COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State travels to Michigan State for a crucial three-game set at McLane Stadium between Big Ten leaders. The Buckeyes and Spartans are in a tie with Michigan atop the Big Ten at 4-2. The Buckeyes swept the Spartans last season at Bill Davis Stadium with scores of 6-1, 5-3 and 6-1.
First pitch Friday is set for 3 p.m. while Saturday and Sunday will begin at 1 p.m.
This Week in Ohio State Baseball
Ohio State (19-9, 4-2 Big Ten)
Game 29: at Michigan State
(22-6, 4-2 Big Ten)
Friday, April 16 – 3 p.m.
East Lansing, Mich. (McLane Stadium)
Game 30: at Michigan State
Saturday, April 17 – 1 p.m.
Game 31: at Michigan State
Sunday, April 18 – 1 p.m.
All Times EDT
LIVE STATS & STREAMING VIDEO
Live stats at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. The Saturday game will be televised live on Big Ten Network.
Ohio State probable rotation:
Friday – RHP Alex Wimmers
Saturday – RHP Drew Rucinski
Sunday – RHP Dean Wolosiansky
GAME TWO ON BIG TEN NETWORK
The Saturday game between Ohio State and Michigan State beginning at 1 p.m. will be televised live on Big Ten Network.
AUDIO THIS WEEK
The game Friday will be an internet broadcast only while the games Saturday and Sunday will be broadcast live on 102.5 FM.
BUCKEYES SWEEP SPARTANS IN 2009
4.10.09 – Alex Wimmers carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning, Zach Hurley and Dan Burkhart each hit home runs, and Ohio State took the first game of this three-game set with a 6-1 win over Michigan State at Bill Davis Stadium. Wimmers ended up throwing his third complete game of the season while striking out 10 or more batters for the fourth time to improve to 6-1 on the season. The sophomore from Cincinnati scattered two hits, struck out 11 and walked just one.
4.11.09 – Ohio State made the most of its opportunities and received a fine pitching performance from three players to win its third consecutive game and its second of this series with a 5-3 win over Michigan State. Ohio State managed its five runs off just seven hits, but eight walks, a balk, two wild pitches and two crucial passed balls in the sixth inning were enough on this day to make a winner of Ohio State starter Dean Wolosiansky, who pitched into the seventh inning and improved to 7-1 on the season and 14-5 for his career.
4.12.09 – Key hitting with runners in scoring position – the team was 5-for-9 with two sacrifice flies – and another well-pitched game by Ohio State carried the Buckeyes to a 3-0 series sweep over Michigan State with a 6-1 win. Ryan Dew, Cory Rupert, Zach Hurley (twice), Michael Stephens and Dan Burkhart each had an RBI hit or sacrifice fly with men in scoring position on a day when two runs could have been enough with another solid effort put forth by the Ohio State pitchers. A trio of Ohio State pitchers gave up just four hits, one walk and no earned runs in shutting the Spartans down for the third consecutive day.
BUCKEYE/MSU SERIES HISTORY
Ohio State and Indiana first played in 1897 and now have played 242 times. Ohio State leads the series, 129-82-1. The Buckeyes have won three of the last four series against Michigan State with the last Spartan victory coming in 2007, a 3-1 series win in Columbus.
IN THE DUGOUTS
Ohio State coach Bob Todd is in his 23rd season at Ohio State and his 27th overall. He has a career mark of 1,016-545-2, a mark that includes a 60-27 record against Michigan State. Jake Boss Jr. is in his second season at Michigan State after coaching one season at Eastern Michigan. He has a 70-69 overall mark, a 45-35 record at MSU and a 17-13 mark in Big Ten play.
LAST WEEK IN THE BIG TEN
Ohio State took two of three against Indiana by scores of 7-1, 4-6 (10 innings) and 10-8. Michigan State won the first two games at Minnesota, 5-3 and 12-5, before dropping the finale, 6-3.
14th SEASON AT BILL DAVIS STADIUM
Ohio State is 227-115 all-time at Bill Davis Stadium for a fine .662 winning percentage. The team is also 131-69 against the Big Ten.
OVER THE AIR
Tune in to Highway 102.5 FM (WCVZ) to hear over the air broadcasts of Ohio State baseball. Listen in as veteran baseball announcers Frank Fraas and/or Marty Bannister describe the action with former Buckeyes Bob Spears and Brian Maninno providing color commentary.
Fans can watch Ohio State baseball home games live online this season on Buckeye Vision at OhioStateBuckeyes.com or BigTenNetwork.com. Check the schedule page for listings.
Track the action through Live Stats, available on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Click on the Live Stats link on the main home page in the upper right hand corner or through the baseball schedule page to access.
GETTIN’ DIALED IN
Ohio State’s pitching corps has the second-lowest ERA in the Big Ten at 4.52. The staff ERA is 3.71 the last 16 games after posting a 5.52 ERA in the first 12 games of the season.
ON SECOND THOUGHT…
Dan Burkhart has thrown out 50 percent of those trying to steal so far this season (11 of 22).
SITTING THEM DOWN
Junior Alex Wimmers is tied for first nationally with seven wins on the season. The last Buckeye to start a season 7-0 was Cory Luebke in 2007. Wimmers leads the Big Ten with 60 strikeouts, ranks second with a 1.80 ERA and sits third with a .226 opponent batting average while fellow junior Drew Rucinski is fifth with a 2.50 ERA. Rucinski is tied for fourth in the Big Ten with four saves while Theron Minium is tied for seventh with three.
A TEAM EFFORT
Heading into the week, the Buckeyes rank near the top of most of the Big Ten offensive categories including: batting average (.336, 1st), slugging percentage (.469, 4th), on-base percentage (.407, 2nd) and hits (344, 2nd). The Buckeyes have also struck out just 131 times in the first 28 games, 22 less than any other Big Ten team.
