COLUMBUS, Ohio – The boys are back in town. The Ohio State baseball team opens the 2018 home schedule against CSUN at 5 p.m. Friday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. The middle game of the series is set for 3 p.m. Saturday and the series concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday in Columbus. The three-game, non-conference series marks the beginning of a 12-game homestand for the Scarlet and Gray.
The Buckeyes (11-6) are on a three-game winning streaking after going 4-2 over their six-game spring break trip. Ohio State has two ranked wins under its belt to start the year with victories over No. 15 Southern Miss and No. 21 Coastal Carolina.
This weekend, the OHSAA Girls Basketball Tournament, NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, Ohio State Athletics events and a concert will take place on the campus of The Ohio State University. Click here for instructions pertaining to parking at events on campus this weekend.
Friday, March 16 – LHP Connor Curlis (3-0, 3.52 ERA) vs. RHP Walker Armstrong (1-0, 3.42 ERA)
Saturday, March 17 – RHP Ryan Feltner (1-0, 7.40 ERA) vs. RHP Wesley Moore (1-2, 3.32 ERA)
Sunday, March 18 – RHP Adam Niemeyer (0-2, 6.75 ERA) vs. RHP Matt Acosta (3-2, 3.60 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. All three games will be streamed on BTN Plus ($) this weekend.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
2018 Record: 9-7
Team Stats: .327, 39 2B, 32 HR, 134 RBI, .580 SLG %, .406 OB %
Top Hitter: Trevor Casanova, .435 (27-for-62), 6 2B, 4 HR, 15 RBI
Top Pitcher: Isaiah Nunez, 0-0, 2.77 ERA, 16 K, 0 BB, 13.0 IP
Last Time Out: Game postponed in eighth inning vs. UCLA
NCAA STAT RANKINGS
Ohio State ranks in the Top 50 in the nation in several statistical categories, including sixth in double plays (19), 23rd in hits (178), 26th in runs scored (129), 29th in scoring (7.6), 30th in home runs (17), 33rd in home runs per game (1.00) and 48th in batting average (.291).
Noah McGowan is third in the country in RBI (26), tenth in total bases (51), 11th in RBI per game (1.53), 24th in hits (28), 25th in runs (20), 33rd in home runs (5) and slugging (.739) and 36th in hits per game (1.65).
MCGOWAN LEADING THE BIG TEN
The team ranks in the Top 3 in multiple offensive categories, including first in scoring (7.6), home runs (17), second in hits (178), runs (129) and third in batting average (.291).
McGowan sits in the Top 5 in nine different batting categories: first in RBI (26), runs scored (20) and total bases (51), second in slugging (.739), hits (28), third in batting average (.406) and home runs (5) and fourth in doubles (6). Tyler Cowles is fourth in doubles (6), seventh in batting average (.375) and ninth in RBI (16). Dominic Canzone ranks eighth in home runs (8) and ninth in runs (16). Brady Cherry is fourth in runs scored (18). Conner Pohl is eighth in home runs (3) and ninth in RBI (16).
On the mound, Seth Kinker is first in saves (4) and Connor Curlis is third in wins (3).
SPRING BREAK 2018 REWIND
Ohio State is heading into its long home swing with momentum after going 4-2 during its spring break trip in the Carolinas last week. Highlighting the week was a 7-5 win over No. 21 Coastal Carolina to conclude play at the 2018 Environmental Chanticleer Classic March 11 in Conway, S.C. Ohio State rallied with six runs in the final two innings to earn their second ranked win of the year. Noah McGowan was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, home run and two RBI. Seth Kinker earned his second win of the season, throwing three innings on four hits, two runs, one walk and two strikeouts. Tyler Cowles led the Buckeyes at the plate during the four-game stretch, batting 8-for-16 with five runs scored, three doubles and two home runs.
The team then headed north to play two-midweek games last time out against a strong UNCW squad that took two of three contests at Arizona State the weekend before. The Buckeyes won both games by a combined 16-4 score. The bullpen guided the team in both wins as 10 different arms were used, limiting the UNCW bats to only four runs, three earned with a combined 15 strikeouts to six walks. Dominic Canzone hit .400 during the series with a double and home run.
IT SHOULD BE NOTED…
• Ohio State launched 10 home runs over the last six games, including nine at the Chanticleer Classic.
• The Buckeyes are outscoring their opponents, 27-11 in the opening inning.
• The Scarlet and Gray are 8-1 when leading after the sixth inning and 10-0 when leading after the eighth inning.
• The OSU bats have been strong with two outs on the board, hitting .289 as a team. Ohio State has an impressive 67 two-out RBI through 17 games.
• Opposing hitters have just a .160 average (4-for-25) with two outs against Connor Curlis. He ranks eighth in the Big Ten in strikeouts (24).
• The Buckeyes are one of four Big Ten teams with double-digit wins so far this spring.
Ohio State and Eastern Michigan meet in a midweek game March 21 at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. The game will be streamed on BTN Plus ($).