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May 20, 2005

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OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
(32-16; 14-11 Big Ten)
vs.
MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
(28-24; 16-12 Big Ten)

May 20-22, 2005
Bill Davis Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

Fri., May 20 6:35 p.m. WOSU
Sat., May 21 4:05 p.m. (DH) WOSU/WOSU
Sun., May 22 1:05 p.m. WOSU

SERIES HISTORY
Minnesota leads 68-65-2
last game: May 30, 2004, Minnesota 7-3

OHIO STATE RADIO/INTERNET
NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) o www.wosu.org
Neil Sika and Paul Barnes

GAMETRACKER
www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com

PROBABLE OHIO STATE PITCHING ROTATION G1 36 Dan DeLucia, LHP 4-4, 2.75 ERA, 47K, 72.0IP G2 6 Mike Madsen, RHP 6-3, 4.50 ERA, 43K, 50.0IP G3 39 Trent Luyster, LHP 6-3, 4.88 ERA, 41K, 72.0IP G4 TBA

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State and Minnesota might not be sitting No. 1 and No. 2 in the current Big Ten standings when the teams meet at Bill Davis Stadium this weekend, the final weekend of the regular season, but each team still has a lot riding on the four-game series that begins Friday.

Each of the last three seasons, the Buckeyes and Gophers have entered the series as the top two teams in the Big Ten and the winner of the series has gone on to win the regular season title. Minnesota, currently tied for third in the standings with Iowa, is going for a fourth straight regular season title and needs a sweep of the Buckeyes and a little help from Iowa, which plays at first-place Illinois, and Indiana, which hosts second-place Purdue. Ohio State is tied for fifth with Michigan, but is only 1/2 game out of second place. Mathematically, the Buckeyes have not been eliminated from a Big Ten championship, though it would take one rainout in the Illinois/Iowa series and a sweep of Minnesota to make that happen. Realistically, though the Buckeyes could finish as high as second, depending on other games.

Ohio State improved to 32-16 overall with a 3-2 ninth-inning victory Tuesday over Miami (Ohio). Matt Angle’s sacrifice fly scored Jedidiah Stephen to give the Buckeyes a win in their final non-conference game this season. Minnesota improved to 28-24 overall with a 9-1 victory over Northern Iowa. Last weekend, Ohio State took three of four games at Northwestern to improve to 14-11 in the Big Ten, while Minnesota won three of four home games against Illinois.

The Buckeyes and Golden Gophers begin the series Friday with a single game at 6:35 p.m. and will continue Saturday with a doubleheader at 4:05 p.m. before concluding the series Sunday with a single game at 1:05 p.m. All four games will be broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) and on the Internet at www.wosu.org. Neil Sika and Paul Barnes will have the call.

ABOUT OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes improved to 32-16 overall with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory Tuesday night over Miami (Ohio). The Buckeyes trailed 2-1 before tying the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. With Jedidiah Stephen at third base after a two-base throwing error on the RedHawks’ pitcher trying to pick off Stephen at first, Matt Angle delivered the winning run in the bottom of the ninth with first sacrifice fly of the season. Ohio State has won 12 of its last 13 games, including 10 of its last 11 conference games.

The Buckeyes are 14-11 in the Big Ten after claiming three of the four games at Northwestern last weekend. Ohio State ran its win streak to nine games with a 7-2 triumph in game one, but Northwestern came back to win 9-6 in game two before the Buckeyes won the series with 10-2 and 1-0 victories.

Ronnie Bourquin led the Buckeyes with a .462 batting average (6-for-13) at Northwestern. The sophomore from Canton, Ohio, drove in two runs. Eric Fryer, Mike Rabin and Jacob Howell each added five hits. Howell drove in a team-high five RBI in the four games, while Rabin added four. Fryer went deep for his second home run of his career and drove in three runs in the four games.

Rabin continues to lead Ohio State with a .335 batting average. The senior co-captain has 52 hits, two less than Jason Zoeller, the team leader with 54 hits. Rabin has six doubles, one home run and has driven in 21 runs. Stephen is second on the team with a .323 batting average after going 2-for-4 against Miami. He has 51 hits, which include 10 doubles, one triple and five home runs. Zoeller trails Stephen with a .316 batting average and has seven doubles, three triples and five home runs as well as 31 RBI. Paul Farinacci is the team RBI leader with 45 after adding an RBI against the RedHawks.

The Buckeyes will change up the rotation they have used since mid-April. Dan DeLucia, who has won his last two starts by pitching complete games, will go in game one. He is 4-4 with a 2.75 and 47 strikeouts in 72.0 innings. Mike Madsen, who pitched his third complete game of the season last weekend in game three at Northwestern, will go in game two against Minnesota. He is 6-3 with a 4.50 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 50.0 innings. Ohio State will pitch Trent Luyster in the third game of the series. He also is 6-3 with a 4.88 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 72.0 innings. The Buckeyes have not named a starter for the series finale.

