COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State travels to Ann Arbor to take on fellow Big Ten co-leader Michigan in a three-game series beginning Friday. First pitch Friday is set for 6:35 p.m. while 6:12 p.m. and 1:05 p.m. will be the respective start times for Saturday and Sunday.
The Buckeyes have posted a 23-13 record heading into the weekend while Michigan sits at 25-14. Both teams are 7-5 in Big Ten play.
This Week in Ohio State Baseball
Ohio State (23-13, 7-5 Big Ten)
Game 37: at Michigan
(25-14, 7-5 Big Ten)
Friday, April 30 – 6:35 p.m.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Game 38: at Michigan
Saturday, May 1 – 6:12 p.m.
Game 39: at Michigan
Sunday, May 2 – 1:05 p.m.
All Times EDT
LIVE STATS & STREAMING VIDEO
Live stats at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Streaming video can be found at BigTenNetwork.com for the Saturday and Sunday games.
SOON TO BE TIED AS OLDEST RIVALRY
Michigan leads the all-time series, by Ohio State’s count, 158-92-2. The series began in 1895. At the conclusion of this series, the 255 games played between the teams will tie the 255 games Ohio State has played against Indiana, Ohio State’s current oldest baseball rival. The two teams have met for a series every year since 1981, the first year of the Big Ten’s four-game series format. The series with Indiana is actually the longest running in Ohio State history: the two have met 66 consecutive years, or since 1944.
OHIO STATE vs. MICHIGAN NOTES
Between 1988 and 2002, Bob Todd’s Ohio State teams won or tied 13 of the 15 series with Michigan (nine series wins; four ties; two series losses). Included were back-to-back-to-back sweeps in 1994-95-96. Since that 2002 series tie, Michigan went on to win six consecutive series, including 4-0 series sweeps in 2006 and 2007 (at Bill Davis Stadium). The 2005 series was just one game because of bad weather. Michigan won 15 of 18 regular season games during that stretch. Ohio State stopped that run last year with a 2-1 series win at Bill Davis Stadium.
DEDICATED TO EACH OTHER
The dedication game for Ohio Stadium was Oct. 21, 1922 vs. Michigan (a 19-0 UM win). The dedication game for Michigan Stadium was Oct. 22, 1927 vs. OSU (a 21-0 UM win). Ohio State’s first hockey game in the Schottenstein Center was Jan. 2, 1999 vs. Michigan (a 1-0 Ohio State win).
WIMMERS KEYS DH SWEEP IN 2009
Ohio State sophomore Alex Wimmers no-hit Michigan in the first game of the 2009 series between the two rivals, striking out 14 Wolverines in the process, as Ohio State took the first game of the doubleheader, 6-0. In Game 2, Ryan Dew had five hits and Dan Burkhart three RBI to lead the Buckeyes to a sweep over the Wolverines, 9-6, in front of 3,219 fans. Wimmers pitched the first nine-inning no-hitter in Ohio State history, and the ninth all-time at Ohio State. He walked four batters, but three were erased by his grade school and high school buddy Burkhart, the catcher, who threw out all three Wolverines trying to steal.
Superb fielding shortstop Tyler Engle made the defensive play of the game to preserve the no-hitter in the eighth inning. He ranged deep into the hole behind second base to make a diving stab at a ball hit by Kenny Fellows. He landed and snapped his head off the dirt, but was able to shovel the ball to a waiting Cory Kovanda at second base to get the force out.
Dew had a home run and three RBI to lead the Buckeyes’ offensively in Game 1. He hit a two-run single in the sixth inning for the first runs of the game and added his fifth home run of the season in the eighth. Ohio State added three runs off four hits and one Michigan error in the seventh to build on the lead. Zach Hurley had two hits and two runs scored, Kovanda and Burkhart had two hits and an RBI and Engle had two hits in support the heroics of Wimmers.
DEW’IN IT ALL
Dew, who had hits in his final two at-bats in Game 1, went 5-for-5 in game two, including his second home run of the day to lead off the second inning and tie the game at 2-all. His teammates followed with four more runs in the second inning to take a 6-2 lead. Burkhart had a two-RBI single for the big hit. Matt Streng’s RBI single in the third increased the lead to 7-2, but Michigan would close the lead to 7-6 with a run in the fourth – a home run by Nick Urban – and three more off three hits in the sixth. A sac fly by Burkhart and Dew’s seventh hit of the day – a single – plated two Ohio State runs in the eighth to build a 9-6 cushion and the home team would close the game out from there.
BUCKEYES DROP THREE TO UM IN 2008
Ohio State’s last visit to Ann Arbor for a regular season series wasn’t very memorable at all. The team lost a 3-1 series Michigan by scores 4-1, 6-1 and 15-1 in Game 4. Ohio State won Game 3, 4-1. Some series notes:
WIMMERS OPENS 9-0
Ohio State defeated Penn State, 3-1, in Game one of the series 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.
14th SEASON AT BILL DAVIS STADIUM
Ohio State is 229-106 all-time at Bill Davis Stadium for a fine .683 winning percentage. The team is also 131-69 against the Big Ten.
ON SECOND THOUGHT…
Dan Burkhart has thrown out 42 percent of those trying to steal so far this season (13 of 31).
SITTING THEM DOWN
Junior Alex Wimmers is tied for first nationally with nine wins on the season 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 weekend, the Buckeyes rank near the top of most of the Big Ten offensive categories including: batting average (.335, 1st), slugging percentage (.466, 5th), on-base percentage (.413, 1st) and home runs (25, t-5th). The Buckeyes have also struck out just 164 times in the first 36 games, 51 less than any other Big Ten team.
Zach Hurley leads the Buckeyes and ranks third in the conference with a .406 average. He also sits second in the conference with 17 doubles, fourth with a .663 slugging percentage and sixth with 39 runs scored.
Cory Rupert has done his part, ranking second on the team and ninth in the conference with a .380 batting average. He also ranks fourth in the Big Ten with a .466 on-base percentage. The senior third baseman has reached base safely in every start this season.
Outfielder Michael Stephens is the third Buckeye among the Big Ten’s top hitters, ranking third in the Big Ten with eight home runs and ninth with a .600 slugging perecentage.
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…
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 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 March 31 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.