April 21, 2005
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OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
(18-13; 4-8 Big Ten)
(21-12; 3-9 Big Ten)
April 22-24, 2005
Ray Fisher Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Fri., April 22 7:05 p.m. ESPN & WOSU
Sat., April 23 4:05 p.m. (DH) WOSU/WOSU
Sun., April 24 1:05 p.m. WOSU
Michigan leads 144-87-2
last game: May 28, 2004, Ohio State 14-2
ESPN-TV (Friday only)
Dave Barnett and Kyle Peterson
OHIO STATE RADIO/INTERNET
NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) o www.wosu.org
Neil Sika and Paul Barnes
PROBABLE OHIO STATE PITCHING 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 – Ohio State and Michigan looked like the teams to beat in the Big Ten after pulling stunning upsets the first weekend of March in North Carolina. The two teams owned the best two overall records when conference play began April 1, but since then, the teams have struggled and sit near the bottom of league standings entering a crucial conference series this weekend in Ann Arbor.
At the Keith LeClair Classic, March 4-6, the Buckeyes lost 4-3 to then-No. 7 Georgia and pulled a 2-1 upset of then-No. 4 North Carolina before falling 3-0 to Arizona State. Michigan lost 2-1 to East Carolina before rebounding to upset Georgia 6-4 and North Carolina 1-0. The teams continued to find success the remainder of March. Ohio State won 12 of 13 games after its trip to North Carolina and took a 12-4 record into Big Ten play, while Michigan won 11 of 12 to take a 15-3 record into league action.
Since then, Ohio State has gone 5-9, including 4-8 in the Big Ten while Michigan has gone 4-9, including 3-9 in conference play. The Buckeyes sit alone in eighth place and are five games out of first, while the Wolverines are tied for ninth, one game behind Ohio State. But while first place is barely on the horizon, the teams are fighting to make the six-team Big Ten tournament which will be hosted by the league champion. The Buckeyes have missed only one Big Ten tournament (1996) under 18th-year head coach Bob Todd. His teams have finished with the league’s best record seven times and have won six tournament championships.
The Ohio State vs. Michigan series should make for four intense games, including Friday night when the teams put their rivalry on display for a national audience on ESPN at 7:05 p.m. Dave Barnett and Kyle Peterson will call the action for the network. The teams play a doubleheader Saturday at 4:05 p.m. before concluding the series with a single game Sunday at 1:05 p.m. All four games can be heard in Columbus on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) and on the Internet at www.wosu.org. Neil Sika and Paul Barnes will have the radio call.
ABOUT OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes dropped to 18-13 overall and 4-8 in the Big Ten after losing three of four games last weekend against Michigan State. The Spartans became only the second team to win a conference series at Bill Davis Stadium, Ohio State’s ninth-year, 4,450-seat venue. Michigan took three of four games at Ohio State in 2003 and 2004.
Senior outfielder and co-captain Mike Rabin led the Buckeyes in their series with Michigan State last weekend that closed a 10-game homestand. He was 6-for-12 with one home run, three RBI and two runs scored. He had a hit in all four games and was 3-for-3 in game two with a two-run home run in the fifth inning. It was his first home run of the season and the third of his career. Chris Macke, Jedidiah Stephen and Jacob Howell each had four hits in the series, which the Spartans won 3-1.
Stephen and Jason Zoeller are the only Buckeyes batting better than .300. Stephen leads the team with a .311 average. He has 32 hits, including seven doubles and four home runs as well as 20 RBI. Zoeller is batting .309 and leads the team with 34 hits (four doubles, two triples and four home runs) and has batted in 16 runs while scoring a team-high 22 runs.
Dan DeLucia leads the team with a 2.27 ERA. He is 2-2 on the year and has 29 strikeouts in 43.2 innings. Trent Luyster leads the team with wins (4-3), strikeouts (32) and innings (52.0), while Cory Luebke is second in strikeouts with 31 in 42.1 innings. He is 3-2 with a 2.76 ERA. The Buckeyes are hitting .292 as a team, which ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Ohio State’s 3.78 ERA is second best in the league and its .972 fielding percentage is the best in the conference.
