Feb. 21, 2018
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the second straight year, the Ohio State baseball teams heads west to the desert to play in the Big Ten/Pac-12 College Baseball Challenge Thursday-Sunday in Surprise, Ariz. The Buckeyes (3-1) start the weekend with a Thursday matchup against Utah at 7 p.m. ET at Surprise Stadium, spring training home facility to the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. The Scarlet and Gray will then play No. 2 Oregon State at 3 p.m. ET Friday. Ohio State faces the Utes (0-3) for a second time at 6 p.m. ET Saturday on the back field of the stadium grounds before a final contest against the Beavers (4-0) at 11 a.m. ET Sunday in Surprise Stadium.
ON THE BUMP
Thursday vs. Utah: LHP Connor Curlis (0-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. LHP Riley Pierce (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Friday vs. Oregon State: RHP Ryan Feltner (1-0, 7.20 ERA) vs. TBA
Saturday vs. Utah: RHP Adam Niemeyer (0-1, 1.80 ERA) vs. vs. RHP Tanner Thomas (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Sunday vs. Oregon State: RHP Yianni Pavlopoulos (1-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. TBA
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. There will be no video stream available. Oregon State audio will be available for the two games against the Beavers.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
2018 Record: 0-3
Team Stats: .183, 2 2B, 3 HR, 2-for-2 SB, 4.50 ERA, 28 K, 9 BB
Top Hitter: Dominic Foscalina, .444 (4-for-9), 1 HR, 2 RBI
Top Pitcher: Tanner Thomas, 0.00 ERA, 10 K, 1 BB, 6.1 IP
Last Time Out: Swept by Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Okla.
2017 Record: 4-0
Team Stats: .385, 7 2B, 5 HR, 7-for-8 SB, 3.50 ERA, 20 K, 13 BB
Top Hitter: Trevor Larnach, .667 (8-for-12), 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 BB, 7 RBI
Top Pitcher: Luke Heimlich, 3.00 ERA, 1-0, 4 K, 1 BB, 6.0 IP
MCGOWAN NAMED NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Noah McGowan was named a National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball, announced Monday. McGowan powered the Buckeyes to a 3-1 record at the Snowbird Classic last weekend in Port Charlotte, Fla. He collected 13 RBI, including 12 RBI with two outs, batting .400 with a double, two home runs, six runs scored and three walks. He had four-consecutive games with at least one RBI, including a career-high six RBI in the 2018 opener against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. McGowan becomes the first Buckeye to be named National Player of the Week since Jacob Bosiokovic (2016).
SNOWBIRD CLASSIC RECAP
Ohio State went 3-1 during the opening weekend in Port Charlotte, Fla. The Buckeyes won their opener for the fifth straight year after coming from behind to defeat Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 11-7, in game one of a Friday doubleheader. Noah McGowan and Tyler Cowles combined to drive in 10 runs on five hits, while Seth Kinker earned the win with one inning of relief work and allowing one unearned run. In game two, the Buckeyes downed Cansisus, 6-4, McGowan launched the first home run by a Buckeye on the early season and drove in four more runs to put his doubleheader total an impressive 10. Ryan Feltner claimed the victory after throwing five innings and allowed four runs on six hits with six strikeouts and three strikeouts. Kinker struck out the side in the ninth to claim his first save of the season. Miscues hurt the Scarlet and Gray last Saturday against the Golden Griffs as the Buckeyes fell short, 6-5. Ohio State had the tying run on second base in the ninth, but Dominic Canzone flew out at the wall in right center to end the game. McGowan also launched a moonshot over the left field fence for his second dinger of the year. In the finale, Yianni Pavlopoulos picked up the win, working five innings and scattering two runs on six hits with two strikeouts and one walk. The OSU bats ignited for 14 hits in the 13-3 win. Ohio State improved to 21-9 all-time at the Snowbird.
BUCKEYES RANK HIGH IN NATIONAL STATS
Ohio State ranks in the Top 10 in the nation in several statistical categories, including first in double plays turned (7), sixth in base on balls (28) and ninth in runs scored (34) and doubles (11). Noah McGowan leads the country in RBI (13) and fourth in RBI per game (3.25). He is 10th in the country in runs scored (6). Dominic Canzone is 10th in runs scored (6) and 17th in walks (5). Jacob Barnwell is 10th in doubles (3), while Kobie Foppe is also 10th in runs scored (6). Tyler Cowles leads the nation in outfield assists with three after the opening weekend.
LEADING THE BIG TEN
The Buckeyes are leading the conference in runs scored (34), hits (40), RBI (32) and doubles (11). The team is second in on-base percentage (.427) and fifth in batting average (.292).
AZ BOY HOMECOMING
Junior transfer Kobie Foppe is returning to his home state this weekend in the valley of the sun. Foppe, from Phoenix, Ariz., transferred to Ohio State after playing two seasons at South Mountain CC. He was an all-state honorable selection at Pinncale High School.
LAST YEAR IN ARIZONA
The Buckeyes went 1-3 in 2017 at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge highlighted by a 6-1 upset win over Oregon State during game two of the weekend action. Yianni Pavlopoulos limited the Beavers to one run in six innings of work and Brady Cherry against the Beavers at Surprise Stadium. The Buckeyes dropped both games to Utah by scores of 12-0 and 6-4. The team dropped the finale on Sunday to the Beavers, 5-1. Jacob Barnwell led the Buckeyes at the plate, batting .455 with two doubles and a walk.