SENIORS SAY GOOD-BYE
When the Buckeyes take the diamond Sunday in the series finale against Minnesota it will mark the end of an era for six Ohio State seniors, a group that includes three student-athletes who have been a part of the program for five years. Brett Hatcher and co-captains Steve Caravati and Mike Rabin were freshmen in 2001. Entering the weekend, those three were 193-100-1 and were members of the last Big Ten championship team (2001). In 2002, they were joined by Paul Farinacci, Trent Luyster and Mike Madsen and the six were part of two Big Ten tournament championship teams (2002 and 2003) and were on the team that swept through the 2003 Auburn Regional. That team returned to Columbus for the second super regional appearance in program history and came within two wins of reaching the College World Series. Since 2002, this group of six Buckeyes combined to lead Ohio State to a record of 150-82-1, the best record by any school in the Big Ten during the same period.

ABOUT MINNESOTA
The Golden Gophers followed up it series against Illinois last weekend in which it took three of four games with a non-conference victory Tuesday against Northern Iowa to improve to 28-24 on the year. Last weekend, Minnesota opened with an 8-7 loss to the Fighting Illini, but responded to win the final three games of the series by scores of 5-4, 6-2, 11-5.

Minnesota is batting .288 as a team and is led by David Hrncirik, who is batting .360. He is tied for the team lead with 68 hits with Matt Fornasiere. Hrncirik has a .413 on-base percentage and is a threat to steal, with 28 stolen bases on 32 tries. Fornasiere is tied with Ohio State’s Paul Farinacci with 17 doubles and is batting .335. Andy Hunter is the team’s RBI leader with 40 and is batting .313 with six home runs and 14 doubles. Mike Mee has a team best seven home runs and is batting .261. Minnesota has 28 home runs this season and has stolen 85-of-113 bases (75.2 percent). Taylor VanderAard is 11-for-11, while Fornasiere is 10-for-15 and Luke MacLean is 10-for-12. MacLean has been hit 10 times by opposing pitchers and leads the team with a .417 on-base percentage adding on 25 walks to his 43 hits.

Minnesota is going with a probable starting rotation of Matt Loberg in game one, Cole DeVries in game two, Brian Bull in game three in Dustin Brabender in game four. Loberg is 6-5 in 11 starts this season and has a 4.28 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 73.2 innings. DeVries is 3-4 with a 5.01 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 64.2 innings, while Bull is 4-2 with a 4.93 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 42.0 innings. Brabender is 1-1 with a 6.56 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 35.2 innings. Reliever John Gaub is 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA and seven saves in 20 appearances. He leads the team with 62 strikeouts in 36.2 inning. Minnesota has a 4.72 ERA as a staff and is allowing opponents to bat .293 against it.

AGAINST THE GOLDEN GOPHERS
Minnesota leads the all-time series by the slimmest of margins. The Golden Gophers lead 68-65-2, but the Buckeyes lead 14-12 since the 2000 season. The series dates back to 1923 when the Buckeyes won two games 3-2 and 11-4. Ohio State coach Bob Todd is 31-32-1 against the Gophers. This will be the first meeting in Columbus since the 2002 season.

Since 2000 (Ohio State leads 14-12)
April 8, 2000 Ohio State 6, at Minnesota 3
April 8, 2000 Ohio State 7, at Minnesota 3
April 9, 2000 at Minnesota 13, Ohio State 5
April 9, 2000 at Minnesota 7, Ohio State 1
April 27, 2001 at Ohio State 7, Minnesota 2
April 28, 2001 at Ohio State 4, Minnesota 3
April 28, 2001 at Ohio State 5, Minnesota 3
April 29, 2001 at Ohio State 5, Minnesota 1
May 20, 2001 Minnesota 6, at Ohio State 5
May 18, 2002 at Ohio State 13, Minnesota 3
May 18, 2002 Minnesota 4, at Ohio State 0
May 19, 2002 at Ohio State 9, Minnesota 2
May 19, 2002 Minnesota 8, at Ohio State 5
May 25, 2002 Ohio State 6, at Minnesota 3
May 16, 2003 at Minnesota 9, Ohio State 6
May 17, 2003 at Minnesota 5, Ohio State 2
May 17, 2003 Ohio State 5, at Minnesota 1
May 18, 2003 at Minnesota 5, Ohio State 4
May 24, 2003 at Minnesota 5, Ohio State 4
May 25, 2003 Ohio State 10, at Minnesota 8
May 25, 2003 Ohio State 17, at Minnesota 10
May 21, 2004 at Minnesota 13, Ohio State 1
May 22, 2004 Ohio State 10, at Minnesota 6
May 22, 2004 at Minnesota 7, Ohio State 2
May 29, 2004 Ohio State 3, at Minnesota 2
May 30, 2004 at Minnesota 7, Ohio State 3

SERIES HISTORY
The Buckeyes have only met 10 times in a four-game conference series since the Big Ten began playing the format in 1981. The first four-game series though did not occur until 1990, when the Gophers swept the Buckeyes. That is the only four-game sweep by Minnesota. Ohio State swept the Gophers in 2001. Minnesota took two of three games in 2004 and three of four in 1991, 1993 and 2003. The sweep in 2001 is the only time the Buckeyes have won a four-game series against Minnesota. The teams have split five times, most recently in 2002.