Ohio State will go with the same starting rotation it did against Michigan State. DeLucia will make his second straight Friday start before handing responsibilities over to Luebke and Mike Madsen on Saturday. Luyster will pitch the series finale on Sunday.
The Wolverines are 21-12 overall after beating Toledo 10-9 at home Wednesday afternoon. Michigan split last weekend’s series at Illinois to get to 3-9 and ninth place in the Big Ten, one game behind Ohio State in the standings. So far this season in conference action, the Wolverines have gone 0-4 vs. Minnesota in the Metrodome, 1-3 vs. Iowa and 2-2 at Illinois.
Michigan’s .312 batting average ranks second in the Big Ten behind Indiana (.328). Chris Getz leads the Big Ten with his .420 batting average and leads the team with 50 hits. Jeff Kunkel is batting .364 with 32 hits, eight doubles, two home runs and 22 RBI. Kyle Bohm is batting .363 with 45 hits, eight doubles and a team-best 39 RBI, while Matt Butler is batting .360 with 49 hits, a team-best 13 doubles, two triples and four home runs. Derek VanBuskirk is batting .317 though has played in only 21 games. Brad Roblin is the only other Wolverine batting above .300 with his .301 average.
On the mound, Michigan is third in the league with its 3.99 ERA, behind Illinois (3.72) and Ohio State (3.78). The Wolverines likely will toss right-handed pitcher Jim Brauer Friday. Brauer is 4-1 with a 2.33 ERA and a team-best 46 strikeouts in 54.0 innings. On Saturday, Michigan will start Michael Penn in game one and Clayton Richard in game two. Penn is 4-1 with a 2.89 EA and 39 strikeouts in 46.2 innings, while Richard is 0-0 with a 0.46 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 19.2 innings. Drew Taylor will pitch the series finale on Sunday. He is 2-2 with a 4.23 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 27.2 innings. Richard has two of the team’s four saves.
Michigan is coached by Rich Maloney (Western Michigan, 1986), who is in his third season in Ann Arbor. He is 84-65 at Michigan and is 340-209-1 in his 10th season as a head coach after mentoring at Ball State for seven years. Maloney is 7-4 vs. Ohio State.
AGAINST THE WOLVERINES
Michigan leads the all-time series against Ohio State 144-87-2, though under 18th-year head coach Bob Todd, the Buckeyes are 48-32. Since 2000, Michigan has a two-game edge in the series (13-11) after taking three of four games from Ohio State in 2000, 2003 and 2004, including the last two years in Columbus. The last time the teams played in Ann Arbor, the teams split the four game series. The Buckeyes eliminated the Wolverines from the Big Ten tournament last season with a 14-2 defeat.
Series History Since 2000 (Michigan leads 13-11)
April 14, 2000 – at Michigan 8, Ohio State 2
April 15, 2000 – at Michigan 2, Ohio State 1
April 15, 2000 – at Michigan 3, Ohio State 2
April 16, 2000 – Ohio State 14, at Michigan 4
May 11, 2001 – Michigan 7, at Ohio State 5
May 12, 2001 – at Ohio State 2, Michigan 0
May 12, 2001 – at Ohio State 10, Michigan 7
May 13, 2001 – at Ohio State 9, Michigan 2
May 16, 2001 – at Ohio State 8, Michigan 4*
May 3, 2002 – Ohio State 11, at Michigan 6
May 4, 2002 – at Michigan 5, Ohio State 4
May 4, 2002 – at Michigan 1, Ohio State 0
May 5, 2002 – Ohio State 9, at Michigan 5
May 2, 2003 – at Ohio State 2, Michigan 1
May 3, 2003 – Michigan 5, at Ohio State 4
May 3, 2003 – Michigan 3, at Ohio State 1
May 4, 2003 – Michigan 9, Ohio State 4
May 22, 2003 – Ohio State 4, Michigan 2**
April 23, 2004 – Michigan 6, at Ohio State 1
April 24, 2004 – at Ohio State 2, Michigan 1
April 24, 2004 – Michigan 8, at Ohio State 4
April 25, 2004 – Michigan 12, at Ohio State 10
May 27, 2004 – Michigan 10, Ohio State 4**
May 28, 2004 – Ohio State 14, Michigan 2**
* Big Ten Tournament, Columbus, Ohio
** Big Ten Tournament, Minneapolis, Minn.
Since the league began playing four-game series in 1981, the teams are balanced. Each has three sweeps against the other and each has won six series by 3-1 counts. There have been six series splits.
