COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State travels to Iowa City, Iowa for a Big Ten Conference series with the Iowa Hawkeyes May 14-16. Both teams are in the throes of an unbelievably tight Big Ten Conference race that has 10 teams fighting for a Big Ten championship and one of six spots in the 2010 Big Ten tournament, which will be held May 26-30 at Bill Davis Stadium.
The Buckeyes, a winner of two consecutive games, will seek end to a streak of three consecutive Big Ten series losses. The team has lost 2-1 series to Penn State, Michigan and Illinois the last three weekends and sits in a tie for fifth in the Big Ten with a 9-9 record. Ohio State is 26-19 overall.
Iowa is coming off a 2-1 series win at Penn State last week. The Hawkeyes have won two of their last three Big Ten series – including a series win at Michigan – to improve to 8-10 in the Big Ten, good for a tie for ninth place but just two games out of first. The team is 21-25 overall.
This Week in Ohio State Baseball
Ohio State (26-19, 9-9 Big Ten)
Game 46: at Iowa
(21-21, 6-9 Big Ten)
Friday, May 14 – 7:05 p.m.
Iowa City, Iowa
Game 47: at Iowa
Saturday, May 15 – 2:05 p.m.
Game 48: at Iowa
Sunday, May 16 – 2:05 p.m.
All Times EDT
LIVE STATS & STREAMING VIDEO
Live stats at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Expect Ohio State to go with RHP Drew Rucinski (4-3; 4.29) Friday and RHP Dean Wolosiansky (3-7; 5.74) Saturday with the Sunday starter TBA. Iowa will go with its three sophomore starters: LHP Jarred Hippon (4-4; 4.74) Friday, RHP Nick Brown (4-5; 6.49) Saturday and RHP Phil Schreiber (3-5; 5.40) Sunday.
Alex Wimmers, who injured a hamstring April 30 moments before a scheduled start against Michigan, threw off the mound Tuesday. No update on when he might be in the Buckeyes’ starting lineup next. Coaches are calling it a game-by-game, series-by-series issue at this point.
BUCKEYES TOP BALL STATE, 8-4
Ohio State scored three unearned runs in the eighth inning and won its second consecutive game, 8-4, over Mid American Conference leader Ball State Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium. Dan Burkhart led a 12-hit Ohio state attack with three hits and an RBI. Cory Kovanda and Cory Rupert had two hits apiece with Kovanda’s two-run single in the eighth the big hit of that inning. Jared Strayer continued his fine pitching of late with 5.0 innings of four-hit, one run relief to earn the win and his first decision of the season. Eric Best saved his fourth game of the season. A few more game notes…
– Ohio State scored first in this game, snapping a string of seven consecutive games where the opponent has taken the initial lead of the game. The Buckeyes were 2-5 in those seven games.
– Zach Hurley’s home run to lead off the third inning was his fifth leadoff home run this season.
– Dan Burkhart erased his 20th runner attempting to steal in 46 attempts for an absolutely legit caught-stealing percentage of 43 percent.
– Since returning in late April after missing more than a month with a knee issue, Jared Strayer has pitched 16.1 innings with a 1.68 earned run average.
BUCKEYES WIN THREE LAST YEAR
Ohio State swept Iowa last year at Bill Davis Stadium by scores of 13-4, 5-4 and 8-6 to cap an 18-6 Big Ten regular season. Approximately four hours after the Game 3 win, the Buckeyes were Big Ten champions. The Game 3 win was huge. Put in an early 4-0 hole, Ohio State scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the lead and eventually win a back-and-forth game. Tyler Engle and Cory Kovanda had two-run doubles. Justin Miller hit a go-ahead, two-run home run and Drew Rucinski picked up the win after Eric Best gave six strong innings in his start.
MORE ON THE ’09 SERIES
Dean Wolosiansky pitched 7.0 effective innings to get the Game 2 win. Tyler Engle had two RBI and Ryan Dew two runs scored. A nine-run second inning and Alex Wimmers on the mound – nine strikeouts – sparked the Game 1 win. Michael Stephens hit his 12th home run of the year and had three RBI, and Miller also had three RBI to lead the team offensively.
