COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 7 seed Buckeyes face the No. 2 seed Boilermakers in the second game of the opening round of the 2018 Big Ten Tournament at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday from TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., live on BTN. Led by head coach Greg Beals, the Scarlet and Gray have advanced to the tournament seven times in eight years.
The Buckeyes (34-20, 14-10 B1G), who took two of three games vs. Purdue (34-18, 17-6 B1G) to close the home schedule two weeks ago, currently stand at No. 41 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings released Sunday. The Scarlet and Gray return to TD Ameritrade Park for the first time since claiming the 2016 tournament crown. The 2016 squad won four straight games through the loser’s bracket to claim the title last time in Omaha. The Buckeyes are tied with Minnesota and Michigan for the league-lead in tournament titles with nine championships. The winner of the Big Ten Tournament will receive an automatic qualification for the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
ON THE MOUND
LHP Connor Curlis (7-3, 3.59 ERA) vs. RHP Tanner Andrews (6-4, 2.71 ERA)
FOLLOW THE ACTION
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. The Big Ten Tournament will be televised live on BTN. Brandon Gaudin, Scott Pose, Kevin Kugler and Danan Hughes will have the call. All OSU games can also be heard on the radio at AM 1460 ESPN. Matt Andrews and Bob Spears will have the call.
– Ohio State earned the No. 7 seed in the Big Ten Tournament after finishing with a 14-10 league record.
– The Buckeyes claimed 34 overall wins during the regular season, marking the sixth time in eight years Ohio State has claimed at least 30 wins under head coach Greg Beals.
– The Buckeyes have advanced to the Big Ten Tournament seven of the last eight years under Beals.
– Ohio State has nine wins against Top 50 RPI teams.
– The Scarlet and Gray have won nine tournament titles and are making their 30th appearance (91-94-95-97-02-03-05-07-16).
– Last time vs. Purdue, the Buckeyes took two of three games to conclude the home schedule May 11-13 in Columbus. The team won game one, 4-2, last Friday and claimed a 16-6 victory in the series finale on Senior Day, stunning Purdue with 15 unanswered runs in the final home game of the year.
– According to Baseball America, Ohio State has had the fourth-best turnaround in the country after finishing 22-34 overall in 2017.
– The contest vs. the Boilermakers marks the first time in six years the two teams have faced each other in the tournament. Ohio State is 6-2 vs. Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament.
– Ohio State is 10-8 in neutral-site games and 5-3 all-time at TD Ameritrade Park.
– Beals claimed his 500th career win against the Boilermakers May 11. His career record sits at 502-401-1.
– Senior reliever Seth Kinker broke the career appearances record May 11 against the Boilermakers. He currently has 105 career appearances and leads the Big Ten with a 1.62 ERA. He is tied for the fourth in saves with 13 this season.
– The Buckeyes are batting .291 as a team, good for second in the league. The Buckeyes are second in scoring (6.8).
– Kinker is fourth in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio (10.50) and 10th in the country in ERA (1.62).
– Noah McGowan ranks in the Top 10 in nine different offensive categories in the Big Ten, including second in doubles (19), third hits (75), RBI (54) and total bases (123), fourth in slugging (.603), fifth in on-base percentage (.456), seventh in batting (.368) and eighth in home runs (9) and walks (33).
– Dominic Canzone is tied for the league lead with 79 hits. It’s the most hits by a Buckeye in two years. He also is third in doubles (17) and fifth in runs scored (49). Tyler Cowles is sixth in doubles (16) and Conner Pohl is seventh in RBI (48). Kobie Foppe ranks 11th in the league in batting (.339).
– The OSU pitching staff ranks eighth in the conference with a 4.58 ERA. The OSU pitchers have struck out 409 batters, which is fourth in the league. Ryan Feltner is fourth with 76 strikeouts, while Connor Curlis is eighth with 68 strikeouts. Curlis is tied for third with seven victories. Kyle Michalik is the Big Ten leader in appearances with 29 games, while Kinker has appeared in 26 games in 2018.
