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May 6, 2005

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OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
(24-15; 7-10 Big Ten)
at
PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
(23-17; 10-10 Big Ten)

May 7-9, 2005
Beaver Field, State College, Pa.

Sat., May 7 1:05 p.m. Web
Sun., May 8 1:05 p.m. (DH) WOSU/WOSU
Mon., May 9 1:05 p.m. Web

SERIES HISTORY
Ohio State leads 40-21
last game: May 10, 2004, Ohio State 9-4

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

GAMETRACKER
www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com

PROBABLE OHIO STATE PITCHING ROTATION G1 36 Dan DeLucia, LHP 2-3, 2.83 ERA, 33K, 47.2IP G2 19 Cory Luebke, LHP 3-2, 2.58 ERA, 33K, 45.1IP G3 6 Mike Madsen, RHP 3-3, 5.17 ERA, 23K, 31.1IP G4 39 Trent Luyster, LHP 4-3, 4.91 ERA, 33K, 55.0IP

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State enters the stretch run this weekend at Penn State with only 12 league games and 13 games overall remaining on the schedule. The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions will play four beginning Saturday, taking Friday off so Penn State can finish final exams. The Buckeyes are in eighth place in the Big Ten standings, 1 1/2 games behind Penn State and Northwestern for the sixth and final spot in the conference tournament.

The Buckeyes improved to 24-15 after beating Cleveland State Wednesday afternoon in front of a season-high crowd of 3,930 fans at Bill Davis Stadium. Ohio State has now won six of its last seven games and four in a row after winning the final three games of the Indiana series last weekend in Columbus. Penn State, meanwhile, had this week off to take final exams and did not play a midweek game after splitting with Illinois last weekend in State College and sits 24-17 overall and 10-10 in the Big Ten.

Ohio State and Penn State will play one game Saturday at 1:05 p.m. and will play a doubleheader Sunday at 1:05 p.m. before concluding the series Monday with a 1:05 p.m. first pitch. All four games will be broadcasted on the Internet at www.wosu.org while only the two games on Sunday will be broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM).

ABOUT OHIO STATE
Ohio State has won 11 of its last 16 games, including six of its last seven. Prior to beating Cleveland State 12-4 Wednesday, it took both ends of a double dip against Eastern Michigan last Wednesday and then won the final three games from Indiana after dropping the first game of the series.

Jedidiah Stephen leads Ohio State with a .379 batting average during the last 10 games, of which the Buckeyes have won seven. He is 11-for-29 during the span and has one double, one triple, one home run and 11 RBI. In six games last week, the junior from Caldwell, Ohio, batted .438 (7-for-16). Had his first triple of the season and his team-leading fifth home run, a three-run shot in game one against Eastern Michigan. Steve Caravati is next on the team with a .346 batting average in the last 10 games. The senior co-captain from Dover, Ohio, has nine hits, including a double and a home run and five RBI.

Stephen is leading the everyday players with a .320 batting average. He has 3 hits (seven doubles, one triple and five home runs), has batted in 30 runs and scored another 21. He also leads the team with a .512 slugging percentage. Jason Zoeller is batting .319 with a team-best 43 hits (seven doubles, two triples, four home runs) and has batted in 22 runs, while Mike Rabin is batting .314 with 38 hits and 13 RBI. Paul Farinacci has a team-high 12 doubles and 34 RBI. Ohio State is batting .290 as a team.

Rory Meister was a strength for the Buckeyes last week out of the bullpen. He has pitched in six of the last seven games and picked up his first two saves at Ohio State in the final two games against Indiana. A streak of 15.0 scoreless inning came to an end with two out in the ninth inning against Cleveland State. In his last six appearances, he has struck out 15 batters while walking only two. Batters averaged just .100 against him and only two of his allowed hits have gone for extra bases, both doubles.

Mike Madsen notched a pair of wins last week, beating Eastern Michigan in game one of a twin bill last Wednesday before returning Saturday in the second game of the doubleheader against the Hoosiers. He struck out 11 batters in 6.2 innings and allowed four runs on six hits. Cory Luebke pitched the first game Saturday and went the distance to record his third complete game of the season and the first career shutout in which he allowed only four hits. The 3-0 win was the first team shutout this season by Ohio State. Jeffrey Carroll posted the other win for the Buckeyes against Indiana. He came on in relief for starter Trent Luyster and did not allow a run on five hits in 2.1 innings. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes broke a 4-all tie and went ahead 6-4 before he was replaced by Trey Fausnaugh and eventually Meister, who got the save.

