April 27, 2006
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OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
24-13, 9-7 Big Ten
22-15, 8-8 Big Ten
April 28-30, 2006
Bill Davis Stadium (Capacity: 4,450)
Friday, April 28, 6:35 p.m.
Saturday, April 29 (DH), 1:35 p.m.
Sunday, April 30, 1:05 p.m.
Series History: Ohio State leads 126-52-1
Last Year: Ohio State 3-1 in Columbus
PROBABLE STARTING OSU PITCHERS
Friday: Dan DeLucia (LHP)
Saturday: Cory Luebke (LHP) and Jake Hale (RHP)
Sunday: J.B. Shuck (LHP)
Games 1, 3 & 4 on AM 920 WMNI
GameTracker, Streaming Audio and Video
After dropping the first home midweek game of the season, a 7-5 loss to Cleveland State on Wednesday, Ohio State steps back into conference action this weekend when it plays host to Purdue at Bill Davis Stadium for a second straight season. The two schools were Baseball America’s preseason favorites to win the Big Ten this season.
The Buckeyes are 24-13 after the loss to Cleveland State, but had improved to 9-7 in the Big Ten after beating Indiana three times in four games last weekend in Bloomington. Purdue is 22-15 overall after splitting a pair of non-conference games against Notre Dame and Valparaiso earlier in the week. The Boilermakers had fallen to 8-8 in the Big Ten after losing three of four games last weekend at home to Michigan. The Wolverines are tied with Northwestern atop the Big Ten standings with 11-5 records. Ohio State is alone in third place and Purdue is tied with Minnesota and Michigan State for fourth place, making this weekend’s series in Columbus crucial for both team’s chances of winning a conference championship. The series begins with a single game Friday at 6:35 p.m. and continues Saturday with a doubleheader at 1:35 p.m. The teams conclude action Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
Games one, three and four will be broadcast on AM 920 WMNI. Randy Rhinehart and Frank Fraas will call the action. Those games also will be available at ohiostatebuckeyes.com in addition to live stats for all four games with GameTracker. Streaming video of the Friday and Sunday games also is available on that web site.
Fireworks return at Bill Davis Stadium for the first time this season Friday, which also is Roosters’ Dime-A-Wing Night with chicken wings available for just 10 cents. Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob will be at the game Saturday and Sunday is The Zoo at OSU with animals from the Columbus Zoo at the game.
ABOUT THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State lost its first non-conference home game of the year when Cleveland State used three hits and a pair of Buckeye errors to build a five-run lead the second inning. Ohio State pulled within 5-4 in the sixth, but the Vikings added runs in the seventh and eighth innings for the 7-5 win giving the Buckeyes a 24-13 overall record.
Last weekend, the Scarlet and Gray won its third conference series of the year by winning three of four games at Indiana to improve to 9-7 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes have won conference series at Iowa and Indiana and at home against Illinois and are two games behind league-leading Northwestern and Michigan, which both are 11-5.
At Indiana, Ohio State won game one 4-3, game three 11-4 and game four 8-6. The Hoosiers won the second game 5-3. Eric Fryer and Ronnie Bourquin both batted .500 in the five games last week. Fryer was 9-for-18 with two triples, a home run, four RBI and eight runs scored, while Bourquin was 8-for-16 with a double, a triple, two home runs, eight RBI and five runs scored. Ohio State batted .296 in the Indiana series and Bourquin led the team with a .462 batting average. He was 6-for-13 with a triple, two home runs, seven RBI and five runs scored. Jacob Howell, who returned in game one after missing 10 games with a pulled hamstring, and Fryer both were 6-for-14 (.429). Howell had two RBI and scored twice, while Fryer had a triple, a home run, three RBI and six runs scored. Howell is second in the Big Ten with a .417 average, though Fryer, who has played in all 37 games this season, is batting .397 with 42 RBI. Bourquin leads the everyday players with a .401 average and has 59 hits and 45 RBI.
