^$

%^$From that point on, it was all Buckeyes.%^$

%^$Ohio State scored five times in the bottom of the inning to take a 7-6 lead, which it held to win in comeback fashion.%^$

%^$Scott Lewis pitched a two-hit shutout as the Buckeyes took the second game of the doubleheader 10-0. Lewis struck out six batters and walked four. Offensively, the Buckeyes had 14 hits, including three doubles, two triples and a home run. Christian Snavely was 4-for-4 with four RBI. Mike Rabin was 3-for-4.%^$

%^$The Buckeye assault continued in the series finale as they got their second double-figure shutout in as many games, downing the Nittany Lions 11-0. Snavely and Doug Deeds each hit two-run home runs in the second inning.%^$

%^$Snavely Named Big Ten Player of the Week
%^$Second baseman Christian Snavely was named Big Ten Player of the Week April 8 after leading the Buckeyes to three wins against Penn State while batting .438 (7-for-16) with two home runs and eight runs batted in.%^$

%^$Snavely scored three runs on the weekend and posted a slugging percentage of .938 thanks to 15 total bases, twice as many as any other Buckeye. Snavely’s first homer in the series came in the second game on Saturday, as he went a perfect 4-4 and produced four RBI and two runs. He followed that performance with another long ball and three more RBI on Sunday as Ohio State bounced back to win three straight from the Nittany Lions after dropping the opener on Friday.%^$

%^$Buckeyes Open Big Ten Play Winning Three vs. Wildcats
%^$Rain pushed back the start of the Big Ten opening series against Northwestern. The first game actually got underway, but was suspended until Saturday, meaning the Buckeyes and Wildcats played 22 innings in one day.%^$

%^$Christian Snavely hit home runs in consecutive at bats in the fourth and sixth innings helping guide Ohio State to an 8-5 victory in the suspended nine-inning game from Friday.%^$

%^$Nick Swisher became the hero, hitting an 0-2 slider from Northwestern starter Rayn Bos over the leftfield fence scoring two runs to lift the Buckeyes to a 6-5 win in the bottom of the seventh inning in the game one of Saturday’s scheduled doubleheader.%^$

%^$Northwestern handed the Buckeyes their first loss in Big Ten action, winning the nightcap 11-8. The Wildcats won despite committing four errors in the contest. Northwestern had built a 6-1 lead before OSU fought back for a 7-6 advantage. Swisher hit his third home run of the day in the losing effort as the Wildcats scored four runs in the fifth and another in the sixth.%^$

%^$It was all Ohio State in the series finale. Nate Smith pitched a one-hitter through seven innings and was backed up bye a solid offense as the Buckeyes cruised to a 9-2 victory for the series win.%^$

%^$Smith Named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week
%^$Right-handed pitcher Nate Smith was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, April 1, after guiding the Buckeyes to a 9-0 win over Harvard in the Homestead Challenge and a 9-2 victory over Northwestern last Sunday.%^$

%^$Smith pitched 14 innings and struck out 14 batters last week to get his first two wins of the season. He went seven innings and struck out six batters (all in the first three innings) while walking just one while giving up just two hits in the Buckeyes’ win over Harvard. Against Northwestern on Sunday, the junior from Bryan, Ohio, took a no-hitter in to the sixth inning, when he gave up a home run on the first pitch of the inning. It was the only hit he gave up in the game holding opposing batters to .048 average and fanning eight. He had a 0.64 ERA in the two games last week and now has a 1.71 ERA for the season, second best on the team behind E.J. Laratta (1.50). Laratta was also a Big Ten Pitcher of the Week earlier this season (Feb. 25).%^$

%^$Swisher Belts Three Home Runs in Three Games
%^$Junior Nick Swisher scored the winning runs in the 6-5 victory in the first game of a doubleheader vs. Northwestern March 30 with a walk-off home run that capped a five-run bottom of the seventh. His sacrifice bunt in his previous at bat in the sixth inning helped the Buckeyes score their first run of the game. Swisher hit .333 (5-for-15) in the four games vs. Northwestern and hit three home runs, one each in the first three games of the series, which Ohio State won 3-1. He led the team with seven runs batted in last week and had an on-base percentage of .586.%^$