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April 14, 2005

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Ohio State Buckeyes
(17-10; 3-5 Big Ten)
vs.
Michigan State Spartans
(12-17; 3-5 Big Ten)

April 15-17, 2005
Bill Davis Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

Fri., April 15 @ 6:35 p.m. (Radio)
Sat., April 16 @ 1:05 p.m. (DH) (Web/Web)
Sun., April 17 @ 1:05 p.m. (Radio)

Series History
Ohio State leads 119-74-1
last game: May 28, 2004, Ohio State 8-3

Ohio State Radio/Internet
Neil Sika and Paul Barnes
NPR 820 (WOSU-AM)
www.wosu.org

Gametracker
www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com

Probable Ohio State Pitchers G1 36 Dan DeLucia, LHP 2-1, 2.11 ERA, 28K, 38.1IP G2 19 Cory Luebke, LHP 3-1, 2.01 ERA, 29K, 40.1IP G3 6 Mike Madsen, RHP 2-2, 4.05 ERA, 17K, 26.2IP G4 39 Trent Luyster, LHP 4-3, 4.74 ERA, 28K, 43.2IP

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team returns to Big Ten play this weekend against Michigan State in a four-game series at Bill Davis Stadium that ushers out a 10-game home stand, in which the Buckeyes currently are 4-2.

The Buckeyes improved to 17-10 overall with a 15-4 victory Wednesday over visiting Malone. Ohio State only had 10 hits in the game, but the Pioneers walked 13 batters, hit one and had two wild pitches in addition to three errors. Malone tied the game, 4-4, in the top of the fourth inning, but the Scarlet and Gray scored nine runs in the bottom of the inning with six walks and only four hits.

Last weekend, Ohio State improved to 3-5 in the Big Ten by taking the final three games of the four-game series against Purdue last weekend. A Michigan State comeback came up short Wednesday evening at Eastern Michigan as the Eagles downed the Spartans 3-2 to drop Michigan State to 12-17. MSU is 3-5 in the league after losing three of four games at home to Illinois last weekend.

Illinois and Minnesota are perched atop the Big Ten standings at 7-1, while Penn State and Iowa are tied for third at 5-3. Northwestern is fifth at 4-4 and Ohio State and Michigan State are tied with Purdue at 3-5, while Indiana is ninth with a 2-6 record and Michigan, the next opponent for Ohio State, is 10th at 1-7.

Games one and four against Michigan State will be broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) while all four games will be broadcast on the Internet at www.wosu.org. Neil Sika and Paul Barnes will have the call.

About Ohio State
Ohio State won its 17th game of the season by defeating Malone, 15-4 Wednesday night in non-conference action at Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes have now won four of the six games at home after winning three of four last week in conference play against Purdue Ohio State is now 3-5 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes lost the opener, 7-1, to runs its losing streak to six straight games, but it was a different series the rest of the weekend as they won the final three games, including game two of the series, which was the 700th win at Ohio State for 18th-year head coach Bob Todd.

Paul Farinacci led the Buckeyes against the Boilermakers, getting hits in half of his 12 at bats. He had a double and drove in one run and did not walk or strikeout in the four games. Third baseman Chris Macke is filling in for the injured Ronnie Bourquin and had four hits against the Boilermakers with his second double and second RBI of the season. He was 3-for-3 in game two of the series.

Jason Zoeller continues to lead Ohio State with a .347 batting average, 33 hits, two triples, four home runs and a .547 slugging percentage. He also has 16 RBI. Jedidiah Stephen is batting .322 with 28 hits, four home runs and 19 RBI, while Cody Caughenbaugh is batting .314 with 22 hits, five doubles and 17 RBI. Farinacci, who leads the team with nine doubles and 26 RBI is batting .276. As a team, the Scarlet and Gray is hitting .294 with 11 home runs.

The Buckeyes also had a solid weekend of pitching against Purdue. Despite the game one loss, Trent Luyster struck out a career-high 10 batters (without a walk), but gave up five runs on eight hits in 8.1 innings. In game two, Cory Luebke picked up his third win of the season as the Buckeyes won 6-4, Todd’s 700th OSU victory. Mike Madsen stuck out six and allowed only four hits (one run) in his first complete game of the season and the fourth of his career. Dan DeLucia closed out the series by retiring the first 14 batters, but gave up two runs on seven hits before giving way to high school teammate Jeffrey Carroll in the eighth. Carroll picked up his first career save.

Luebke has the team’s best ERA at 2.01 and DeLucia’s is second best at 2.11. Luebke has a team-best 29 strikeouts in 40.1 innings and has allowed only nine earned runs to help him get to 3-1. DeLucia has 28 strikeouts in 38.1 innings and also has allowed only nine earned runs to get to 2-1. Madsen is 2-2 with a 4.05 ERA, while Luyster has 28 strikeouts in 43.2 innings for a 4-3 record.