Both Dan DeLucia and J.B. Shuck won their sixth games of the season at Indiana. DeLucia (6-2) beat the Hoosiers Friday, missing his third complete game of the season by one out. Rory Meister came in and picked up his fourth save of the season. Shuck (6-1) won the series finale and did not allow an earned run on eight hits. Jake Hale was the other winner last weekend. He won the third game and allowed three runs on five hits in his six innings. In addition to Shuck and DeLucia leading the league with six wins, they also are tied for the team lead with 42 strikeouts. Shuck has the best ERA in the Big Ten at 1.29. As a pitching staff, the Buckeyes lead the Big Ten with a 3.74 ERA and are limited batters to a .269 average. Ohio State is slated to start DeLucia on Friday and then go with Cory Luebke and Hale Saturday in the doubleheader before countering with Shuck Sunday in the series finale.
The Boilermakers is 22-15 after losing 2-1 at Notre Dame on Thursday before returning to West Lafayette, where it beat Valparaiso 13-4 Wednesday. Purdue is 8-8 in the Big Ten after losing three of four games to Michigan last week. The Wolverines won 4-3, 6-2 and 7-2 before Purdue claimed the series finale 10-5 to avoid the sweep.
Mitch Hilligoss leads the Big Ten with a .424 batting average. He has 61 hits, including 13 doubles, four triples and five home runs and has driven in 29 runs while scoring 49 times. He has a slugging percentage of .674 and has stolen 11-of-18 bases. Purdue is batting .314 and has four other players batting better than .300. Eric Wolfe has a .378 batting average and 51 hits, while Ryne White is batting .342 with 41 hits and 25 RBI. John Hunter is batting 341, while Spencer Ingaldson is batting .307. The Boilermakers lead the Big Ten with 31 home runs, including a team-high six by Neal Gorka, who also leads the team with 38 RBI.
On the mound, Purdue has a team ERA of 3.96 and is holding opposing batters to a .281 average. Jay Buente leads the team with 47 strikeouts. He is 4-2 in his nine starts with a 3.21 ERA in 53.1 innings. Dan Sattler is 3-5 with a 4.36 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 43.1 innings. Brent Coudron has a 3-4 record to go with a 5.80 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 40.1 innings. Andrew Groves has made 12 relief appearances and does not have a record, but has 26 strikeouts in 30 innings to go with a 1.80 ERA. Chris Toneguzzi is the closer. He is 4-0 with two saves and has 32 strikeouts (eight walks) in 21.2 innings. He has a 0.42 ERA in 16 appearances. The Boilermakers are likely to pitch the following rotation against the Buckeyes. With Buente sustaining an injury last weekend, Coudron would throw game one. He would be followed by Sattler in game two and Ricky Heines, who is 4-0 with a 2.76 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 42.1 innings, in game three. Trae Dauby would toss game four.
Doug Schreiber (Purdue, 1986) is 222-208 in his eighth season at his alma mater and as a college coach.
AGAINST THE BOILERMAKERS
Ohio State leads the all-time series vs. Purdue 126-52-1 after winning three of four games during the regular season last year and a meeting in the Big Ten tournament. The Buckeyes have won 14 of the last 19 games vs. the Boilermakers, including the last four. Bob Todd is 42-12 against Purdue, while Boilermakers’ coach Doug Schreiber is 5-18 against Ohio State in his seven seasons in West Lafayette.
OSU vs. Purdue Since 2000 (OSU leads 14-5)
1-Big Ten Tournament, Minneapolis, Minn. 2-Big Ten Tournament, Champaign, Ill.
LAST YEAR VS. PURDUE
Ohio State took three of four regular-season games from Purdue April 8-10 at Bill Davis Stadium. In the Big Ten home opener, the Boilermakers handed the Buckeyes a 7-1 loss, but Ohio State regrouped on Saturday to take both ends of the doubleheader, 6-4 and 5-1, before clinching the series win with a 4-2 victory in game four.
Despite getting a career-high 10 strikeouts from starter Trent Luyster, the Buckeye defense let the game get away from them. Trailing only 3-1 entering the ninth inning, two Purdue hits and two Buckeye errors led to four runs in the inning as the Boilermakers cruised to the six-run victory. It was the sixth straight loss for Ohio State. After Cody Caughenbaugh tied the game 3-3 with a single, Jason Zoeller launched his fourth home run of the season, a three-run blast, to give the Buckeyes a 6-3 lead and coach Bob Todd his 700th win at Ohio State. Purdue was able to add a run, but Todd and the Buckeyes walked off the field victorious after the 6-4 win. In game three of the series, Jacob Howell was 2-for-2 with two RBI and Mike Madsen pitched his first complete game of the season to give Ohio State a 5-1 triumph to sweep the doubleheader. Madsen struck out six, allowed only four hits in winning his 19th game of his career. Dan DeLucia and Jeffrey Carroll, both graduates of Bishop Watterson High School, combined to pitch the Buckeyes to a 4-2 victory in game four to clinch the series win. DeLucia retired the first 14 batters he faced but allowed both runs on seven hits before giving way to Carroll in the eighth. Carroll was touched for only one hit in picking up his first career save.
