COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State travels to Sembower Field on the campus of Indiana University for a three-game Big Ten Conference series this weekend against the Indiana Hoosiers. Both teams are among a five-pack of teams that are 2-1 in the Big Ten after the first weekend of play. Game dates and times:
Game 1 – Friday at 3:05 p.m.
Game 2 – Saturday at 1:05 p.m.
Game 3 – Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
The Friday and Saturday games will be streamed to the Big Ten Network’s website at BigTenNetwork.com. There is a charge to view. Single game or monthly options are available. WBNS AM 1460 ESPN will audio broadcast all three games live. Free audio, as well as live stats, are available at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Additionally, in-game tweeting will carry a tastefully subjective slant toward all things Buckeye at www.twitter/BuckeyeNotes.
ON THE MOUND
Ohio State’s starters this weekend will be Sr. RHP Drew Rucinski (2-1; 2.30), So. RHP Brett McKinney (1-1; 4.08) and Fr. RHP Greg Greve (1-1; 6.39) Friday through Sunday, respectively.
Indiana will counter each day with LHP Blake Monar (3-1; 3.82), RHP Chad Martin (1-1; 2.09) and RHP Matt Dearden (2-1; 4.35).
– Drew Rucinski has assumed the Friday night role for the Buckeyes after it was owned by Alex Wimmers the past two years. Rucinski pitched 6.0 innings last Friday vs. Northwestern, allowed just one earned run, struck out five and walked just one in a no-decision of a game Ohio State won. He is 5-4 in Big Ten games and this will be his 10th start.
– McKinney is making his first Big Ten start. He pitched twice in relief last week vs. Northwestern, allowing two earned runs and three hits in 2.2 innings. His prior two starts – vs. Fresno State 3/22 and Xavier 3/29 – were impressive: 8.2 combined innings with two earned runs allowed, six strikeouts and three walks.
– Greve is making his second Big Ten start after a 4.2 inning stint last Sunday vs. Northwestern. He surrendered 11 hits and five runs, but only two of those runs were earned. He struck out five and walked two.
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS
Indiana, under the direction of sixth-year head coach Tracy Smith, is 18-10 on the season and 2-1 in the Big Ten. Freshman Dustin DeMuth leads the Hoosiers with a .375 batting average while preseason All-American Alex Dickerson is hitting .367 with a team-leading four long balls and 25 RBI. Right-hander Chad Martin is 1-1 with a 2.09 ERA in four starts.
FIVE YEAR WAIT
Ohio State is playing at Indiana for the first time since the 2006 season. The teams played Big Ten series in Columbus in 2007 and again in 2010. The two met only in the Big Ten tournament in 2008 and 2009 – both IU wins – and Ohio State claimed a 2-0 non-conference win in Winter Haven Fla., in 2009, a game in which Alex Wimmers and Blake Monar were each spectacular.
SOME SERIES HISTORY
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Indiana that began in 1897, 156-99. The 255 games played in this series is tied with the 255 played vs. Michigan as the most games against one opponent for the Buckeyes. The teams have split the last four games. In Big Ten series: Ohio State won the series last year in Columbus, 2-1, and has not lost a series to Indiana since 1996. Since that 3-1 Indiana win, Ohio State has won 10 series, including five consecutive, and tied two series with the Hoosiers.
No. 9 VERSUS…
Greg Beals’ Ball State teams were 4-1 vs. Indiana. The Hoosiers’ win came last year in Bloomington, 12-6.
OHIO STATE UPDATE
Ohio State is in a tie for first place in the Big Ten Conference after the first weekend of action. Last weekend at Bill Davis Stadium, the Buckeyes defeated Northwestern, two-games-to-one to win the series and move into a tie for first in the Big Ten with four other teams. The Buckeyes took the opener, 7-2, lost Game 2, 7-3, and then won Game 3 in dramatic fashion, 15-14.
Ohio State is led offensively by a trio of first-year starters. Ryan Cypret leads the team with a .393 average and he also leads in hits (33), runs (tied with 15) and RBI (tied with 16) … Greg Solomon is hitting .381 and leads the team with 10 extra base hits and with a .587 slugging pct … Josh Dezse is hitting .330 and is tied with Cypret with 16 RBI.
HEAD COACH GREG BEALS
Head coach Greg Beals is just the 11th head coach in Ohio State history and only the fourth in the last 60 years. He has a 253-214 career record and is in his ninth season as a collegiate head coach. Beals played collegiately at Kent State, where he also received bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and for three years in the New York Mets farm system. He was 243-202 with three MAC West Division championships and one NCAA appearance in eight seasons at Ball State.
Beals brought with him to Ohio State his pitching coach and recruiting coordinator the last seven years at Ball State: Ohio State graduate Mike Stafford. Chris Holick, from Westlake, Ohio and a Kent State grad, is the other fulltime assistant. Josh Newman, a 32-game winner for the Buckeyes in the early 2000s from Wheelersburg, Ohio, and a young man who knows what it takes to pitch in the big leagues because he made 14 starts for Colorado and Kansas City, is the team’s volunteer assistant coach.
BUCKS EARN BIG TEN HONORS
Josh Dezse – Freshman of the Week (2/21, 3/7)
15th SEASON AT BILL DAVIS STADIUM
Ohio State is 235-126 all-time at Bill Davis Stadium for a fine .652 winning percentage.
The Buckeyes host Akron for a doubleheader at 4:35 p.m. Wednesday before taking on Michigan State for a three-game set Friday through Sunday at Bill Davis Stadium.