Ohio State will mix up the pitching rotation a little this weekend and will start DeLucia in game one followed by Luebke, Madsen and Luyster.

About Michigan State
The Spartans lost 3-2 Wednesday at Eastern Michigan to fall to 12-17. Michigan State dropped to 3-5 in the Big Ten after losing three of four games at home last weekend against Illinois, but it did something Ohio State was not able to do against the Illini and that was win a game. After losing the first three games of the series, the Spartans handed the Fighting Illini their first conference loss last Sunday.

Ryan Basham leads the Spartans with a .340 batting average, six home runs and 24 RBI, while Troy Krider is batting .330 and leads the team with 38 hits. Ryan Sontag is batting .317 while Alan Cattrysse is batting .316 and is tied for the team with eight doubles. MSU is batting .284 as a team, which ranks eighth in the Big Ten. On the hill, Craig Brookes has made seven starts for the Spartans and is 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA. Tim Day is 3-3 with a 5.68 ERA and is the team leader with 23 strikeouts, while Chris Malec is 3-3 with a 6.23 ERA. Mark Sorensen has made four starts and is 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA on a team that has a 5.75 ERA, the highest in the Big Ten. MSU will go with Day in game one and will follow with Brookes, Malex and Mike Takashima (2-2, 9.19).

Ted Mahan (Michigan, 1977) is 246-280 in his 10th season in East Lansing.

Against the Spartans
Ohio State leads the all-time series against Michigan State 119-74-1 and is 14-5 against the Spartans since the 2000 season. The Buckeyes have won nine of the last 10 meetings with the lone win during that time coming in the first of the four-game series last year at Kobs Field in East Lansing. The series began in 1911, a 6-1 win by MSU. Since the Big Ten began playing four-game series in 1981, Ohio State has won the series 15 times with six four-game sweeps. Michigan State has never swept the Buckeyes and have just one series win, taking three of four games in 1988, Bob Todd’s first season in Columbus. Todd is 50-19 all-time against Michigan State.

Series History Since 2000 (OSU leads 14-5)
May 12, 2000 – Michigan St. 8, at Ohio State 3
May 13, 2000 – at Ohio State 2, Michigan St. 1
May 13, 2000 – Michigan St. 6, at Ohio State 5
May 14, 2000 – at Ohio State 7, Michigan St. 3
April 13, 2001 – Ohio State 10, at Michigan St. 9
April 14, 2001 – at Michigan St. 14, Ohio State 3
April 14, 2001 – Ohio State 4, at Michigan St. 0
April 15, 2001 – Ohio State 13, at Michigan St. 3
May 10, 2002 – 1at Michigan St. 12, Ohio State 5
May 11, 2002 – 1Ohio State 6, at Michigan St. 4
May 9, 2003 – at Ohio State 3, Michigan St. 2
May 10, 2003 – at Ohio State 2, Michigan St. 1
May 10, 2003 – at Ohio State 6, Michigan St. 5
May 11, 2003 – at Ohio State 11, Michigan St. 8
April 16, 2004 – at Michigan St. 10, Ohio State 7
April 17, 2004 – Ohio State 8, at Michigan St. 7
April 17, 2004 – Ohio State 19, at Michigan St. 2
April 18, 2004 – Ohio State 12, at Michigan St. 10
May 28, 2004 – 2Ohio State 8, Michigan St. 3
1-Oldsmobile Field; 2-2004 Big Ten Tournament

Series History vs. Michigan State
Ohio State 4-0 (2003, 1996, 1994, 1992, 1990, 1989)
Ohio State 3-1 (2004, 2001, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1993, 1985, 1984, 1982)
Split 2-2 (2000, 1995, 1991, 1987, 1986, 1981)
Split 1-1 (2002, 1983)
Michigan State 3-1 (1988)
Michigan State 4-0 (None)

Last Time vs. Michigan State
The bottom four batters in the Ohio State batting order provided 10 of the team’s 17 hits to lift the Buckeyes to an 8-3 victory over Michigan State in the 2004 Big Ten Tournament at Siebert Field in Minneapolis.

No. 8-hole hitter Mike Rabin went 4-for-4 at the plate at scored twice, while No. 9-hole hitter Derek Kinnear was 3-for-4 and batted in two runs and scored twice. Ronnie Bourquin, batting in the sixth hole, was 2-for-4 with a home run, while Paul Farinacci, the seven-hole batter, was 1-for-5 to make the bottom four batters of the order 10-for-17. Every Buckeye starter had a hit.

Josh Newman pitched his third complete game of the season and struck out five batters and walked three while scattering the eight Michigan State hits, and gave up only one in his final four innings of work. The victory was the 32nd of his career.