BUCKEYES DOWN PURDUE IN TOURNAMENT
Wes Schirtzinger drove in Steve Caravati with a single to right in the top of the ninth inning to lift Ohio State over Purdue 6-5 in the second round of the 2005 Big Ten Tournament. The win was the sixth straight for the Buckeyes in their last at bat and moved them on to the semifinal. Ohio State went on to win its seventh tournament title and third in four years. Caravati beat out an infield single with one out in the ninth and then stole second before moving to third on a ground out. In the bottom of the inning, Caravati made a great diving catch for the third out of the inning and strand the tying-run at third.
BIG TEN SERIES HISTORY VS. PURDUE
Since the Big Ten began playing four-game conference series in 1981, Ohio State has swept Purdue four times, most recently in 2003 at West Lafayette. The Buckeyes have two other series wins and the teams have split six times. Purdue has four series wins and is one of just four schools to post sweeps against the Buckeyes, doing so in 1987, the year before Bob Todd became head coach.
Big Ten Series History vs. Purdue
|Ohio State||4-0||2003, 1999, 1998, 1994, 1991, 1988, 1982|
|Ohio State||3-1||2005, 1985|
|Split||2-2||2004, 2002, 1995, 1990, 1989, 1984|
|Purdue||3-1||1986, 1983, 1981|
IN THE BIG TEN
Northwestern and Michigan stayed on top of the Big Ten standings after conference play last weekend. Despite splitting it series with Penn State, Northwestern is 11-5 and survived a push from Michigan, which won three of four games at Purdue. The Wolverines also are 11-5. The Buckeyes are two games back and are alone in third place in the standings at 9-7. Purdue, Minnesota and Michigan State each are 8-8 in the league and are tied for fourth. Ohio State will play host to the Boilermakers and in other action, Indiana is at Penn State, Northwestern is at Iowa, Illinois is at Minnesota and Michigan and Michigan State play two in Lansing and two in Ann Arbor.
BIG TEN STATS
Ohio State continues to be the top batting and pitching team in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes lead the league with its .329 batting average and their 3.74 ERA. Michigan State (.318), Purdue (.314), Illinois (.312) and Michigan (.301) are the only other teams batting better than .300. Ohio State is joined by Minnesota (3.96) and Purdue (3.96) as the only other teams with an ERA of less than four. The team is ranked eighth in fielding with a .956 fielding percentage.
Individually, Jacob Howell is second in the conference with a .417 batting average. The Buckeyes are ranked 2-3-4 in the league, including Ronnie Bourquin (third, .401) and Eric Fryer (fourth, .397). Bourquin’s 59 hits are second, two behind Purdue’s Mitch Hilligoss. Fryer has 54, which ranks fourth. Bourquin and Fryer rank 1-2 in RBI. Bourquin has 45, while Fryer has 42. Matt Angle has scored 44 runs, which ranks second, five behind Hilligoss, and Bourquin is tied for third with Illinois’ Ryan Snowden with 38
J.B. Shuck continues to lead the Big Ten with a 1.29 ERA. He and teammate Dan DeLucia each have six wins, which are the most wins by a conference pitcher. Shuck is 6-1 and DeLucia is 6-2. DeLucia’s 66.2 innings is two innings longer than Penn State’s Craig Clark.
In conference play, Ohio State ranks fourth in batting (.304), pitching (4.09) and fielding (.961).