Series History vs. Michigan Since 1981
Ohio State 4-0: 1996, 1995, 1994
Ohio State 3-1: 2001, 1999, 1998, 1992, 1990, 1988
Split 2-2: 2002, 1997, 1993, 1991, 1983, 1982
Michigan 3-1: 2004, 2003, 2000, 1989, 1984, 1981
Michigan 4-0: 1987, 1986, 1985
TURN ON THE LIGHTS, PART TWO
Michigan was the opponent when Ohio State played it first game under the lights at Bill Davis Stadium. The stadium, considered by many the best college baseball stadium in the Midwest, opened in 1997, but lights were not installed until one year later in 1998. The Buckeyes took the first three games of the series that year (6-4, 2-1 and 3-2) before losing the finale (12-8).
LAST TIME VS. MICHIGAN
Ohio State belted out 20 hits and scored in every inning except the eighth to cruise to a 14-2 elimination victory over Michigan in the 2004 Big Ten Tournament. The win sent the Buckeyes to the championship round vs. Minnesota. Ohio State went on to beat the Golden Gophers in the first game 3-2 before losing 7-3 preventing a third straight conference tournament championship for the Buckeyes.
Against Michigan, Ohio State scored once in each of the first two innings before taking a 5-0 lead in third. Another five Buckeye runs scored in the fifth inning to build the Ohio State lead to 10-0. Michigan scored twice in the sixth, but the Buckeyes got the pair of runs back in the bottom of the inning and then added two more in the seventh.
OSU starting pitcher Jeffrey Carroll, who pitched 4.2 innings in an earlier tournament loss to Michigan, made sure he did his part by retiring the first 12 batters of the game. Carroll pitched eight innings and allowed only the two runs on six hits with a pair of walks and five strikeouts. Phil Tognetti got the loss for Michigan to fall to 4-2 on the year. Drew Anderson, Jacob Howell, Ronnie Bourquin and Derek Kinnear each had three hits to lead the Buckeyes. Steve Caravati was 2-for-5 with four RBI. Brett Garrard, Paul Farinacci, Mike Rabin and Kinnear each added two RBI.
MICHIGAN WINS SERIES FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON
For the second straight season, Michigan handed Ohio State a home series loss. The Wolverines had been the only Big Ten team to take three of four games in the nine-year history of Bill Davis Stadium until Michigan State took three of four this year.
In the first game of the series, Michigan scored three runs to break a 1-1 tie in the top of the fifth inning and held Ohio State to only three hits the rest of the way to knock off the Buckeyes 6-1. Michigan took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, but Ohio State got the run back in the bottom of the inning, capitalizing on a pair of base hits by Steve Caravati and Jedidiah Stephen to start the inning. Jason Zoeller delivered the two-out RBI scoring Caravati to tie the game 1-1. The Wolverines scored three runs in the fifth inning to break the tie and take a 4-1 lead. Michigan turned another leadoff walk into a run in the seventh and added a run in the top of the ninth inning with a sacrifice fly.
Stephen singled down the right-field line with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning to deliver the winning run as Ohio State defeated Michigan 2-1 in game two. Derek Kinnear reached on a fielding error on Michigan third baseman A.J. Scheidt. Wolverine starting pitcher Derek Feldkamp walked Drew Anderson. A base hit through the right side by Jacob Howell moved Anderson to second before Feldkamp and the Wolverines intentionally walked Caravati to load the bases. Stephen got his only hit of the game to deliver Anderson as the winning run. Anderson finished 3-for-3, while Howell finished 2-for-2 with a sacrifice bunt.