Against Penn State, the Buckeyes are going to stick with the starting rotation they have used the last three weekends of Big Ten play: DeLucia will go in game one followed by Luebke and Madsen Sunday in the doubleheader and then Luyster in the finale on Monday.

Ohio State leads the Big Ten with its 3.93 team ERA and is the best fielding team in the Big Ten with a fielding percentage of .971. The team’s .290 batting average though, ranks seventh in the league.

ABOUT PENN STATE
The Nittany Lions split two games last weekend against conference leading Illinois. Penn State won the two nine-inning games, but lost both ends of the doubleheader, falling 6-3 in eight innings and 6-4 in the normal seven in game two. The Nittany Lions won game one 3-2 and game four 9-1 to stay at .500 in the Big Ten at 10-10. They are 24-17 overall.

Matt Lewis leads Penn State with a .371 batting average, which is the eighth-best average in the Big Ten. He has a team-best 56 hits (nine doubles, two triples, five home runs), 29 RBI and boasts a .556 slugging percentage. Michael Milliron has the next best average among everyday players. He is batting .325 with 49 hits and a team-high 10 doubles to go with 22 RBI. Scott Gummo (.321) and Lance Thompson (.318) also top .300. Gummo leads the team with six home runs and Thompson is the only player to play and start all 41 games. Penn State is batting .302 as a team, the fifth best average in the league.

On the hill, Penn State is likely to stick with its same rotation as last weekend. The Nittany Lions will toss Alan Stidfole (5-3, 4.04 ERA, 57K in 62.1 innings) in game one, Craig Clark (3-2, 3.42 ERA, 49K in 50.0 innings) in game two, Steve Cline (3-3, 4.54 ERA, 16K in 39.2 innings) in game three and Sean Stidfole (6-2, 3.55 ERA, 71K in 71.0 innings) in game four. The Nittany Lions staff ERA is 4.17, the fourth best in the league. Penn State has a .963 fielding percentage which is sixth in the Big Ten.

Robbie Wine (Oklahoma State, 2002) is 24-17 in his first season at Penn State and as a collegiate coach.

AGAINST THE NITTANY LIONS
Ohio State leads the all-time series vs. Penn State 40-21. The series dates back to 1958 when the Buckeyes took two-of-three in Columbus. The very next season, Penn State won two of the three games in State College. Since the 2000 season, the Buckeyes lead 13-9. The teams split four games last season in Columbus and in 2003 in State College. Bob Todd is 35-18 against the Nittany Lions.

Series History Since 2000 (OSU leads 13-9)
May 6, 2000 – Ohio State 8, at Penn State 5
May 7, 2000 – Ohio State 9, at Penn State 3
May 7, 2000 – at Penn State 4, Ohio State 1
May 8, 2000 – Ohio State 9, at Penn State 8
Arpil 20, 2001 – Penn State 8, at Ohio State 3
April 21, 2001 – Penn State 9, at Ohio State 4
April 21, 2001 – at Ohio State 16, Penn State 6
April 22, 2001 – at Ohio State 6, Penn State 4
May 17, 2001 – Penn State 4, at Ohio State 3*
April 5, 2002 – Penn State 14, at Ohio State 2
April 6, 2002 – at Ohio State 7, Penn State 6
April 6, 2002 – at Ohio State 10, Penn State 0
April 7, 2002 – at Ohio State 11, Penn State 0
April 4, 2003 – Ohio State 4, at Penn State 3
April 5, 2003 – at Penn State 2, Ohio State 1
April 5, 2003 – Ohio State 7, at Penn State 5
April 6, 2003 – at Penn State 10, Ohio State 2
May 24, 2003 – Ohio State 13, Penn State 3**
May 8, 2004 – at Ohio State 3, Penn State 1
May 9, 2004 – Penn State 1, at Ohio State 0
May 9, 2004 – Penn State 6, at Ohio State 3
May 10, 2004 – at Ohio State 10, Penn State 4
* Big Ten Tournament, Columbus, Ohio
** Big Ten Tournament, Minneapolis, Minn.

OHIO STATE VS. PENN STATE SERIES
Ohio State has won eight series against Penn State since the Nittany Lions began Big Ten play in 1994. There have been two 4-0 sweeps by the Buckeyes, the most recent in 1999. There have been four instances when the teams have split four-game sets and Penn State has only one series win, which came in 1996, the last time the Buckeyes missed the Big Ten tournament. The Lions have never swept Ohio State.