– The Buckeyes have 13 players on the 2018 roster that were a part of the 2016 Big Ten Tournament title team.
— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) May 20, 2018
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT FORMAT
Minnesota earned the top seed after finishing 18-4 in Big Ten play and will open tournament play on Wednesday, taking on No. 8 seed Michigan State at 6 p.m. ET. Michigan locked the No. 3 seed with a 15-8 record and face No. 6 seed Iowa at 10 a.m. ET in the opening game of the tournament. No. 4 seed Illinois will play No. 5 seed Indiana at 10 p.m. ET.
The tournament’s double-elimination format will culminate with a single championship game on Sunday, with the winner earning the tournament title and the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. All eight teams will begin play in one of two brackets, with the No. 1, No. 4, No. 5 and No. 8 seeds appearing in one bracket and the No. 2, No. 3, No. 6 and No. 7 seeds appearing in the other bracket. BTN will air every game of the Big Ten Tournament.
BUCKEYES IN THE BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
The Buckeyes are 58-44 all-time in the conference tournament. The Scarlet and Gray are 16-14 all-time in the opening game of the tournament and 4-2 under coach Beals. The Buckeyes are 0-4 all-time as the No. 7 seed.
A LOOK BACK AT THE 2016 EPIC TITLE RUN
Ohio State had week to remember last time at TD Ameritrade Park in 2016. The Buckeyes won four game in less than two days to claim their ninth conference crown in school history. After beating Michigan, 8-3, in its opening game, No. 4 seed Ohio State lost on a walk-off hit by Iowa in 10 innings to send the team into the loser’s bracket heading into the weekend. Ohio State started its magic through the loser’s bracket with a second win over the Wolverines, 11-4, Saturday afternoon. Ryan Feltner struck out a career-high 10 hitters against the Maize and Blue. The team rallied to beat Michigan State in the nightcap Saturday evening with a 3-2 win in 10 innings. Ronnie Dawson had the go-ahead home run in the top of the tenth inning. After beating the Spartans for the second time in 12 hours Sunday morning, the team faced Iowa for the second time on the week in the championship game Sunday afternoon. In front of 10,350 fans, mostly dressed in Black and Gold, the Buckeyes claimed the tournament crown with an 8-7 victory over the Hawkeyes. Troy Kuhn knocked a two-out RBI double to score Dawson for the go-ahead run in the ninth and Yianni Pavlopoulos claimed the save throwing 1.1 scoreless innings. Dawson was named the Tournament MVP, breaking the tournament record for hits (15) and doubles (6). Overall, five Buckeyes were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team. The Buckeyes broke the tournament record for strikeouts by a staff (44), innings pitched (55.0) and stolen bases (13).
Seth Kinker is one of 10 finalists for the 2018 Senior CLASS Award. Kinker, who has made 105 career appearances and leads the Big Ten in ERA at 1.62 is majoring in sport industry. The Buckeyes are 23-3 when Kinker pitches in a game for the Scarlet and Gray this season. He is from Huntington, W. Va., and Cabell-Midland High School. Fans can vote for Seth Kinker on the award’s official website at www.seniorclassaward.com through May 28. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. This year’s Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2018 College World Series® in June.
The Boilermakers claimed the No. 2 seed after finishing 17-6 in conference play. Purdue swept Michigan at home last weekend in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue is fourth in league in ERA with 3.86 mark. At the dish, the Boilermakers are batting .275 as a team with 90 doubles, 25 home runs and 82-for-118 in stolen bases. Skyler Hunter is hitting .319 with 41 runs scored, 10 doubles and 11-for-14 in stolen bases, while Nick Dalesandro is batting .311 with 38 runs scored, 15 doubles and 22-for-22 in stolen bases. Jacson McGowan has a team-best .540 slugging with 12 home runs and 49 RBI.