Ohio State 4-0 (2001)
Ohio State 3-1 (None)
Split 2-2 (2002, 2000, 1997, 1996, 1993)
Minnesota 2-1 (2004)
Minnesota 3-1 (2003, 1992, 1991)
Minnesota 4-0 (1990)

AGAINST MINNESOTA IN THE 2004 BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
Ohio State survived a pitcher’s duel and scored once in the fifth and twice in the seventh before allowing two Minnesota runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat the Golden Gophers 3-2 to force a second championship game in the 2004 Big Ten Tournament. The Buckeyes improved to 7-0 facing elimination in the Big Ten tournament since the 2003 season. Though both starters kept opposing teams off the score board through four innings, it was OSU starter Mike Madsen, who had the run support. A sacrifice fly by Steve Caravati scored Mike Rabin in the fifth inning and then three straight hits in the seventh inning chased Craig Molldrem out of the game. A double off the wall in the right-field corner by Drew Anderson scored Rabin and put runners at second and third for Jacob Howell, who sent a shot through the right side for the second run of the inning. Minnesota scored twice in the eighth.

Minnesota took advantage of Ohio State’s lack of available pitching to clinch its first Big Ten tournament championship since 2001 with a 7-3 triumph at Siebert Field. Minnesota became the first host school to win the conference tournament since the Buckeyes had won in Columbus in 1995. The Gophers took a 6-0 lead before allowing three Ohio State runs in the seventh. The Buckeyes had loaded the bases with only one out in the sixth, but couldn’t get a run home. They loaded them up again in the seventh with no outs and got their only three runs. Anderson, Caravati, Derek Kinnear and Howell each had two hits for the Buckeyes as Rabin was 3-for-4.

LAST YEAR IN THE REGULAR SEASON VS. MINNESOTA

Ohio State went into a scheduled four-game series at Minnesota the last week of the regular season needing to win three games if it were to win its first Big Ten championship since 2001. The Gophers stormed out to a 13-1 victory in the opening game of the series before the Buckeyes fought back for a 10-6 win in game two. Minnesota won its third straight Big Ten championship with 7-2 victory in game three before rain cancelled game four.

Minnesota starting pitcher Glen Perkins remained perfect against the Big Ten in the regular season with the seven-hit 13-1 victory against the Buckeyes to improve to 15-0 in two seasons with his fourth complete game of the season. He allowed only one run and struck out nine batters without a walk. He allowed only two runners to move into scoring position after the first inning. Luke MacLean was 4-for-5 and batted in two runs. The loss was the worst conference defeat for Ohio State since 1989 when Michigan handed the Buckeyes a 14-2 setback on May 8.

Brett Garrard’s two-run home run and a pinch-hit grand slam by Adam Schneider broke a tie and propelled Ohio State to a 10-6 victory in game two. With the score tied 4-4 entering the fifth inning, Garrard lined his fourth home run of the season over the fence in left field to put Ohio State on top 6-4. Schneider gave Ohio State a six-run lead in the sixth inning with his first grand slam. Minnesota scored two times in the bottom of the seventh to close within the four-run final. Jeffrey Carroll, who got the win for Ohio State, pitched the final 3.1 innings and allowed three runs on two hits. He walked one and struck out two, coming in for starter Scott Lewis, who lasted only 3.1 innings. Jacob Howell and Ronnie Bourquin each finished the game with three hits to pace Ohio State offensively through it was Garrard and Schneider who delivered a bulk of the RBI.

Minnesota scored four runs in the second inning to break a 1-1 tie and Golden Gopher starting pitcher Jay Gagner retired a string of 13 batters, holding the Buckeyes to four hits in leading Minnesota to a 7-2 triumph and the Big Ten regular season championship in game three. The score was tied 1-1 until Minnesota exploded for four runs in the bottom of the second inning, which started with back-to-back home runs by Tony Leseman and Sean Kommerstad. Jake Elder delivered two more runs in the third inning with a two-out single to center field to extend the Minnesota lead to 7-1. Gagner retired 13 batters in a row until it was broken up with Garrard’s second home run of the day to lead off the top of the seventh. The home run pulled the Buckeyes within the five-run final.

THE BIG TEN RACE
The race for the Big Ten regular season championship heated up a bit last weekend after Minnesota took three of four games at home against league-leader Illinois. The Illini still have a three-game lead over Purdue, which claimed three of four vs. Iowa.

Illinois remains in first with a 19-9 record while Purdue is second with a 14-10 record. Minnesota and Iowa are tied for third at 16-12 and Ohio State and Michigan are tied for fifth though the Wolverines hold the tie-breaker over the Buckeyes. Penn State, which is in seventh place, needs at sweep of Michigan to move into the Big Ten tournament. Northwestern, Michigan State and Indiana already have been eliminated, but Illinois, Purdue, Iowa or Minnesota can still win the regular season title.

Illinois has a three-game lead on Purdue, Iowa and Minnesota and a 3.5-game lead on Ohio State and Michigan. The final weekend of Big Ten play pits Iowa at Illinois, Minnesota at Ohio State, Michigan at Penn State, Michigan State at Northwestern and Purdue at Indiana.