Ohio State Series History vs. Penn State
Ohio State 4-0 1999, 1993
Ohio State 3-0 1994
Ohio State 3-1 2002, 2000, 1998, 1997, 1992
Split 2-2 2004, 2003, 2001, 1995
Penn State 3-1 1996
Penn State 4-0 None

LAST YEAR VS. PENN STATE
Ohio State won the nine-inning bookends and Penn State swept the doubleheader as the teams split a weekend series May 8-10, 2004 at Bill Davis Stadium.

Jacob Howell was 3-for-4 with a single, triple and home run to lead Ohio State to a 3-1 victory over Penn State in the first of four games. The victory was the 800th career win for head coach Bob Todd. Howell got a hold of a first-pitch fastball with one out in the bottom of the first inning and sent it out of the park about 10 feet to the left of the right-field foul pole to give the Buckeyes an early 1-0 lead. Penn State tied the game in the top of the third. Howell led off the bottom of the fourth with his team-leading fourth triple of the season and scored on a ground out by Steve Caravati. Brett Garrard drove in Jedidiah Stephen with a single to left field to give the Buckeyes a 3-1 lead. OSU starter Josh Newman retired the last 10 batters he faced and left the game with eight strikeouts after eight innings of work, allowing only four hits.

With Ohio State starter Scott Lewis out of the game, Penn State got the only run it needed in the top of the sixth to end the Buckeyes’ seven-game win streak by handing them a 1-0 loss in the first game of a doubleheader. Jesse Paciorek started the sixth in relief of Lewis and got a ground out before a single through the left side by Milliron and a wild pitch put a runner in scoring position. Paciorek walked Clint Eury to end his day as Trey Fausnaugh came to the hill. He gave up a single up the middle to pinch hitter Lance Thompson and Milliron was able to slide past a throw from Mike Rabin in center field to give the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead.

In game three, Penn State sprinted out to a 6-0 lead through four innings and held on to deal Ohio State a 6-3 loss in the second game of the twinbill. Penn State scored two in the first and third and single runs in the second and fourth innings. Luyster got the loss to snap a string of four victories. He gave up all six runs, though only five were earned on 11 hits. The doubleheader loss marked the first time since 2002 at Michigan that Ohio State lost both ends of a doubleheader

Ohio State overcame a 3-0 deficit with four runs in the bottom of the third inning and later scored five runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to defeat Penn State 9-4 in the series finale. Penn State scored three times in the first three innings and starting pitcher Clayton Hamilton kept Buckeye bats silent as he retired the first eight batters of the game. But Ohio State rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the third inning to claim a 4-3 lead. Madsen won his seventh game of the season, pitching eight innings and allowing all four runs on seven hits.

THE BIG TEN RACE
Last week, Purdue swept Minnesota and Michigan swept Michigan State to shake up the Big Ten standings. Illinois split four games with Penn State to take advantage of Minnesota’s trouble in West Lafayette to take over the top spot by itself with a 14-6 league record. Minnesota and Iowa now are tied for second with 12-8 records. Purdue climbed from seventh to fourth at 9-7, while Penn State and Northwestern are tied for fifth. Still on the outside looking in for berths in the Big Ten Tournament are Michigan at 8-9, Ohio State at 7-10 and Indiana at 5-15. The top six teams based solely on percentage points advance to the conference tournament, which is hosted by the team with the best regular season league record.

Northwestern is at Illinois and Minnesota is at Iowa for Friday to Sunday series this weekend, while the other three series will be played Saturday through Monday because of final exams and graduation. While Ohio State is at Penn State, Purdue will be at Michigan and Michigan State will be at Indiana.

BIG TEN STATISTICS RANKINGS
In the Big Ten rankings that were released Thursday, Ohio State ranked seventh in team batting (.290), in front of Iowa (.288), Minnesota (.284) and Purdue (.278); ranked first in team ERA (3.93); and was first in fielding (.971). Not a single Buckeye has a batting average ranked in the Top 10 in the league. Ranking individual ERAs, Cory Luebke is third with his 2.24 ERA, just behind Illinois’ Brian Blomquist (2.09) and Michigan’s Jim Brauer (2.21). Teammate Dan DeLucia is seventh with his 3.17 ERA. In conference-only stats, the Buckeyes rank dead last in team batting (.267), fifth in team ERA (4.96) and are tied for third in team fielding (.966). No Buckeye ranks in the Top 10 in batting average or ERA in conference-only games.

