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April 13, 2006

In the middle of his third season on a young Buckeye roster, Tony Kennedy is no new face to the team. This 5-foot-10-inch infielder from Bloomington, Ind. has proven he is adaptable as a capable backup at second base and has exemplified a willing effort for the team. This baseball team is comprised of many talented individuals and Kennedy is quick to point out the cohesion between each player is the secret ingredient to the Scarlet and Gray’s success.

You played shortstop when you were recruited, but now you are found defending second base. What has that switch been like for you?
“Second base has been a gradual transition for me. I played shortstop all through high school, and only fully realized once I started playing second for Ohio State how different these two positions really are. They are individually unique, and I underestimated how different the approach would be with an incoming ground ball.”

What are your personal goals on the field this season?
“I want to be able to contribute toward the team any way I can. This is my second year playing, and third year on the team, counting my redshirt season. I’ll take any opportunity coach (Todd) can give me and make the best of it.”

Do you have a pre-game ritual?
“We do warm-ups and stretches together and I throw back and forth with Chris Macke. There is a certain leg stretch that I’m known for on the team. It’s unique, so it’s hard to compare it to anything else.”

How important are the relationships among all the teammates off the field?
“We have a strong bond that is apparent this year more than any other I’ve experienced. The time we have spent bonding off the field matters just as much as the playing and practice time on the field. Our team spring break trip this year was a great experience to hang out together and get to know each other on a personal level. We had a lot of fun.” What was the main factor in your decision to attend Ohio State?
“Ohio State is rich in tradition. The baseball program has a great competitive schedule and lots of high-profile players. Those factors-along with a lot of family in Columbus and my grandpa being a huge Buckeye fan-led me to this university.”

Does your grandpa get to attend many games?
“He’s becoming well known on the team and even other fans. He traveled to Florida to watch every game during spring break and is one of our biggest supporters. It’s such a good feeling to look up into the stands and see your family supporting you.”

Any plans on what you would like to do with your accounting major?
“Accounting is great, but I’m also interested in the Fisher (College of Business) as an option for my undergraduate degree. I also really like computers, so I might pursue a degree in computer information science as well. I like where I’m at right now.”

What is it going to take to win the Big Ten this season?
“We need to come together as a team as we approach every game. We are pretty young with only a couple of seniors. I would say we are close-knit. Our closeness as a group will give us the edge we need to pull together. We have the talent and we have a great chance to get to the top.”