BIG TEN STATISTICS RANKINGS
In the Big Ten rankings that were released Thursday, Ohio State ranked fourth in team batting (.306), behind Michigan (.322), Indiana (.319) and Illinois (.316); ranked first in team ERA (3.88); and was first in fielding (.972). In conference-only stats, the Buckeyes rank third in team batting (.309), tied for second in team ERA (4.61) and are tied for second in team fielding (.969).

Not a single Buckeye has a batting average ranked in the Top 10 in the league. Ranking individual ERAs, Dan DeLucia is fourth with his 2.75, while teammate Cory Luebke is sixth with his 3.66 ERA. For overall games, Paul Farinacci is tied for the Big Ten lead with 17 doubles and Jedidiah Stephen is second with six sacrifice flies. In conference only games, Mike Rabin’s .384 average ranks sixth, while DeLucia’s 3.33 ERA is fifth. Mike Madsen’s ERA of 3.82 is seventh.

OSU RETURNS TO WIN COLUMN AS BUCKEYES RETURN TO LINEUP
One thing that can be said for Ohio State this season is that it has had to fight back through injuries. 2004 Big Ten Player of the Year Steve Caravati missed 12 games after pulling his hamstring in the season opener against Middle Tennessee in Dothan, Ala. Then, last year’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Jacob Howell, missed 12 games after he injured his shoulder at North Florida on March 11. Those two players finally returned to the lineup at Illinois, but it took a while for them to return to 100 percent.

Mike Madsen, a third-team All-Big Ten selection last season, missed two scheduled starts and did not make the trip to Jacksonville after suffering from tendinitis in his right arm following early season appearances as the team’s No. 1 starter against Middle Tennessee and Georgia.

The Buckeyes also lost third baseman Ronnie Bourquin in the third game of the Illinois series after he broke a bone in his left thumb. It was a loss to the Buckeye infield, which entered the season on shaky-enough ground having to find replacements at second base and shortstop as well as a new catcher. Bourquin missed 11 games, returning to start the game at Michigan. With everyone back in the lineup since that game, the Buckeyes are 14-3 and have won 12 of their last 13 games.

OHIO STATE HOME ATTENDANCE
The Buckeyes drew 7,782 fans over the three dates vs. Indiana and then drew 3,930 fans for the midweek game against Cleveland State followed by 3,515 against Miami (Ohio). Ohio State drew 7,370 for the home series vs. Purdue and 6,839 for the Michigan State series. Through 15 home dates this season, Ohio State has drawn 34,790 fans, an average of 2,319,3 per game. Minnesota, which has traditionally been a big draw for Ohio State, will help push the Buckeyes further up the NCAA season attendance list. Ohio State drew an average of 2,133 last year to rank 27th in the national and first in the Big Ten. In fact, no other school in the conference ranked in the Top 50 nationally.

ANGLE SAC LIFTS OSU OVER MIAMI
Freshman outfielder Matt Angle came through with a one-out sacrifice fly to score Jedidiah Stephen and give Ohio State a 3-2 ninth-inning victory over Miami (Ohio) in a non-conference thriller at Bill Davis Stadium.

With the score tied 2-2 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, Stephen came through with a one-out base hit through the left side to put the winning run on base. Connor Graham, the fourth RedHawk pitcher of the game, tried to pick off Stephen at first, but an errant throw sent the Buckeye shortstop to third. Graham intentionally walked Paul Farinacci and then loaded the bases with a second walk to Eric Fryer.

Miami skipper Tracy Smith yanked Graham in favor of Sam Shorts and then pulled his centerfielder Jason Brown for David Franco, who plugged the hole up the middle as a fifth infielder. Smith also slid right fielder Brandon Hillier over to cover center field, a configuration Angle admitted after the game to never have seen before. But the rookie connected on a 1-1 pitch and sent the ball deep to right-center field for the sacrifice that delivered Stephen and sealed the Buckeyes’ 32nd victory of the season.

Stephen and Farinacci each had two of Ohio State’s eight hits. Angle was 0-for-4, but came threw with the game-winning sac fly. Miami had five hits and four errors. Rory Meister won his fourth (4-0) game of the season in relief.

IN NON-CONFERENCE HOME GAMES
Ohio State finished 6-1 in non-conference home games this season after beating Miami (Ohio) May 17. The Buckeyes opened with a 12-4 victory over Toledo on Marc 30, but followed with their only midweek loss of the season, dropping a 6-5 contest to Oakland. Ohio State rattled off five straight wins, beating Malone 15-4, Eastern Michigan by scores of 10-3 and 3-2, and Cleveland State 12-4, before beating the RedHawks.

Jedidiah Stephen led the Buckeyes in their seven home non-conference games with a .500 batting average. He is 11-for-22 with one home run, nine RBI and five runs scored. Jacob Howell, who has played in six of the games was 7-for-18 (.389) with one triple, five RBI and four runs scored. Jason Zoeller batted .375 (9-for-24) with two doubles, four RBI and a team-best eight runs scored. Ohio State batting .305 in non-conference home games and had a 2.90 ERA, while outscoring the opposition 60-25. Opponents batted only .212.

