COLUMBUS, Ohio – After six days off, the Ohio State baseball team returns to action with its first Big Ten road series at Iowa Saturday-Monday at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City, Iowa. The Buckeyes (19-8, 2-1 B1G) return to the diamond after taking two of three games at home against Nebraska last weekend, while the Hawkeyes (17-9, 3-2 B1G) won a road series at Illinois last weekend in Champaign, Ill.
Due to winter conditions predicted this weekend in Iowa City, Iowa, the two teams willl play a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. ET Saturday from Duane Banks Field. Game three is TBA Sunday. For future updates, check back at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
G1: LHP Connor Curlis (4-1, 3.51 ERA) vs. LHP Nick Allgeyer (3-2, 2.45 ERA)
G2: RHP Ryan Feltner (3-1, 5.18 ERA) vs. RHP Brady Schanuel (4-3, 4.06 ERA)
G3: RHP Adam Niemeyer (2-2, 5.85 ERA) vs. RHP Cole McDonald (2-1, 3.52 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. The series will be streamed on BTN Plus ($). All three games of the series vs. the Hawkeyes can also be heard on AM 1460 ESPN. Matt Andrews and Bob Spears will have the call from Iowa City.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
2018 Record: 17-9 overall and 3-2 in B1G
Team Stats: .273, 37 2B, 18 HR, 21-for-30 SB
Top Hitter: Tyler Cropley, .351 with 18 R, 10 2B, 3 HR, 24 RBI and 16 BB
Top Pitcher: Alex Allgeyer, 3-2 with 2.45 ERA, 41 K, 10 BB, 44.0 IP
Last Time Out: Defeated Grand View, 4-2, Wednesday at Banks Field
OHIO STATE VS. IOWA
The Buckeyes lead the all-time series vs. the Hawkeyes, 75-54-1. Ohio State is 33-27 in road games vs. the Hawkeyes. Last year, the Hawkeyes won two of three games over the Scarlet and Gray at Banks Field May 12-14. Dominic Canzone hit .313 (5-for-16) with three runs scored, one home run and four RBI and Conner Pohl batted .625 (5-for-8) with four runs scored, one double, one home run and three RBI. On the mound, Connor Curlis received the win in game two, throwing six innings on four runs, one earned, two walks and four strikeouts.
Ohio State sits at No. 57 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings, which were released on Monday. The Buckeyes are the fifth-highest ranked team in the Big Ten. Ohio State has two wins over RPI Top 50 teams and six against schools in the Top 100.
HOT BATS LAST WEEK
Ohio State hit an impressive .393 as a team with nine doubles and four home runs to go 3-1 last week. Six different Buckeyes hit over the .300 mark guided by Conner Pohl with a .647 average (11-for-1&) with six runs scored, one home run and nine RBI.
A LOOK BACK AT NEBRASKA SERIES
The Buckeye bats kept sizzling into the weekend vs. the Huskers after a 19-4 win over Toledo last Wednesday. The squad batted .400 with 44 hits and slugged .536 as a team. Pohl hit .571 (8-for-14) with three RBI and Canzone, Cowles and Barnwell each hit .500. Barnwell had the big three-run homer in the win in game two. McGowan drove in five and homered in the series finale. The Buckeyes recorded 22 hits last Sunday vs. the Husker pitching staff, marking the most hits by a Buckeye team at Bill Davis Stadium (since ’04). Each of three OSU starters recorded quality starts. Curlis fanned eight over 6.2 innings and allowed three earned runs, Feltner struck six in six innings of work on three earned runs and Niemeyer worked five and allowed three earned runs in game three. Kinker collected two saves, combining to throw 3.2 innings on four hits, two runs, five strikeouts and no walks.
PRODUCTIVE AND POWER HITTING
The team is getting productive and powerful hitting up and down the lineup. Four players have 10 or more extra-base hits. The power rangers include:
McGowan: 12 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 37 RBI
Cowles: 9 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 25 RBI
Canzone: 7 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 25 RBI
Cherry: 9 2B, 1B, 1 HR, 21 RBI
After 27 games in 2018, vs. the first 27 in 2018, several individuals are enjoying significant statistical improvements:
TO THE BULLPEN
The OSU bullpen has combined for 3.55 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 109.0 innings pitched. The Buckeye relievers have combined for a 2.25 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2018. The OSU hurlers are holding opponents to a .227 batting average out of the bullpen in 27 games.
NOTING THE OPENING HOMESTAND
NATIONAL STAT RANKINGS
Ohio State ranks in the Top 50 in the nation in several statistical categories, including 11th in scoring (7.9), 13th in batting average (.309), 19th in runs scored (212), 20th in hits (297), 24th in on-base (.399) and 28th in slugging (.452).
Noah McGowan is eighth in RBI per game (1.37), 10th in RBI (37), 21st in batting (.411) and 25th in doubles (12). Dominic Canzone is 14th in hits (45) and 31st in runs scored (32).
IT SHOULD BE NOTED…
The Buckeyes will have a quick turnaround following their road series vs. the Hawkeyes as the team hosts in-state foe Ohio at 6:35 p.m. ET Tuesday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. The contest will be streamed on BTN Plus ($).