The pitching staff has done its part as well, ranking second in earned-run average (4.52) and fifth in strikeouts (205).
Despite misssing three games, outfielder Michael Stephens ranks third in the Big Ten with eight home runs and a .670 slugging perecentage. Stephens has at least one hit in 21 of 24 games played this season and has two hits in six of his last seven games.
Cory Kovanda has done his part, leading the team and ranking sixth in the conference with a .398 batting average. The senior co-captain has reached base safely in 23 of 24 starts this season.
Zach Hurley is the third Buckeye among the Big Ten’s top hitters, ranking fourth in hits (48), ninth in slugging percentage (.645) and leading the conference with 13 doubles.
THANKS FOR COMING
Through the first five home games of the season, Ohio State ranks 42nd nationally in average home attendance with 1,472. The number ranks second in the Big Ten behind Minnesota.
CLASSY ON AND OFF THE FIELD
Senior co-captain Cory Kovanda was recently selected as one of ten finalists for the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. The award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
A GRAND OCCASION
After a 42-win campaign in 2009, Ohio State head coach Bob Todd picked up win No. 1,000 against Richmond Feb. 21 in Jacksonville. The NABC Hall of Famer became the 41st coach in NCAA history to reach 1,000 victories.
BURKHART ON BENCH WATCH LIST
Dan Burkhart was named to the 2010 Johnny Bench Award watch list, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced. The award is given to the nation’s top collegiate catcher.
WIMMERS ON GOLDEN SPIKES LIST
Ohio State junior right-hander Alex Wimmers was named to the 2010 Golden Spikes Award watch list, USA Baseball announced. The award is given each year to the best collegiate baseball player in the country. The 2010 Golden Spikes Award will be presented live on Tuesday, July 13, at the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest in Anaheim, Calif. Wimmers is one of six players on the list who finished among the 30 semifinalists for the award in 2009.
OHIO STATE NATIONALLY RANKED
The Buckeyes garnered Top 25 recognition in almost every preseason poll with a ranking as high as No. 14 (Collegiate Baseball).
HITTING THE ROAD
The Buckeyes played their first 20 games on the road – 17 in Florida and three in Tennessee – before the home opener against Toledo March 31. In all, 23 of the Buckeyes’ first 24 games were away from home.
BUCKEYES SELECT CAPTAINS
Seniors Zach Hurley and Cory Kovanda were elected 2010 co-captains by their teammates at the Scarlet and Gray World Series victory dinner in October.
SO FAR THIS SEASON…
BUCKEYES TAKE TWO OF THREE VS IU
Ohio State topped Indiana 7-1 April 9 behind a complete game, 14-strikeout performance by Alex Wimmers as the junior right-hander moved to 7-0 on the season. After falling 6-4 in 10 innings April 10, the Buckeyes came back to win the rubber game, 10-8, April 11.
BUCKEYES TOP XAVIER, 12-7
Ohio State scored runs in the first six innings, twice coming back from deficits in the process, and the staff gave up just four earned runs in a 15-7 win over Xavier April 7 before 1,506 at Bill Davis Stadium. Zach Hurley led a 17-hit parade with a home run and a double, three runs scored and three RBI. Ryan Dew had a three-run home run and four total RBI.
OSU TAKES TWO OF THREE AT NW
Behind a strong effort by Alex Wimmers, the Buckeyes dropped Northwestern 11-1 in a Friday matinee. Ohio State lost by an 8-2 count Saturday before coming back and defeating the Wildcats 11-6 in the finale.
BUCKEYES EDGE TOLEDO
Ohio State scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to pick up a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Toledo in the home opener Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium.
Eric Best tossed two perfect innings in relief to improve his record to 2-1 on the season while Drew Rucinski pitched a flawless ninth for his fourth save of the season. Dan Burkhart, Cory Kovanda and Ryan Dew each had two hits for the Buckeyes.
BUCKEYES GO 4-3 ON SPRING BREAK
After opening the spring break trip with three consecutive wins over Eastern Illinois, Bucknell and Army, the Ohio State bats struggled to get much going offensivley, dropping three of the last four games on the trip.
OSU DROPS 2 OF 3 IN KNOXVILLE
After losing to Marshall Saturday and dropping a close 5-4 decision to Connecticut in the first game Sunday, the Buckeyes bounced back to defeat Tennessee behind a 10-strikeout performance from Alex Wimmers.
OSU WINS 3 OF 4 IN CLASSIC
After defeating Duquesne Friday and St. Louis in the first game Saturday, the Buckeyes dropped the second game of the doubleheader to the Billikens before defeating Fairleigh Dickinson in the weekend finale Sunday.
BUCKS TAKE 2 OF 3 IN “CHALLENGE”
After coming back to beat South Florida 4-2 Friday in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge, the Buckeyes knocked off Notre Dame 10-2 Saturday before falling to Cincinnati by a final of 12-4 in the weekend finale Sunday afternoon.
STARTING OFF RIGHT
The Buckeyes came through the first weekend unbeaten behind excellent pitching and timely hitting. Ohio State outscored their opponents 40-12. The 40 runs scored were the most in the first three games of the season since 1996. The Buckeyes batted .364 compared to just .254 for opponents and Ohio State pitchers posted a 2.33 ERA while opponents had a 10.73 ERA. Ohio State pitchers struck out 33 batters while walking just seven the opening weekend.
ROUND AND ROUND THEY GO
Eleven Buckeyes scored a run in the 20-9 win over Richmond including six crossing home plate more than once. Junior Matt Streng scored five runs against the Spiders.