Buckeyes Win Final Three at MSU for 2004 Series Win
Ohio State took the final three games of the Michigan State series to win the series 3-1. The Spartans won 10-7 in the first game, but the Buckeyes came back to win 8-7, 19-2 and 6-1. Ohio State hit nine home runs in the series and out-scored Michigan State 46-29. The 46 runs were the most scored in a four-game series with a Big Ten opponent since 1999, when the Buckeyes out-scored Michigan State 66-14.

Michigan State broke a 7-7 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a two-run lead before adding another in the eighth to defeat Ohio State 10-7 in a seesaw battle in the opening game of the series. Jesse Paciorek was tagged with the loss to fall to 1-2 on the season. Josh Newman came out of the game in the sixth inning after he allowed seven runs on nine hits with six strikeouts and a pair of walks.

Ohio State sprinted out to a 6-2 lead only to stave off a comeback bid by Michigan State and hand the Spartans their first home loss by a score of 8-7 in the first game of a doubleheader. The Spartans slowly whittled back at the Buckeye four-run lead, getting three to cross the plate in the next two innings to tie the game 6-6 heading to the top of the sixth. The Buckeyes broke the tie with two runs in the sixth. Drew Anderson drew a two-out walk and then stole second before getting hit in with a single to center field by Mike Rabin. Rabin scored from first on a fielding error by the Spartan centerfielder to take an 8-6 lead before a wild pitch pulled Michigan State within the one-run final.

After squeaking by in the first game of the doubleheader with Michigan State, Ohio State made no doubt about it in the second game pounding the Spartans 19-2. Ohio State put up two runs in the first and then single runs in the second, third and fourth inning before exploding for eight runs in the fifth to take a 13-2 lead. The Buckeyes scored two more in the sixth and added five in the final frame of the day. Starting pitcher Mike Madsen pitched his first complete game of the season allowing the two runs by Michigan State in the first three innings. Madsen retired 10 of 11 batters to end the game. Brett Garrard was a perfect 4-for-4 in the game driving in four runs in eight-run fifth inning with a grand slam. He walked in the first, singled in the third, doubled in his first at bat in the fifth and capped the inning with the four-run blast before doubling in the eighth inning.

Ohio State squandered a 6-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh, but stormed back with five runs in the eighth to claim a 12-10 victory to clinch the Big Ten series 3-1. Trailing 7-4 at the seventh-inning stretch, Michigan State homered three more times to take a 9-7 lead. Ohio State responded with five runs of its own in the top of the eighth thanks to four doubles and a pair of Spartan errors to take a 12-9 lead. Michigan State scored once more in the bottom of the ninth for the two run loss. Steve Caravati and Ronnie Bourquin each finished 3-for-5 in the game and each batted in three runs.

Top Efforts vs. Michigan State
Several current Buckeyes have put up some of their best numbers against Michigan State. In 12 career games against the Spartans, Steve Caravati is batting .442 (19-of-43). He has belted two home runs and knocked in 12 RBI. His 19 hits are the most he has against a Big Ten opponent. Paul Farinacci has had six hits against Michigan State and has launched two home runs. Mike Rabin is 15-for-41 (.366) in 11 career games against the Spartans. As a freshman last year against Michigan State, Ronnie Bourquin was 7-for-11 with a pair of home runs and six RBI. Cody Caughenbaugh has seven hits and seven games against MSU and has batted in eight RBI. Jedidiah Stephen, wh has played eight games against the Spartans has eight hits in 27 at bats and has belted three home runs and driven in seven RBI. As for the pitchers against Michigan State, Mike Madsen, Trent Luyster and Trey Fausnaugh each have one win, while Brett Hatcher has one save.

Ohio State game at Michigan to be televised by ESPN
The April 22 game at Michigan will be televised by ESPN, the network announced late last week. The game has been moved from a 6:35 p.m. start to a 7:05 p.m. start. The contest will be Michigan’s first game under new lights at Ray Fisher Stadium in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines lead the all-time series 144-87-2, though under 18th-year head coach Bob Todd, the Buckeyes lead 48-32. Ohio State has not played at Michigan since 2002, when it split the four-game series. Michigan has won the regular-season series each of the last two seasons in Columbus, though the Buckeyes have had a measure of revenge in the conference tournaments, winning 4-2 in 2003 and 14-2 in 2004 to eliminate the Wolverines. The Scarlet and Gray’s appearance on ESPN marks the first televised game on the network since the 2003 NCAA Super Regional games vs. Southwest Missouri State at Bill Davis Stadium.

Buckeyes Power Past Malone
Ohio State allowed Malone to score four runs and tie the game in the top of the fourth inning, but in the bottom of the inning, the Buckeyes erupted for nine runs on four hits and six walks by Pioneer pitching as they stormed to a 15-4 victory Wednesday night at Bill Davis Stadium.