STOLEN IDENTITY
Three different Buckeyes have double-digit totals in stolen bases this season, led by Mike Rabin, who is 14-for-18 on the base paths this season. Rabin, a senior co-captain, stole eight bases last year after stealing 17 as a sophomore. He stole nine bases as a freshman and now has 48 for his career, which ranks fifth all-time, one behind Bo Rein (1965-67). Roy Marsh (1992-94) stole 73 bases as the school record holder.

Jacob Howell is 13-for-17 this year and Matt Angle is 11-for-12. Wes Schirtzinger is 9-for-11 on the base paths this season. The Buckeyes are 63-for-85 (.741).

HIT STREAK SNAPPED
With a hit in every game at Northwestern, senior centerfielder Mike Rabin ran his hitting streak to a career long 10 games, but that came to an end Tuesday when he was 0-for-4 against Miami (Ohio). Rabin has a hit in all but 13 of the 47 games he has played this season though five hitless games came in his first seven games. He has a hit in nine straight Big Ten games. Rabin leads the team with a .335 batting average in all games and is batting .384 in conference games. The longest current streak belongs to reserved second baseman Tony Kennedy, who has a five-game streak. He plays behind Jason Zoeller, who has hits in his last four games.

HOME RUNS DOWN
The Buckeyes have only 20 home runs in 48 games this season. Those numbers are down from 42 in 2004, 70 in 2003, 61 in 2002 and 59 in 2001. Since Bob Todd became coach in 1988, the fewest home runs hit by Ohio State is 33 in 1989. This year’s total is the fewest in a season since the Buckeyes hit 14 in 1980.

30-WIN SEASONS
In Bob Todd’s 18 seasons at Ohio State, the Buckeyes have never won fewer than 32 games. His first team went 32-28 in 1988 and his 1990 team went 32-29-1. In Todd’s previous 17 seasons, the Buckeyes have averaged 40.4 wins. His teams have won at least 40 games in nine different season and have won at least 50 games twice, including a school record 52 wins in 1991. The 1999 team had 50 victories.

SINCE 2000
The Buckeyes are the winningest program in the Big Ten since the 2000 with a record of 230-123-1 (.651). No team has more wins or a better winning percentage. Minnesota is second with a record of 205-140 (.594). The Buckeyes have two 40-win seasons since 2000 compared to only one by Minnesota. Each team has made four trips to the NCAA tournament.

BUCKEYE FRESHMEN
Ohio State has a tradition of freshmen excelling on the diamond as evidenced by the eight Buckeye freshmen who have been named Big Ten Freshman of the Year since the award was created in 1988. Ohio State won four straight from 1999 through 2002 and current Buckeye Jacob Howell won the award last season.

The 2005 freshman class has not disappointed either. Five freshmen have seen significant playing time, including catcher Eric Fryer, outfielder Matt Angle and pitchers Cory Luebke, Rory Meister and Dan Barker. Angle is batting .319 and has 28 starts in 42 total games, while Fryer is batting .298 with 39 starts in 41 games behind the plate. Luebke is 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA, while Meister is 4-0 with four saves in 20 relief appearances. Barker has made three starts in nine games and is 1-0 with a 2.01 ERA.

Fryer is second on the team with a .353 batting average in 23 of the team’s 25 Big Ten games, while Angle is batting .339 in 20 conference games. Luebke is 2-2 in the Big Ten, while Barker and Meister do not have a decision on league play. All eight of Meister’s saves have come against Big Ten opposition and he has a 0.55 ERA while holding batters to a .127 average with 15 strikeouts in 16.1 innings.

CAUGHENBAUGH NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT
Ohio State designated hitter Cody Caughenbaugh was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV Baseball Team, announced last Thursday. Caughenbaugh was a named to the first of two teams as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Caughenbaugh, a red-shirt junior from Newark, Ohio, is a mechanical engineering major and carries a 3.69 GPA in his fourth year of study. He was named the top freshman mechanical engineering student at Ohio State after his first year and the top sophomore mechanical engineering student after his second year. On the field, Caughenbaugh has appeared in 37 games this season with 23 starts. The Licking Valley High School graduate is batting .277 (26-for-94) with six doubles, one triple and two home runs and has driven in 24 runs and scored another 14. Caughenbaugh was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District IV Baseball Team in 2004, as a second-team member.

The Academic All-District IV Team is made up of student-athletes from Division I schools in Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. To be nominated, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve and carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher. Team members are selected by a vote of CoSIDA members within the district. The academic all-district team is part of the Academic All-America program.

BUCKEYES CLAIM THREE OF FOUR AT NORTHWESTERN
Ohio State took three of four games at Northwestern last weekend in Evanston, winning game one to run its win streak to nine games before losing the second game of the series 9-6. The Buckeyes battled back to win game three 10-2 and pitched its way past the Wildcats in the finale 1-0.

The Buckeyes came within one game of its longest win streak of the season by downing Northwestern 7-2 on Friday. Ohio State scored six runs in the first inning and added another in the third and got the second straight complete game from Dan DeLucia. The first six Buckeye batters reached base and the Buckeyes scored four runs before an out was in the book and then scored twice more to take a 6-0 lead before Northwestern came to the plate. DeLucia retired the final six batters of the game to improve to 4-4 on the year and struck out four batters without a walk. Eric Fryer was 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead his team.