SLOW STARTS IN BIG TEN SERIES
The Buckeyes have yet to win the first game in a Big Ten series this season. At 0-5 in the first game of a series so far in conference play, the Buckeyes are hitting just .195 and have been outscored 37-6. Opposing pitchers have an ERA of 0.60. With each game in the series, the Buckeyes’ batting average goes up. Ohio State is 2-2 on game two, is batting .270 and is being outscored 17-12. In game three, the Buckeyes are 2-2, are batting .299 and scoring just as many runs as the opposition (17-17) and then in game four are 3-1, are batting .316 and are outscoring opponents 26-23.

OSU/Big Ten Game-by-Game Breakdown G1 G2 G3 G4 OSU Record 0-5 2-2 2-2 3-1 OSU BA .195 .270 .299 .316 Opp. BA .273 .278 .264 .318 OSU Hits/Gm 6.4 6.8 8.0 10.8 Opp. Hits/Gm 9.4 7.5 7.0 11.8 Scoring* 6-37 12-17 17-17 26-23 OSU ERA 5.23 4.00 4.67 5.09 Opp. ERA 0.60 2.77 3.81 6.21 *OSU score listed first OSU/Michigan played only one game.

BUCKEYE BULLETS

Mike Rabin continues to lead the Buckeyes in Big Ten games. Thesenior co-captain from West Chester, Ohio (Lakota East), is batting.339 in 17 league games with 19 hits (two doubles, one home run)and had three RBI. The Buckeyes’ ERA in Big Ten games is 4.96 butis 3.93 in all games. The team is batting .290 overall, but thefigure shrinks in conference games to .267. In the team’s last 10games, Cory Luebke has made two starts totalling 10.0 innings andhas not allowed a run and has only allowed five hits. Rabin hasbeen the team’s best hitter in the first game of the series with a.333 batting average. He also leads in game two with a .500average. Paul Farinacci is the team’s best hitter in game three andboasts a .455 batting average, while Jedidiah Stephen is the topbatter in the fourth game with a .429 batting average. The Buckeyesare 12-6 and carry a .294 batting average. Steve Caravati leads theteam at home with a .375 batting average. In the team’s 24 wins,Jason Zoeller leads the team with a .427 batting average. He has 35hits, including seven doubles, a triple and two home runs. The teamis batting .331 in the wins. Zoeller is batting .151 in the 15losses. Rabin is the team’s top batter in the losses with a .319batting average. Eric Fryer, a .272 hitter in 32 games, sees hisaverage swell to .385 against left-handed pitching. Matt Angle isbatting .400 (16-for-40) with runners on base, compared to .220without a base runner. He also leads the team with a .435 averagewith runners in scoring position.

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. Ohio State drew 7,370 for the home series vs. Purdue and 6,839 for the Michigan State series. Through 14 home dates this season, Ohio State has drawn 31,275 fans, an average of 2,233.9 per game. Minnesota, which has traditionally been a big draw for Ohio State, comes to Bill Davis Stadium May 20-22. The Buckeyes also play host to Miami (Ohio) next Wednesday, giving them four more home dates to try and climb 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.

BUCKEYE RECORD BOOK

Steve Caravati is tied for 11th with his .352 career battingaverage. His 222 hits rank 11th, while his 630 at bats have himranked 20th. The fifth-year senior co-captain from Dover, Ohio(Dover) is tied for third with 11 triples (two away from the schoolrecord) and his 22 career home runs rank 21st. Caravati has battedin 150 runs during his career (10th in school history), including52 RBI last season. He needs 31 to move into second place all-timeat Ohio State. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) holds the school record with236 RBI. Mike Rabin has 746 career at bats, which is ranked thirdby any player in school history. The OSU record is 823, set by MarkCarek (1995-98). Rabin, who already has 121 at bats in 2005, needs77 at bats to break that record. He had 234 at bats as a sophomoreand 228 last year, so that is one record to watch. His 44 stealstie for fifth most in school history. Rabin’s 220 hits rank 14th inschool annals. With five home runs this season, Jedidiah Stephenhas 18 career home runs. The junior from Caldwell, Ohio, needs twomore to crack the school’s Top 25 list. With 21 career victories,Mike Madsen ranks tied for 14th and with his win percentage of .700(21-9), he is tied for 23rd in school history. Madsen ranks 14th infewest hits allowed (215), tied for eighth in fewest bases on balls(83), 11th in fewest runs (117) and is 13th in fewest earned runsallowed (101). Madsen has pitched in 55 games, which ties him for17th. Trent Luyster has made 56 appearances in his career to rank15th. Luyster is third with fewest bases on balls (58), 13th infewest runs (121) and is tied for 14th with fewest earned runsallowed (102). In just his second year as a Buckeye, Trey Fausnaughhas made 54 appearances, which is the 20th-most in school history.