BUCKEYES DROP RARE MIDWEEK GAME
Cleveland State used two costly Ohio State errors in a five-run second inning on its way to a 7-5 victory to spoil a noon matinee Wednesday in front of 4,016 fans at Bill Davis Stadium. Ronnie Bourquin homered for the Buckeyes in the fifth inning and his teammates got two more runs in the sixth to pull within one run, but the comeback bid fell short when Cleveland State added single runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
AT HOME ON WEDNESDAY
With the 7-5 loss to Cleveland State Wednesday, Ohio State fell to 4-1 in non-conference home games. The lone blemish followed victories over Toledo (8-5), Miami (9-2), Central Michigan (8-5) and Oakland (8-2). The Buckeyes have hit .322 in the five games and are led by Eric Fryer, who is a monstrous 13-for-20 (.650) with nine runs scored. He was 4-for-4 vs. Toledo, 3-for-4 vs. Miami, 1-for-4 vs. Central Michigan, 3-for-4 vs. Oakland and was 2-for-4 with two RBI in the loss to Cleveland State. Ronnie Bourquin is batting 8-for-18 (.444), while Jonathan Zizzo is 6-for-15 (.400). Bourquin and Jedidiah Stephen each have seven RBI and account for the three home runs. Stephen has two to Bourquin’s one. Dan Barker is 3-1, while Josh Barrera is 1-0 with a victory over Oakland.
BOURQUIN LED BUCKEYES LAST WEEK
Ohio State third baseman Ronnie Bourquin batted an even .500 last week (8-for-16) and had a slugging percentage of 1.063 as he touched 17 bases in the five games. Of his eight hits, he had a double, a triple and two home runs to knock in eight RBI. The junior from Canton, Ohio (Canton South), scored five runs. Two of his three walks for the week were intentional.
Bourquin led the Buckeyes in the four-game series at Indiana with a .462 batting average (6-for-13) and had a triple and two home runs for seven RBI and seven runs scored. His slugging percentage in the series was 1.077. He had a double and an RBI single in the midweek win vs. Oakland and then opened the series at Indiana with an RBI single that scored the first run of a 4-3 victory. Bourquin hit a solo home run in the second inning of the 5-3 loss to Indiana and later added an RBI single to score the team’s third run. In game three, he again drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single in the first and later added a two-run homer in the third to give him three long balls for the season. He drove in another run with his second triple of the season in the first.
BOURQUIN FOLLOWS STRONG VS. VIKINGS
Third baseman Ronnie Bourquin continued his strong performance last week by going 2-for-2 against Cleveland State with a two-run home run, his fourth long ball of the season. His home run in the fifth inning put Ohio State on the board and put his team within a 5-2 score when it also scored Eric Fryer, who drew a one-out walk one batter earlier. Bourquin, drew three of the team’s nine walks in the game. He has a hit in his last seven games, which includes four multiple-hit games. He has driven in 10 runs during the hit streak.
BUCKEYES HAVE 20 TRIPLES
Ohio State already has 20 triples this season and is rapidly approaching the school record of 25, which was set in 1991. The team had three triples at Indiana, all in the first two innings of the finale. Currently tied with the 1997 team with 20 three-baggers. The 1966 national championship team had 23. Ten different players on the current team have tripled this year, led by four players with three triples each, including Eric Fryer, Jedidiah Stephen, Adam Schneider and Jacob Howell. Ronnie Bourquin and Jason Zoeller each have two.
OHIO STATE HOMERS SIX TIMES AT INDIANA
The Buckeyes entered the weekend series at Indiana with only 10 home runs through 32 games. In the four games with the Hoosiers, Ohio State batters hit six home runs and now have 16 for the season. Ronnie Bourquin and Jedidiah Stephen each hit two in the series. Bourquin had one in each game of the doubleheader and Stephen hit two in the nightcap. Eric Fryer and Jason Zoeller also homered at Indiana.
BUCKEYES FIND EARLY GAME SUCCESS
Ohio State has found success this season by building early leads against opponents. While that ingredient was missing at Michigan, the Buckeyes won their final two games at Indiana by following the formula. Ohio State built a 7-0 lead in the first four inning before winning game three 11-4 and in the finale, the team went up 8-0 before winning 8-6. Through the first four innings this season, the Buckeyes have outscored their opposition 137-67.
KEEP AN EYE ON ANGLE
Buckeye center fielder Matt Angle had two stolen bases Wednesday against Cleveland State to up his season total to 18, which is tied for the 16th most in a campaign by a Buckeye. Angle is tied with Joe Robinson, who also tallied 18 in 1992. The school record is 32 set by Mike Harris in 2001. Angle is 18-for-21 this season and is 31-for-37 in his career. Just a sophomore, Angle is tied for 17th with Brett Garrard (2001-04) on the all-time list and is just one behind teammate Jacob Howell, who has stolen 32 in his three seasons as a Buckeye. The 2006 team is 44-for-55.