Ohio State took a 5-1 lead in the top of the third inning, but Northwestern countered with eight runs in the bottom of the inning on its way to a 9-6 win in the second game of the series. The eight-run third equaled the biggest inning against the Buckeyes this season, matching Michigan’s eight-run outburst in the fifth in their April 22nd game vs. Ohio State. Fryer added his second home run of the year in the fourth inning to close within the three-run final. Trey Fausnaugh fell to 3-2 this season after coming on in the third for starter Cory Luebke. Ronnie Bourquin led the Buckeyes with three hits and one RBI.

In game three, Ohio State scored five runs in the fourth inning to take a 6-2 lead and then added four more runs, including three in the seventh as it got back in the win column with a 10-2 complete game victory by Mike Madsen. Madsen struck out a career-high nine batters to lead the Buckeyes to their 30th win of the season. It was his third complete game of the season and the sixth of his career. Paul Farinacci led the Buckeyes in going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Jedidiah Stephen was 2-for-4 with three RBI.

The Buckeyes took the finale 1-0 on the arms of starter Trent Luyster and closer Rory Meister, who combined to pitch a two-hit shutout to clinch the series victory. Luyster allowed only two hits in his seven innings before giving way to Meister, who entered in the eighth and retired all six batters he faced to pick up his fourth save of the season. Jacob Howell drove in his fifth RBI of the series when he singled down the left-field line in the second inning to score Jason Zoeller for the only score of the game. It was just the second shutout this season to go with a 3-0 shutout of Indiana in game two of that series April 30.

With the three win, Ohio State has won 11 of its last 12 games and 14 of its last 17. Bourquin led the Buckeyes in Evanston in batting .462 (6-for-13) with two RBI. Fryer, Mike Rabin and Howell each had five hits, while collecting three, four and five RBI, respectively. The Buckeyes batted only .289 but were aided by a 3.48 ERA and a .196 opponent batting average.

BUCKEYES SWEEP PENN STATE
Ohio State swept Penn State in State College, Pa., last weekend to climb from eighth to fifth in the Big Ten standings. The Buckeyes won their first series opener of the season by an 11-2 score, took the doubleheader by scores of 13-10 and 29-2 and the won 11-6 in the finale for the first sweep in the Big Ten this season and the first since winning four games at Indiana in 2004.

The Buckeyes hit .453 in the four games and outscored the Nittany Lions 64-20 and outslugged them 77-41, including a school record 33 runs in game three. Ohio State had 20 doubles, including a season-high in the game-three route. Ohio State added two triples and had only three home runs in the four games. The Buckeyes touched 44 bases in the 27-run win in the third game. Penn State had 14 errors in the series compared to only three by Ohio State.

Dan DeLucia pitched his first career complete game to fuel the Buckeyes to their first win in a series opener this season. The Buckeyes were winless in the previous five series openers, but sprinted out to a 10-0 lead to help DeLucia earn his third win of the season with the team’s 11-2 victory. Mike Rabin was 3-for-3 and walked three times to reach base all six of his plate appearances.

In game two, Ohio State fell behind 9-5 after two innings, but after Brett Hatcher came in for starter Cory Luebke, Nittany Lions bats fell quiet and the Buckeyes came back for a 13-10 victory. Hatcher went 4.1 innings and allowed only one run on four hits with three strikeouts before he gave way to Rory Meister, who picked up his third save. Caravati was 4-for-5 with four RBI and gave the Buckeyes a 10-9 lead with his second of three extra-base hits in the game. Rabin reached in his first to at bats to run his streak to eight consecutive reaches before that was broken up with a ground out in the fourth. Rabin came within five of the 1934 school record of 13 set by John Prosenjak.

It was an unbelievable scene in the nightcap of the Sunday twinbill. The Buckeyes sent 14 batters to the plate and scored 10 runs before the first out of the game could be recorded. The games first 14 batters all scored as the Buckeyes were able to build a 14-0 lead before senior Mike Madsen threw his first pitch. Ohio State added four in the second, five in the third and five more in the fourth to take a 28-0 lead before Penn State plated it first run in the bottom of the fourth inning. The 29 runs were the most in Big Ten play since the Buckeyes won 34-4 at Michigan State in 1999 and the most runs in any game since a 38-15 victory over Toledo in Albuquerque, N.M. in 2002. The Buckeyes used 16 players on offense and only two – Jason Zoeller and Matt Angle – finished the game. All but two of the 16 batted in at least one run and all 16 had at least one hit, led by six players who had three hits each. Cody Caughenbaugh was 2-for-4 and batted in five runs.

Ohio State scored six runs in the first four innings and added two runs in seventh and eighth innings before adding the final run in the ninth as it cruised to an 11-6 victory and a series sweep over Penn State. Caravati led a group of three players that were 3-for-5 in the game. He delivered three RBI and was joined by Angle and Stephen with three-hit efforts.

