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April 20, 2006

Though red-shirt freshman Josh Hula, a native of Castalia, Ohio, is in his first active year as a Buckeye, he gained significant experience last year traveling as the bullpen catcher. Now, a year later, he is making contributions on the diamond and he is looking forward to a successful season. Since his high school days at Margaretta High School, Hula has been a great defensive catcher. He had a .994 fielding average and 185 putouts during his senior year. Since his first visit to the Ohio State campus, Hula has been anticipating leading the Buckeyes on the field in the position he has played since Little League. Whether it is coming up with a big hit or throwing out a base runner, Hula knows what it takes to be successful and is willing to work hard toward his goals and help the Buckeyes in any way necessary.

Is there anything significant about your No. 10 jersey?
“Not really. It is a new number to me. I wore No. 20 in high school and wanted to go with something different. When I got here, No. 10 was taken so I went with the best available number. When it opened up, I switched.”

What is your favorite Ohio State tradition and why?
“Definitely Script Ohio. I came here on a visit and went to a football game. I wasn’t a big Ohio State fan growing up. When I saw that, it gave me goose bumps. It is an awesome tradition.”

What was the most difficult thing about red-shirting last year?
“It was hard. I never really sat out before, so it was tough watching the other guys play and not being able to contribute on the field. I am glad I did it though. It will definitely help me in the long run.”

Other than baseball, what are your hobbies and interests?
“I am an outdoorsman. I like to hunt and fish a lot. When I was little, my dad took me hunting and I stuck with it. A lot of us on the team go out a lot. Fishing in the summer is kind of a family tradition.”

Do you have a favorite professional baseball team? Why?
“I would say the Cleveland Indians. I am from up north so we were always watching the Indians. My family and I went to a lot of games when I was younger.”

When and how did you start playing baseball?
“I have been playing since I was 5 or 6, basically since tee-ball. My dad, uncle and cousin were baseball players so they had a big impact on me starting to play. I started catching in Little League. I liked it and kept going with it.”

What is your best memory so far at Ohio State?
“My best memory so far is my first hit, which was against Missouri earlier this year. It was a hit-and-run single to the right side. It turned out being a big hit. It was a pretty intense game.”

What is the best aspect of being a catcher?
“Controlling the game is the best part. As a catcher, you set the tempo and you are in on every pitch. You are the field general. It is definitely something special.”

What are your goals this season?
“I want to help the team in any way possible. My personal goal is to come through when we need a play. As a team, we need to take it one game at a time. We are aiming at a Big Ten championship and, hopefully, a national championship.”