CRACKING THE TOP 10 IN APPEARANCES
Ohio State reliever Trey Fausnaugh has made 10 appearances this season, including one inning of work Wednesday vs. Cleveland State. That appearance was the 66th of his career, a figure that is tied for seventh all-time with Gary Fragle (1993-96). The all-time record for appearances is 96 held by Cory Cox (1998-2001). He needs two more appearances to tie Kevin Goodrum (1998-02) and Chad Hale for fifth.
DELUCIA MOVES INTO CAREER RANKINGS
Dan DeLucia has pitched 207.1 career innings and needs seven more innings to move into the Top 25 of career innings pitched by a Buckeye. When he topped 175 career innings on the team’s spring break trip, he reached the stat minimum for several career pitching stats. DeLucia has allowed 204 hits, the 11th lowest total by a Buckeye. He has walked just 59 batters, which is tied for the third fewest by an Ohio State pitcher. He has allowed 109 runs (eighth lowest) and 94 earned runs (10th lowest). DeLucia is 15-10 with a 4.08 ERA and 121 strikeouts, though this year he is 6-2 with a 3.78 ERA and has 37 strikeouts.
OTHER BUCKEYE BANTER
Ronnie Bourquin is the team’s leading batter through the team’s37 games this season. He has a batting average of .401, which ranksthird in the Big Ten. Jason Zoeller is the team’s leading batter inBig Ten play with his .364 batting average. The team is batting.329 in all games, but just .304 in conference play. Bourquin isthe team’s leading batter in the 21 non-conference games thisseason. He is batting .443 with 39 hits, 29 RBI and 23 runs scored.Jacob Howell is batting .438 with 32 hits, 12 RBI and 21 runsscored. The Buckeyes are 7-2 at home this season and are led byEric Fryer’s .526 batting average (20-for-38) with 10 RBI and 12runs scored. Bourquin is the team’s top RBI guy at home with 11. Heis batting .438 at home with 20 hits. Fryer is the team’s topbatter in the team’s last 10 games. He is batting .412 with 14hits, including two doubles, two triples and one home run. He alsohas seven RBI and has scored 10 runs. Bourquin has driven in 10runs in the last 10 games, in which the Buckeyes are 4-6. In the 24wins this season, the team is batting .356 and is led by Howell’s.467 batting average. Fryer has a .444 average, while Bourquin isat .423 and Stephen is .413. Conversely, in the 13 losses, OhioState is batting just .274. Bourquin and Angle are tied in teambatting with .360 in those games. Each is 18-for-50. Ohio State is19-11 and batting .333 during the day, compared to 5-2 and .310 atnight. Bourquin leads the team with 18 multiple hit games, thoughfour others, including Stephen, Fryer, Angle and Howell also are indouble figures. Bourquin and Fryer each have 13 multiple-RBI games.The team’s longest hit streak belongs to Tony Kennedy, who has ahit in his last 10 games. Fryer has a seaosn-long eight game hitstreak, while Bourquin has a hit in his last seven games. Fryer isbatting .452 vs. left-handed pitchers and .381 vs. righties.Bourquin is batting .430 with runners on base and .431 with runnersin scoring position. Howell is batting .485 with runners in scoringposition. Fryer is the team’s leading two-out hitter. He is batting.481 (25-for-52) with two out and has driven in 24 runs in thesituation. With a runner at third and at least two outs, Boruquinhas driven in 13 RBI in 19 opportunities. Fryer also has hadsuccess with 12 RBI in 16 chances. J.B. Shuck has driven in eightruns in 10 while designated hitter Adam Schneider has driven inseven runs in 15 tries.
BUCKEYES SWEPT AT MICHIGAN
For just the third time in Bob Todd’s 19 years at Ohio State, the Buckeyes were swept in a four game series. Minnesota swept Ohio State in Columbus in 1990 and then during the opening weekend of Big Ten play last year, Illinois took all four games. Michigan won 14-3 on Friday and then won by scores of 7-1 and 2-1 Saturday before winning 5-4 Sunday to complete the sweep.