The Buckeyes made sure they forgot the top of inning by scoring nine times after four hits and six walks. Jay Yorty, the third Malone pitcher of the game, walked the first two batters before his wild pitch scored Matt Angle from third after he stole second and went to third on an throwing error by Pioneer catcher Andy Bruno who was trying to throw him out on the steal.

Jedidiah Stephen walked and then after a ground out, Eric Fryer also walked. Tony Kennedy singled for the second run of the inning before a bases loaded walk by Chris Macke led to another run. Jacob Howell knocked in two more runs with a deep infield single. Angle walked for the second time in the inning and the Steve Caravati reached third base and plated the final three runs when Malone right fielder Alton Thompson lost the ball in the lights. The triple was the second in as many games for Caravati and the 11th of his career, which ties him for third most all-time at Ohio State. Ohio State added one run in the next two innings to build a 15-4 lead before getting shutout for the first inning of the game, going in order in the seventh and eighth.

Howell led the Buckeyes at the plate, delivering three hits and four RBI. Adam Schneider collected two hits, both doubles, after entering the game as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fourth and as the designated hitter in the sixth. Caravati was 1-for-1, but delivered three runs with a triple. Macke only had one hit, but knocked in four with a ground out, a two-run double in the third and a bases-loaded walk in the fifth.

Dan Barker struck out two and did not walk a batter in 3.2 innings. Making hsis first collegiate start, he allowed the four unearned runs on five hits and three hit batsmen. Rory Meister came in to rescue Barker with two out in the fourth and got the win to improve to 3-0. He struck out two and allowed only one hit over 2.1 innings.

The Big Ten Race
With its series win over Purdue last weekend, Ohio State climbed out of the Big Ten cellar and into a sixth-place tie at 3-5 with Michigan State and Purdue. Illinois and Minnesota each won three of their four games last weekend to remain in a first-place tie at 7-1. Penn State and Iowa both are 5-3, while Northwestern is 4-4. At 2-6, Indiana is ninth, while Michigan is 10th at 1-7.

In addition to Michigan State coming to Columbus this weekend, Michigan is at Illinois, Indiana is at Iowa, Minnesota is at Penn State and Northwestern is at Purdue.

Big Ten Statistics Rankings
In the Big Ten rankings that were released Thursday, Ohio State ranked fifth in team batting (.294) behind Indiana (.338), Illinois (.316), Michigan (.310) and Penn State (.297); ranked first in team ERA (3.28); and ranked third in fielding (.971) behind Minnesota (.973) and Penn State (.972).

Not a single Buckeye has a batting average ranked in the Top 10 in the league. Ranking individual ERAs, Cory Luebke is third at 2.01, while Dan DeLucia is tied for fourth with his 2.11.

In conference-only stats, the Buckeyes rank ninth in team batting (.262), fifth in team ERA (3.58) and sixth in team fielding (.964). Mike Madsen’s 1.54 ERA in Big Ten games ranks eighth.

Change Made at Top of Lineup
After losing six straight games, including the first five of Big Ten play, Ohio State head coach Bob Todd decided to make a switch at the top of his lineup. In the final three games vs. Purdue, the Buckeyes changed to a lineup that begins with outfielders Jacob Howell, Mike Rabin and Steve Caravati. Howell was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year a year ago. Rabin and Caravati are the team’s co-captains. Rabin is a veteran of 207 games (194 starts) and Caravati, the Big Ten Player of the Year a season ago, has played in 184 games (154 starts). In the 7-1 loss to Purdue Friday night, the top three spots in the order were a combine 0-for-12, but after the change the top third of the order was 3-for-9 in game two, 3-for-7 in game three and 2-for-9 in game four. Jason Zoeller, the team’s leading hitter, who had been batting in the No. 2 hole was moved to the No. 5 spot. Zoeller, who peaked with a .417 batting average on March 30 vs. Toledo, steadily has seen his average fall. He is now batting .347.

Run Production Improving
During the six-game losing streak, Ohio State was limited to one run in three games. Illinois gave the Buckeyes 7-1 and 4-1 losses in the first two games of that series and Purdue won 7-1 in the first game of its series with Ohio State. The Buckeyes were outscored 35-16 during the losing streak. In the last four games, the Buckeyes have the edge, 30-11. For the year, Ohio State is outscoring its opponents 168-110, an average of 6.2 runs per game to 4.1.

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 has only played in 15 of the teams 26 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 took a while to get back into form.

Mike Madsen, a third-team All-Big Ten selection last season, did not make the trip to Jacksonville with the team after suffering from tendinitis in his right arm following early season appearances as the team’s No. 1 starter against Middle Tennessee and Georgia. He came back from the injury and threw only two innings in a start vs. Dartmouth on spring break in only his third outing of the season. He pitched only three innings in a start against Toledo and 4.2 innings in his start at Illinois. It was not until his game-three start vs. Purdue that he began looking like he did each of the last two years when he won 17 games. Against the Boilermakers, he struck out six and allowed only four hits in pitching his first complete game of the season and only the fourth in his career.