With a one-run lead going into the sixth inning of game three, Michigan scored twice and then added two more runs in the seventh to save a doubleheader split with an 8-4 victory. The Wolverines moved ahead 6-3 with a pair of runs on five base hits in the sixth inning. Brett Garrard singled in the fourth Buckeye run in the sixth inning. Four different Wolverines finished the game with two hits, including Mahler, who was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Getz, Roberts and Roblin each added two hits as Michigan out-slugged the Buckeyes 11-5. Five different Ohio State players had singles, including a two-run home run by Caravati.
In the series finale, Michigan broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning by scoring nine runs en route to a 13-2 victory against Ohio State that clinched the second straight 3-1 series win against the Buckeyes on their home field. OSU starter Dan DeLucia walked the first two batters of the fourth inning and hit the third to load the bases. DeLucia had started strong retiring nine of his first 10 batters. He allowed the first six runs on three hits, three walks and one hit batsman. The Buckeyes scored twice in the bottom of the fourth inning.
INDIVIDUALLY AGAINST MICHIGAN
Outfielder Steve Caravati has a career batting average of .410against Michigan. He is 16-of-39 with two home runs and 12 RBI in15 games. Trent Luyster won his only career appearance againstMichigan. The win came last season when he pitched a three-hitcomplete game in game two of the series, a game Ohio State won 2-1.In four games last season against Michigan, Ronnie Bourquin was6-for-15 with one home run and two RBI. Jeffrey Carroll beatMichigan last year in the Big Ten tournament as a freshman. He hadfour appearances last year against the Wolverines totaling 14.2innings and had seven strikeouts. He gave up five runs (only threeearned) on 14 hits and managed to keep his ERA as low as 1.84against the Maize and Blue. Jacob Howell, last year’s Big TenFreshman of the Year, had six hits in five games against theWolverines. He was 6-for-23 (.261), scored three times and knockedin two runs. In five games last year against Michigan, JasonZoeller saw limited time, but made the most against the rival,going 4-for-7 (.571).
OHIO STATE ON ESPN
The Ohio State vs. Michigan game is the first time the Buckeyes have been on ESPN marks since the 2003 NCAA Super Regional games vs. Southwest Missouri State at Bill Davis Stadium. The Bears won twice to earn their first trip to the College World Series, depriving the Buckeyes their first trip to Omaha since 1967. Ohio State won the national championship in 1966 after finishing as the runnerup in 1965.
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.
SLOW BIG TEN START
The 4-8 start by Ohio State is the slowest start to open Big Ten play since it began the 1987 season 2-10. That also was the last year the Buckeyes were swept in a four-game series to open league play. Those losses came at the hands of Michigan. Ohio State also was swept by Purdue that year and finished 4-12 in the Big Ten. That was the year before the arrival of current Buckeye coach Bob Todd.
When this year’s Ohio State team lost the opening game of the Purdue series, it ran its conference losing streak to five games. The last time Ohio State started 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.
THE BIG TEN RACE
Illinois and Minnesota stayed on top of the Big Ten with 9-3 record after series splits last weekend against Michigan and Penn State, respectively. Iowa took three of four games vs. Indiana to move into third place by itself. Penn State moved into fourth, while Northwestern, who split with Purdue, and Michigan State, who won three of four from Ohio State, are tied for fifth. Purdue is seventh. The Buckeyes are eighth, while the Wolverines and Hoosiers are tied for ninth. If the Big Ten tournament were to start now, only Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Penn State, Northwestern and Michigan State would go. Ohio State has missed the Big Ten tournament only once (1996) since Bob Todd began coaching the Buckeyes in 1988.
In addition to the Ohio State vs. Michigan matchup this weekend, Illinois is at Indiana, Penn State is at Iowa, Purdue is at Michigan State and Northwestern is at Minnesota in the Metrodome.