The Buckeyes took a .343 batting average into Ann Arbor, but left with a .334 average after batting .269. Ohio State did not hit the ball all that poorly, but it did not get the timely hitting it had displayed entering the series. Center fielder Matt Angle led the Buckeyes at the plate in going 6-for-14 (.429) at Michigan. He drove in two runs and scored twice and was 1-for-2 in stolen bases. Jedidiah Stephen was 5-for-15 (.333) and Jonathan Zizzo was 4-for-13 (.308) as he continues to get playing time in left field.
The pitching staff also showed vulnerability allowing Michigan to hit .368 for the weekend as it outscored the Buckeyes 28-9. The Buckeyes, which had led the Big Ten with a 3.29 ERA before the series, had an 8.28 ERA in the four games. Dan DeLucia and Cory Luebke the starters in the first two games allowed uncharacteristic nine and seven earned runs, respectively. Even J.B. Shuck, who had allowed only five earned runs all year, allowed three in the series finale. Jake Hale pitched well in his 7.1 innings in the third game of the series despite getting the loss.
BUCKEYES WIN THREE VS. ILLINOIS
Ohio State improved to 19-7 after winning three of four games at home vs. Illinois. After getting rained out Friday night, Ohio State and Illinois were forced to play two doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday, playing the series in order with a nine-inning and a seven-inning game Saturday followed by a seven-inning and a nine-inning game Sunday. Ohio State won 4-1 and 5-1 on Saturday. Down 6-0 in the first game Sunday, the Buckeyes tied the game in the bottom of the sixth before allowing two runs in the top of the ninth in an 8-6 extra-inning defeat. The Scarlet and Gray clinched the series with a 9-1 triumph in the nightcap.
For the series, the team batted .331 and was led by center fielder Matt Angle, who was 7-for-15 (.467) with a pair of doubles and four runs scored. Shortstop Jedidiah Stephen batted .462 and third baseman Ronnie Bourquin batted .429, while J.B. Shuck, who had one start at first and two in left field, batted .400. Shuck, also a freshman pitcher, went the distance to pitch his first career complete game in the series clinching victory on Sunday. He allowed only one run on seven hits and struck out five. Catcher/first baseman Eric Fryer batted .389 with six RBI and seven runs scored.
Six pitchers combined for a 2.12 ERA and struck out 30 Illini batters in 34.0 innings pitched and limited Illinois to a .203 batting average. Dan DeLucia and Cory Luebke joined Shuck in pitching complete games. DeLucia allowed one run on six hits with a career-high tying nine strikeouts, while Luebke allowed one run on three hits with seven strikeouts in his 7.0-inning complete game.
BUCKEYES OPEN LEAGUE PLAY 3-1 AT IOWA
Ohio State won three of four games from Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, March 31-April 2. Ohio State won the first, third and fourth games of the series by respective scores of 12-5, 6-4 and 15-1, with the only blemish of the week coming in game two, a 7-1 loss. The most dominating win was the 15-1 series clincher on Sunday that kept the Buckeyes on top of the Big Ten standings.
While the offense pounded out 17 hits, it was the pitching that grabbed national headlines as freshman pitcher J.B. Shuck took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before giving up a solo home run to the lead-off batter that inning. It was the only hit allowed by Buckeye pitching. Shuck struck out eight batters in the game and turned the game over to Dan Barker, who pitched the ninth without a hit.
The team outscored the Hawkeyes 34-17 while 15 of the team’s 44 hits were for extra bases. The team had nine doubles, two triples and four home runs after entering the weekend with only three round-trippers the first 17 games of the season. Ronnie Bourquin batted .438 in the four games, going 7-for-16 with three doubles, a home run, five RBI and six runs scored. He had an .813 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage. He did not strikeout in the series and drew two walks. Jason Zoeller also had a strong series, batting .417.
DELUCIA, HOWELL & STEPHEN ARE CAPTAINS
Junior left-handed pitcher Dan DeLucia, junior outfielder Jacob Howell and senior short stop Jedidiah Stephen will serve as tri-captains for the 2006 baseball team. DeLucia, a third-team All-Big Ten pick last season, led the Buckeyes with a 2.92 ERA, 95.2 innings pitched and 55 strikeouts to go with a 6-5 record in 15 starts. Howell was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2004 and made 31 starts in 39 games last season after missing 12 games because of a shoulder injury. Howell ended up batting .270 with 31 hits and 16 RBI in 2005 after batting .336 in 58 starts as a freshman. Stephen is one of three seniors on the squad. Stephen batted .305 last season with 52 hits, including 13 doubles, two triples and five home runs to go along with 46 RBI, the second best on the team.