The Buckeyes 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 has missed six games after being the only player to start the first 20 games of the season. He is batting .288 with eight doubles, one home run and eight RBI. His return date has not been determined.

Baseball America names Luebke to Mid-season All-Frosh Team
Ohio State freshman left-handed pitcher Cory Luebke has been named to Baseball America’s mid-season Freshman All-America Team. Luebke, a 19th-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). Luebke is 3-1 on the year with a 2.01 ERA, the third best in the Big Ten, behind Minnesota’s Matt Lobert (5-2, 1.54 ERA) and Illinois’ Brian Blomquest (6-1, 1.62). Luebke has made eight appearances with starts in his last five games. He picked up his first career win against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, going the distance in a 4-1 Buckeye win. In that game he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, before allowing only four hits in his first complete game. He also beat Dartmouth before losing to Illinois last weekend, but rebounded with a victory over Purdue last Saturday.

Buckeye Record Book

Steve Caravati is tied for 11th with his .354 career battingaverage. His 211 hits rank 15th, while his 597 at bats have himranked 23rd. The fifth-year senior co-captain from Dover, Ohio(Dover) is tied for third with 11 triples (two away from the schoolrecord) and his 21 career home runs are tied for 21st. Caravati hasbatted in 145 runs during his career (15th in school history),including 52 RBI last season. He needs 36 to move into second placeall-time at Ohio State. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) holds the schoolrecord with 236 RBI. Mike Rabin has 704 career at bats, which isranked fifth by any player in school history. The OSU record is823, set by Mark Carek (1995-98). Rabin, who already has 79 at batsin 2005, needs 120 at bats to break that record. He had 234 at batsas a sophomore and 228 last year, so that is one record to watch.His 40 steals are the ninth most in school history. Rabin’s 204hits rank 17th most in school annals. With four home runs thisseason, Jedidiah Stephen has 17 career home runs. The junior fromCaldwell, Ohio, needs three more to crack the school’s Top 25 list.With 19 career victories, Mike Madsen ranks 19th and with his winpercentage of .704 (19-8), he ranks 22nd in school history. Madsenranks 11th in fewest hits allowed (203), sixth in fewest bases onballs (78), eighth in fewest runs (108) and eighth in fewest earnedruns allowed (91). Madsen has pitched in 52 games, which ties himfor 19th. Trent Luyster has made 53 appearances in his career torank 18th. Luyster is 13th with fewest hits allowed (211), thirdwith fewest bases on balls (54), ninth in fewest runs (109) and istied for ninth with fewest earned runs allowed (92).

Buckeyes Take 3 of 4 vs. Purdue
Ohio State took three of four games from Purdue last weekend at Bill Davis Stadium to improve to 3-5 in the conference. 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.

A First Since `Script Ohio’ Debut
When Purdue beat Ohio State 7-1 on April 8, it was the fifth strait loss for the Buckeyes to open Big Ten play. The last time Ohio State began its conference schedule 0-5 was 1936, the same year the Ohio State University Marching Band first performed “Script Ohio.” That year, Ohio State lost its first nine conference games before finishing 1-10. Other events of 1936: former Ohio State sprinter Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin and Franklin D. Roosevelt was in his first term as the President of the United States.

Todd Wins No. 700 at OSU
With a 6-4 victory over Purdue in the second game of the series, Bob Todd earned yet another milestone victory in his 22-year career. The win was his 700th at Ohio State. In his 18th season in Columbus, Todd is now 702-365-2 (.658). He improved his career record to 826-436-2 (.654). Todd entered the season ranked among the Top 25 active coaches by both win percentage and total victories.

Todd’s Milestone Ohio State Wins
1 – Feb. 27, 1988 vs. Louisville (16-2)
100 – Feb. 22, 1991 vs. Dartmouth (14-7)
200 – March 28, 1993 vs. Cleveland St. (9-5)
300 – April 13, 1995 at Wright State (16-6)
400 – May 16, 1997 at Michigan (9-2)
*480 – May 8, 1999 vs. Michigan St. (11-1)
500 – March 22, 2000 vs. Florida Int’l (2-0)
600 – May 19, 2002 vs. Minnesota (9-2)
700 – April 9, 2005 vs. Purdue (6-4)
*became the winningest coach in Ohio State history

Todd’s Milestone Career Victories
1 – March 23, 1984 vs. Mercer (18-4)
100 – March 25, 1987 vs. UNC-Wilm. (12-10)
200 – April 1, 1990 vs. Wisconsin (7-4)
300 – April 22, 1992 vs. Ohio (16-2)
400 – May 14, 1994 vs. Purdue (8-7)
500 – March 30, 1997 at Michigan St. (4-0)
600 – May 5, 1999 vs. Oakland (11-9)
700 – March 17, 2002 vs. Detroit (7-2)
800 – May 8, 2004 vs. Penn State (3-1)

Todd’s Milestone Big Ten Wins
1 – April 3, 1988 vs. Illinois (14-6)
100 – May 1, 1993 vs. Michigan (3-2)
200 – May 10, 1998 vs. Michigan State (5-4)
300 – April 2, 2004 vs. Illinois (5-1)

Oakland Stuns Buckeyes
Ohio State could not make anything out of four Oakland errors, two passed balls, a hit batsman, seven walks by Oakland pitching and 15 base runners left on base as Oakland upset the Buckeyes, 6-5, at Bill Davis Stadium. The win was just the second of the season for a team that has played 19 games.