Rabin, Caravati and Angle each had nine hits in the series. Rabin and Caravati each were 9-for-15 (.600) and Angle was 9-for-21 (.429). The Buckeyes

OSU TAKES THREE VS. INDIANA
Ohio State had to rebound after its Friday night loss to Indiana to claim the final three games of the series to win the series three games to none. Indiana kept the Buckeyes winless on Friday in Big Ten play with a 10-1 triumph before Ohio State came back to win 3-0 and 7-3 in the doubleheader and 10-8 in the series finale.

The Hoosiers jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Ohio State scored its only run of the game in the fourth and then they added two more runs in the seventh before a Buckeye meltdown allowed five more runs to cross the plate in the top of the ninth. Dan DeLucia struck out seven and walked two in giving up five runs (four earned) on nine hits in 6.1 innings before turning over the reigns to the bullpen in the seventh.

In game two, Cory Luebke threw his third complete game as a Buckeye and was supported by runs in the second, fifth and sixth innings as Ohio State recorded its first shutout of the season. Luebke allowed just four hits, walked one and struck out three to improve to 4-2 on the year. Jedidiah Stephen drove in the first run in the second, Steve Caravati knocked in Mike Rabin in the fifth and then Ronnie Bourquin hit his second home run of the year, a solo shot, to lead off the sixth and give OSU the 3-0 win.

In the nightcap, Ohio State pitchers struck out a season-high 12 batters, including a career-best eight strikeouts from Mike Madsen, and Rory Meister earned his first career save as the Buckeyes beat Indiana 7-3 Saturday. Leading 5-3 with runners at the corners and two out in the fifth, Meister came in to retire the final seven batters of the game to earn his first career save. Matt Angle and Jason Zoeller each went 3-for-4. For Madsen, it was his second win in the week after he beat Eastern Michigan on Wednesday.

In the series finale, Ohio State had to fight back from a 4-1 deficit to win 10-8. The Buckeyes tied the game in the fourth and added single runs in the fifth and sixth before Caravati got things going in the seventh with his first home run of the season that sparked a four-run inning. The Buckeyes gave up four runs in the top of the eighth, but Meister came in to preserve the two-run win to get his second straight save.

MEISTER PICKS UP BIG TEN HONOR
Ohio State freshman pitcher Rory Meister has been named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week (May 2) after making five relief appearances in the Buckeyes’ six games. Meister helped guide the Buckeyes to a 5-1 week by striking out 13 batters in 11.2 innings and picking up the first two saves of his career. The freshman right-hander allowed no runs and only two hits during the week while walking only two batters. In two midweek contests with Eastern Michigan, Meister entered the first game with the bases loaded and no outs and struck out the first hitter he faced before forcing a double play. In the second outing, he struck out a career-high five batters in three and two-thirds innings. Against the Hoosiers, he finished game three of the series by retiring the final seven batters he faced before earning his second career save in the finale by preserving a two-run lead. Meister is the second OSU hurler to be named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week this season as teammate Trent Luyster was selected on March 7.

MICHIGAN DOWNS BUCKEYES 11-3
Ohio State went to Ann Arbor April 22-24 trying to claw its way back into contention for a bid to the Big Ten Tournament, instead the Buckeyes and Wolverines played only one of the four games in a snow-shortened series. Michigan relied on the arm of Jim Brauer, who fanned 10, and an eight-run fifth inning to hand Ohio State an 11-3 in the first ever night game at Ray Fisher Stadium.

The Wolverines scored twice in the third thanks to one hit and one Buckeye error, but then used six hits and two more errors to score eight in the fifth to build a 10-0 lead.

Eric Fryer launched his first home run as a Buckeye, a one-out, solo shot in the sixth inning that he deposited over the fence in left field to put Ohio State on the board. Michigan got the run back in the bottom of the inning. The Buckeyes scored their final two runs of the game in the eighth inning, using hits by Fryer and Mike Rabin, a pair of Michigan errors and a sacrifice fly by Steve Caravati to pull within the 11-3 final score.

Brauer limited the Buckeyes to only one base runner until the sixth inning when Fryer’s home run stopped a string of 15 straight retired batters. When he left, he had struck out 10 with only one walk and had allowed all three runs on five hits in 7.1 innings. Derek Feldkamp pitched the rest of the way. The two allowed six hits by Ohio State, three of which came off the bat of Rabin and two off of Fryer. Paul Farinacci delivered the only other Buckeye hit.

SPARTANS WIN SERIES 3-1
Michigan State was trying to do something last weekend at Ohio State that no team had ever been able to do before and that was sweep the Buckeyes at Bill Davis Stadium. In the nine-year history of the stadium, only Michigan had won a series on the Buckeyes home turf (2003 and 2004). This time it was different. The Spartans won the first three games of the series (not even the Wolverines did that) to make a sweep possible, but Ohio State won in the bottom of the ninth to thwart the Spartan bid.

Ohio State lost the first three games 2-0, 12-3 and 8-1. It scored only four runs and had only 22 hits in the first three games of the series. The Buckeyes won 8-7 in the series finale, getting an RBI single from freshman Matt Angle to score freshman Eric Fryer, who reached on a hit of his own and then stole second to set up the score. Ohio State relief pitching allowed a grand slam to tie the game in the top of the ninth after leading by as many as five runs two different times. The Buckeyes finished the series with 12 runs on 35 hits, while Michigan State scored 29 runs on 45 hits.