In addition to their on-field exploits, all three captains have excelled in the classroom as well. DeLucia is a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree in 2005, while Howell is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. Stephen has been named an Academic All-Big Ten selection and an OSU Scholar-Athlete each of the last two years.
OSU AMONG BEST ALL-TIME CWS TEAMS
Ohio State has been named one of the top College World Series teams of all-time in a story that appeared in the Omaha World-Herald last summer. Ohio State was listed No. 22 in the Top 25 rankings. The Buckeyes have made four appearances in the College World Series, winning the national championship in 1966 after a runner-up finish in 1965. Southern California was ranked as the top CWS team of all time.
As for Ohio State, the World-Herald said, “(Steve) Arlin was selected as one of the two pitchers on the CWS’ 50-year anniversary team for his work in the 1965 and 1966 tournaments. Arlin still holds the CWS career record for ERA (0.96), and his four victories and 47 innings pitched are tied for the all-time lead. In leading the Buckeyes to the 1966 title, Arlin finished all five of their wins – two on complete games. His most memorable performance might have come the year before, when he pitched a 15-inning, 1-0 victory over Washington State after lasting just one-third of an inning in his first CWS start against Arizona State.”
The 1966 national championship is the last won by a team in the Big Ten.
STEVE ARLIN APPEARED ON FIRST EVER COLLEGE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME BALLOT
Former Ohio State pitcher Steve Arlin was one of 22 former players who appear on the 2006 ballot for induction into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. A total of 46 all-time collegiate baseball greats, which also included12 former coaches and 12 veteran candidates, appeared on the ballot earlier this month for the first-ever Hall of Fame induction class this summer. The five former players chosen for the class include Bob Horner of Arizona State, Robin Ventura of Oklahoma State, Dave Winfield of Minnesota, Will Clark of Mississippi State and Brooks Kieschnick of Texas.
Arlin helped lead the Buckeyes to back-to-back appearances at the College World Series in 1965 and 1966. He not only is considered the top pitcher in Ohio State baseball history, but he also is regarded as one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the College World Series. In the 1965, facing elimination against Washington State, Arlin struck out a CWS-record 20 batters in a 15-inning 1-0 victory by Ohio State. The next year, the Buckeyes won the National Championship with Arlin on the mound in five of the team’s six games, twice beating top-seeded Southern California.
With a two-year record of 24-3 with the Buckeyes, Arlin held OSU marks for victories and strikeouts (294) until 1999 and his .889 win percentage is the best in school history. He led the nation in strikeouts as a sophomore with 165 and went 13-2 that year in leading the Buckeyes to a second-place finish at the 1965 College World Series. The next year he went 11-1 and helped Ohio State claim the championship.
BUCKEYES HAVE 15 TRUE FRESHMEN
Ohio State welcomed 15 true freshmen to the roster this season. Six players are pitchers: Taylor Barnes, Josh Barrera, Eric Best, Jake Hale, Brad Hays and Jake Weber; three are catchers: Shawn Forsythe, Justin Miller and Nick Steponovich; four are infielders: Matt Curran, Seth Sanders, J.B. Shuck (also a pitcher) and Ben Toussant; and two are outfielders: Chris Griffin and Zach Hurley.
Add to that a group of three red-shirt freshmen – pitcher Matthew Selhorst, catcher Josh Hula and infielder Michael Arp – and the Buckeyes have 18 players who have not played college baseball before this season. Ohio State is believed to be among the national leaders in number of freshmen on 2006 rosters. Arkansas and Auburn also have 15 true freshmen on their rosters.
But as many new faces on the Ohio State roster, the total is not as high as it was in 1993 when Todd welcomed 19 true freshmen and another four redshirt freshmen for a total of 23 freshmen. The Buckeyes went 44-19 overall and 19-9 to finish atop the Big Ten regular season standings.
10TH SEASON AT BILL DAVIS STADIUM
This year marks the 10th season of Ohio State baseball at Bill Davis Stadium. One of the best college baseball stadiums has been quite an advantage for the Buckeyes, who have a 171-67 (.718) overall record there. The venue has played host to two Big Ten tournament championships (1999 and 2001), two regional championships (1999 and 2001) and two super regional championships (1999 and 2003).