For the three-game series, Miller, now an Ohio State student assistant coach, hit .583 (7-12) with six RBI and Zach Hurley hit .545 (6-11). Ryan Dew, .385 at the plate, scored a team-high six times. The Buckeyes hit .324 as a team and posted a 3.33 team ERA. Iowa hit .272 with a 6.75 ERA.
OHIO STATE vs. IOWA
The Buckeyes and Hawkeyes split two games in 2008 in Iowa City; Iowa winning Games 1 and 3 and Ohio State winning Games 2 and 4. Ohio State leads the all-time series with Iowa, 69-43-1 and has won or tied 12 consecutive series. The Buckeyes were 7-0-5 in four-game series with Iowa dating back to the first four-game series between the teams: a 3-1 Iowa win in 1990. A few more series notes:
– Coach Bob Todd’s teams are 38-20 vs. Iowa.
– Ohio State has won 22 of the last 28 games in the series dating to the last game of the 2000 series.
– Ohio State is 3-2-1 vs. Iowa in series played in Iowa City. All were four-game series.
BOB TODD ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
After 39 years as a baseball coach, Ohio State head baseball coach Bob Todd announced his retirement Wednesday after the team’s game against Louisville. “I think I’m ready,” said Todd. “I always said I wanted a career and not just a job. I think I found that. I still feel good and I love this game because it has been a very enjoyable and prominent part of my life and that of my family, but I have always felt I’d rather leave this game too early than too late.”
TODD NEARING 900 OHIO STATE WINS
Bob Todd needs just one win for 900 career wins at Ohio State. He has a 1,023 overall victories in this, his 27th season as a Division I head coach. On Feb. 21 of this season he won his 1,000th career game when Ohio State defeated Richmond. Todd is the 42nd Division I coach to achieve 1,000 career wins.
WIMMERS POY QUARTERFINALIST
Alex Wimmers, already named a Golden Spikes Award candidate, has been named by the College Baseball Foundation one of 25 quarterfinalists for the 2010 Pitcher of the Year Award. Wimmers, fifth at Ohio State alltime with 265 career strikeouts, is 9-0 this season with a 1.61 earned run average. He has 78 strikeouts and has allowed just 20 walks and 53 hits in 67.0 innings pitched. He also has two complete games.
ARLIN NAMED TO LEGENDS TEAM
Steve Arlin, the great Ohio State pitcher of the 1960s who led the Buckeyes to two College World Series and to the 1966 CWS championship, has been named to the College World Series Legends Team as part of the commemoration of the final Series in Omaha’s Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium.
SINGLE GAME TOURNEY TICKETS
Speaking of the Big Ten Tournament, which will be held right here at Bill Davis Stadium May 26-30, the conference has announced that single game tickets for the tourney will go on sale Monday, May 10, through www.ticketmaster.com. Price of the single game tickets are $10 each and all are for general admission seating.
All-Tournament passes and group tickets to the 2010 Big Ten Baseball Tournament are also available. All-Tournament passes are $100 each. Group tickets (minimum 20) are available for $7 per ticket. All-Tournament and group tickets are available at www.ColumbusSports.org or www.bigten.org.
14th SEASON AT BILL DAVIS STADIUM
Ohio State is 229-108 all-time at Bill Davis Stadium for a fine .679 winning percentage.
WIMMERS OPENS 9-0
Ohio State defeated Penn State, 3-1, in Game one of the series April 23 as All-American ace Alex Wimmers won his ninth consecutive game to open the season. The terrific junior from Cincinnati’s Archbishop Moeller High School pitched a complete-game four-hitter that included 11 strikeouts. With the win, he ties the school record for the best start to a season that has been done only twice in 127 years of baseball at Ohio State. Doug Swearingen started 9-0 for Ohio State in 1982 and Scott Lewis opened 9-0 in 2003.
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.