Senior outfielder and co-captain Mike Rabin led the Buckeyes in going 6-for-12 with three runs batted in and two runs scored. He launched his third career home run in the second game of the series. Chris Macke, Jedidiah Stephen and Jacob Howell each delivered four hits in the series, though the Buckeyes hit just .276. Rabin is the leading Buckeye hitter in Big Ten play, batting .342 in the 12 games. He and Paul Farinacci each have three hits, while Farinacci has delivered seven RBI.

For Michigan State, Sean Walker belted three home runs and drove in four RBI, including the grand slam that tied game four in the top of the ninth. He had five hits and a slugging percentage of 1.077. He and teammate Tim Day who pitched an eight-hit complete game in the 2-0 victory on Friday, earned Big Ten player and pitcher of the week for their performances against the Scarlet and Gray.

BASEBALL AMERICA NAMES LUEBKE TO MID-SEASON ALL-FROSH TEAM
Ohio State freshman left-handed pitcher Cory Luebke was named to Baseball America’s mid-season Freshman All-America Team in April. Luebke, a 18th-round draft by of the Pittsburgh Pirates last summer, is one of four starting pitchers to appear on the list. He joins James Adkins (LHP, Tennessee), David Prince (LHP, Vanderbilt) and Nick Schmidt (LHP, Arkansas).

BUCKEYES TAKE 3 OF 4 VS. PURDUE
Ohio State took three of four 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, their sixth loss in a row. 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.

Some say the third time is the charm, but for Ohio State head coach Bob Todd, it took seven times to earn his 700th career victory after winning No. 699 on March 30. 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. 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 2003 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.

OHIO STATE SWEPT AT ILLINOIS
For only the second time at Ohio State since Bob Todd began coaching, the Buckeyes were swept in a four-game conference series. Illinois swept the series in grand fashion, winning the finale with a two-run walk-off home run to seal a 6-4 victory and only the sixth-ever sweep against Ohio State since the Big Ten began playing four-game series in 1981. The Illini won the first three games of the series by scores of 7-1, 4-1 and 5-4.

Illinois erupted for five runs on six hits in the sixth inning to hand the Buckeyes a 7-1 loss and snap their 10-game win streak. J.R. Kyes went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs to lead Illinois. Jedidiah Stephen led Ohio State with a single and a double. Paul Farinacci delivered the only OSU run in the top of the second inning. Trent Luyster fell to 4-2 with the loss. Jason Zoeller’s 13-game hit streak came to an end.

In game two, the Illini scored all four of their runs in the first inning to down the Buckeyes 4-1. Steve Caravati drove in Zoeller with a double down the left field line in the sixth inning. Zoeller, Caravati and Ronnie Bourquin had the three hits for Ohio State. In the second game of a doubleheader, Illinois dodged a late-inning rally by Ohio State to win 5-4. The Illini had sprinted to a 5-0 lead after the fourth inning before Farinacci delivered his first home run of the season, a grand slam he bounced off the top of the right-field fence in the top of the sixth. The Buckeyes stranded one runner in the seventh when Bourquin was tagged out sliding into first.

The luck of the Buckeyes appeared to change in the series finale when they took a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth inning, but Illinois tied the game in the bottom of the inning before the two-run walk-off home run in the ninth won the game 6-4. Mike Rabin was 3-for-4 in the game, while Zoeller and Chris Macke each had two hits and one RBI. Reliever Trey Fausnaugh gave up the home run to get the loss. The last 0-4 start by Ohio State was in 1987, the year before Todd arrived to Columbus.

SWISHER MAKES OPENING DAY ROSTER IN OAKLAND
Former Ohio State Buckeye Nick Swisher appeared on the opening-day roster of the Oakland Athletics. Swisher, who finished the 2004 season on the Oakland roster after being called up Sept. 3, became the highest-ever drafted player from Ohio State when he was picked 16th overall in the first round of the 2002 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He batted .323 in his three years with the Buckeyes, batting in 156 runs with 35 home runs. He had a .613 slugging percentage and a .452 on-base percentage while at Ohio State and was a starter in 166 of the 169 games in which he played. During his junior season, Swisher batted .348 with a team-best 52 RBI and 10 home runs. Swisher, a First Team All-Big Ten selection both as a sophomore and junior, had 64 hits, including 10 homers in 2002. He was a freshman All-American and was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2000.

WEBCASTS DEBUT FOR BASEBALL
Ohio State baseball fans are now able to watch select games by webcast online at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. The webcast is available within the College Sports Pass subscription service which features exclusive live and on-demand audio and video content. For more information, go online to ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

Remaining Ohio State Baseball Webcast Schedule
May 20 vs. Minnesota @ 6:35 p.m.
May 21 vs. Minnesota @ 4:05 p.m.
May 21 vs. Minnesota @ 6:35 p.m.
May 22 vs. Minnesota @ 1:05 p.m.

UP NEXT FOR THE BUCKEYES…
If the Buckeyes win at least one game against Minnesota this weekend, Ohio State will play in the 2005 Big Ten Tournament, which will be contested Wednesday through Saturday at the regular season champion, which will be decided this weekend.