The Buckeyes rallied to take a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, but in the top of the ninth, a two-out bases loaded double by Oakland centerfielder Will Tollison gave the Golden Grizzlies a 6-4 lead, putting the pressure back on Ohio State.

Matt Angle led off the bottom of the ninth inning with an infield single and went to second on a single through the left side by Jedidiah Stephen. A passed ball moved both runners into scoring position, before Oakland closer Kevin Hale walked Paul Farinacci to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by Mike Rabin scored Angle to pull the Buckeyes within one run and put runners at the corners. Hale walked pinch hitter Steve Caravati to load the bases again, but Hale picked up the fielder’s choice off the bat of Wes Schirtzinger and threw home to nail the tying run at the plate. A grounder to short by Jason Zoeller ended the game.

Oakland’s third pitcher of the game, Scott Boleski, picked up his first win of the season, while Hale earned his first save of the year. Brett Hatcher got the loss after giving up two singles and a walk in the top of the ninth. Trey Fausnaugh came in after Hatcher walked pinch hitter Brad Nole and gave up the three-run double to Tollison.

The Buckeyes, who left 10 runners on base in the finale game of the Illinois series and a total of 26 in that series in Champaign, stranded 15 runners Wednesday, including three in the third, seventh and ninth innings.

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.

In Big Ten Openers
The Buckeyes fell to 11-7 in conference openers since head coach Bob Todd arrived in Columbus prior to the 1988 season. The loss snapped a string of six victories in Big Ten openers.

Series Sweeps Against OSU
The sweep by Illinois in Champaign was only the sixth time in school history that the Buckeyes were swept in a four-game Big Ten series. The conference began playing four-game series in 1981. It was the first time Illinois had swept the Buckeyes. The Illini join Michigan, Minnesota and Purdue as the only teams to sweep the Buckeyes in four games. Michigan has three sweeps of Ohio State, while the others have done it once. Minnesota had been the last two sweep Ohio State, beating the Buckeyes four times in 1990.

Four-Game Sweeps in Big Ten Play
Illinois: 2005
Michigan: 1985, 1986, 1987
Minnesota: 1990
Purdue: 1987

Swisher Makes Opening Day Roster in Oakland
Former Ohio State Buckeye Nick Swisher appeared on the opening-day roster of the Oakland Athletics, which opened the season Monday at the Baltimore Orioles. 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. The switch hitter reached base safely in all but one of his 54 games as a junior and at one point rode a 19-game hit streak, which was within four games of the school’s all-time record. Swisher, a First Team All-Big Ten selection both as a sophomore and junior, had 64 hits, including 14 doubles and three triples to go with his 10 homers in 2002. He was a freshman All-American and was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2000. When Swisher was called up last season, he became the first Ohio State player other than a pitcher to reach the majors since Barry Bonnell played the first of his three seasons for the Atlanta Braves in 1977.

Ohio State Spring Break
The Buckeyes went a perfect 8-0 on their spring break trip to Sarasota and Bradenton, Fla. Ohio State opened the week with an 11-3 victory over Northern Iowa at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota and then beat Bucknell 14-3 and Wisconsin-Milwaukee 4-1. It was the Buckeyes’ version of March Madness since all three of those schools had basketball teams in the NCAA tournament. The trip continued with a 4-2 win against Illinois-Chicago before a two-day layoff. Ohio State returned to beat Cornell 6-4, took two games in a doubleheader against Dartmouth, 4-1 and 5-3, before closing the trip with an 11-2 victory over Cornell.

Ohio State hit .321 in the eight games and finished with a 1.93 ERA in 70.0 innings in Florida. Sophomore Jason Zoeller hit .419 in eight starts split between second base and shortstop and was the only Buckeye to have a double-figure hit total, finishing with 13 in 31 at bats. Freshman Eric Fryer hit .400 in the seven games he played at catcher. Two of his eight hits were doubles. Junior Jedidiah Stephen batted .346 and two of his nine hits were home runs, while another two were doubles. He and junior designated hitter Cody Caughenbaugh, who batted .391, each knocked in eight RBI. But senior first baseman Paul Farinacci drove in 10 runs as half of his eight hits were for extra bases, which included three doubles and a triple.