VOTE FOR CORY KOVANDA
Cory Kovanda has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Nationwide balloting has begun. Fans can vote for Cory on the award’s official Web site at www.seniorCLASSaward.com as well as through text messaging. Text BASEBALL to 74567 to vote for the finalists.
ON SECOND THOUGHT…
Dan Burkhart has thrown out 43 percent of those trying to steal so far this season (20 of 46).
SITTING THEM DOWN
Junior Alex Wimmers is tied for sixth nationally with nine wins on the season, despite missing his last two starts, and is the only starter in the country to win each start. The last Buckeye to starter to begin a season 9-0 was Scott Lewis in 2003. Wimmers leads the Big Ten in strikeouts (78), ERA (1.61) and opponent batting average (.218).
A TEAM EFFORT
Heading into the week, the Buckeyes rank near the top of most of the Big Ten offensive categories including: batting average (.323, t-1st), slugging percentage (.446, 5th) and on-base percentage (.404, 1st). The Buckeyes have also struck out just 215 times, 37 less than any other Big Ten team.
Zach Hurley leads the Buckeyes and ranks fourth in the conference with a .385 average. He also sits second in the conference with 19 doubles, third with 75 hits and fourth with a .621 slugging percentage
Dan Burkhart has done his part, ranking second on the team with a .375 batting average. The junior leads the Big Ten with a .478 on-base percentage and ranks third on the team with 35 runs scored.
Outfielder Michael Stephens is the third Buckeye among the Big Ten’s top hitters, ranking seventh in the Big Ten with eight home runs and has a .366 batting average. He has also been hit 11 times, more than any other player in the conference.
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 42nd 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 LOSE 2 OF 3 TO ILLINI
Ohio State snapped a five-game losing streak, picking up an 8-4 win in the series finale against Illinois. Ryan Dew went 4-for-5 with five RBI and a run scored in the win.
BUCKEYES DROP TWO TO LOUISVILLE
Ohio State lost a two-game series to Top 10 team Louisville: 6-0 and 10-8. After hitting into three double plays with two men on board in Game 1, Ohio State outhit the Cardinals in Game 2, 14-11, and made a game of it after trailing, 7-1, early. Dan Burkhart had his first five-hit day as a Buckeye, including his first home run of the season. Michael Stephens had two hits and two RBI. Zach Hurley had a big two-out RBI and Cory Rupert added a couple of hits and two RBI in support.
BUCKS LOSE 2 OF 3 UP NORTH
Ohio State dropped its second consecutive Big Ten Conference series, 2-1, at Michigan over the weekend. The team got admirable pitching performances in the wake of Alex Wimmers’ tweaked hamstring on April 30. The reshuffled lineup limited the Wolverines to a .220 batting average and a 4.15 ERA for the series.
BIG 1ST INNING KEYS W OVER HERD
Ohio State used a five-run first inning to down Marshall, 7-4, April 28 at Bill Davis Stadium. Ohio State starter Brett McKinney tossed five hitless, scoreless innings to pick up the win and even his record at 3-3 on the season.
BUCKS DROP SERIES TO PENN STATE
Ohio State split its first two games with Penn State this past weekend before flirting with lightning and thunderstorms throughout the day April 25 while trying to get Game three played. The teams did play around about 60 minutes of weather delays with Penn State claiming a series win with a 14-6 victory.
ZIPS, BANGTSON TOP BUCKEYES
The Akron Zips, coached by former Buckeye assistant coach Pat Bangtson, jumped out to a 4-1 lead and then, after Ohio State tied the score at 4-all in the fifth inning, regained the lead in dramatic fashion in the eighth inning and went on to post a 10-7 win over the Buckeyes April 21 at Bill Davis Stadium.
CRUCIAL SERIES GOES BUCKS’ WAY
Ohio State went 2-1 in a Big Ten road series at Michigan State. The Buckeyes rode solid pitching from Wimmers to defeat Michigan State, 10-1, April 16. The following day at McLane Stadium, Ohio State came from behind and scored four late runs to defeat the Spartans, 4-3. Ohio State then fell to Michigan State, 14-7, April 18 in the series conclusion.
BUCKEYES TAKE 2 OF 3 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.