May 4, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a three-game rivalry series against No. 17 Michigan Friday-Sunday at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium. The Buckeyes (17-27, 5-10 B1G) return to conference play after falling short vs. No. 4 Texas Tech, 5-3, on Wednesday in Columbus. The Wolverines (33-10, 9-6 B1G) won a road series at Rutgers last weekend in Piscataway, N.J. The series finale at 4 p.m. Sunday will be televised live on BTN.
ON THE BUMP
FRIDAY: RHP Jake Post (1-4, 3.51 ERA) vs. LHP Oliver Jaskie (5-2, 3.77 ERA)
SATURDAY: LHP Connor Curlis (3-2, 4.74 ERA) vs. RHP Alec Rennard (5-1, 4.34 ERA)
SUNDAY: TBA vs. LHP Michael Hendrickson (5-1, 4.50 ERA)
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Game one and two vs. the Wolverines will be streamed on BTN Plus ($). Game three will be televised live on BTN. Fans can also listen on the radio on AM 1460 ESPN. Matt Andrews (play-by-play) and Bob Spears (analysis) will have the call. A links to live stats links can be found by going to the schedule page of Ohio State Baseball on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter via @OhioState_BASE.
LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State fell, 5-3, against No. 4 Texas Tech Wednesday night at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes took a 2-0 early lead, but the Red Raiders rallied with two runs in the fourth and the go-ahead run in the fifth, while stranding 10 Ohio State runners to claim the midweek win. Ohio State freshman pitcher Jake Vance was steady on the mound, tallying a season-high five strikeouts and kept Texas Tech off the board through the first three innings. The Red Raiders strung two, two-out RBI hits in the fourth to tie the game against Vance. Overall, the OSU pitching staff combined to strike out 13 TTU hitters. At the plate, Dominic Canzone was 3-for-5 with two RBI, while Jacob Barnwell was 2-for-4 with a run scored and triple. Co-captain right-handed pitcher Adam Niemeyer made his first appearance on the mound since March 19 vs. Xavier. Niemeyer has missed the last 24 games due to injury.
BUCKYES FALL IN NEBRASKA SERIES
Ohio State dropped two of three games vs. Nebraska April 28-30. The Buckeyes won game one, 9-7, scoring six runs in the bottom of the fifth in a suspended game on Saturday. The Huskers won game two, 3-1, before holding on to an 11-9 victory in the series finale on Sunday. Ohio State scored eight runs in the bottom of the eighth in game three, but dropped to 5-10 in conference play. Brady Cherry batted .545 (6-for-11) in the series with two runs scored, double, triple and five RBI, while Shea Murray and Jalen Washington each hit. 417 (5-for-12) vs. the Huskers. Connor Curlis received the win in game one, working four innings of relief and allowed one run on one hit with three strikeouts.
BUCKEYES IN THE BIG TEN
Ohio State ranks tied for first in triples (16), third in walks (190) and seventh in home runs (31). The Buckeye pitching staff has a 5.12 ERA, which is ninth in the conference, while striking out 325 hitters, good for fifth in the league. Dominic Canzone is fifth in the league in hitting (.351). Tre’ Gantt is second in walks (30). Jalen Washington is tied for first in the league in triples (4) and fourth in hit by pitches (15). On the mound, Jake Post is 11th in ERA (3.51). He has struck out 24 hitters looking, which is second in the conference.
SCOUTING THE WOLVERINES
Michigan is 33-10 overall and 9-6 in Big Ten play. Last time out, the Wolverines dropped the first game at Rutgers, 12-5, but rebounded with a 6-3 win on Saturday and an 8-3 win on Sunday in Piscataway, N.J. Michigan leads the Big Ten in multiple statistical categories, including batting average (.298), on-base percentage (.397), runs scored (308), hits (437), walks (209), stolen bases (94), ERA (3.40), opposing batting average (.225) and strikeouts (402). Seven Wolverine hitters are above the .300 mark heading into the weekend. Johnny Slater is batting .313 with 36 runs scored, nine doubles, four triples, three home runs, 37 RBI and 11 steals. On the mound, Oliver Jaskie is 5-2 with a 3.77 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 59.2 innings pitched.
OHIO STATE VS. MICHIGAN
The Wolverines lead the all-time series vs. the Buckeyes, 163-103-1. However, the Buckeyes have won eight of the last 10 meetings. Michigan holds an 81-40-1 record vs. Ohio State in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines won two of three games of the 2014 series at Wilpon Complex. Under head coach Greg Beals, the Buckeyes are 10-2 vs. the Wolverines.
Tre’ Gantt is hitting .263 (5-for-19) with a double and two runs scored in five career games vs. Michigan. Ryan Feltner is 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 8.1 innings pitched in two appearances vs. the Wolverines, while Seth Kinker has tossed three scoreless frames with three strikeouts in three career appearances. Adam Niemeyer is 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA in two starts vs. the Maize and Blue, fanning 10 hitters in 7.1 innings pitched.
5-0 VS. TTUN IN 2016
The Buckeyes went a perfect 5-0 vs. Michigan in 2016, marking the first time in program history a team has gone 5-0 vs. the Wolverines in a single season. Ohio State swept the Wolverines in a three-game home series May 13-15 in Columbus before beating the Maize and Blue twice in the 2016 Big Ten Tournament by scores of 12-7 May 25 and 11-4 May 28 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. Here is a quick recap of each game:
May 13, 2016 – Ohio State 3, No. 19 Michigan 2
Troy Montgomery made a game-winning diving catch in the top of the ninth, while Tanner Tully worked eight innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. Nick Sergakis was 2-for-3 with two RBI in the series opener win.
May 14, 2016 – Ohio State 7, No. 19 Michigan 3
John Havird fanned nine Wolverine hitters in seven innings of work. Ronnie Dawson was 2-for-4 with a triple, home run, two RBI and three runs scored. Tre’ Gantt was 2-for-4 with a run scored and double.
May 15, 2016 – Ohio State 8, No. 19 Michigan 2
Jalen Washington hit the go-ahead home run in the fifth, while Adam Niemeyer struck out seven in 5.1 innings of work on Senior Day at Bill Davis Stadium.
May 26, 2016 – Ohio State 8, Michigan 3
Nick Sergakis went 3-for-5 with two home runs and three runs scored, while Ronnie Dawson was 3-for-3 with a double, RBI, runs scored and two walks. Tanner Tully tossed seven and struck out three in the B1G tournament opener win.
May 28, 2016 – Ohio State 11, Michigan 4
Ryan Feltner struck out a career-high 10 UM batters and limited Michigan to two runs on four hits in 6.1 innings of work to keep Ohio State’s title hopes alive in Omaha, Neb. All nine OSU hitters recorded a hit with seven Buckeyes posting multi-hit games. Troy Kuhn had four RBI, while Jalen Washington drove in two runs.
A trio of Buckeyes head into the series with hit streaks, including Dominic Canzone (10), Shea Murray (4) and Jacob Barnwell (3). Several Buckeyes have reached base streaks: Canzone (10), Gantt (10), Washington (7), Murray (7), Cherry (5), West (5), Barnwell (3) and Ratcliff (3).
Ohio State will host two midweek games Tuesday-Wednesday in Columbus. The Buckeyes will play Bowling Green May 9 and Ball State May 10. Both games will start at 6:35 p.m. ET from Bill Davis Stadium.