Cory Luebke and Trent Luyster each picked up two victories during the spring break trip. Luebke took a no hitter into the seventh inning in his complete game 4-1 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee, but ended the game allowing one run on four hits with a season-best nine strikeouts against no walks. He pitched eight innings against Dartmouth in his next outing and allowed only one run (unearned) on three hits with six strikeouts. In a seven-inning outing against Northern Iowa, Luyster allowed one run on five hits in his first win and then against Cornell got his fourth win of the season. Dan DeLucia, Rory Meister, Jeffrey Carroll and Trey Fausnaugh also picked up wins during spring break.

Buckeyes find offense in Wins in Jacksonville
Ohio State won two of three games at the Kennel Club Classic March 11-12 in Jacksonville. In the two wins Ohio State out-hit its opposition 19-18 in each game, beating North Florida 16-10 and Rider 15-9. In the loss, the Buckeyes gave up four runs in the eighth in a 4-3 loss.

Ohio State erupted for a season-high 19 hits in a 16-10 victory over North Florida March 11 at the Kennel Club Classic. The teams combined for 37 hits, but the Buckeyes hits were more timely. After only one hit in the first three innings, Ohio State had three big innings in the victory that evened the team’s record to 3-3. Ohio State scored three in the fourth inning, four in the fifth, one in the sixth and then seven runs in the seventh. Six runs crossed the plate in the seventh before the first out of the inning was recorded in the score book. Eight Buckeyes had multiple hits, including home runs by Jedidiah Stephen, a two-run shot in the seventh, Jason Zoeller, a three-run shot in the seventh, and Ronnie Bourquin, a solo shot in the ninth. Paul Farinacci and Schirtzinger each had three hits. Farinacci knocked in two runs and scored twice, while Schirtzinger drove in one run and scored once. Zoeller and Stephen each went 2-for-5 with three RBI. OSU starting pitcher Trent Luyster picked up his second win of the season to improve to 2-1.

In the loss to Bradley, Ohio State committed three errors in the bottom of the eighth inning and allowed the Braves to score four unearned runs in a 4-3 loss. The Buckeyes had scored twice in the first inning and added a run in the fifth and protected the 3-0 lead until poor defense allowed Bradley to take the lead in the eighth. Ohio State starter Dan DeLucia pitched well, but not as well as he did in his debut against Arizona State. He pitched six inning and allowed only two hits despite four walks. He also had four strikeouts, but did not factor in the decision. Brett Hatcher was pegged with the loss in his 2/3 of an inning after he allowed two runs on two hits. Five different Buckeyes accounted for the five hits. Zoeller, Caughenbaugh and Angle drove in the team’s three runs.

After giving up the lead in the top of the eighth inning, Ohio State battled back to score eight runs in the bottom of the inning on its way to a 15-9 victory over Rider. The Buckeyes had Rider in a 7-0 hole, but over the course of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, gave up eight runs to the Broncs and saw the lead vanish. Back-to-back doubles by Jason Zoeller and Ronnie Bourquin tied the game at eight. Bourquin went to third on a single by Adam Schneider and scored on a fielder’s choice by Paul Farinacci to give the Buckeyes a 9-8 lead, one it would not lose. Ohio State added six more runs in the inning on a total of six hits and three errors. Rider added a run in the top of the ninth to close within the 15-9 final score. Zoeller finished 5-for-6 in the game with two singles, two doubles and a triple, while knocking in three runs and scoring three times. Wes Schirtzinger added four hits with one run and one RBI and Bourquin added three hits with two runs and two RBI. Despite allowing the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth, Brett Hatcher got the benefit of his teammates offensive outburst in the bottom half of the inning to pick up his first win of the season. He improved to 1-1 on the season allowing two runs on five hits in 1.2 innings.

OSU Goes 1-2 in North Carolina, Pulls Upset of No. 4 Tar Heels
The Buckeyes might have gone 1-2 at the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C., but Ohio State did have some success in its third, fourth and fifth games against three of the top teams in college baseball. The Scarlet and Gray lost the opening game of the tournament, falling 4-3 to No. 7 Georgia, but rebounded to beat No. 4 North Carolina and Daniel Bard, 2-1. Arizona State handed Ohio State a 3-0 loss in the weekend finale.

Against Georgia, Ohio State scored first, but Georgia countered with a three-run home run in the third and a solo shot in the fifth and held on to down the Buckeyes 4-3 in the opening game. Georgia had taken a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning and kept Ohio State bats quiet until the eighth inning when it had three hits on reliever Joshua Fields. UGA starter Will Startup gave up a double to Bourquin to start the third, but retired 15 of the final 17 batters he faced. Those two hits came off the bats of Jason Zoeller, who singled in the top of the fourth, and Jacob Howell, who singled in the seventh.