BIG TEN STATISTICS RANKINGS
In the Big Ten rankings that were released Thursday, Ohio State ranked fifth in team batting (.292) behind Indiana (.328), Michigan (.310), Illinois (.310) and Penn State (.308); ranked second in team ERA (3.78) behind Illinois (3.72); and ranked first in fielding (.972), just in front of Michigan, Minnesota and Penn State, all of which are fielding at .971.
Not a single Buckeye has a batting average ranked in the Top 10 in the league. Ranking individual ERAs, Dan DeLucia is second at 2.27, while Michigan’s Jim Brauer, who he will face Friday at Fisher Stadium, is third with a 2.33 ERA. Cory Luebke is sixth with his 2.76 ERA.
In conference-only stats, the Buckeyes rank dead last in team batting (.267), sixth in team ERA (4.87) and fifth in team fielding (.968). No Buckeye ranks in the Top 10 in batting average or ERA in conference-only games.
Ohio State is 1-4 in true road games this season, but is 12-8in games outside of Columbus. The Buckeyes are 7-7 in games decidedby two runs or less, including 2-4 in one-run games. The win Sundayagainst Michigan State was the first win by Ohio State this seasonin its last at bat. Sophomore Jacob Howell already has 100 hits forhis career (79 games). All but four of Steve Caravati’s 18 startshave been in right field. The Buckeye co-captain has made twostarts as the Buckeye designated hitter, including the last game ofthe Michigan State series and the third game at Illinois. His othertwo starts were made at first base, including the second game vs.Cornell and against Malone. Caravati currently has a five-game hitstreak. The Buckeyes have won all three games when freshman MattAngle has led off. He has led off against Rider, game two againstDartmouth and the finale vs. Michigan State. His only hit againstthe Spartans delivered the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.Angle has a three-game hit streak. Mike Rabin has a hit in 10 ofhis last 11 games and is batting .389 in those games. He is theteam’s leading hitter in Big Ten games with a .342 average. He isone of two Buckeyes with 13 hits in league action, joining firstbaseman Paul Farinacci, who has a hit in each of his last threegames and nine of his last 12. Erik Fryer’s two hits and two RBI inthe finale against Michigan State are a season high for thefreshman backstop. The three hits by Jedidiah Stephen in the finaleagainst Michigan State were a season high. Stephen has 105 careerhits, including 19 doubles, three triples and 17 home runs, as wellas 69 RBI. Chris Macke, who has been playing third base for theinjured Ronnie Bourquin, is the team’s leading hitter in its last10 games. He is batting .357 with 10 hits (two doubles) and has sixRBI.
BUCKEYE RECORD BOOK
Steve Caravati is tied for ninth with his .353 career battingaverage. His 214 hits rank 15th, while his 607 at bats have himranked 22nd. 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 146 runs during his career (15th in school history),including 52 RBI last season. He needs 35 to move into second placeall-time at Ohio State. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) holds the schoolrecord with 236 RBI. Mike Rabin has 719 career at bats, which isranked third by any player in school history. The OSU record is823, set by Mark Carek (1995-98). Rabin, who already has 94 at batsin 2005, needs 105 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 42 steals tie for seventh most in school history. Rabin’s 210hits rank 16th 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 .679 (19-9), he ranks 28th in school history. Madsenranks 12th in fewest hits allowed (209), sixth in fewest bases onballs (79), eighth in fewest runs (113) and 11th in fewest earnedruns allowed (97). Madsen has pitched in 53 games, which ties himfor 19th. Trent Luyster has made 54 appearances in his career torank 18th. Luyster is 16th with fewest hits allowed (222), thirdwith fewest bases on balls (55), ninth in fewest runs (115) and is10th with fewest earned runs allowed (96).
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 earlier this month. 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 3-2 on the year with a 2.76 ERA, the sixth best in the Big Ten. Luebke has made nine appearances with starts in his last six 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.
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 704-368-2 (.656). He improved his career record to 828-439-2 (.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.
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
Michigan: 1985, 1986, 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 returns home Wednesday for a string of six games that begins with Eastern Michigan at 6:35 p.m. The Buckeyes welcome Indiana to Bill Davis Stadium next weekend and then play host to Cleveland State May 4 in a game that is already sold out.