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June 17, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State righthander Drew Rucinski signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Indians, the organization announced Thursday.

Rucinski will stay in Ohio and begin his professional career at short-season Mahoning Valley in the New York-Penn League.

“It has been a goal of mine to play professional ball and I am very excited to have this opportunity,” Rucinski said. “It is great being in Ohio and getting the chance to get my foot in the door and show people what I can do.”

The Broken Arrow, Okla., native becomes the 22nd Buckeye to sign a professional contract over the last 10 years after earning second team All-Big Ten honors and ranking fifth in the Big Ten in earned run average in 2011. Rucinski went 5-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 53 strikeouts in a team-high 82.1 innings pitched as the Buckeyes’ Friday night starter.

He ranks 16th all-time at Ohio State with 22 career wins and 15th with 257.1 innings pitched. Rucinski also pitched his best against rival Michigan going 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 20.1 innings in his career against the Wolverines.