BUCKEYES LEAD BIG TEN IN ATTENDANCE
Ohio State baseball led the Big Ten in attendance in 2005 by welcoming an average of 2,570 in 18 home dates at Bill Davis Stadium, NCAA attendance figures released last November revealed.
The Buckeyes welcomed a total of 46,266 fans to Columbus last season which was the 36th best overall figure in the NCAA. The 2,570 average ranked 23rd among NCAA institutions.
No other Big Ten team ranked in the Top 50 either in total or average attendance. Notre Dame averaged 1,991 fans to rank 28th and drew a total of 43,798 fans for the season to rank 38th. No school in the Mid-American Conference or other Ohio school cracked the Top 50. LSU led in both categories, drawing a total of 270,300 fans over 36 dates for an average of 7,508. The Buckeyes’ drew a season-high crowd of 5,128 for the doubleheader against Minnesota the final series of the regular season. That weekend, Ohio State drew 10,876 fans over three dates, outdistancing previous weekends of 7,782 vs. Indiana, 7,370 vs. Purdue and 6,839 vs. Michigan State.
OHIO STATE BASEBALL ON WMNI-AM IN 2006
Ohio State baseball games will be broadcast this season on WMNI Radio (920 AM), Gene Smith, Ohio State athletics director, announced March 9. The station will carry a minimum of 27 regular-season games and any postseason games the team could play in 2006, including the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.
Games one, three and four of six Big Ten series – Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Purdue, Minnesota and Penn State – as well as two games of the series at Indiana and Michigan State will be available on WMNI. The station also will carry five home midweek evening games against Miami (Ohio), Central Michigan, Oakland, Eastern Michigan and Pittsburgh.
The WMNI broadcast schedule begins Friday, March 31 at 7:05 p.m. when the team opens a four-game series at Iowa, and continues through the regular season, which ends Sunday, May 21 against Penn State. Any postseason games the team would qualify for also would be carried by the station.
WMNI has a long-standing history of sports coverage since it went on the air in 1958 and that has included Ohio State basketball, football, men’s hockey and now baseball.
In addition, the complete WMNI broadcast inventory of OSU baseball games also will be available on the Internet at the official web site of the Ohio State athletics, ohiostatebuckeys.com.
ALL-ACCESS PASS THE KEY TO ONLINE AUDIO, VIDEO COVERAGE
The official web site of Ohio State athletics, ohiostatebuckeyes.com, in conjunction with College Sports Television, is offering subscription coverage for streaming audio and video of select Buckeye baseball games this spring.
For $6.95 per month, fans can receive streaming audio for a minimum of 27 regular-season baseball games that will be carried on the radio in the Columbus market at AM 920 WMNI. The station also is committed to all of Ohio State’s postseason games and those, too, would be available to subscribers of the CSTV All-Access pass. All Ohio State programming is included in the monthly subscription price, not just baseball coverage.
Remaining Games in Streaming Video
|April 28||Fri.||Purdue||6:35 p.m.|
|April 30||Sun.||Purdue||1:05 p.m.|
|May 12||Fri.||Minnesota||6:35 p.m.|
|May 14||Sun.||Minnesota||1:05 p.m.|
|May 19||Fri.||Penn State||6:35 p.m.|
|May 21||Sun.||Penn State||1:05 p.m.|
Bob Todd RADIO SHOW
The Bob Todd weekly radio show, hosted by Skip Mosic on WBNS Radio 1460 The Fan, will run each week for 10 weeks with the final program broadcast on Monday, May 22. The nights of the show vary this year because of station conflicts with either Columbus Blue Jackets or Cleveland Indians broadcasts. Six shows will be broadcast on Monday with two shows each on Tuesday and Thursday. Each of the remaining 30-minute shows will begin at 7 p.m. To participate, dial (614) 821-1460.
Bob Todd Radio Show Remaining Schedule
Tuesday, May 2 @ 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 11 @ 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 18 @ 7 p.m.
Monday, May 22 @ 7 p.m.
UP NEXT FOR THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State will play host to Eastern Michigan Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. The meeting will be the fifth contest against a Mid-American Conference school this year. The Buckeyes lost 12-11 to Western Michigan, but have rebounded to win three straight, downing Toledo (8-5), Miami, Ohio (9-2) and Central Michigan (8-5).