Ohio State made the two runs in scored in the first inning hold up in a 2-1 upset of No. 4 North Carolina. The Buckeyes took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and never surrendered it. Wes Schirtzinger singled deep in the hole at second base and Ronnie Bourquin followed with a walk. Jedidiah Stephen delivered Schirtzinger with a single down the right-field line and then Cody Caughenbaugh flew out to center, scoring Bourquin on the sac fly. OSU starter Trent Luyster kept the Tar Heels off the score board until the seventh inning when Chase Younts pulled UNC within a 2-1 score with a single to right-center field to score Seth Williams. Luyster improved to 1-1, while the Buckeyes gave Bard his first defeat against two wins. Trey Fausnaugh picked up his first save of the season in his second appearance.

Arizona State, who was playing its 21st game of the season, scored the only run it needed in the bottom of the fifth and added two more runs in the eighth to down Ohio State a 3-0 in a duel between pitchers. Each starting pitcher – Ohio State’s Dan DeLucia and Arizona State’s Pat Bresnehan – pitched great games from the opening pitch, but it was Bresnehan who had the timely offense to pick up his first victory of the season. For DeLucia, he allowed seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts in his six-inning start. The difference was the run in the fifth. DeLucia, who got the loss, allowed four hits in the first four innings, but Arizona State scored its first run on three hits, including a one-out double by Andrew Romine. Ohio State could not turn three Sun Devil errors, including two in the first inning, into any offense. The Buckeyes left 11 base runners, including six in scoring position.

Luyster Named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week
Ohio State senior pitcher Trent Luyster was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week after leading the Buckeyes to a 2-1 victory over No. 4 North Carolina March 5 at the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C. Luyster allowed only one run while scattering seven hits over six innings. The senior left-hander from Flushing, Ohio (Harrison Central) struck out four batters while producing only one walk to boost Ohio State to its first win over a top 25 opponent since 2003, when OSU defeated Clemson and Auburn during NCAA regional play. Luyster, who returned to Ohio State after being drafted by the Chicago Cubs last year, is the only Buckeye player to be honored this season.

Buckeyes Open Season 1-1
Ohio State opened the 2005 season with an 8-4 victory over Middle Tennessee Feb. 25, but lost its second game of the season, falling to Troy, 6-4, the next day. A third game at the Wiregrass Baseball Classic in Dothan, Ala., against Iowa was rained out.

Leading 2-1 against Middle Tennessee through 6 1/2 innings, Ohio State scored six runs in the bottom of the inning on its way to an 8-4 victory over Middle Tennessee. Jacob Howell, who finished 3-for-4 in the game, led off with a triple before back-to-back walks by Mike Rabin and Steve Caravati loaded the bases. Adam Schneider delivered a pinch-hit double to left-center field to score Rabin and Caravati to give Ohio State a 5-1 advantage. Jason Zoeller walked to load the bases and Paul Farinacci doubled to left-center field to clear the bases and build the Buckeye lead to 8-1.

Middle Tennessee added a run in the eighth and a run in the ninth to close within four runs. Buckeye starting pitcher Mike Madsen retired the first six batters of the game, including three strikeouts in the first inning.

Troy’s Blake Green launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning broke a 2-2 tie as Troy held on to down Ohio State, 6-4. Troy relied on the arm hometown standout Landon Brazell, a fifth-year Troy senior from Dothan, who came up just short of going the distance for the Trojans. He allowed four runs on nine hits, threw 127 pitches and faced three batters in the ninth inning before giving way to Ryan Ramsey, who recorded the final three outs of the game. Ohio State got to Brazell for two unearned runs in the ninth. Trent Luyster was tagged with the loss after pitching 5.0 innings and allowing five runs on seven hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.

Rain washed out the final day of the Wiregrass Baseball Classic at Northcutt Field. Ohio State was scheduled to play a non-conference game vs. Iowa last Sunday, but steady rain coming off of the Gulf of Mexico forced the cancellation of game.

2005 Team Captains
The Buckeyes elected two fellow teammates to serve as team captains for the 2005 season: senior outfielders Steve Caravati and Mike Rabin. Caravati also was a captain during the 2004 campaign.

On the Radio
Ohio State baseball games are being broadcast again this season on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM), which will broadcast a total of 40 regular-season games, plus all postseason contests. Neil Sika and Paul Barnes will call the action. Live audio is available on the Internet at www.wosu.org or by clicking a link at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

Up Next for the Buckeyes…
Ohio State does not have a midweek game scheduled next week, so the next game for the team is next Friday at Michigan, when the teams open a four-game series in front of a national audience on ESPN. The game was pushed back to a 7:05 p.m. start to accommodate television. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday at 4:05 p.m. before concluding the series Sunday with a single game at 1:05 p.m. The game Friday will be the first night contest at Ray Fisher Stadium.