BUCKEYES USE 12 HITS, NINE VIKING ERRORS TO BEAT CSU 12-4
Ohio State jumped out to an 8-0 lead and cruised to a 12-4 non-conference, mid-week victory over Cleveland State Wednesday in front of a season-high 3,930 fans as part of CPS Day at Ohio State. More than 3,000 sixth-graders from Columbus Public Schools attended the game.

Ohio State did not disappoint the young crowd as it jumped out to the early lead getting a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Buckeyes plated two more runs in the second inning and then scored four more runs in the third inning and another in the fourth to build its lead to 9-0.

While the offense was getting it done at the plate and on the base paths, the job of OSU starting pitcher Dan Barker was going unnoticed. He retired all 12 batters he faced to start the game, including a season-high six strikeouts. It was his first win as a Buckeye (1-0) in the four-inning designated short start.

Cleveland State finally got on the scoreboard with two runs in the fifth off reliever Jeffrey Carroll. The Vikings went in order in the sixth and seventh but got one run in each the eighth and ninth innings. Ohio State added three runs in the seventh. Ten different Buckeyes had hits, but it was Jason Zoeller and Tony Kennedy who each had two hits to lead Ohio State, which out-hit Cleveland State 12-7. The Buckeyes, who sent 17 different batters to the plate in the game, benefited from a Bill Davis Stadium record nine errors by Cleveland State and stranded nine runners on base.

WEDNESDAY GAMES AT BDS
Ohio State is 5-1 in home Wednesday games this season after beating Cleveland State 12-4 this week. After beating Toledo 12-4 in the home opener March 30, the Buckeyes lost to Oakland 6-5 before rebounding to take a 15-4 win over Malone and both ends of a doubleheader vs. Eastern Michigan 10-3 and 3-2.

Jedidiah Stephen leads the Buckeyes in their six home midweek games with a .500 batting average. He is 9-for-18 with one home run, nine RBI and four runs scored. Jacob Howell, who has played in five of the games is 7-for-16 (.438) with one triple, five RBI and four runs scored. Jason Zoeller is batting .400 (8-for-20) with two doubles, four RBI and a team-best seven runs scored. Ohio State is batting .313 in Wednesday home games and has a 3.06 ERA, while outscoring the opposition 57-23. Opponents are batting only .220.

The Buckeyes have only one more home midweek game on the schedule and that is next Wednesday against Miami (Ohio). The game returns to the normal 6:35 p.m. time slot.

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, Mesiter 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 after making five relief appearances in the Buckeyes’ six games last week. 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 last weekend 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. Michigan scored its first two runs of the inning when Dan DeLucia misfired on the throw to first on a bunt by Matt Butler that also enabled him to get to third. He scored on a base hit by Chris Getz. DeLucia walked Kyle Bohm to put runners at first and second and when DeLucia’s wild throw on a pick-off attempt at first sailed past Paul Farinacci, allowed another run to score and put a runner at third, he was sent to the dugout in favor of Jeffrey Carroll. Carroll gave up three runs on three hits before Rory Meister came in to get the Buckeyes out of the biggest inning by an opponent this season.

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, scoring on a Meister wild pitch. 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. DeLucia fell to 2-3 with the loss.

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). Luebke is 4-2 on the year with a 2.24 ERA, the third best in the Big Ten. Luebke has made 11 appearances with starts in his last eight 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 and Michigan State. He beat Purdue for his third win of the season and beat Indiana last weekend.

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.

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 706-369-2 (.657). He improved his career record to 830-440-2 (.653). 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)

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 11 vs. Miami (Ohio) @ 6:35 p.m.
May 20 vs. Minnesota @ 6:35 p.m.
May 21 vs. Minnesota @ 4:05 p.m.
May 21 vs. Minnesota @ 7:05 p.m.
May 22 vs. Minnesota @ 1:05 p.m.

UP NEXT FOR THE BUCKEYES…
Ohio State returns home Wednesday for its final midweek home game when it plays host to Miami (Ohio) in a 6:35 p.m. start that will be broadcast on NPR 820 and on the Internet at www.wosu.org.