LAST TIME VS. BOILERMAKERS
Ohio State claimed its fifth league series win of the year two weeks ago in Columbus, winning game one, 4-2, against the Boilermakers. Connor Curlis worked six innings and limited the Purdue bats to one run on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Right-handed reliever Seth Kinker recorded a three-inning save, allowing one unearned run with two strikeouts. After dropping the middle game, 8-2, Ohio State stunned the Boilermakers with 15 unanswered runs on Senior Day to claim the series victory. At the plate, Dominic Canzone batted .538 (7-for-13) with three runs scored, double and two walks in the series. Kobie Foppe, Noah McGowan and Noah West each hit .400. West drove in a team-high six runs and scored five times.
BUCKEYES VS. PURDUE
Ohio State is 147-62-1 all-time against the Boilermakers. Ohio State is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings vs. the Boilermakers. Dominic Canzone is hitting .474 (9-for-19) with five runs scored, double triple, two RBI and two walks vs. the Boilermakers in his career. Seth Kinker has not allowed an earned run in five career appearances vs. the Boilermakers with 12 strikeouts in 11.1 innings pitched.
OHIO STATE AS OF LATE
The team is 5-5 in its last 10 games. The Buckeyes are hitting .291 with 22 doubles, six home runs and 59 RBI. Kobie Foppe is batting .361 (13-for-36) with nine runs scored, 10 walks and seven RBI. Tyler Cowles is batting .357 (15-for-42) with nine runs scored, six doubles, three home runs and 10 RBI. Dominic Canzone has 15 hits in his last 10 games and Jacob Barnwell has recorded 10 runs in his last 10 games.
2018 SENIOR CLASS
The 2018 senior class was recognized before first pitch last Sunday as part of Senior Day. The 2018 seniors include Bo Coolen, Tyler Cowles, Curtiss Irving, Seth Kinker, Noah McGowan, Kyle Michalik, Adam Niemeyer, Yianni Pavlopoulos and Austin Woodby. 2018 seniors have won 165 games the past five years, including 83 contests at Bill Davis Stadium. This group helped guide the Scarlet and Gray to the 2016 Big Ten Tournament title and the team’s 20th NCAA appearance.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Tickets for the 2018 Big Ten Tournament May 23-27 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., are on sale now. Tickets for the tournament can be purchased at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha starting one and a half hours prior to the start of the first game each day. Tickets are now on sale for all-session tickets, single-game tickets and group tickets. Please call the MECA Box Office (800-745-3000) or visit Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com.
– The Buckeyes are outscoring their opponents, 56-36, in the opening inning. The team is 19-9 when scoring first in 2018.
– The Scarlet and Gray are 25-1 when leading after the sixth inning and 28-0 when leading after the eighth inning. The Buckeyes are a combined 9-0 when scoring in either the sixth or seventh inning.
– Ohio State has tallied 118 two-out RBI. Noah McGowan has a team-high 22 RBI and Tyler Cowles has 20 RBI with two outs on the board.
– Opposing hitters have just a .159 average (13-for-82) with two outs against Connor Curlis.
– The Buckeyes are tied for third with Purdue in the league in overall wins (34).
– Dominic Canzone has 136 career hits in 103 career games, which leads all active Buckeyes.
– McGowan leads all Buckeyes with 27 multi-hit games.
– Tyler Cowles is on a team-best 10-game hit streak, while Canzone has a hit in his last eight contests.
– Seth Kinker ranks second in career ERA (2.17) and only trails Buckeye legendary pitcher Steve Arlin (2.01).
– McGowan is batting .352 (25-for-71) with runners in scoring positon.
– Cowles is hitting .444 (8-18) with the bases loaded this year.
– Ryan Feltner leads all active Buckeyes in career innings pitched (211.0) and career strikeouts (194).
It's @B1Gbaseball tourney week.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) May 21, 2018